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Punctures in xply... not cool...

 
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ChopEater



Joined: 28 Aug 2008
Posts: 68
Location: Central NJ, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:27 pm    Post subject: Punctures in xply... not cool... Reply with quote

Just discovered punctures toward the top/head of my sweet 2007 Ezzy 8.5 Cam'd "Infinity" Race sail... in the mylar between the xply cords. Bummed beyond words Crying or Very sad ...

Anyone ever tried to repair the mylar between xply cords?... good tape ought to stick but wouldn't the cords allow some water underneath and eventually look icky?

The holes are about 1 inch long, all the mylar is there, it's just cracked from cord to cord within an x of the xply... ( the cords prevented further ripping. )

suggestions? Any process besides tape?...

Found this:http://www.sailrite.com/Kevlar-Mylar-Repair-Tape-3-Wide-9-75-Long

and this http://www.the-house.com/ch02zz-chinook-windsurfing-accessories.html
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thombiz



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 551
Location: Corpus Christi

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect you mean cracks in the monofilm which makes up the x-scrim. Cracks will be a straight line while I interpret punctures as being round or irregular shaped. If it is cracks, it a common occurrence with the Ezzy x-ply when the material has seen a lot of UV exposure. I have repaired a lot of panels with this type of material failure and the usual repair is to replace the panel with new matching x-scrim. Other than that, it's better to just live with it until the sail is "too far gone" to justify repairs. Tape won't help much.
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thombiz (and others)... just a question. Sure it wouldn't look pretty... but why wouldn't some tape work to help him?

It sounds to me, if he just got some "clear scotch packing tape"... he could stick a couple 2" pieces on both sides of the sail (sticking together in the middle).
This is strong and waterproof... and repairs the cracking tear. It doesn't have to be terribly strong, it's just up near the head of the sail... and besides, it's x-ply.. it's not going anywhere. You're just trying to make it a bit more durable (so it doesn't get caught on stuff as you carry it around)... close up the air that's leaking through... and make it last longer.

Yes, it won't "look great"... he'd have to get the panel replaced for that. But function wise... why not just tape the laceration closed?
Greg Smile
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thombiz



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 551
Location: Corpus Christi

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, I'm biased because I repair sails to help pay for my windsurfing obsession, so my comments are based on years and years of repairing sails. I figure I've made about 8000 repairs. When people bring me a sail for a panel replacement, I can count on the damaged area to be covered with packaging tape. I wish the packing tape was actually structural, but it is almost always just short of falling off the sail from it's own weight. Usually the packing tape adhesive has been compromised by water getting between the adhesive and the actual sail. It usually takes seconds to pull off all that tape and expose the tear. I do this because I need to tape the tear back together in it's exact original position just long enough to hold the sail together so I can put in a new panel. Packing tape is good for that.

There are some other ways to put a patch over a tear which actually work. One is to use RV Awning Repair Tape. This stuff is highly adhesive and is quite strong, but it doesn't last long in high UV exposures. I think it is also sold under the name of Sail Bandage. The solution I personally like and usually provide for cheap or free is 5 mil monofilm with one side covered with 1" wide Superseamstick tape. This is the tape most windsurfing sail repair people use to stick down a new panel before sewing it in. The monofilm and Superseamstick works great and can last a year or two.

Now, lets get back to the Ezzy in question. If that sail is starting to develop cracks in the film between spectra strings, then it has seen a lot of UV exposure. Putting a couple pieces of packing tape over it will only make you feel good, but it will do almost nothing to help the sail. Those cracks are indicators that the films are breaking down and they have nearly reached the end of their useful life. The reality is....the spectra strings are holding things together otherwise a really big crack would form rendering the panel and sail unusable. Putting a piece or two of packing tape on it would contribute almost nothing towards extending the useful life of the sail. The RV Awning Tape would give it more weeks of extended life. The monofilm and Superseamstick would give it months of extended life, and a new panel could give it years of extended life.

If anyone has a packing tape that is as strong as monofilm and bonds as tightly as Superseamstick then, I'd like to know about it.
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome, thanks for the details and the time to type it. What you're saying makes sense. I appreciate it, as I'm sure the OP does Smile

Reviewing - UV damage, breaking down monofilm, x-ply holding it together. tape does little good, cause really, the whole thing is about to disintegrate.

