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To Roll or not to roll. That is the question

Glen

New Member
To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

So. What is better for a new race sail? Is folding it better, or rolling it from the foot to the head?
 

sailor327

New Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

i fold it cause its easier to transport and at regatta's I roll it on the mast to make rigging easier the next day
 

mackconsult

Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

I have a piece of 6" drain pipe with a bungee and clip at one end. It is about 6" longer than the foot of my laser sail. The drain pipe has holes all over it which I think helps the sail dry out. Another benefit to this way of storing my sail is that in really windy conditions its easy to roll up. I wrap my new sail around it starting from the foot, and I think this helps keep it in shape while storing it. My older sails I just fold up and put them in the blue laser bags, because I don't use them very often. When I use a sail often I roll it up around my drain pipe.

Some big time laser sailors have mentioned that folding versus rolling there really is no big difference.

Regards ....

BTW ... Rolling around the mast is okay to do between race days, but remember to make sure the luff is loose before rolling. If the luff is tight and you roll it around the mast its just like leaving the cunningham on the jib when roller furling, which is the worst thing you can do to a headsail. (straight from Melges 24 experience!!!).
 

WestCoast

New Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

I always flake mine (just like it comes new). Easier to handle and fits in a gear bag.
 

Glen

New Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

I obviously know that the long tube that the sail is rolled along is larger and more cumbersome than the tiny bag that a folded sail comes in.:confused:

What i am looking for is which method will prolong the life of the sail the furthest, and which method will least damage the sail.
 

Merrily

Administrator
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

Glen said:
which method will least damage the sail.
Well, I read somewhere that if you fold it, you should vary where the folds are to keep from damaging it. I think constant folding breaks down the resin.

Merrily
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

Glen said:
So. What is better for a new race sail? Is folding it better, or rolling it from the foot to the head?
I roll it from head to foot; that way it's a bit easier on the battens. As Merrily pointed out, flaking the sail along the same creases every time may damage the resin.
 

gouvernail

Super Opinionated and Always Correct
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

Merrily said:
Well, I read somewhere that if you fold it, you should vary where the folds are to keep from damaging it. I think constant folding breaks down the resin.

Merrily
Methinks that was listed in the book of urban legends and Old Wives Tales.

The only reason NOT to fold your sail exactly as it was folded when purchased and continue to foild it exactly on those creases forever:
The creases tend to hold the bend for the first few uses.

After the first couple times a sail is used the material is soft enough such that the creases flatten out almost totally as soon as the sail goes up.

If you are sailing in over about two knots of breeze the sail flattens in the breeze and the folds go away.

Adding new wrinkles by folding on new lines adds more ugly creases and breaks down the sail on a new set of lines.

Personally? I have always gone with the folded sail becuase the rolling does not get rid of the original set of creases and :
1. the rolled tube is a pain in the butt to haul around
2. The rolled sail does not store well under my boat cover
3.the rolled sail accidentally kinked in the middle makes a totally unaceptable set of vertical creases and twice as many point breaks as there are layers in the roll
4. a sail that has been folded foerver on the same lines is super easy to fold again.
5. My old sails look awfully good even when they are blown out
6. Rolling sails takes too much space on the dock and I am usually in too much of a hurry to go somewhere else.
7. Rolling is for papers
8. Or are papers for rolling?
9. Why am I having trouble remembering?
10. All lists like this need ten items
 

Merrily

Administrator
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

I decided to see what they had to say at the North Sails website. Under FAQ at http://www.northsailsod.com/faqs/faq-general.html#10 they say


"How should I store my sails when not sailing for long periods of time?
Rolled, battens out and hopefully in a cool - dry area. Heat is an enemy as is moisture. That is a sail that has been stored in a wet condition. "

Apparently there is an even more important issue than folding or rolling, as addressed in the following.

"How can I get the most life out of my new North Sails?
Avoid long periods of luffing and keep your sails out of the sun when not using. Luffing is the number one enemy of a sail. U.V. damage is another major concern you should have. If you get caught in extreme wind conditions then sail of the back half of your sails. By simply doing this you can really prevent damage in the batten areas of your sail. The infamous batten ridge forms when the sailcloth ages out at the forward or luff end of your batten pockets. Luffing for long periods of time eventually breaks the cloth down in this area first. Store your sails out of the sun when not sailing. "

I'm not sure what part of the above paragraph means, though. Avoid luffing I understand. What about "sail of the back half of your sails." Part of it must be a typo, but how do sail to prevent damage to the battens in high winds. Clues, please.


