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post #1 of 8 Old 05-04-2007 Thread Starter
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Managing Sail inventory

What do you use to manage your sail inventory?

Simple spreadsheet?
Software Program?
Memory?

I am just looking for something that I can use that will tell me the condition of each sail and what weather conditions the sail should be used. I know that I will of course have to enter this information first. I have about 20 bags of sails and I just can't keep track in my head.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-04-2007
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Ummm... why do you have 20 sails???

Most boats will have the following:

Main sail
Storm Trysail

150% Genoa
135% Genoa
120% Genoa
Jib
Storm jib

If cutter rigged, maybe it will have a Staysail

If ketch rigged, it will probably have a mizzen sail

It might also have an Asymetrical Spinnaker or Gennaker

It might also have a Spinnaker

It might also have a Code 0 or other light upwind work sail.

That is a total of 10 or so sails, 11 if the boat is a cutter or ketch/yawl. How can you have twenty???

A small notebook would probably work quite well. This information doesn't need to be in a computer, and putting it in one makes little sense... this needs to be in something that you can refer to on the boat quickly... A waterproof notebook (Rite-in-the-rain comes to mind) would be an ideal solution. Most sails are cut for certain wind strengths...but this is generally based on the apparent wind, not the true wind, and the sails that will be necessary may change, depending on your point of sail.

For instance, my screacher sail is really rated for up to 14 knots of wind. If I am going almost dead downwind in 20 knots of wind and doing 10 knots... the screacher is going to be fine—the apparent wind is only 10 knots.

However, if I turn and go on a beam reach...20 knots of wind and doing 10 knots, the apparent wind is now up to 22+ knots, and I'm probably going to damage the sail.

Finally, going from the beam reach to close hauled, the boat may be doing 8 knots...but the apparent wind is now 25+ knots or so... and I better have much heavier sails than I did going downwind and might even want a reef in the main that wasn't necessary going downwind.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 05-04-2007 at 03:02 PM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-04-2007 Thread Starter
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4 spins - two VMG/Reaching (one for practice) Two down wind (one for practice)

3 main sails - 1 delivery, 1 practice, 1 race

2 jib tops - 1 practice 1 race

4 number 1 headsails - 1 delivery, 2 practice, 1 race

3 number 2 headsails - 2 practice, 1 race

3 number 3 headsails - 2 practice, 1 race

We are looking into asymetrical spins.

One of the issues is that most of the sails have battens and there are several choices for each sail, depending on conditions.

I need to track what battens are in which sail as well as repair of each sail and current location of sail (on boat, in locker, at loft)

I think it will come down to a note book, but what if I loose the note book.....

Ideally i would like to enter the info into a website and then print out sheets for the boat. Bring the sheets back home at night to update the website for the print outs of the next day.

I just don't think it is going to happen like that. hmmm..
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-04-2007
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Get a small spiral bound notebook, Rite in the Rain makes several in a convenient size... and fill it out...and have two of them... one you fill out and keep as a backup.

Use the paint to color code the battens with colored stripes. Have a coding system like what you'd find on a resistor, where there are four stripes—and the first gives you whether it is a delivery sail, practice sail or racing sail batten. Same with the sail bags. That way you can pull the sail and the battens that go with it just by looking at the colored strips. You could do the same with numbers, but the idea of color-coding strikes me as more elegant.

First stripe—Sail Use
Red—Race, Grey—Practice, Black—Delivery.

Second stripe—Which Sail
White—First Sail, Black—Second Sail

Third stripe—Conditions
White—light air, Grey—medium air, Black—heavy air

Or something like that...

This would also help you get the boat unloaded for the race... you could tell your crew to yank all the sailbags that have a Black first stripe...same with the battens...and that would leave only the racing and practice sails aboard the boat for the actual race.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #5 of 8 Old 05-05-2007
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Wish I had this problem. (Though we do have five spinnakers.) Keeping all sails in good operating condition would mean you'd only have two places for them to be- on the boat or in the locker. (Unless one was getting repaired- but you could have the loft return it to the locker when they were done.) This would make things a little simpler by eliminating the sail loft as a spot to lose them in. Nice idea for the battens. Numbers of stripes might work better than color coding them on the bags, however. . Some "hot" sails will wear out faster than others. It would be easier to add a stripe or other mark to change it to a practice sail than to have to change the color of the stripe. A number written on the stripe could designate it as a #1, #2, . You could write "Light #1" or "Heavy #1" on the first stripe, for example, when the sail was new. When it got tired, you add a stripe (2nd string- practice sail). When it's ready to do deliveries, a third stripe. It's still a "light #1", but you know what you've got, and anyone in the crew can tell as well. The problem with writing on the stripes is that for sail changes at night it can be hard to read the writing. Maybe someone can think some more about this.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-07-2007
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A nice Sharpie marker usually does the trick.

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-07-2007
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Is this a joke question????
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-07-2007
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I'm kinda hoping so.

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