Ask a Sailmaker: What are the Best Ways to Keep My Sails in Good Shape this Summer?

We've partnered with Melges and the experts at Quantum Sails Zenda to answer your most commonly asked questions and provide tips and tricks for getting the most out of your sails. As summer sailing ramps up, check out these pointers to keep your sails performing at their best.

Q: I have nearly new sails that I only sailed with a few times last year. What are the best ways to keep them in good shape this summer?

Great question! There are many things you can do to prolong the life of your sails. Don’t keep your sails out and exposed to the sun unless you have sacrificial cloth, like a UV cover or jib sock, covering the sail. UV rays can do significant damage to sailcloth and stitching. Once the material has been weakened by the sun, if left unrepaired, it can lead to much larger on-the-water sail blowouts. For all the details on UV damage and what to look for, read The Invisible Sail Killer: UV Rays. Beyond keeping your sails in the shade, there are lots of things you can do on the boat to help prevent damage. In our Onboard Sail Care Series we outline a few pointers such as take care when hoisting and lowering sails, tape ring dings and sharp edges to prevent tearing a spinnaker, and roll sails whenever possible rather than folding. It’s also a good idea to perform routine sail checks on your own. If you notice a small issue and catch it before it turns into something major, it may save your sail and cost you less! Here is our guide to performing a sail check at home or on your boat.

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