Ultraviolet miseries

EASLOOP

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I have searched for info but cannot find any. A local reliable? maker of all things canvas - from tents to boats - promised my mainsail cover 10 days ago. My main is roller reefed onto the boom and is in the middle of the river. She has been there for 3 weeks. Will my main suffer uv damage in this short space of time? or should I be thinking of wrapping the main with cheap tarpauling material until my cover is ready?
Thoughts, as always, gratrefully received. (Wish this computer could spell!)
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Pye_End

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Cindy at The Sail Loft (Conyer) does a good job, although at this time of year sail making no doubt will make it a longer process than you would like.

There is somebody in the small nursery estate near Gillingham marina who does that sort of thing, but have no direct experience of them.

I have an old one you could use if helpful, although I will have to rummage around the loft for it.
 

macd

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Afraid I can't help you with the rate of UV degradation, although yachts spend months at sea in the tropics with sails exposed without expecting them to fall to bits. But I'd be cautious about using a tarp. Wind has ways of unwrapping things and who's to know you won't get a hoolie while waiting for the cover? Why not just take the sail off and bag it below?
 

johnalison

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Sorry; don't really agree. There's a lot of U/V at this time of year. I'd bung any old rubbish over the sail and tie it up securely, as chafe can cause as much damage as U/V. A line spiralled round tightly should do (I do this on my foresail with the spinnaker-halyard if I leave it furled)
 

EASLOOP

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Thanks for the comments from which I expect my sail will be OK. Should have my cover within the next 2 weeks - apparantly.
Thank you for your offer of the cover - very kind of you. I think I will be OK though.
It is the place near Gillingham marina that is making up my cover (no names, no pack drill). They come well recommended on quality but at least one person has said that they need nudging now and again. I will give them a good nudge on Friday.
Thank you again
 

macd

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What, precisely, don't you agree with?
"yachts spend months at sea in the tropics with sails exposed without expecting them to fall to bits". Is there any part of that which isn't demonstrably true?

If either of us had been able to give EAsloop the percentage degradation, per day, in typical weather at his latitude, I'm sure we would have. Failing that, he makes his best guess on the info available. How long, for instance, would he expect a furling genoa UV strip to last?
 

Searush

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Calm down girls! No handbags needed. Unshipping sails when off the boat is simply good practice - your insurance probably won't cover storm damage to sails left "set" (by which they mean furled on the spars if not under a cover). Even a furling jib doesn't take that long to remove if you are not likely to use the boat again for a couple of weeks. UV degradation seems to take around 12-18 months of constant exposure from what I remember of reading about long-distance sailors. But again, that will depend on the quality of thread/ stiching etc.
 

Pye_End

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If it the same place, I asked them to quote for something a couple of years back, and they never did, so I went elsewhere! Have heard they need regular nudging.

For a sail cover it was fairly straightforward to send the dimensions to Dolphin (or similar), although for things like sprayhoods you really want somebody local who will fit it properly.

If you don't get any joy and you change your mind then don't hesitate to pm. Personally I would not want my sails on without a cover for too long - difficult to define how long that is as it is a steady deteriation rather than a sudden event!
 

johnalison

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I was suggesting that the effect of U/V should not be underestimated. I agree that boats seem to manage at sea for long periods, but sometimes the stitching is weakened before the sail, and in a surprisingly short time, and this is cumulative during the lifetime of the sail.
 
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