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post #1 of 8 Old 02-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Sails??

I am a bit overwhelmed as I have just taken my step into the sailing community about 4 months ago. I have just inherited a ranger 22 and she is in quite good condition. The hull has gotten repainted within the last 2 years. My question is how do I know when it's time to replace the lines and sails. The sails look fine to my "inexperienced" eyes. Both the main and 2 headsails are working beautifully but I am not trying to have one of my lines snap. And when it is time where is the best yet cheapest place to get supplies (I've already looked at west marine) any advice will help!

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post #2 of 8 Old 02-24-2012
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Lay them out and look for the obvious...... Tears, abrasions, etc. Then check the stitching to be sure its all intact. Even if it is, run your fingernail over random places. If UV damaged, some fibers will come off under your finger nail. Have them re-stitched or inspected by a sail loft.

If good structurally, the only remaining problem would be they have become mis-shapen. This would degrade performance. Its unlikely you would have blown out sails without other signs of age though.


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post #3 of 8 Old 02-24-2012
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Ditto what Minnewaska said about the sails. And you can still sail with baggy sails, just not as fast or efficiently.

For the lines, it is even easier to tell if they need replacement. Are they frayed or worn,
especially in high stress areas such as where they attach to the sails, run through blocks or are routinely cleated off? If so, replace them. Otherwise, they're generally good to go. Also, make sure the ends of the lines aren't fraying or unravelling. If they are, you can whip the ends (wrap thread around the ends), or if the line is synthetic, melt it into a nice glob that will hold together.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-25-2012
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Some places sell used sails in various conditions but much less expensive than new sails. Typically, they're rated 1 to 10, with 10 being new. For line (running rigging), a huge enemy is sun, and another is friction and chafe. Lines that are clean and given some protection from the sun can give you more service. Sometimes reversing the lines end-for-end might "freshen" them a bit by rotating wear spots.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-25-2012
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All of the above comments. Also, a good local sailmaker (sail loft) can inspect your sails, usually for a small fee, and add darts to the sail to add some shape if needed.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-25-2012
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A boat that's been recently repainted is unlikely to have been neglected badly in other areas.. I'd stop worrying and concentrate on learning the ropes before trying to replace them. Even badly aged lines rarely 'break' unless they are visibly damaged - they get stiff and may not run freely though blocks etc. - but even then you can throw them into a pillowcase and put them in the wash - you may be amazed at the rejuvenation that can produce.

Having a sailmaker inspect things will provide peace of mind that may well be worth it.

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-25-2012
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If you don't have a local sailmaker, you might be able to take pictures of the sails while you are sailing -- say from underneath the mainsail looking up and from behind the sail looking forward -- and e-mail the pictures to a sailmaker.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-28-2012 Thread Starter
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Thankyou for all of the advice! I will be sure to just stop stressing. For my college budget can't really afford new sails and my uncle (who has passed away) did take care of his boat. I guess I am just being overly cautious. Thankyou again! Haha I'm sure you will see more questions by me in the future..
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