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Winter Sail Maintenance

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

I normally feel somewhat reticent to talk about winter boat maintenance. Often following what feels like a short summer it comes round all too soon, but this year has almost been the total opposite. After an exceptionally hot summer for the UK it’s only been in the last few weeks that the weather has cooled off and the autumn feels like mild relief from the heat.

It is however around this time boats start coming out of the water and I thought I would consider what can be done with your sails to maximise their working life.

On the boat:

If you’re going to leave the sails on the boat for the winter, then it’s important to do everything you can to keep them secure and protected from the elements. Moisture can be bad news for sails (especially if there is going to be temperature variance), so ensuring the sails go away dry is critical. How you store your sails on the boat can very a lot but generally elevated, in the main saloon, with a dehumidifier running to keep humidity below 50% is a good option if you can.

Off the boat:

The gold standard is without doubt to remove your sails from the boat over the winter. The harsh conditions make sails a lovely home for insects and depending on where they are rodents as well. The best bet is to store them dry and elevated somewhere secure (ideally free hanging) but if you’re really worried there are noise systems to deter rodents that are very effective.


In addition, and if possible, it’s worth having your sail looked at over the winter so they can be checked, and repairs carried out if necessary. Naturally this is also a great time to consider any modifications/upgrades and if a sail/s need replacing. We’re able to help with the servicing/upgrade of sails and are the East coast distributors for new Elvstrom sails so if you have any questions feel free to drop us an email or call.

How will you be storing your sails this winter?

  • On the boat.

  • Off the boat.

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