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7th October 2022


boatcare How-To: Flake your sails

Neat folding is key to safe winter storage of your canvas!

Properly folding, or flaking, your sails before you store them away for several months, or even just a few days, means they'll take up less space in your loft or garage and be ready to go straight out of the bag when you go to hoist them at the start of the sailing season.

A few tips;

  • Take care with newer sail cloth, especially dacron, when pulling it flat before flaking. Don't pull creases out as this can split the cloth.
  • Try to flake your sails on a soft surface such as grass or carpet as dragging them across harder, rougher surfaces can cause wear and tear.
  • For the perfect flake, fold to the luff so that it's easy to hoist up the track straight out of the bag!

How to flake your sail;

  • Lay the sail out with the foot stretched out fully, the rest of the sail doesn't need to be flat depending on how much space you have.
  • Stand opposite each other, one at the luff and one at the leech, and put a foot or hand approx. 2-3 feet up from the foot of the sail to anchor it down. Make sure the sail is pulled flat at this point.
  • Reach up the leech and luff respectively approx. 2 to 3 feet and grab the sail, pulling against each other to create a crease and pull that down to the foot of the sail. If you are flaking to the luff, you will need to adjust the angle of the first fold as the shape of the sail will automatically flake to the leech.
  • You should have a neat fold of sail with no creases which is a uniform width.
  • Repeat steps two and three until the whole sail is flaked down and fold the head over.
  • Starting at the clew/leech, roll the sail into a neat package to complete the manoeuvre and secure with sail ties.
  • Job done!

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