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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. This is my first post since purchasing my Hunter 290 (2000) this spring 2016, and welcome the wisdom of Sailnet members.

I have a Selden in-mast furling mainsail. This is the first year that the mast is being unstepped for winter storage.
I sail in freshwater at Toronto, Ontario, but have not sailed much this year. The mainsail is in good condition.

My question is whether I should leave the sail in the mast, stored horizontally on racks, or remove it for off-site storage.

My husband thinks that storing the sail in-mast would not be worse than storing it in a sailbag on the boat on the hard. I am concerned about lack of water drainage in the mast, possibly causing mould, and possible rodent damage from the outdoor storage.

I have tried google searches but nothing addresses my question.

Any answers will be appreciated.
Regards
Wendy
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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4,525 Posts
We take ours off for the winter. Not much work and it is one less thing to worry about.
 

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HANUMAN
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I would take it down. If it gets wet, it may never dry and you will find a sail covered in black mold in the spring.

I left a jib up one (New England) winter when I stored in the water. I thought I might get some early winter sailing in before I took it down. It froze solid and I couldn't get it off before I departed to spent several weeks in Asia. Came home to another freeze. By the time it thawed it was almost time to start commissioning the boat for the spring so I left it up. The end of the story is that I ruined it.
 

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I drop mine every year and give them to the local sail loft to be cleaned and repaired. This investment substantially increases the lifespan of the sails. Given their cost, it's worth maintaining them. The loft has called me to replace tapes, leach lines, chafe repair, etc, over the years, that I never noticed when dropping and folding up. I probably put 1000-1500 miles per year on my boat and they need something almost every winter. Cleaning the dirt out of the fibers is even more important to longevity. The loft then stores them for the winter for free.
 

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Thanks all for your input. I think that I will take it down ;)
If you arekeeping the mast up for the winter, I hope your boat isn't near dwellings. Your mast slot can generate a low frequency noise due to wind induced resonance in the mast cavity. There are fixes for that, but you basically need to close the slot if you have any consideration for near neighbors.

We live about 400' from a large ketch with both in-mast furlers empty. When the wind howls, so do both masts. The yard manager says they have a fix in the works that involves a foam insert.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry for your trouble fallard. We are taking the mast down this year so we can check the rigging and fix the wind vane. In any case, the boat will be on the hard on Toronto Island so no nearby residents except raccoons.
 
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