How to fold the sails of sailboats
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To learn how to fold the sails of a maritime vessel you will have to ask for some help. It can be done alone. Nothing happens. I have done it many times and sailors alone as well. Even the patterns of the boats when they say goodbye to their guests. That is why they are invited. So that they do not have to cure cleaning after having enjoyed all day in the middle of the sea bathing and eating until bursting. Of course, without learning anything. Well, nothing happens, that’s why they’re invited, I insist, hehehe.

Fold the Major

The mainsail is the one that is located in the back of the sailboats. That which is above the heads of people and is the first that is put. It must be the first to be hoisted (upload) because it is the most important of all. It is the one that makes the engine and the one that gives more government to the boat. It’s like it’s the engine. Due to its size, its robustness and its situation, it is the candle that we can trust in case of emergency and, as we will see later, it is the one that can take us out of a hurry. Because with it we can go backwards. Yes, you read correctly: backwards.

Step 1: Clean the mainsail

Before we will have to ask permission to the sailors to see if there is any area to put us and not bother. We will also make sure that we are not breaking any rules. There are many sailors who are quite scrupulous with this subject and do not let it do. It is a serious mistake because it is as normal as cleaning the car or ourselves. It can be a very usual task.

We must extend it on the floor of the yacht club or place where we are moored (parked). If it is possible that it is clean because as they tend to be white they take all the dirt. If they are black they will be more delicate because they will have materials such as carbon and we will have to look for an area with carpet. They are large areas with carpets often enable in racing season.

Once we have our mainsail extended on the floor, we can take a large soft brush and mild detergent to start cleaning it normally and consistently. Theirs is to use the hands. That is, take a very large brush, remove the stick of plastic or wood and kneel on it. This way we avoid getting up and stepping on the candle. With the minimum hole in the ground we will break it. And a hole means time, money and loss of speed.

If we clean the largest one standing, then let it be barefoot. And we will give many passes and soft so as not to break the seams as they degrade with the soaps. Once in a while you can clean the candle. Nothing happens. Of course, it will be an aesthetic issue because the salt does not damage the seams, but protects them. As long as it is a thin layer. If we see the large crystals with the naked eye we can pass the candle with water.

Tip: If we use biodegradable soaps we can clean it with the hose pulling everything to the sea. So nobody will call our attention.

When we have cleaned the candle on both sides with biodegradable soap, we can clean it with a hose. Without fear. But once again, we are going to take into account the seams, so the jet will have to be soft and controlled with your fingers. Nothing about Kärcher because we can destroy it.

Step 2: Dry the mainsail

Now it’s time to have patience. The drying lasts long because we are talking about a very large surface and a few porous materials, because they are made of marine fabric. It will also depend on the weather. Especially the wind that does.

The less wind the better. Let’s think why. If you make a medium or high view, the candle will fly (like a flag) and this is the first cause of destruction and degradation of a candle. Then there is the bend. So if a sunny summer day with a little breeze it will be great. We will have all the sails dry in one hour. But if it is windy we must sacrifice that hour and turn it into three. It will be convenient to dry it somewhere where it is cornered and does not move.

Warning: If the candle flames because it is very windy we will wear it too fast. Better go to a quiet place or wait for another day.

To get a good place to dry it, and finish with 100% of water, we will have to go to our own boat. Hoisting it on the mast will be the best option. As if we were going to sail. Exactly the same. Let’s forget to upload it in some strange way that makes the fists (the three corners) are each in a different place. This way we will avoid taking the form that has so well that we are going to navigate. That is, with the shape of an airplane wing.

Step 3: Fold the mainsail

Once it is dry, we will transport it to a clean or carpeted place. If it can be between two or more people and trying not to wrinkle it. Here we can invent a previous folded letter so as not to wrinkle it. The problem of bending sails badly is that the folds remain almost permanently in the shape of the sail. And a surface that is not perfect will create eddies when we navigate. And this, as I have always said, is a remarkable loss of speed.

