Proper sail care is an important part of owning a boat. While having good boat insurance is invaluable when dealing with damage, taking appropriate care of the ship’s components can help prevent that damage from ever happening. Taking care of your ship’s sails means both protecting them from outside factors and avoiding harmful habits.
Protection from the Elements
Nature can take a toll on your sails, and knowing how to properly protect them can save time and money. Sails can be treated with solution to protect from fungus and UV radiation, and special covers can provide additional UV protection when the sail is not in use. Thorough sail care continues during the off-season; thorough cleaning before storage can prevent lingering salt damage.
Avoid Damaging Behaviors
There are several behaviors to avoid to keep your sails in good shape. Flogging, or letting sails flap in the wind, and chafing, or letting the same patch of sail constantly rub against other components, can lead to patches of degradation on your sail. In addition, over-trimming the sail by letting an electric winch pull it too tight can cause tearing. Proper sail care means avoiding these hazards as much as possible.
The best way to handle sail damage is to avoid it in the first place. Luckily, there are some concrete steps that ship owners can take to avoid damage and extend the life of their sails.