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 Post subject: When is a sail too old?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:44 am
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Hi all,

I have a 14 year old Hobie 16 with original sails (96 thousand). The boat is in a very good shape, but 14 year old sails might be worn out. Aparently they still look very nice, but how can one tell if the sails are still ok or if one should replace the sails by new ones, having racing in mind?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:39 am
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Location: Finger Lakes, NY
If you have racing in mind you want new sails- at least to race. The old ones may look good but are stretched and blown-out if they have been used with any regularity.

As long as the old ones are not ripped or torn or threadbare you can use them for your regular old futzing around and play-days.

Have a Hobie day dude!! 8)

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The fact that this windy world is largely covered in water obviously means that man was meant to sail.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:56 pm 
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So for racing only, say 6 events with 6 races each a year, how much time would a brand new sail be ok? Would one have to change sails once a year, each 3 years? It´s just to get an idea about what you think the material (dacron) lasts in good conditions.... Of course there always will be the ones that change sails each two events, but this might be a little exagerating?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:39 am 
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Location: Finger Lakes, NY
Hi Claus -

Sail life depends more on how you use the sails, the overall conditions of use, and how you stow them and less on how many times you use them. Storage is especially important because, unfortunately, they spend more time stored than being used. :roll:

Sails should ideally be rinsed with fresh water on a regular basis and dried out of the sun. This is especially important if they are exposed to salt water or, depending on pollutant and algae levels, dunked in the lake. :oops:
At the end of season they should be cleaned with a good sail cleaning product (see West Marine for sail cleaning stuff) Some products are designed to put life back into the Dacron. There are professional services that actually make older sails almost good as new. Sunscreen and body oils from handling the sails should be removed. Dirt builds up in the weave of cloth and acts as an abrasive to the fibers and wears them out. (This is also true of all your lines, ropes and the stainless rigging. Stainless should be wiped end to end with a cloth saturated with WD-40 at the end of the season. Rope can be washed in a machine - untangling it makes a nice winter evening activity :shock: )

Sails should not be put away, even temporarily, without letting the tension off the battens. Although some here disagree, I would not roll them up on the boom ever, especially for long term storage.

If they are left up on the boat between trips make sure they are not luffing or snapping excessively in the wind. If that is not possible, drop them.

They should not be put away damp, even remotely damp because mildew is death. They should not be stored where it is too hot, like in the rafters of your garage, although this might make a good temporary place to be sure that they are fully dried.

I think you should be able to get many good seasons out a set used just for racing. A set used just for fun should last many years if cared for. I don't know anyone who changes every two events, but they may be out there.

Have fun, sail hard, sail fast -

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The fact that this windy world is largely covered in water obviously means that man was meant to sail.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 10:00 am
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Location: Long Beach, CA
If you were racing and competing against the best sailors in the land then you would know if your sails are race-able or not. If you are fairly new to the sport of Hobie racing I think that you could use these sails a fair amount and not be too hindered by the fact they are not Gucci sails. The hardest and the only way to win a race is make fewer mistakes than your competitors.

When you are losing to good sailors by a couple of boat lengths then you will need a set of sails that can get you that last 1%. If you would like to know a secret about sailing a 16 with older sails fast it is "foot a lot."

Later,
Dan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:52 am 
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Dan DeLave wrote:
If you would like to know a secret about sailing a 16 with older sails fast it is "foot a lot."

That is interesting! It's exactly what I feel about my sails, they just don't permit me to point high and maintain speed.


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