No Furler? Make a Foredeck Sail Bag

If you have a headsail furler on your sailboat, this project will probably be of little interest to you. But if you have hank-on headsails and want convenient protection for them like the sacrificial covers on furled headsails, read on. A foredeck sail bag is something of a luxury for the trailer sailor. It’s not necessary…

Use Your Boat Hook to Sail Faster Downwind

In a previous article, I described How to rig a cruising spinnaker in 4 stingy stages. If you don’t have a spinnaker yet, or even if you do have one but you don’t want to raise it for short runs, one of your best options when sailing dead downwind is to set your sails “wing…

How to Make a Mainsail Cover

Summer Dance didn’t have much in the way of canvaswork when we bought her: the original mainsail cover and an old outboard engine cover that also looked pretty ghetto. Besides being 1980’s brown in color, the canvas of the mainsail cover was faded and shredded in places, much of the stitching had disintegrated, and the…

How to Clean Sails at Home

Just like a white shirt is a magnet for spaghetti stains, your sails are magnets for stains, dirt, and mildew. Unlike a white shirt, you shouldn’t bleach or machine wash your sails, it will ruin them. That means don’t clean them in a chlorinated pool, either. For hundreds of dollars, you can send your sails…

The 6 Worst Things You Can Do To Your Sails

Crisp, clean sails not only look better than dirty, worn out sails, they also work better and let your sailboat heel less. New sails are expensive so it’s smart to take care of the ones you have so that they will last longer before you need to replace them. Here are some simple things that…

How to Add a Draft Stripe to a Sail

This project is a companion to my previous projects, How to Add Numbers to a Sail and How to Reproduce a Class Insignia on a Sail. If you’re getting started in club racing or if you just want to get the best performance out of your sails for cruising, draft stripes can help. A draft stripe…