Doyle | Sail Care Advice. Here are some pointers to help you identify potential causes of damage to your sails as well as ways you or your Doyle Sails service team can assist in preventative and regular maintenance.
- When not in use always ensure sail is secured and covered to eliminate UV exposure and moisture – we recommend using soft webbing style sail ties to secure the sail and avoid flaking on the same fold lines if you have a sail constructed in a laminate cloth.
- When sailing typical chafe areas are contact with rigging such as spreaders and side stays particularly when running or reaching which is unavoidable but look for possible chafe in these areas – with regular servicing our Doyle Sails Service team can add spreader chafe patches and chafe guards on batten pockets where necessary. Boom topping lifts can cause chafe to the leech when sailing so if possible secure forward to the mast when not required.
- Avoid excessive flapping when sailing – reef when appropriate and set leech line tension to eliminate leech flutter which will lead to sail cloth fatigue along leech edge.
- When leaving the boat after sailing ease outhaul tension and in the case of in-mast furling mainsails ease the halyard to avoid the sail stretching in these areas over time. Over tensioned battens can also cause sail deformation so battens should be tensioned just enough to remove wrinkles when sailing.
- Regularly check luff slides or cars and their attachment to the sail for wear.
- Ensure correct trim and check sheet car position is appropriate for the angle of sailing – when reaching move the car forward or onto an outboard sheet so upper area of the sail is still working and not flapping – this will increase your speed and reduce sail fatigue.
- Avoid excessive flogging and back winding on the rigging.
- Adjust tension on the leech cord according to wind pressure to eliminate leech flutter but also over tensioned may cause the leech to become hooked.
- Check there is chafe protection patches on the leech where the sail may come into contact with spreaders or other fittings on the mast such as steaming lights or radars. Likewise check possible chafe along the foot from stanchions and pulpit rails. Periodically have the mast and rigging checked to ensure split pins /Cotter pins are in good condition and covered, covers on spreader ends and anything else that could potentially cause damage to your sails.
- Roller furling genoas should always have a UV protective panel along the leech and foot – always ensure this is on the outside of the roll when furled. When leaving the boat ensure the sail is tightly rolled and the furling line is securely locked off to avoid accidental unfurling – as a safety it is a good idea to roll the sail a couple of extra turns to wrap the sheets around the clew. Also ease the halyard so luff tension is released to avoid distortion over time.
- If you are not using the boat over extended periods of time we recommend dropping the sail and storing it dry – this will prolong the life of the UV protective strip as well as avoiding mould and mildew growth particularly through the winter months.
- When folding a laminate constructed sail avoid flaking on the same fold lines repeatedly particularly with Carbon internal fibres
- Always use the sail for its designed wind range and angles – if you are unsure check with one of our Doyle Sails team for their recommendations.
- Store dry and if possible periodically rinse Nylon sails with fresh water as salty sails will attract moisture.
- Have small holes repaired before they become big ones.
Sail care and cleaning
- Always try to keep sails covered or in their bags until required – UV exposure will cause the greatest harm to any sail material.
- Keep dry and if possible rinse with fresh water to remove excess salt.
- In all cases DO NOT use bleach or bleach based products to wash sails – warm water with regular laundry detergent or Nappy San scrubbed lightly with a soft brush then thoroughly rinsed with fresh water is recommend. Use Wet’n’Forget to treat mould and mildew – apply with sprayer but do not rinse off.
- Rust stains can be removed using Grunt Emergel – be sure to wash and rinse the area thoroughly once done
- Avoid using solvents particularly on laminate type sail cloths
- If in doubt check with our Doyle Sails Service team on best products and methods for cleaning your sails or arrange for us to do it for you.
- Use Dry Glide or McLube on luff tapes and mast slides, avoid using silicone to lubricate mast slides if possible.
- Regular servicing of your sails by our service team will ensure trouble free boating and maximise the life of your sails.
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ABOUT DOYLE SAILS // As sailors, our obsession with sailing connects us to the water. The water is our playground, a sanctuary where we seek enjoyment, a competitive playing field where we race; it’s sometimes our home and always a place that unlocks our sense of adventure wherever that adventure might take us.
Our obsession with sailing takes us to every corner of the world and onboard every yacht. We become part of teams, share in the adventures of friends and families, sharing our knowledge and experience with those who have the same passion for sailing as we do. Sailing is in our DNA, where the water unlocks our sense of adventure. We are the custodians of a legacy that has been supporting sailors for close to four decades, and while our world changes around us, our commitment to sailors who seek the same enjoyment and adventure as we do hasn’t.
From our sailors to yours, we are your experts in sailing. Your adventure starts with Doyle. By sailors, for sailors.