Caring For Your Sails

Caring for your sails ashore will maximise the life of your sail afloat. Before you store sails for an extended period you should prepare them correctly and inspect them for damage. We recommend that your sails should be serviced, washed and dried at the end of the season.

Cleaning Sails

• Clean sails on a smooth surface. The abrasion caused by a surface such as concrete will do more harm than leaving the sail dirty!
• Remove oil stains first by dabbing acetone on the affected area.
• Remove mildew with a 3% – 5% solution of Calcium Hypo chlorite (Swimming Pool Chlorine). See the special instructions for cleaning CL and SCL Cruise Laminate sails. NEVER use chlorine on a Spinnaker or DIAX-HMT laminate.
• Commercial rust removers can be used on corrosion stains.
• Clean your sails with a mild detergent and soft brush to remove salt and dirt.
• Rinse the sail at least 3 times, as the detergent residues will accelerate UV damage.
• Spinnakers should be cleaned by soaking in warm water.

Drying Sails

• Ideally sails should be hung to dry in a well-ventilated, covered area to protect them from UV.
• If this is impractical spread them out in the sun but only for as long as it take to dry them.
• Do not dry sails by hoisting them and letting them flog.
• Spinnakers are the most important to dry properly as Nylon absorbs water and elongates.

Storing Sails

• Ideally sails should be loosely rolled or flaked with battens in but tension released in a foot length ‘sausage’ bag.
• Store in a dry ventilated area away from direct heat sources

This article was compiled from

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