Windsurfing & Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Michigan
I recently had the luck of meeting a paddle boarder looking to get rid of her husband's old windsurfing equipment. She had a 4.4, 5.5, 6.4, and a 7.5 sail, a F2 Xantos 295, another board I cannot identify, a chinook boom, 2 masts, and bags of other equipment. Not a bad find!!
I happily took everything off her hands but found all four of the sails had extensive mouse damage to the luff sleeves. Unfortunately, I do not own a sewing machine and professional repair on 4 sails would be quite expensive.
Not being one to throw away free sails, here is how I made my repairs to the sleeves without breaking the bank:
For the patch material, I used Pro-Tuff - Water-Repellent Heavy-Duty Pack Cloth Fabric shown here: https://shop.fieldsfabrics.com/Available-in-Retail-Stores-Only-Pro-...
It's a water-resistant pack cloth that closely resembled the construction of the sail material.
For my Glue I used Loctite Vinyl and fabric adhesive shown here: https://www.loctiteproducts.com/en/products/specialty-products/spec...
The process was simply cutting my patches to size, applying copious amounts of glue, applying the patch, and applying pressure for 24 hours using come cement blocks.
After drying I slowly inserted the mast down the sleeve to allow any glue that made its way inside the mast sleeve to separate slowly without damaging the fabric.
I’m very happy with how everything turned out and have not had any issues with rigging the sails. The glue and patches hold very well but are still flexible. I will post an update after sailing with these repairs at some later date, so you may want to wait before considering using my method.
I’ve added some pictures of a few of the sails and in the attachments below, as mentioned before, the damage was quite extensive, all of the black squares are my glued on patches.
Nice job on the repairs! But those are some pretty ancient sails. Price was right, though!
Hopefully I will be coming back to Michigan in the fall. I could pick up 5 or 6 used sails, newer and in much better condition than that for cheap at the next gorge swap meet if anybody is interested.
Thanks Jim, I would be very interested in your offer. I will PM you my info.
The luff sleeve takes all the downhaul tension, so it will be interesting to see if that holds. There have been a lot of newer sails for sale here that might be better alternatives.
I've been out a few times with the 7.5 and have not had issues so far, I do notice a few corners and edges I will need to reapply some glue on the patches though. You're right, I don't expect these sails to be the ones I use forever and do plan on upgrading soon. I just can't justify tossing them in the trash quite yet, at the very least I can keep these for teaching friends and family.