You must be storing in the sun when furled? That is clearly UV damage by looking at the color change / fade along the foot and leech.
If you look a big sailboats who have furling jibs, they often have a wide strip of UV stable cloth in these faded areas. A sailmaker would be able to do that for you. Especially if leaving the mast up for long periods. Then when furled, it's like having a sail cover on.
We do recommend storing in the bag and out of the sun though.
Thanks Matt, you are correct, this was stored outdoors, dry. I inherited the problem from the previous owner.
My new sail will be bagged.
While I had the privilege, I wanted to illustrate for others what happens with accelerated aging and where the points of failure are. Maybe save them $500.
Following your advice, I would also like to suggest Hobie reexamine the sail design and think about ways to upgrade and reinforce these lower points. This one area is exposed to multiple sailing stresses and to the elements (even when furled). It's most likely to come in contact with people/gear too, and to take damage during portage or bagging.
I feel a 1.5" strip of reinforced sail edge (or canvas) and more stitching would add to their lifespan. Hobie designers could take this even further. Feel free to use these photos for your shipwreck "archives."
My new red sail is on order and I hope will get to Hawaii this week. (We have 20-30 mph winds headed our way!)
Could I ask you a couple questions about it?
How does the new sail ship? Is it folded or rolled? Require special packaging?
Will I need to buy any other parts or is it ready to slip on my old 2007 mast?
Does it include battens and mounting pieces, etc?
Any advice on the process of transferring AI sails and the parts needed would be helpful to everyone.