Merrily
 

laser179104

New Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

You should always roll your sails, folding of any kind puts creases in the sail and damages the resin - this is bad

In strong winds north sails are trying to say dont just let your sail out so the back edge flaps. Tightening the kicker and yanking on the downhaul flattens off the front of the sail, making it easier to hold down and stop the back edge flapping
 

peterbye

New Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

Glen said:
So. What is better for a new race sail? Is folding it better, or rolling it from the foot to the head?
Where's 'rolling it from head to foot'?
That's what I do, rolling along the leach, battens left in. Then put it in a long Rooster sailbag.
 

laser179104

New Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

Does it make any difference head to foot or foot to head, i think rooster say something about head to foot in their sail service package. i have poles to roll the sails round, stop the sails getting bent under storage too
 
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

I roll my sails around a plastic tube. I start at the head since it is much easier that way.
Now, why to roll? I personally don't think the resin will be damaged by folding the sail. But creases or folds in the sail disturb the flow of the air and make the sail smaller (I think Buddy Melges points this out in his book): instead of a full sail the material "disapears" in the folds, doing bad things with the shape and actually making the total surface of the sail smaller. Especialy in light winds, when you can use those couple of extra square inches of sail, the folds show up most clearly.
Besides that rolling is really easy. If you can develop skills to roll-tack, sail in 30 kts, and steering around a leeward mark without hitting it (or any other boats) while sheeting in like crazy, then you can also learn how to roll your sail in the same amount of time someone else would fold it.
Then, about rolling it around the mast: ARE YOU CRAZY? IF one thing damages a sail it is uv light. Go to any sailmakers website and they will tell you that. I think there is one sailmaker that states that it is a felony to leave their sails exposed to the sun when not used for sailing. Hence, unless you have a cover for the full length of the sail, NEVER roll your sail around the mast. Every extra hour of sunlight will damage the sail. So take it off the mast and store it properly under a cover. It is worth those 5 minutes of your time!
GWF
 

sailor327

New Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

when you say that it is bad too roll it around a mast are you even talking about in beetween race days cause i usually roll it around the mast lay it on the boat and stick my top cover on it.
 
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

Yes 327, that is also what I am talking about. There will be many hours of sunlight in between your last race and the next one the following day and your top cover will not cover the entire sail. Obviously, the bigger evil is to leave it there for days, weeks, months or what have you. Nevertheless, when you do a couple of regatta's it adds up quickly (especially in Florida, where you live) and you will expose some vital parts of the sail (leech will be on the outside) to the sun. It is not good!

GWF
 

gouvernail

Super Opinionated and Always Correct
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

Rolling around the mast means you will not be checking the bend in your top section...not good.

Rolling around the mast for long periods?? The part of the sail exposed is the last four inches...that is the part that fails first and causes the sail to suck. $$$$$

"Sailing on the back half of the sail" is the sort of thing a keelboat sailor says to a laser sailor when he really is not thinking. The only way to flog a laser leech is to let the sail all the way out. You can't flog the laser main while driving on the jib.

On keel boats, sailing with a tight jib and a flogging main ruins a main in a really short time. The trick on a keelboat...like a J-22 or J-24 is to keep the leech tight and driving by flattening the main and letting the leech of the jib breathe.

Big thing for lasers?? resting between races. keep your cunningham and rather tight and your vsang on rather hard. This keeps the leech a lot tighter and the fluttering of the leech cloth in minimized.

it is rather simple to understand. take a piece of paper and violently shake it for a while. The paper will become soft and floppy.

Then try just holding that same piece of paper tightly between your hands but not tight enough to tear it. After a few minutes, or whenever you get sick of holding the paper, check the piece of paper and see how floppy it has become.

That is correct...the paper only gets soft if you flap it around or overload it so much it tears.

You ca also fold that paper and then un fold it and the wrin=kles will be there.

You can also roll the paper into a tube and then fold the tube to see why I generally don't bother to roll sails. The rolled sails always end up kinked.
 

SFBayLaser

Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

gouvernail said:
Big thing for lasers?? resting between races. keep your cunningham and rather tight and your vsang on rather hard. This keeps the leech a lot tighter and the fluttering of the leech cloth in minimized.
Hi Fred, Did you mean "ease your cunningham and keep your vang on tight" between races? It certainly works for me here in SF (and at many breezy regattas elsewhere).
 

gouvernail

Super Opinionated and Always Correct
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

oops!!!

Tracy caught me printing stuuuupid stuff again.

it has been so long since I have sailed on a windy day I wrote exactly what NOT to do.

However, I still won't move to SF and sail on that reversing damn near frozen river they call a bay.

Tightening the cunningham opens the leech and flogs the sail.

