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Replacing sail panels? worth it?

 
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fanaticultrahawk



Joined: 19 Sep 2007
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 2:43 pm    Post subject: Replacing sail panels? worth it? Reply with quote

what is the consensus for replacing a panel on a 2-3 year old sail. I put the harness hook through the middle panel of my north tonic (ok I guess its more like 8 yrs old but in great shape otherwise).

if i can get the whole panel replaced for around 100$ will the sail work ok again? is this even possible to do right or is the sail toast?

I also don't really want to drop the money on a new sail right now.

thanks
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2388

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had panel replacements on over 10 sails.
Done by someone who knows what they're doing, it's fine.
A puncture from a spreader bar can just be taped, if it's only a ragged hole.
OTOH, one of my best 6.5 sized sails is a 1994 GaastraRaceSlalom.
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thombiz



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 556
Location: Corpus Christi

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a little free time and idle hands so I'll take a shot at the answer. As mentioned in a similar post, I'm the sail repair guy in Corpus Christi. I've made over 8000 repairs, so lets say I have insight.

Now to your North Tonic. When someone brings a similar sail to me to evaluate and recommend a repair, I usually look the sail over very closely and try to determine the condition of the sail. If...the sail has seen a lot of use and a LOT of UV exposure, then I would recommend no repairs be made and the owner buy a newer, better sail. The only factors which could trump that recommendation is: 1. The owner absolutely loves the sail, likes the way it handles, likes the way it performs and can't easily find something to match it. or 2. The owner can't or doesn't want to afford the cost of a newer sail at this time.

Say the owner wants to proceed with the panel replacement. I would usually replace the main panel on a Tonic 6.5 or 7.5 for about $60. I'm probably the cheapest in the US. I would give the owner a choice of monofilm or x-ply. I have on hand about 30 different flavors of x-ply, some proprietary, most are the standard fare in the industry, so I can usually exactly match the original material of most sails. I charge the same whether I use monofilm or x-ply. I would explain to the owner (the Tonic with applied graphics) that he would likely loose some of the "graphics" applied to the sail as I have no way of duplicating those. I typically turn around a repair of this type in 24 hours. I know people are here to windsurf and their time is valuable. I want their vacationing experience to be positive, so I get the work done so they can get back on the water.

The results......I'm anal retentive when it comes to repairs. For me, a good day is when I can put all the new needle tracks exactly back in the original needle holes, not increasing the weakness of the supporting structure. Sewing that way, it is almost impossible to tell a repair has ever been made. I seldom have perfect days where every new stitch is exactly where the old stitches were, but I often have good days that are pretty close. This translates to a repair that will perform at least as well as the original panel. A week or two after the repair and you will forget it ever happened.

This is NOT an appeal for your business. I don't want or need more business. Keeping the locals and vacationers happy here in Corpus Christi is plenty enough for me. I recommend people send their repairs to Jim Mudry at Sailworks in the Gorge. He has proven to be one of the best. If one of my sewing machines went down and I needed a repair.....I'd send it to him. Sailworks makes every effort to stock the exact same materials to match those used by the original manufacturer so a repair looks just like new when Jim is finished with it.
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