Group: Forum Members
With regard to sail covers:
I agree with Daria and others about sticking with traditional built mainsail covers, and not having slits for lazy jack lines, but I would wish to suggest that her belief that she has gotten maximum UV protection may not be accurate. This may not matter much in Northern latitudes, but mid-world, it matters a great deal. It is a poorly acknowledged fact that Sunbrella and its various cousins loose a good deal of UV protection every year, so that in a short period your sails are quite exposed. Look at the sun through a bimini of this material that has spent a few years in the Med or the Carib. It lets a lot of light through. Waterproofing/UV protection helps, but is not long lasting.
The only way I know to truly protect sails is to use vinalyzed Sunbrella or one of its cousins. It is completely opaque and also prevents any water (and dirt) from getting on the sails when in the cover. (Something many sailpack type systems seem to fail at: they collect water which seeps through the zipper and keeps the sail eternally damp in wet weather.) Mine is 8+ years old (first 5 years in tropics) and looks a little beat up, but does the job as well as new. The fact that it does not breathe has never been an issue. Most of the time it was protecting laminated sails and mold was not bred. The only down side is it is bulkier and heavier than conventional material, a small price to pay, in my mind, for all the added protection and life span.
Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy, Lerwick