November 12, 2010

Give Your Sails Some Lovin'

sail repair in paradise--who wants to swim when they can get all sweaty while wrestling with dacron?
 We’ve heard the story at least a dozen times while out cruising: someone hoists a sail, it fills nicely, then the next thing they know there’s a big pop, a ripping sound, and a whole lot of swearing.

Fortunately for us, we met Jamie from Totem before experiencing this unhappy event for ourselves. When we were all in La Cruz he took a long look at our mainsail and informed us that without a few basic repairs we’d be flying scraps of fabric within the year. You should listen when someone gives you advice like that… So a few hours later, a period which included a lot of swearing at the sewing machine, the main was fixed back up and good to go for the summer.

Thanks to Jamie though we now have a routine. EVERY time we hoist the sail we look it over carefully—concentrating on the high stress areas. If we see something untoward (like we did while in Bay of LA)—a tear, broken stitching at a batten pocket, excessive fraying—the sail comes down and the cursed machine comes out.
washing (and drying) a spinnaker takes space
 The next step in our routine is to take advantage of water when we’re at docks and wash the sails. The build-up of salt and dirt accelerates the speed that sails wear out at. And because the things are freaking expensive—we’d like ours to last.

Washing also gives us a chance to inspect the sails up close and personal—something we try to do at least twice a year. And it makes you sort of noticable. So now everyone in the marina at Guaymas knows I'm real.


Ramsay said...

Your toilet is broken so you're doing sail repair. I was expecting to hear about some epoxy and duct tape wizardry defeating a stubborn pump housing.

Diane, Evan, Maia and Charlie the cat said...

No kidding... We're just living the head-less life. Which means we're tethered to the marina toilets. Which means we have time to wash our sails...
We've ordered replacement parts which will be delivered to the border early next week.

Behan said...

you know one of the first things I do when we hit land and get online is see what's up on Ceilydh. what a great present to start reading and read about my sweetie!! he's going to love hearing about this. meanwhile, we are the classic story of the cobblers kids being shoeless... although secretly no doubt jamie is harbouring the desire to replace our sails as soon as we get cashflow positive again. mark my words! xoxo

Diane, Evan, Maia and Charlie the cat said...

Behan, You'll be happy to know 3rd Day has taken the lesson to heart too. They went mainsail-less for quite a while this summer after discovering a tear.