General care and handling recommendations for sails of woven sailcloth
We thank you for letting DIMENSION-POLYANT deliver the sailcloth for your new sails. You have chosen a sailcloth which is produced with the latest materials, technology and ideas.
In order to prolong the life of your new sail, we recommend attention to the following general care and handling recommendations:
Protection of the sail:
Before you hoist the sail for the first time, make sure that all sharp corners and ends, like turn-buckles, pins, stanchions tops, running backstays, blocks and spreader ends are well taped or covered. It is recommended that the position of the spreader-ends are marked on the sail, the first time you hoist it. Protect the areas with P.S.A. (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive) insignia cloth. Other areas of impact, like the foot of the head-sail, which comes in contact with the rail and stanchions must also be protected.
Halyard and outhaul and leech cord tension:
The sail shall not be over hoisted. A vertical wrinkle along the luff, while sailing, is a good indication that too much tension has been applied. Use just enough luff tension to eliminate horizontal wrinkles in the sail. The same thing applies to the mainsail-outhaul. Tighten the outhaul only enough to eliminate any wrinkles in the sail. Tighten the leech cord just enough to remove the leech flutter and note that, as the sail is trimmed harder, the leech cord should be eased.
Folding, stowing or storing of the sail:
All sails should be folded or rolled in a manner that avoids sharp creases. Before folding the sail, ease the outhaul, so that the foot is not under tension. Fold the sail loosely and strore it in an ample size sailbag. Fold the sail parallel from the foot and upward in folds of approx. 60 to 70 cm.
• The sail should be stored dry, under well ventilated, clean conditions.
• Dry out the sail before leaving it on the boat for any period of time.
• Avoid the practice to drying the sail by hoisting it to flog in the breeze.
• Dampness, which may encourage mildew, should be avoided. While mildew
growth does not effect the strength and lifetime of the sail, it can cause
unsightly stains, that are hard to remove.
Do not leave any part of the sail exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time when not in use. A sailcover should always be used, even if the sail is built with a UV protection. The cover should be constructed in a heavy, soft and breathable material which will prevent the sail from getting harmed due to the fluttering of the sailcover.
Using your sail:
It is highly advisable that, for the first couple of hours, the new sail is used well below the maximum recommended wind speed. This time spend will allow the components to settle uniformly, thus ensuring the optimum performance and extended life. It is important that you adhere strictly the recommended maximum wind speed as advised to you by your sailmaker.
• Reef the sail as the conditions demand it.
• Avoid luffing your mainsail when reefing.
• It is critical that the headsail sheet fairleads are located in the proper fore and
aft position in order to avoid straining either the leech or foot of the sail.
• When tacking, be sure to cast off the leeward sheet early enough to keep the
leech from hanging up on the spreader during tack.
It is important to repair temporarily any damage or tear to your sail, as quickly as you can, in order to minimize damage. The best temporary repair to minor damage is to use PSA insignia tape. Rinse the area of repair to remove any dirt or salt and dry it first. Use the tape in both sides of the sail. Return the sail to your sailmaker for professional repair as soon as possible.
Care washing and cleaning:
Has the sail been used frequently, or in heavy weather, it should as soon as possible be hosed off and washed carefully to remove salt and dirt with fresh water. Try not to soak completely, scrub or launder the sail.
• Blood and mildew can be removed by brushing the stained area with a dry stiff
brush, removing as much as possible.
• Soak only the stained area in a mild bleach solution of fresh water for two hous
and scrub lightly. Rinse with plenty of fresh water.
• Rust can be cleaned by using so called rust removers available under many
commercial names in about any hardware store. Be sure to read the
• Oil, Grease and Tar can be removed by dabbing the stained area with
acetone or lighter fluid and then rubbed with a clean rag. Once the stain is
lightened, scrub the area with detergent and a fresh water solution. Rinse
to get all the acetone out of the material.
A final word:
Please note that the life of your sail will be very much prolonged if the above recommendations are followed. It is important to return the sail to your sailmaker as soon as the season is over or at least once a year, for checking and refurbishing. This practice can add years to the life of your sail and will help you to get the most out of it.
If you have any questions about our sailcloth, please do note hesitate either to consult your sailmaker or to contact us directly.
See also our: “Sail handling and maintenance of laminated sailcloth for rollerfurling sails”.
We wish you happy sailing.
General care and handling recommendations of laminated sailcloth used in rollerfurling sails
We thank you for letting DIMENSION-POLYANT deliver the sailcloth for your new sail.
