Sings of a "certain age" for a jib?

Moderator: GreenLake

Sings of a "certain age" for a jib?

Postby GreenLake » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:02 pm

I think I can see beginning signs of age on may mainsail. It seems that is no longer possible to trim it flat enough, but it's still far from being completely blown out. While the fabric is still quite stiff, I'm not questioning the diagnosis, in fact I had it confirmed by a rather expert member of our local dinghy sailing community. I had him on the boat recently and would trust his wide ranging experience even if he's not DS sailor. We did not discuss the state of the jib.

My question therefore is about the jib: what are the typical early signs to look for? I used to have a very old jib made from a different weave which probably never was as stiff as the sailcloth for my current set of sails. By the time I got it, you could stuff it like a spinnaker and not see wrinkles... :roll:

Anyway, that sail clearly showed its age, because it was no longer possible to set it in anything other than moderate winds without the luff oscillating. (It was a great sail for extreme drifting conditions to the end, because it's lack of stiffness meant it would set in the lightest airs).

Anyway, so what are the "early" signs to look for that a jib has "begun to age" (as opposed to "reached the end of any conceivable life span"). I would have expected to see signs on both main and jib after about the same length of service, but while the condition of the main seems obvious to me, the same isn't true for the jib. So what should I be looking for that I am not seeing?

Or is it a "thing" that a jib can last a bit longer than a main?
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: Sings of a "certain age" for a jib?

Postby TIM WEBB » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:19 pm

I would think that a jib would wear out sooner than a main, because it is subject to more violent flogging over it's lifetime (c'mon, admit it, we're all guilty of allowing our jib to flog excessively from time to time!)

All else being equal, and having now sailed for ten years on TRW's current sails (both main and jib new in 2005), I can say that the jib is a bit more "rough around the edges" than the main, but seems to be holding its shape and setting better than the main.

(Yes, I will be in the market for new sails in the next year or two ...)
Tim Webb
1979 DS2 10099 The Red Witch
(I used to be Her "staff", in the way dogs have owners and cats have staff, but alas no longer ... <pout>)
Posts: 1208
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 10:28 pm

Re: Sings of a "certain age" for a jib?

Postby jeadstx » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:04 am

Despite how rough my jib gets treated at times, they seem to hold up better than my mainsail. I replaced my sails on the DS about 2-1/2 years ago, but my old jib other than dirty still seems to be in good shape. On my Mariner, I'm replacing the main this year as the original 43 year old main is really worn out, but the original jib is still useable.

1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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