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post #1 of 8 Old 02-02-2004 Thread Starter
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Old sails made new?

I have found a web site that strips sails cleans them and then re-resins. Has anyone had this done? What is the popular opinion of the process?
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-02-2004 Thread Starter
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Old sails made new?

Woops I forgot to include the web address...

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post #3 of 8 Old 02-02-2004
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Old sails made new?

Have used SailCare in the past and was completely satisfied with their quality of work and their prices. Presently awaiting return of my mainsail for my catamaran from them. Would recommend them whole heartedly to you. They are completely upfront with their services and do absolutely nothing until the sail is evaluated and YOU approve the go ahead.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-02-2004
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Old sails made new?

parents did their sails with sailcare.
They are good people who do a very fine job. Tell them Thorsten Schaette from Carlilse lake sends you and ask them if you can get the 15 % off for sail cleaning they offered on the Chicago show

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post #5 of 8 Old 02-02-2004 Thread Starter
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Old sails made new?

15% OFF REALLY they didn''t say a word about that to me
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-03-2004
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Old sails made new?

I think that this whole "Old sails made new things" is a bit of a scam. If all that you care about is that the sail look white, feel a little stiff and be triangular then this might be a good idea, but otherwise itís a bad joke. As a sail ages the fibers elongate, permanently stretching longer than their original length. More elongation takes place in the high stress areas of a sail, (typically the leech of the sail) than takes place in lower stressed areas of the sail. As it does, the camber of the sail moves aft resulting in a sail with poorer performance (especially to windward) and a sail that is more inclined to produce larger heeling angles. As the fibers elongate they become more stretchy so not only does the sail cloth assume a permanently poorer shape, but the sail shape dynamically changes more dramatically towards an adverse shape as the windspeed increases resulting in a sail that powers up in a gust with its camber moving aft which is exactly the opposite of what is desirable.

A very good sailmaker can sail on a boat, take pictures and then recut the sail, which is a process in which a number of the seams are opened up in the leech of the sail and then carefully re-broad seamed and then stitched back together again. Done well, this restores the static shape but does nothing for the greater tendency of an older sail to stretch under sail.

Depending on the specific cloth, new sailcloth has a filler between the fibers. This filler is pressed into the cloth under great heat and pressure and fills the spaces between the fibers. These fillers provide the structural function of transferring loads from one fiber to another and resisting stretch on the bias. The heat provides and initial set to the sailcloth fibers reducing the tendency for a new sail to stretch. The fillers are also what make modern Dacron sail cloths feel stiff and crinkly when new. Over time these break down. Flogging sails and crumpling the sail really accelerate that deterioration process which is why you see racers rolling their sails or carefully flaking them.

These sail rejuvenation places essentially claim to replace those fillers. The problem is that the old fillers are still mostly in place but are just not fully bonded any longer and so partially prevent any new filler from entering the sail in the manner that is necessary for the filler to act structurally. To be effective, the new filler needs to be implanted in the sail under high heat and pressure. The problem here is that heat applied to older fibers shortens their life by making them more brittle, prone to fatigue and also reduced the stiffness of the fiber, which further increases the amount of elongation for a given load. With the stitching and hardware on the sail, the rejuvenation companies also cannot achieve the level of pressure necessary to properly bond these fillers.

So what comes out of these rejuvenation shops may look and feel like a new sail, but it really isn''t improved in terms of flying shape or sailing capabilities.

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-03-2004
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Old sails made new?

I''ve used SailCare initially two years ago for sails on my previous boat, and am using them again to clean and refurbish the sails on my current boat.

In addition to cleaning your sails, the company repairs rips, restitches weakened seams, replaces old and rotten sun shields, etc. They do just about everything, I believe, except recut them.

Using them perhaps means another couple of years use of your existing sails. If you''re a cruiser and top-shelf sailing performance is not an issue for you, then you''ll love what the company can do for your sails.

But don''t fool yourself into thinking that what they are doing is similar to turning back the clock on your sails. It''s not. They''re not the fountain of youth. Your boat will not perform as it would with a new set of sails...it may look just about as good, but it won''t perform the same.

So if you like to race your honey on the weekend or in evening mid-week races, you probably should spend the money for new threads.

Hope this helps...Michael

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post #8 of 8 Old 02-03-2004
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Old sails made new?

My personal belief is that you can have your sails cleaned much more economically and better elsewhere. The last time I had a sail cleaned and inspected I used North Sails, and I was very pleased with the work and the price.

Years ago, I made the mistake of having Sailcare "rejuvenate" and clean my mainsail and convert the sail to full batten and they completely botched the job. I had my local sail loft redo their work. In retrospect, I naively threw money down a rathole trying to "rejuvenate" a tired sail. The process left the sail whiter, but it came back with the stitching shot and the loft work completely screwed up. I would have been far ahead to put the money towards a new sail. It was a total waste of money.

If you want to have a sail repaired, inspected or cleaned, I would suggest you find a real loft. A good sailmaker will tell you if the sail is beyond hope, or will do what you need done for considerably less than Sailcare.

Lots of folks seem pleased with them, but I am not one of them based on my one experience. If a sail is worn out, having it whiter and crisper isn''t going to put the shape back into it. Just my thoughts.
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