Owning a sailboat is a lot different than owning a motorboat. It will contain specialty parts and equipment, most notably the sail. Still, protecting and maintaining your sail will require careful attention. You can’t very well go anywhere without your source of power, now can you?
Since the boating season is now ramping up, most boaters need to examine their sails. Taking them out of storage will likely require a startup process. Failing to do so carefully might also lead to costly damage.
Protecting Your Sail this Season
Before taking your first excursion, give your sail a hard look. If you have had it in storage for the winter, it might have experienced certain deterioration. With preventive maintenance, you can likely offset negative effects on your sails.
- When taking the sail out of storage, check to see that the materials have no wear and tear. For example, pests might have invaded the sail over the winter and eaten away at parts of it. If the sail has sustained damage, you’ll likely need to repair it.
- Rigging, canvases and more might have reached the end of their lives. Inspect these items for sturdiness and security. This is a good time of year to invest a little money in replacing any worn items on the sail.
- Clean, oil or service the sail as needed. You might need to wash the sail materials to clean away any mold or mildew.
Keep in mind, your vessel’s insurance might not cover wear and tear damage to the sail. So, you should always keep funds ready to repair developing problems in the sail.
Don’t stop with only sail maintenance this spring. Also take preventative measures to keep the rest of the boat safe.
- Test and replace safety equipment. Never leave port without a full complement of safety gear.
- Complete maintenance on the rest of the vessel. You might need to repair hull damage, service lifelines and give the boat a thorough cleaning.
- Inspect any mechanical devices that you carry. These might be radios, compasses, GPS systems and other devices. You don't want to get caught offshore with malfunctioning equipment.
One last thing, don’t forget to review your sailboat’s insurance policy. It is there to help you in case you experience an unavoidable accident.
Most boaters need to carry liability, collision, comprehensive and more forms of coverage. Sailboat insurance can help you pay for repairs that result from unpreventable accidents. It might also help you compensate third parties if you are at-fault in an accident that harms others. Work with your boat insurance provider to get the policy that is best for you.