When we have it well stretched a person will be placed on the tack of the tack (there is the ollao that is placed in front of the mast). Another assistant in the sheet fist (where there is the ollao at the end of the boom). From here, it is necessary to go bending the candle in zig zag. It will remain like an accordion without us moving. More or less than 80 cm wide. That is, we will stretch the candle towards us at the same time. As a final result, the person who is folding the Major from the tack of the bow will not move. Whoever does it from the sheet’s grip will go forward, both on their knees and without shoes, until the candle is zig zag.

Note: In theory, the sail should not be bent to be kept without bends. Avoid bending it when it is small, like the one in the dinghy. Use long PVC pipes.

Once we have the candle folded on itself, whoever is in the sheet fist will move towards the other. It will create a roller; like a spring roll or a straw ball from the field; towards whoever is in the clew of the sheet. And so, we will have the Mayor doubled.

In other words, the Major is folded using two variables: first zig zag and then rolling.

In the case that we are in the middle of the sea, one person will have to stand at the base of the mast and another standing at the end of the boom. A third will help them, so we will have to infect three people. The solo sailors do it alone, dropping it (taking it down) whole and then folding it, but it may not be our case if we are learning sail navigation step by step.

Alert: Sabers can bore the sail. Think of removing them. If you break one, do not worry. You are not the first to make this mistake.

While the third slowly lowered the Major releasing the halyard from the cleats little by little and with three laps of safety in the winch, the other two will bend it in a zigzag on the boom. Every little bit, the one that is located in the pajarín (fist of sheet or at the end of the boom) will tie it to the boom. What he will use will be webbing straps in the form of shoelaces, with the same loins, so that he does not unfold as the Major goes down.

In the end, the bender at the end of the boom will join the one at the base of the pole (mast) with the whole sail folded. So it will be the one that will work the most. And if we think about it, the same happens on the ground. Whoever is in the clew of the sheet will end up working more than the one who folds the luff (sail next to the mast) from the tack of the bow (stainless metal earplug or hole of the sail at the end of the boom).

Step 4: Save the mainsail

Ready, we have already doubled our first sail surface. Now it’s time to insert it in a sack. If it can be, the sack should be of the good ones. One dedicated and built for that purpose. If not, over time holes will be created for which the candle will be spent. And in the long run it’s going to be boring.

Point: Let’s keep the Major in a bag that does not come big. If not, it will open and it will cost a lot to get it out in the middle of the sea.

The sack of the Major must come a little narrow and must be of marine fabric. Also breathable so that the seams of the Mayor do not rot. If it is a loose sack the Major will open and occupy more space. This means that it will unfold inside the bag as much as it can, it will occupy more space inside the boat and it will cost more to take it outside.

Tip: Once saved. Avoid putting weight on it to avoid creating folds. Because in the long run they will create cracks.

Let us think that, during sailing, the hole that contains the ladder to go outside is not very large. And there should come out one or two people holding a huge Mayor. These three packages should be as small as possible, so we introduce the Major in a bag that does not come large, but fair.

Folding the Genoa

It is located in the front of the boats and if it does not get to pass behind the sailboat and is smaller, surely we will be talking about a jib.

The genoa is another big sail that we will have to treat with care. Lowering it (lowering it) supposes a possibility to pierce it. On the sides of the cover are the candlesticks that represent points that pierce.

First: Clean Genoa

It does not have to be more delicate than the biggest. It may be from a different material. It may be more delicate because we have chosen to buy a carbon one. And with this investment we will have to forget about lathering it as if we were dealing with old Dracon of a pleasure boat.

In the case that it is of the same material as the Major, we will treat it the same. We spread it in a cushioned place or on a clean floor, and you will go through a soft hose and brush with mild biodegradable detergent. Much dirt will come out per oes that we are interested in. Give the candles a little life even though we will wear the seams a little. The sacrifice is worth it.

Second: How to dry the sail Genoa

We will treat it like the Major remembering that lsol and the wind are our enemies. At least on land. Since the sun will degrade to literally eat all the materials. It will degrade them until they vanish. And the wind will unravel the seams of the candles. He will leave them like the flags. Filled with loose strands that damage sight and navigation. So on land the sun and the wind are not our friends.

