Wednesday, 28 January 2015

9 Tips on Spinnaker packing

Although boating or cruising is fun, sail packing is a huge task which is not only boring but also very critical. We can share some useful tips on how to get it done smartly. Our lofts are not only full of spinnakers for sale, but also with a massive bank of sailing experience.

Spinmaker - National Sail Supply

The basic task of spinnaker packing is to put the sail inside the turtle but you need to do it in such a manner so that no twists are developed or else it will create problems later on when you shall hoist the sail again.

Follow the tips below--

  • The best way to start is to put the turtle between your legs and take a position facing the bow of the boat.
  • You should start by sitting on one of the clews and then search for the other one. It may sound weird but this will help you do the packing neatly.
  • If your have found a port clew, keep it on your left and if it is the starboard one, keep it on your right.
  • The foot of the spinnaker should always go first inside the turtle. Simple logic-- it goes the last when you hoist the sail.
  • Make sure to sit on both the clews when you will find the other clew, at the end of the foot.
  • To avoid twisting while packing the rest of the sail, pack it by following either the starboard leech or the port leech till you get the head of the sail.
  • Always remember that if you do not have a twist on one leech, you won’t have any on the other.
  • Make sure that the corners of the spinnaker are hung outside the turtle so that when required the crew can attach them to the appropriate lines. 
Spinmakers -  National Sail Supply

After closing the lid, you should check whether the bungee cord is secured over the metal ring.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Check the details of the storm sails

Storms are test times for a mariner and even a seasoned one may feel flabbergast. A lot depends on the quality of the sail and so instead of just jumping on any deal of storm sails for sale, which seems lucrative, look out for quality sails, manufactured by experienced sailmakers. 

If you have a huge experience as a sailor, have handled different kind of boats and sailing equipment, sailed extensively at different wind conditions, be it off-shore or along the coast, then you should be an expert in picking up exactly the kind of sail you need for your trip.

If you are not, you need to know that the sailcloth, type of stitch, extra stitching, reinforcement-- the checklist is long for a good quality sail. It should be so made, with such a craftsmanship and a kind of material that can withstand any sort of gusty wind condition. 

Dacron is the most ideal and durable sail material. It has many variations, meant for different usage. For example, if you are going off-shore you require Premium Dacron Crosscut as the material is more stretchable than High Modulus Dacron Crosscut which is ideal for coastal cruising.

But only the sailcloth won’t save you from the storm. Stitching is the next big factor, one that ensures that the sail will not tear apart. Type of stitching and hardware do vary according to your sailing itinerary.

If you will be going for a calm lake cruising then you may not require a three-row zig-zag stitching, mandatory for off-shore sailing. If these details seem exhaustive, you may just find a reputed sail supplier, one that has included all the necessary features in the products.

All you have to do then, just sort through the sails in offer and purchase one that suits the luff, leech and foot measurements of your boat.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Design your own spinnaker

Have you ever thought of designing your own sail? If you are a passionate cruiser you must be the one who enjoys getting busy with anything related to sailing like the equipment, sails or the vessel itself when you are not sailing. Add another activity and design your own spinnaker. It is such a fun. Just log on to our site and visit custom sails section.

Spinmaker Sail -

Although we have a range of ready-made spinnakers which you can find in our spinnaker section and buy right away but if you are not in a hurry, you should go for this creative option. It is as simple as putting colors to a drawing. We will just need to know the kind of spinnaker you require-- Radial head, Tri-radial or Star-cut.

First choose the category and immediately a drawing will appear on the screen. You will find a panel of color boxes below and a movable coloring tool. Click on a box to choose a color and you shall find the name of the color popped up on the top. The design of the spinnaker will be displayed as a line drawing with a number of horizontal and vertical panels.

After you select the color, click on a panel and you will see the panel has caught the the same. Isn’t it a fun? You will have the liberty to experiment as long as you want. Color-change-reselect-color... just enjoy your moment. If you have a child then for him/her also it can be a very creative activity.

When you are done click on the submit button and you will find an order form. Fill out all the measurement details and then click on the small question mark icon on the top right corner of the box. The rest of the mailing procedure will be mentioned there.

Friday, 9 January 2015

12 tips for the new sailors

We think we are veteran enough to give some tips to the youngsters in sailing. Our lofts are frequently visited by new sailors and many of them stay back for hours. Soon after they finish sorting through our spinnakers, mainsails or headsails for sale they ask for tips. New sailors, specially those who are relatively young at age, never run out of queries. We never mind and in fact we love to answer.

So we thought of sharing these basic tips here, for those who are new to sailing. You should start with a small boat and practice sailing in calm waters initially. 

  •  Check weather conditions before setting out. Take detailed notes of the tide and wind forecast.
  • Sail setting is the most vital part. Your sail should remain flat if you have normal wind conditions. During moderate winds, it should be full. Ease the setting when you are bearing away.
  • You should learn to sense which way the wind is blowing. Take it as a practice session.
  • The boom swings and many new sailors make themselves injured. You just need to remain cautious. 
  • When you are sailing downwind, you should keep the boom down and place crew weight astern.
  • In upwind condition, place crew weight to the windward side. Raise the centerboard slightly and take control of the speed.
  • Always wear life jackets and take enough number of boat cushions. For the kids, attach whistles with the jackets.
  • Learn the common sailing terms and teach the team well. On board, it is required to communicate in short.
  • Initially allow all the other boats to overtake you. This is your learning phase.
  • Always maintain a safe speed.
  • Steer the boat in a straight line. Unless you will find difficulty in adjusting your sails.
  • A flat boat is always a fast boat.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Take good care of your Mainsails

Sails are long term partners for a mariner. Once bought they can be used for years, provided you take good care of them. Seasoned mariners know how to take care of the sailing equipment but for those who are new in cruising, require some tips. Specially we are concerned about expensive Mainsails. We have a range of fresh-from-the-loft Mainsails for sale and sometimes we come across customers who have got their Mainsails worn out too fast.

Mainsails for sale -

How long a Mainsail will last depends on the kind of weather it gets exposed to and how it is being preserved when it is not in use. Wind, Damp and Ultraviolet Rays are the three most common enemies of sails. Racing boats are highly exposed to wind and their Mainsails normally last 1 to 3 seasons. But boats that cruise mostly along the coasts should have their Mainsails last up to 5 years. For private yachts, the period should be as long as 10 years.

We got to know a couple of customers in our 18 year old journey who have private yachts and had to discard their Mainsails after a couple of years. The most common reason that we have found is mildew. The first and foremost task to maintain a Mainsail is to keep it dry when preserved. Even if you have rolled and kept it inside the cover neatly, you have to check time to time whether it is catching moisture.

For commercial boats, the greatest threat becomes storms. That is why it is advised to take the Mains off, if the boat is going to stay at a port for a very long time. It will be unnecessary to make the Mainsail deal with the gusty winds or UV rays. Besides how you are rolling it down, can also leave some impacts. If you have full battens, roll it straight otherwise the battens will be bent.