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Old 05-18-2010
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Originally Posted by lapworth View Post
I bought a new head sail last year and I did fold it up after the first time out. After that..... well I guess I am in for a lashing when I meet zz.
Not at all! I'm sure your sailmaker will love you... especially if he/she has kids in college!
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Old 05-18-2010
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Exactly, the people who think its too much effort are the first to complain about the cost of new sails.
Merit 25 # 764 "Audrey"
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Old 05-19-2010
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There's another reason for flaking/folding the sail that I haven't seen mentioned. I flake, fold (roll?) then stuff my jib/genoa in such a way that I always have the head, clew and tack at the opening of the sail bag, easy to find, easy to figure out. That way, when I hoist the sail there's no confusion and groping around for this end or that.

If the winds are light I'll flakefoldrollthenstuff the sail right on deck. If heavy, I'll stuff it all down the forward hatch and do it from below (or do it later). When I'm docked I'll lay the sail on the ground and "repackage" my sailbags properly, also an opportunity to inspect the sails closely.

I can't imagine just cramming my sails into a bag...I don't think they'd fit.
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Old 05-19-2010
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I'm with Rob C. I fold my headsails (all hank-on) on deck. It's pretty easy. Just leave them hanked to the headsail, pull the clew back over the cabin trunk, and start your folding. The hanks will guide the sail into a pattern, like flaking the main, then when it's all folded, I fold lengthwise. If I'm going out again in the next day, with the same sail, I leave it hanked on and put the sail into a hank-on headsail bag, then hoist it off the deck. If I later decide to put it away or change sails, I just unhank it and the sail is all bagged. Rarely do I have to take a sail ashore to fold it, unless I've changed headsails while on the water, in which case I pull it down the hatch and fold it later.
Mark Smith
1977 C&C 30 Mk 1 hailing from Port Clinton, Ohio
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Old 05-20-2010
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when i bought my ericson it had a lovely original main that had been flaked in same places for 30 yrs. looked gorgeous. take it out into 20 kt breezes and the thing ripped(blew out) on the nice looking folds. make sure the flaking is always in a different place each and every time is flaked. on the trip i just returned from the owner of boat would crumple up the main and tie it down to the boom for expediency while underway--each time was crumpled in a different place...the only time we hurt the main was when he put his hand thru at a seam while in a stiff breeze--at night.underway...while downsizing sail area.....looked ugly when done but was functional...then in port i would re flake the sail just so others didnt think we were derelicts--after all , we were cruising..LOL......

creases are made in sails when the nicely flaked sail is tied to boom with the sail ties...also when sail cover is placed on it....make sure when the sail is being put away that there isnt a lot of windage with it as the wind will take that and make a problem for you while underway--the less windage and fewer places to allow the wind to grab the sail , the better...dont allow pockets to catch wind.......

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formosa 41, cruising tropics

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Last edited by zeehag; 05-20-2010 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 05-20-2010
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Originally Posted by ste27 View Post
Roll, don't fold, and don't let your sail roll bend unless you absolutely have to

Spinnakers, stuff all you want - pretty much the only easy way to deal with them
Thanks for the link Roll. It helped me as well.
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Old 05-20-2010
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I don't think rolling is practical when storing on your boat, takes up a lot of room. I have 4 headsails, where would I put them.

Also if you fold your headsails then fold them length wise always start at the tack end so then when you get to the leech it is being gently folded around the rest of the sail.

This is counter intuitive as that means the clew is the first corner you see but if you do not do it this way the leech is folded tight inside the rest of the sail and this will quickly crease and damage it.
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Old 05-22-2010
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Soft hand sailcloth, like that used on cruising sails tends to be much more forgiving that heavily resin impregnated hands. Even so, the advice here is great.

It makes me cringe to see how many folks stuff and bag their sails after day-sailing. Just imagine if they treated their diesel auxiliaries like that. Matter of fact, folks tend to baby their engines and bully their sails. Go figure.

Here are some thoughts:
I always flaked the mainsail after lowering. Be sure to grab the leech as you flake and pull it aft. This helps keep the folds straight and the battens parallel to the boom.

I always owned boats with hank-on jibs. I have a personal love/hate relationship with the furling stuff. I've seen too many torn to shreds by storms, abused by owners that never change out the sacrificial cover or inspect the sail, and no furling sail will set as well as a hank-on.

With hank-on sails, you can flake these on deck, and bag them in a sausage bag. It looks like an upside down boom cover. The flaked headsail rests in the middle, then you bring the long edges together and twist the fasteners to secure it. You can send the bag below or lash it alongside the rail.

Or,flake the jib first, then roll it up from head to tack, bag it in a regular sailbag and stow it below.

Rolling to stow:
As one person mentioned, the most ideal arrangement is rolling. And with mylar, that's what you want to do. But, then again, the same goes for paper charts. In reality, it just takes up so much room.
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