Third: How to fold the sail Genoa

In the case that we are sailing, a person will have to be in the bow (front) of the whole and another half of the boat next to the clew. Without releasing the knot of the sheet fist, it will pull towards him (stern) to keep the pujamen (bottom of the sail) stretched. Little by little a third person will lower the sail while the prow will zig zag the sail. Everything, maintained and lequilibro not to fall into the water.

When the genoa or the jib (smaller and that its fist of sheet does not surpass the mast) are totally lowered, the one that has lowered the sail from the winch (metallic device where to roll the ends to reduce its force) of the bathtub (where there are the back seats)

If we are on solid ground, we should try to bend the genoa between two people. We will take it over some place with carpet or clean and we will extend it. One person will be placed in the fist of the bow and another in the fist of sheet. Little by little and at the same time, they should pile the candle in the form of a snake or zig zag on itself. As we have indicated step by step with the bent of the Major.

Once everything is stacked together we will have to apply a second bent. This time in spiral form as in the Major. So also the person who is in the clew point should start the roll until the person of the tack. This is done because to unfold the sail on the deck of the sailboat, we must first hook it to the bow ring of the boat so that it does not fall into the sea.

Fourth: How to sail the genoa

Both with the mainsail and the genoa, we must finish the roller with a girth. This will serve to prevent the candle from falling apart inside the cloth bag that will contain it. Remember that, as we said a little above, the bag should be breathable and resistant fabric. Fine, but to endure.

Fold the Spinnaker

The folding of the Spi is different. We will do it differently because it is not a triangular sail of hard cloth, but a bag of fine and delicate cloth.

One: Cleaning the Spinnaker

We will think a lot if it is necessary to clean it. In the case of salt crystals; if we sail in salty open waters; be visible, these will be harmful. A fat salt distributed by the candle will slow it down and can scratch the candle. Therefore, we can remove it.

Most sailors choose to buff it (go through water) exclusively. It is too thin and delicate to give you a tute with brushes and soaps. Therefore, many and from the beginning choose not to buy white but another darker color or striped.

Two: Drying the Spinnaker

The Spi should spread outdoors and dry like the other candles. If it is kept wet, the seams rot. The way in which we will treat it will be the same as the Major, Foque and Genoa. That is, we will hang it with two fists and the other will flap.

We will tie the tack of the bow to the terminal of the tip of the bow. We will hoist it from the halyard, leaving the fist of sheet free. We will try not to have too much wind drying it first thing in the morning or the last day. If it is windy we will delay all the treatment.

Three: Folding the Spinnaker

Many people wonder how to double a Spi. And the answer is that we must follow a special order.

In the first place, we must find the war center of the Spi. If we move it to a simple sheet of paper it would be the center. If it were a dart target it would be the central point.

When we have the center we will have to introduce it in the bag. Thus, the whole candle will go inside until all three fists are out.

Secondly, we will tie the rope that closes the sack between the three ollaos of the three fists.

Finally, we will put the three fists tied inside the candle and close the bag.

It is saved in this way because the sail is hoisted (up) in the middle of the sea in a particular way. It is a round sack-shaped candle that must swell suddenly so that it does not become entangled. So he is very particular and very maniacal. If we make a mistake, we will create a mess in the middle of the sea and break it. For delicate and for having folded and hoisted badly.

Four: Saved the Spinnaker

We will have a big, round ball. Just as the sacks of the Major and the Genoa are square, heavy and flat, this sack is round, light and enormous. It will take up a lot of space, but let’s not fool ourselves. That it is a lightweight sack does not mean that we have to treat it badly. Yes we can put it on top of the other bags, nothing happens, it weighs little, but on it we do not put anything. In this case, we can keep it in the bow because it is not going to sink. But beware, the other two sacks; of the Major and Genoa; let’s put them on the sides so that the sailboat does not sink in front or behind.