You can tell these sails are ok by the noise they make when you scratch them, says Ben Sutcliffe Davies during the survey of our Maxi 84 Project Boat

Good news – the sails on Maximus seem to be in good condition, apart from the UV strip. During the survey of the Maxi 84, Ben Sutcliffe-Davies warned that there’s only so much you can see when it comes to sails; to see how good a sail is you really need to take a boat sailing. 

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The main and genoa were made by East Coast sails, and both considered to be over ten years old. Straight away Ben could tell that the UV strip on the genoa had had its day.

Its been completely worn away and faded and starting to break down,” he said, crumbling it between his fingers. “The sail itself doesn’t feel too bad. It’s still got that nice little noise to it when you scrape it with your nails.”

There were few further sails in the forepeak that were not inspected, including the spinnaker which he pulled out of a locker full of standing water. We later took the spinnaker home and dried it in the garden, and it didn’t look to be too bad.

Ben advised that we’d need to really test the sails at a sea trial and should have them valeted.

“Take them to the sailmaker,” he advised. “I always say to take them at the end of the season. Don’t take them in March and expect them ready in April. Take them before they get all wet and horrible, then they’ll be kept nice and dry ready for your collection.”

In the survey Ben concluded that the sails were serviceable for normal coastal cruising, which is good news because that’s what we’re planning to do when we finally get Maximus afloat.

Read more about the restoration of Maximus here.



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