Sailrepair.co.uk was set up to meet the need for the specialised skills needed to repair today's modern windsurfing sails. Monofilm and x-ply make great sail cloths but to achieve the full benefits from the material they require specific construction detailing.
When repairing a sail we use similar or technically superior materials to the original ones. More importantly we reinforce everywhere we stitch with insignia tape, which is basically an adhesive light weight sail cloth that is essential to the integrity of monofilm when it is sewn. Using the materials correctly is only half the skill of the sailmaker. Given the above information along with the materials and equipment most people could then sew a patch on a sail. It is from a knowledge of the dynamic stress's in the sail and the likely extent of impacts to be endured in the repair area that the sailmaker can decide on the extent and nature of a optimal repair. There is also an economic decision to be reached in conjunction with the sail owner. There is little point going to the extent of a full panel replacement on a sail that may not be worth £100, when a perfectly satisfactory part panel replacement would be half the cost. We can repair any amount of damage. The only time we will decline to fix your sail is if it is badly damaged by UV light. We would rather advise you to save your money than take your money and repair a sail when the repair is going to be the only sound part of the sail.
We are always aware of the aesthetics of the sail and we endeavour to preserve the overall look of the sail wherever possible. We have 30 years sail making experience. Have a look below our FAQ's for further information on sail repairs.
1/ Q. What is the maximum size repair that I can do myself using mylar repair tape?
A. As a permanent repair - about 10 cm, depending if the tear is in a high load area such as near the tack. It is also less risky when repairing x-ply since if the tape come off the consequences are less drastic. Larger tears can be patched temporarily.
2/ Q.Can stickers be used instead of repair tape?
A. Yes, as long as it has a waterproof adhesive. One of the best are stickers that say "Fascal Permanent" on the backing paper.
3/ Q. I have a tear in the mast sleeve, should I get it repaired?
A. Tears less than 15 cm in the mast sleeve tend to be more of an inconvenience rather than effecting the structural integrity of the sail. You will need to be careful when sleeving the mast so as not to rip it further. So it is more of a question of looks and convenience.
4/ Q. How much does a repair cost?
A. Full panel replacements normally cost in the region of £50 to £80. Part panel replacement costs about £45. Sleeve repairs about £30. These prices are as an indication only and vary with the materials used and the time taken, carriage should be added.
5/ Q. How do I send a sail for repair?
A. We can arrange for the collection of your sail and then send it back once it has been repaired. It costs £25 to have a sail collected and £20 to return it to you. We charge only the cost of the carriage and we will reuse the packaging you sent the sail in. Please ensure your sail is washed free of sand and dry before collection. These carriage charges apply per load so you can send up to three sails at those prices and £3 per sail over three sails.
6/ Q. How long does it take to repair a sail?
A. We try to complete repairs within a few days of receipt. But please note we will can only work on dry sand free sails. If we have to wash the sand off and then dry the sail this can add about two days onto the repair time. If you rip your sail one weekend we can have it fixed and back with you for the following weekend. It helps if you have the sail packed and ready for us to collect as early in the week as possible.
7/ Q. Is my sail worth repairing?
A. There are two main considerations in deciding the answer, economic and the state of the whole sail. Once a sail is more than a couple of years old it is probably not worth an expensive panel or multi panel replacement but it may well be worth some form of economical repair that will be perfectly sound and will get the sail back on the water with the same performance as before. A monofilm sail will eventually (unless you only sail in Scotland) degrade due to UV light. You could repair it in one area, only for it to go somewhere else shortly after.
8/ Q. How do I tell if my sail has UV damage?
A. Monofilm is most susceptible to UV light. Be careful if buying a second hand sail that has been used at an overseas sailing school or centre. The monofilm becomes more "crispy" and brittle. A bad crease in new monofilm can be partly rubbed out with your finger nail onto a smooth surface behind the monofilm. UV damaged film will crack and split if creased and creases will not lessen if you try to smooth them out as above.
If you find a small split in the monofilm and if it was caused by a puncture impact the monofilm will have stretched and the split will not lie totally flat (the tear will tend to have a slightly curled edge at the point of impact). If the split when closed just looks like a crease and lies flat the chances are that the monofilm is beginning to fail. I have seen this happen on sails less than 6 months old that have been used at sunny hire centres.
A. Yes. On inspection of your sail we can send a written quote to your insurers. There is no charge for this as long as we are chosen to do the repair, otherwise there is a £10 admin. charge. If you e-mail a photo of the damage we will give you an estimate for the cost to repair the sail. There is no charge for this service and it enables you to decide as to whether the sail is worth repairing.
10/ Q. My sail is not damaged but could you alter it in some way?
A. Yes. We can alter sail such as replace fixed heads with adjustable heads. Raise/lower boom cut-outs etc.
11/ Q. Do you repair yacht and dinghy sail?
A. We can do, but due to limited space we can only fix dinghy sails.
12/ Q. How do I go about getting my sail fixed?
A. E-mail us with the full address of where the sail is to be picked up, or phone on 07881 581618 . If you phone before 11 in the morning we can normally arrange for collection later the same day. Make sure you include full contact details in with your sail. On receipt of your sail we will contact you and let you know how much the repair will be. We will probably have already given you a estimate by e-mail or phone.
13/ Q.How do I remove stickers from my sail?
A. Unfortunately there are no short cuts. It takes time and patience to pick/peel all the bits off. It helps if you do it somewhere warm as the plastic is less likely to tear and the glue will be softer. There is a marked difference between doing it in a cold garage and a warm room. Once you have got the sticker off you will probably have a large sticky area waiting for some sand. Use a cloth dampened with white spirit to take the glue off. Do not have the sail swimming in the stuff, especially at the seams as the white spirit will attack the glue holding the seams together.