Loosen loosen loosen. it causes the "other side of the triangle to stay tight.


This is why Tracy is the NA class president and I have a second home in La La Land
 

MScott

Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

For the record, I think that it is not a good idea to leave battens in their pockets any longer than they have to be. That elastic will wear out over time.
 

laser179104

New Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

Somebody told me you should let the kicker/vang off if you have to sit with your sails flapping, im not sure the cunnigham/downhaul makes all that much difference to laser sailing, the kicker gives you most control over the leech
 
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

laser179104 said:
Somebody told me you should let the kicker/vang off if you have to sit with your sails flapping,
Somebody on this forum just told you not to let off the vang and gave you some damn good reasons for that. I don't think that the simple fact that somebody else told you the opposite (whoever this somebody is, it might even be a very good sailor) is enough reason to follow that advice. My point: unless you have an argument for letting off the vang, follow the advice of the Gouv since his explanation involving a piece of paper makes a lot of sense.

GWF
 

49208

Tentmaker
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

laser179104 said:
Somebody told me you should let the kicker/vang off if you have to sit with your sails flapping, im not sure the cunnigham/downhaul makes all that much difference to laser sailing, the kicker gives you most control over the leech
I leave the kicker/vang slack in the last couple of minutes prior to a start, as it allows you to hold your position on the line easier (a tight vang tends to want to head you up while luffing and makes it harder to bear off to accelerate.)

Otherwise in between races I have vang tension on for the reasons listed above and cunningham eased so the cloth along the luff can relax
 

MScott

Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

pre-start kicker tension!!! oooh now there's a topic.

I'm from NA so I'll call it vang. A kicker is what the snowboard
rats buld at the ski hill after school and pull sweet tricks off of.

I agree that a loose(er) vang in med/heavy winds makes manuvering and luffing easier. However, I, and some others, think that a tight vang has its advantages in some cases. In heavy winds and crowded starts, a tight vang will cause the back of the sail to power up sooner when you sheet in, allowing you bump the throttle a little when you are really slowing and have little/no flow over the foils. When your tight leech powers up, the center of effort is far aft in the sail, and that gives the boat a tendency to stay "bow up." I think its harder to get out of irons with a loose vang.

THAT SAID> I rarely start with my vang at its full upwind setting. That happens for me 15-20 seconds after the gun.

what do you guys think?
 

bviemma

New Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

why foot to head and not head to foot?

As I travel with my good sail it gets left folded in the bag but my old sail I use gets rolled around the mast and then I put a keel boat mainsail bag over it before putting it under the cover so the bit sticking out is covered. I roll it around the mast as it then only takes a couple of minutes to get out on the water.

Emma
 

jim anderson

New Member
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

gouvernail said:
Methinks that was listed in the book of urban legends and Old Wives Tales.
My wife isn't that old, but Bigfoot and Elvis both told me personally that I should roll it around a PVC pipe and put it in a long bag. My question is, does it matter at all if you go head to foot, which is easier, or foot to head, which might keep the head from being stretched so much that it reacts funny on different tacks. Or something. It never occured to me before reading this thread, but a lot of people have talked about rolling foot to head but not vice versa. Any rational opinions on this one?
 

Merrily

Administrator
Re: To fold or not to fold. That is the question.

jim anderson said:
It never occured to me before reading this thread, but a lot of people have talked about rolling foot to head but not vice versa. Any rational opinions on this one?
Yeah, inquiring minds want to know!

Merrily
 
L

LarsenCanvas

Guest
I'm going to start rolling my sails on a plastic pipe. I've been told this is better for the sail then folding. Any thoughts on rolling verses folding.

Prior to buying a pipe to roll my sail on, I'm just wondering size is the most desireable? Is one size better than other, or is it just a personal preference?
 

Merrily

Administrator
This topic had been covered so recently that I merged LarsenCanvas's question with the previous thread. But the poll disappeared, I don't have any way to get it back. Bradley!!

Merrily
 
Howdy all,
I think Tracy is spot on regarding the between races issue on vang and cunningham settings. My personal experience is that when it is really windy the last thing I want while trying to manuever and protect your position (keeping that hole to leeward open) at the start line is a tightly set vang and cunningham. This makes the boat much harder to accelerate because you've de-powered the sail and it WILL cause you to go into irons much more easily (I speak from experience on this). It also makes it much harder to get out of irons because the boat just wants to keep heading up into the wind.
That's my two cents worth,
Fishingmickey
150087/181157

P.S. I currently fold on the same creases as new, when I get my double trailer built with storage for spars and sail I will probably (maybe) roll my best sail on a PVC tube.
 
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