Modern laminated sailcloth for rollerfurling sails is produced with the latest materials and ideas in sailcloth technology and has advantages of combining high stability with low weight. These are achieved by combining layers of films to various kinds of woven or non woven yarns. Although these materials, when laminated and bonded together, make ideal sailcloth materials, they require special handling, care and maintenance.
These sailcloth styles have been in continous development for years, during which time earlier problems of sailcloth selection, production methods, sail handling and sail making techniques have reached a very high level of acceptability.
In order to prolong the life of these “high tech” sailcloth styles for rollerfurling sails, we recommend attention to the following handling suggestions:
Rolling the sail:
Do not roll the sail too tight, this can cause permanent creases and inhibit ventilation. On the other hand avoid clew flutter by controlling the clew with the help of the sheet. Move the jib sheet lead forward as the sail is rolled in. As the forces of tension are significant, make sure that the tension is tight when rolling up the sail. Avoid wrinkles in the luff of the sail. (See: Halyard tension)
The rolled sail must always be protected against the sunlight. A cover should be used even if the sail is built out of UV-stabilized sailcloth. The cover should be constructed in a heavy, soft and breathable material which will prevent the sail from getting harmed due to fluttering in the wind. The cover shall, of course, have a system which can tie it tight around the rolled sail to avoid flutter and to keep rainwater out. When rolled up for any period of time the sail must be dry (see Mildew). Do avoid the practice of drying the sail by flogging in the wind.
Folding the sail:
If you need to stow the sail, fold it loosely and store it in a ample size sausage bag. Fold the sail parallel from the foot and upward in folds of approx. 60 to 70 cm.
Stowing or storing of the sail:
The sails should only be stowed or stored when completely dry. Avoid cramming the sails into restricted space and avoid sitting or walking on the sail. This can cause permanent creases which will ruin the designed shape. The sail should be stored under clean and well ventilated conditions.
Protection of the sails:
Before you hoist the sails for the first time, make sure that all sharp corners and ends, like turn-buckles, pins, stanchion tops, running backstays, blocks and spreader ends are well wrapped and taped. It is also recommended that the position of the spreader ends are marked on the sail, the first time you hoist it. Protect the areas with P.S.A. (Pressure Sensetive Adhesive) insignia cloth carefully applied to this area. Since the leech of the sail rises up when the sheet is eased, place the spreader patches so that 3/4 of the patches are below the point where the spreaders hit the sail when sheeted. The patches must be on both sides of the sail. Other areas of impact, like the foot of the sail, which come in contact with the stanchions must also be protected.
Sails of laminated sailcloth are generally more sensitive to halyard tension than sails made of woven conventional sailcloth. As the designed shape is built into the sail, only moderate halyard tension is needed, just enough to remove any horizontal wrinkles. Too much halyard tension can distort the design shape and even overstretch the film in the laminate.
UV (Ultraviolet) resistance:
Although this sailcloth has been treated with a UV protection coating and has a good resistance to the harmful rays from the sunlight, it is recommended that impact to the sail against the mast and rig should be minimized, as the coating can be chafed off. Do not leave any part of the sail exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time when not in use.
Mildew (Damp stains):
The film in laminated sailcloth inhibits the sails ability to “breathe” and moisture can create mildew in these sails. Mildew is a destructive growth caused by spore-forming fungi that thrives in a warm, moist, confined atmosphere. When the sail is not used for a prolonged time it is recommended that it is only rolled up when completely dry, clean and covered up.
Using your sail:
It is highly recommended that for the first couple of hours, the sail is used well below the maximum recommended wind speed. This time spend will allow the components stretch uniformly thus ensuring optimum performance and extended life. It is important that you adhere strictly to the recommended maximum wind speed as advised to you by your sailmaker for your new sail. When tacking, avoid hanging on to the sheet until the sail has been trimmed. This practice can lead to over stretching of the sail in the area of the spreader ends, considerably increasing the possibility of snagging or tearing your sails on the rigging.
It is important to temporarily repair tears with PSA insignia tape. Return the sail for professional repairs to your sailmaker.
Washing and cleaning:
Localized stains can be removed by using a normal detergent and luke warm water. Do not attempt to launder the sail. Rinse the sail occasionally, for salt and dirt, with fresh water. Mildew can be removed by brushing the stained area with a dry stiff brush, removing as much as possible. Let the stained area be soaked in a solution of freshwater and 1 % chlorine for about 2 hours and rinse with plenty of fresh water.
A final word:
Please note that the life of your sail will be very much prolonged if the above recommendations are followed. If you have any questions about our sailcloth, please do not hesitate either to consult your sailmaker or to contact us directly.
We wish you happy sailing.