Thombiz... similar, but different question. What if he had that same sail, but was newer or, not much UV exposure. And now he's carrying it to the water from the parking lot... and a gust of wind catches it, putting him off balance slightly.. and the head of the sail scrapes hard on a stick - sharp rock - top of a fence, branch... whatever. And he gets the same 1" tear between x-ply fibers.
In that case, would taping the tear (so it doesn't get caught on more obstacles) help? And yes... I hear you, that regular packing tape won't last long.. suggest awning tape or other.
Thanks, Greg
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thombiz



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 551
Location: Corpus Christi

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the case you have given, it probably wouldn't make a difference if it is a cut just between two strings of Spectra, so I would probably just leave it. But... if it was more than two strings then the monofilm/superseamstick is the answer. It doesn't make sense to replace the panel until the tear is at least 4" long. Of course, these answers are subjective, and there can be circumstances which would void the solution. My basic philosophy is to only replace a panel when absolutely necessary. IF I make more than a few repairs in the same spot, the sewing machine needle turns the supporting fabric into "swiss cheese" from all the holes, greatly reducing the strength. Too many holes and the supporting structure has to be replaced also because it has no strength.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13844

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put a hook through a highly stressed sail window years ago, and slapped on some packing tape to save the day. Even sailing in the high, extremely sunny, NM deserts, I couldn't get the tape off when I got around to it a few years later. And there's even better sail tape out there these days. Clean it, carefully tape it (round the corners), and fugheddaboutit.
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3056
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Follow thombiz advise like it came from the book of revelations.

For sail 2012 NEW Ezzy Cheetah, 8.5m

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MattD



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thombiz, apparently superseamstick can slide when left out in the sun - do you have any experience with this? From Sailrite's website, "While the adhesive is very aggressive, it can slide apart in hot sunlight."

Would your repair suggestion change for a sailing club where sails get used and abused all summer? Currently we use packing tape for small tears and we put a large patch (of adhesive repair cloth?) over large tears, then zig-zag sew all over it. Also, what are your thoughts on panel replacement compromising the structural integrity of the sail? I would love for our repair guys to become proficient at panel replacement, if that's the best repair approach.

Thanks!
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thombiz



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 551
Location: Corpus Christi

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for the sake of discussion and multiple points of view, here's a thread with similar discussions: http://www.iwindsurf.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=25191&highlight=tear+patch

The Superseamstick can slide if it is located in a high tension area of the sail. But then again, I don't know of any adhesive tape which can bond tight enough to replace stitches. In my example of using superseamstick on monofilm to make a patch, the purpose of the monofilm/superseamstick is to keep the tear from running at one of the tear endpoints. Monofilm is difficult to get a tear started, but once started, it runs easily. This works good on non-high tension locations of the sail, but it will not work in the high tension areas which occur on a straight line from the mast top to the sail tack.

As for panel replacement compromising a sail, it has a lot to do with the type of sail and how it is used. Years ago, I used to see racers with very large sails put extreme downhaul pressure on the sail. A number which I remember hearing at the time was tension around 1100 lbs. If I were to replace a panel in such a sail, I would extend the new panel to the upper seam of the upper batten and to the lower seam of the lower batten. This would give the new panel 2 seams at the bottom of the panel and two seams at the top of the panel to take up the tension required for the panel. If I were to use a big, wide single step zigzag on the seams, I wouldn't get enough stitches per inch to hold that tension, so to get the durability needed, I would try to use stitchs that are much closer together to increase the number of stitches per inch of seam. If you figure each stitch can hold 5 lbs and you need to resist 50 lbs per lineal inch, then you need to put in at least 10 stitches per inch. If approached in this way, the repair will not compromise the sail. I have many many of my customers sails still in use that had a panel or panels replaced 5, 6, 7 years ago and still going fine and these are sails which see 30 or more sessions a year, but they are not left out in the sun when not in use.

For rental or teaching sail, the all x-ply sails hold up very well considering how much UV they receive. Monofilm sails do not hold up well. I repair the sails Worldwinds uses and they often only get 1 year out of a teaching sail, at least with the MauiSail Rebels they used to use and the North Ice's they have been using. If they try to keep them out of the sun when not in use, they can maybe extend their life to 2 years. I don't know if you can do better than that with any other brands except the Hot Sails Maui Superfreak Dacron and vinyl sails. I would think they might be able to last 3 or 4 years.

I have written some "HOW TO's" to show how to replace a panel in a sail, and how to use monofilm/superseamstick to patch holes. If anyone wants one or both of those write-ups, send me an email to: thombiz@yahoo.com and I'll send them to you as an attachment to an email reply. Once you see the write-ups you'll see why the integrity isn't compromised.
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