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We know sails are expensive and we want to help you make them last as long as possible. The best way to extend the life of your sails is to bring them into your nearest UK Sailmakers loft annually for an inspection and a tune up. UK Sailmakers Winter Service is designed to look for the wearing effects of UV sunlight, luffing and flogging, tacking and gybing on your sails. We check batten pockets, luff tapes, furling covers, seams, leech cords…the works. We seek out the small problems before they can turn into big headaches. No detail escapes our attention.
The stitching and webbing at the head and tack of furling genoas and at clew of furling mainsails are exposed to sunlight all the time, which leads to deterioration. Unfortunately, this loss of strength is virtually invisible to the untrained eye and usually only shows up when the stitching or webbing fails completely. This almost always occurs when a good breeze is blowing, which makes the failure dramatic and very inconvenient.
The first step in avoiding these problems is to have these areas of your sails checked and repaired on a regular basis by your sailmaker. Think of it as changing the oil in your car! In the early years of your sails, this will mean just re-stitching the webbing. However, after three or four years the webbing should be completely replaced.
A big part of prolonging the life of your sails is keeping them clean. Salt and some airborne contaminates can cause mildew and actual damage to the fabrics/laminates. That’s why regular cleaning is something to consider. At UK Sailmakers, your sails will be professionally cleaned using the right detergents and state–of-the-art equipment. Then they are dried, folded and stored.
Never leave your sails exposed to the elements on the boom or furled around the headstay all winter. In fact, UK Sailmakers Winter Service is much better for your sails than abandoning them to the icy winter winds that will try to rip them to shreds. And if a shredded furling genoa is not bad enough, a flogging genoa has a good chance of blowing a boat off its jackstands leading to disastrous results.
If you think stuffing your sails below for the winter is a good plan, think again. Sails left in your boat are exposed to mildew and extreme temperature swings from cold to frigid. If you are storing your sails yourself, keep them dry and warm. A dry basement is better than a cold garage.
Our lofts evaluate, repair and clean all brands of sails. So give your nearest UK Sailmakers loft a call and get your sails in for a check up and tune up.