hole in my sail

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by mommymoppet, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. mommymoppet

    mommymoppet New Member

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    The boat I just bought came with a full sail that has a little hole. It's smaller than the size of a dime and it's right near the little red patch that says Laser. Can I repair this hole? Should I replace the sail? I sail recreationally more than race and it's not in great condition to begin with but certainly useable.

    If I do decide to race, could I use this sail even with the repair? Or would it be worth my while to invest in a new sail?

    And also, because this sail wasn't originally with this boat, the racing numbers on there aren't for my boat. How would I remove the old numbers carefully so I could replace them with my numbers?
  2. Murphs

    Murphs New Member

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    Sail Repair- Easy to do or you can have it done professionally. DIY answer involves going to your local marine store/chandlery and getting some rail repair tape. Clean the area thoroughly with methylated spirits and apply the sail repair tape to both sides. Make sure you get the repair tape suitable for heavier sails, not the spinnaker grade type.
    A sailmaker will just sew a square dacron patch over the hole.

    New Sail- it really depends on how bad the sail has stretched and warped but from what you're saying, i'd look at something newer to give you the best possible chance. every 0.1knot of boatspeed counts....

    Numbers- use something like mineral turpentine on a rag and apply liberally on the opposite side to the number you want to remove, the turpentine will soak through the dacron and break down the adhesive in the sail number. clean up with methylated spirits when the numbers are off to get rid of the turpentine residue
  3. Rob B

    Rob B D12 Secretary for 2013

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    Changing sail numbers is a messy business. I'd just leave the old ones on. Why would it be necesaary to change them?
  4. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    A sailmaker is just going to put insigna tape aka sticky tape on both sides of the hole - if you don't have any, duct tape will work in a pinch.

    I'd be happy to send you some insignia tape if you want - just PM me and let me know where to mail it.
  5. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Formally, one has to notify the RC if the hull number doesn't agree with the sail number. Obviously, this isn't very relevant in club races, but I would be a bit worried that somebody might protest me at a 'high level' regatta

  6. Rob B

    Rob B D12 Secretary for 2013

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    I've been to my share of high level events and NO ONE ever protests this kind of stuff. It's a BS protest. In addition it is very hard to police with chartered boats and people letting out of towners "borrow" their boat for an event. The main thing is to make sure someone else does not have the same sail number which would most likely happen at a club event where folks sell their older sails to up and comers.
  7. bjmoose

    bjmoose Member

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    This is the main reason to change your sail numbers.

    Why punish the guy who did you a favor by selling you a used sail for (presumably) cheap by introducing the chance of confusion with him at some regatta that you both show up for?

    If you really want the easy solution, peel three numbers off of each side, the first two red ones and the last black one. That'll leave you with a three digit number that's pretty sure to be unique -- unless someone else uses the same technique on another used sale from the same guy.
  8. odinsvitskjaldr

    odinsvitskjaldr Member

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    Here's how I fixed a hole in my sail. I'm already laughing as I start this reply...I was a real shlemiel when I was a newbie.
    Soon after getting my brand new boat and sail and using it a few times in Galveston Bay, I decided to rinse off the sail on my lawn. Naturally, I did so with a cigarette dangling from my mouth. Apparently, as I laid out the sail on the grass, the cherry of my cig dropped and went right through my sail about 4" from the clew grommet. I only noticed the small cigarette-diameter hole when I went to roll up my sail. "Dang! I have a cigarette burn in my new sail!" It was a clean hole, not even any carbonization, so the hot cherry must have just melted right through tha sail cloth without burning the Dacron. I thought about how I could repair it, learned about rip-stop tape, and bought some white 3" wide stuff. I cut out 3" diameter circles -well, whatever the diameter of the kitchen glass was that I used to draw on the circles- and stuck them on each side of the sail exactly across from each other with the burn hole in the center. I have been sailing with the patch on the cigarette hole for over 3 years and it's held in exactly the same position I placed it and the hole has not grown or frayed under the patch. When the cherry went through the plastic (Dacron) cloth, the edges of the edges of the hole cauterized (is that the right word?), which I am sure has preserved the original shape and size of the hole. If you look at pictures of me sailing, you can probably see the small darker circle near the clew where the patch makes the sail thicker and less translucent. I still laugh whenever I see that patch and I give its cause a second thought. Believe you me, I don't smoke near sails anymore!
    I guess I could try another kind of patch and this would not be an issue. ;)
  9. Al Black

    Al Black New Member

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    That would leave me with a 2 digit number! (Err, red numbers? All of mine are black! Have I committed a boo boo? :))

    Old boat and proud of it,

    Al.

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