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First off, HOWDY from Central Texas.

A few months ago I purchased my first monohull sailboat, a 1991 Macgregor 26S (not be confused with the "power sailers" that came later, this is an actual sailboat)

It was a sailable fixer upper which was what I wanted (budget) and I have slowly been refitting and refinishing her, and sailing at least two days a week. :D

2 weeks ago I got caught by a sudden wind storm, wind went from 5kts to well over 30 in near an instant, I actually saw it coming across the water and I did have time to point into it, but not lower the sail. The aging jib got thrashed and tore.

It was quite old anyway so no big deal, Im not quite ready to spring for a furler so I begrudgingly bought another hank on jib, 5oz dacron from The Sail Warehouse.

The jib arrived neatly folded in its nice sail bag, Im very happy with the sail, it looks great and does its job, but man is it STIFF.. its like cardboard, and there in lies the problem.

With the old jib, which was of course not stiff at all, when I would lower it I could bunch it up at the front of the boat and put a bungee around it, it would stay put and the wind would leave it alone.. This new one however, due to its stiffness when lowered is very hard to manage, the only way it wants to "sit" is the way it was originally folded, which while its still attached cannot happen of course.

Bottom line I feel BAD crinkling up my new jib, I don't know if that is a reasonable concern or a non-issue, the documentation says that it should be folded up and laid in its bag when not in use. Im sure that is the ideal way to do it but taking the sail loose completely and trying to fold it on the deck simply isn't going to happen, Im sure its possible, but not practical at all.

Same goes for storing. With the old jib I would just stuff it in its bag at the end of the day, doing so with the new one, again due to the stiffness, takes a CONSIDERABLE effort to get back in its bag.

I don't want to prematurely wear out the sail, but at the same time I cant completely remove it and fold it up every time I lower the sails, thats not workable.

I assume it will become less ridged and easier to work with as it breaks in, but its stuffing it in its bag I.E. not folding it neatly really that bad for it? Or am I just overthinking this.
 

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What you have now is exactly what you want... Stiff and crinkly is an indication that the sail is new and in good shape, the softer it is the more it has worked and the less shape it will hold. How much you want to baby the sail is really up to you, the more it is babied the longer it will last in good condition, the more you abuse it the easier it is to deal with but the shorter it's lifespan. What most people do is just run bungie cord over it while sailing, but fold it carefully at the end of the day. If it is folded right, then rolled up, it will also make the most compact roll for storage.
 

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I believe you're over-thinking this, making more of a problem of it than deserves to be made. You leave your mainsail on the boom, tied down and covered, right? It's completely reasonable to do the same with your jib.

If you haven't already got one of those headsail bags that zips over the jib while it's hanked onto the headstay, that would probably be a very good idea. It's going to come down somewhat-folded, by dint of being on the stay, and I don't imagine it would be hard to pull it straight and flake it out. Then you could zip the bag around the headstay, accordion-fold the sail tack-to-clew so it fits in the bag, zip up the top of it, and voila! It's safe, it's covered, and it can live on the forestay that way.

Do what you can to make sail handling and storage easy for you. Never mind trying to replicate the factory folds; it's YOUR sail, it's YOUR boat.
 

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islander bahama 24
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Flake it just the same as should have been done to begin then fold it from luff to leach and place it in a turtle bag leaving it hanked on will be stiff the first few times but will get easier the most important part is to break it in quickly by using it every day if at all possible.
 
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