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post #1 of 33 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Old sails

Pretty sure my answer is gonna be yes but figured I'd ask anyways.

I had to make my first sail repair last weekend. And I discovered that my mainsail is in...bad shape. Here's what prompted all this.

A month or so ago I took my M22 out for a daysail. Wind was great about 10mph constant with occasional gusts to 15mph. Had a great time but then the weather changed and the wind really picked up. My main doesn't have reef points. Instead the boom rolls the main around it. I'm missing some pieces to it so I can't reef. I packed it in. I wasn't able to properly fold my sails so I stuffed them into the boat with the thought of waiting until it calmed down and then I'd stow them away. That's the source of my problems. I brought my sails out and my jib is still in great shape. I packed it up and got to work on my main. I discovered a slit in my sail. Looks like a razor cut. I ordered some sail tape and got me some good needles and thread. I sewed up the slit then taped over it and put a finer line of stitches around the edge of the dacron tape. I know my patch will hold just fine. But as I was checking out the rest of the sail I saw several small holes that I patched, and some weak spots where the fabric is getting worn. I know I need to replace my sail soon, but I'd like to get as much out of my sails as I can. So, here's the question should I go ahead and purchase a new sail and hold onto it or wait until my current one finally goes out?

I'm not going on any large trips yet only day sails maybe a weekend trip around the lake. Any advice would be appreciated.

These are the original 1983 sails. Jib is still in great shape I'm not worried about it. The fabric is still strong and no fraying. Genoa has never been used. There's not a mark on it. Main is on the outs.
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post #2 of 33 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Old sails

If money is a consideration, there are some sail lofts that sell used sails. If you are not a gung-ho racer it should be easy to find a used sail to fit your boat and sail with that until you are ready to venture out of your pond.
I sailed a good part of the way around the world with the boom furling gear you probably have and I really liked it. I'd advise you get it working.

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post #3 of 33 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Re: Old sails

Thanks Capta.
It's not the cost per say, I found some really good new sails for $300-$500 depending on the features. All are within my price range, I'm just cheap. That's how I'm able to have the things I have. I don't spend unless I need to and can make or fix most of what I need. What I'm thinking is to go ahead and buy a new mainsail as I can't fix degraded fabric, and either keep it until my current one fails totally or use it and keep the old one as backup.

I don't really like the boom furler. If I use it then I lose my boom vang. I can't have both. Then again, if I'm needing to reef then it may not matter that much. I'll be getting the parts I need to fix it regardless. They're not that expensive.
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Re: Old sails

I believe they actually had a vang that worked w/the boom furler. It was a big horseshoe shaped hoop with rollers on the ends that went over the sail, but allowed it to roll up inside the hoop. There was a point mid-horseshoe to attach a block and tackle. You might find one in a used boat parts store if there is one near you.

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post #5 of 33 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Re: Old sails

Yeah, there's not a decent boat shop much less an actual chandlery. I have to order everything online. However I didn't know there were such things. I'll see if I can locate one or get a picture. If I can see it and figure it out then I can probably make one. Cool.
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Re: Old sails

I’d say you got your money’s worth out of 1883 sails= 36 years

I would purchase a new / used set depending on you boat usage. Maybe have at least one reef put into the main.
Periodically I would check the sail for wear on the obvious areas. Good luck. 😃


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post #7 of 33 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Re: Old sails

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
I’d say you got your money’s worth out of 1883 sails= 36 years

I would purchase a new / used set depending on you boat usage. Maybe have at least one reef put into the main.
Periodically I would check the sail for wear on the obvious areas. Good luck. 😃
Oh I definitely got my money's worth. I don't think the PO actually used the boat much if any at all. I think it was a trailer and marina queen. I'll be replacing the main soon, the other two are in such good condition I don't feel that they warrant replacement. But for 36 year old sails they sure have held up wonderfully and they still look great.

When I replace the main I'll probably get a reef point added just to make reefing easier and mainly because the least expensive quality sail comes with them standard. I'm looking at the Rolly Tasker sails. Hard to find much else without nearly doubling the price for not much more quality. I would like some color though.
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Re: Old sails

I bought new sails last season. You really don't notice how bad your current sails are, as the decay is so prolonged. I bet your jib isn't as good as you think. After my first sail, I couldn't believe I put it off.

I respect the cost consciousness. The condition you describe is just waiting for a catastrophic failure. It's not likely to hurt anyone (it could I suppose), but probably becomes a real problem in the moment. If you're lake sailing and can motor back home, it's an option to wait. The more of a safety concern one has to be able to sail along, the more pressure I'd apply to buying new.

You would absolutely love the investment in new. I don't mind spending money, when I get the value in return.
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Re: Old sails

I'd buy a new main.

Unless you get extraordinarily lucky you won't fine a decent used main for sale.

With jibs and chutes, close is good enough but mains need much more precise fitting. Also people get rid of foresails for a variety of reasons but seldom to never replace a main until it is shot.

I've successfully purchased and sold used jibs and chutes but I've never seen a decent main for sale used.
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post #10 of 33 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Old sails

Wow and I thought I was getting away with something using my 2001 sail

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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Last edited by Don L; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:59 PM.
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