Packing up a dinghy

If you sail in salt water, you will have to carry out rigorous cleaning before packing up your dinghy When everything is clean and dry, the sails should be carefully folded and packed into sailbags for storage. Careful packing and storage will prolong the life of your equipment.

WASHING DOWN THE DiNGHY

Hose down the boat every time you come ashore. If the water is not rinsed off the boat after use, salt can corrode unprotected metal and leave a trail of tiny abrasive crystals in the stitched seams of a sail. Leave everything to air dry before storing or you may return to a damp boat full of mildew Don't forget to rinse out your wetsuit and other sailing clothing regularly as well.

1 Working from the top downward, hose down the sails carefully with clean, fresh water.

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2 Wash down the decks and cockpit. Be sure to rinse down all ropes and fittings. Drain any sand and grit out through the bung or self-bailer. Use a sponge to dry the cockpit thoroughly.

storing woven sailcloth sails

Always make sure the sails are totally dry before storing. Mainsails, made out of woven polyester sailcloth are traditionally "flaked" in a zig-zag series of folds as shown below, but avoid putting hard creases in the window. This job is often easier with two people—one on the leech and one on the luff. A jib of

1 Lay the dry sail out flat and remove the battens. Start forming an evenly spaced series of folds in an accordian pattern. Keep the material free of creases.

3 It can take practice to make folds of the right size and shape to fit in your sail bag. If the sail looks messy after your first attempt at folding, take out the folds and start the process again.

2 Make the final fold with the head, ensuring the sail is laid out in a neat pile of folds. This is easiest to achieve in a wind-free zone.

4 Roll the folded sail from one end. Carefully slide the rolled and folded sail inside the sail bag. Store it in a dry place ready for use next time you need it.

storing laminate sails

Laminate sails, which are made from layers of material, often a combination of woven fabric and thin plastic film that are joined together under pressure, should always be rolled with no creases. Take off batten tension before rolling the sail. If the sail does not have full-length battens, two people may be required to keep the rolls even between the luff and the leech. The sail will tend to roll tightly along the luff and more loosely on the leech. Keep tightening the leech to ensure that no creases can form in the material. Always store the sail in its bag out of direct sunlight and away from any sources of heat.

start by rolling the laminate sail from the head, using full-length battens as a guide.

slide the rolled sail neatly into its sail bag. If it does not fit easily, try again, rolling it up into a slightly tighter roll.

start by rolling the laminate sail from the head, using full-length battens as a guide.

slide the rolled sail neatly into its sail bag. If it does not fit easily, try again, rolling it up into a slightly tighter roll.

- ■ ■ ' . if RVW

166 SAILING A DINGHY

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