North Sails LOFT NEWS

March 13, 2019


Advice On Avoiding Chafe and Protecting Your Sails

© Mark Dobson

You don’t need to be a sailor to know – chafe is not a friend. While this holds true in other places as well, it can be detrimental to your sails. It doesn’t take very long for a chafe point to become a more serious problem, especially if you’re out sailing in good breeze. Spreader and stanchion patches protect your expensive investment at a very low cost, and prevent early wear and tear on the sail.

The only time your sails should be flown without chafe patches is when you are measuring where to install them, with the exception of non-overlapping jibs. Ideally, hoist your sail in a place where there is not a lot of wind. On your genoa, mark the sail where it meets the stanchions and mark any spreaders that would come into contact during a tack. Your North certified service expert can professionally install rectangular patches in these areas. For your mainsail, mark where it meets the tip of the spreader. Here we can install a circular patch to prevent chafe during broad reaching and running when your main is pressing against the spreaders. For in-mast furling sails, a rectangular patch may be installed, similar to the spreader patch we use for an overlapping genoa.

Did you know?

Spreader and stanchion patches are included with your new sail purchase. If we’ve measured your old sail, they will be installed before delivery and you will be ready to sail as soon as your sail arrives. 

Learn more about chafe with traditional fabrics.

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