Sailmakers tips before the new season gets underway

Finally, the sun peeks out here in Denmark! Reminding us how important it is to check our sails and gear, when the season starts and again if you plan to head out on a longer summer cruise. Preparation is key to a smooth and joyful summer on the water. And who does not want that?

Below some of the parameters you should check, but of course it all depends on your individual set-up.

Mast & headsail furler

  • Check the headsail Furler for damages on the foil, drum, and furling line.
  • Clean the mast and Furler groove from dirt, salt, and small insects. Spray it with silicone free lubricant and clean with a cloth. Do not use grease!
  • Clean and grease threads of turnbuckles, before start trimming the mast.
  • Trim the mast - Conventional mast: Moderate mast curve without tension on backstay. Furling mast: Hardly any mast curve. 
  • Have a closer look at the halyards to check if there is any damage or abrasion. Also, it is important to check the function of the shackle. In case of moderate abrasion on the halyard you can cut the splice off and resplice at the end other end of the rope.  If the halyard is long enough. Now the bad part of the rope is in front of the clutch/roll or whatever damaged the rope. If mantle is heavily damaged: Buy new.
  • Look at the jammer if the cleats are fine to avoid slippage of the halyard.
  • Check the sheets for abrasion and damage.

Sail Check:

  • Check all stitches on the sails. If they are damaged contact your Elvstrøm SailPoint
  • Have a close look at the batten pockets, batten and the pocket latch, luff cars and all other fittings.
  • Look carefully at the sails luff tape and bolt rope, check for damage and abrasion.
  • Check the leech of the sail for damages. If minor marks from spreaders and mast fittings are visible, patch with self-adhesive cloth. If not on board, ask your local Elvstrøm SailPoint. If major marks: contact your local Elvstrøm SailPoint 
  • Also have a closer look at the leech line and the cleat / Velcro and check your reefs on the main sail.
  • Unpack your spinnaker and other packed sails and check for small holes or damages. Repack your sails to be ready for hoisting.


Check your sails before the season

Photo: sail details

Our main focus here has been the rig and sails. If you are in doubt, we ecommend you contact your local Elvstrøm Sail- or ServicePoint for a service check. It might save you from unnecessary worries.

Besides rig and sail check, do remember to check the engine (oil/cooling water/impeller/V-belt) of engine, rudder and all other equipment as well and very important do not forget to stock up on necessities either – wine, beer, you name it :-)

3-2-1 ready - set - go!

Southerly 48 at Distant Shore

Photo: Distant Shore, Southerly 48 - all rigged and ready!

Repair kit:

Bringing a repair kit with e.g., extra patches in the right colour and sizes, extra battens and a batten repair kit, when leaving for a longer tour is a very good idea. We tailor make repair kit to fit your sail inventory and adventure. Just before heading off on a longer summer holiday do check mast with all fittings, bolts and splits again. And do a mast trim after the first miles of the season to be sure it is still OK or needs some fine tuning.

Fair winds and stay safe!