How Do You Store a Main Sail?

How Do You Store a Main Sail?


Sailing enthusiasts know that proper sail care is essential for maintaining the performance and longevity of their sails. When it comes to storing a main sail, there are a few important steps to follow. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of storing your main sail correctly.

Step 1: Clean the Sail

Before storing your main sail, it’s crucial to clean it thoroughly. Use a mild detergent and warm water to remove any salt, dirt, or debris that may have accumulated during your sailing adventures. Rinse the sail thoroughly and allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Fold the Sail Properly

When folding your main sail, it is essential to avoid sharp creases that can weaken the fabric over time. Here’s how you can fold your main sail properly:

  • Lay the Sail Flat: Find a clean and spacious area where you can lay out your main sail flat.
  • Fold in Half: Fold the sail in half lengthwise, matching the head (top) of the sail with the foot (bottom).
  • Fold in Half Again: Fold the sail in half once more, this time matching the luff (front edge) with leech (rear edge).
  • Create Triangular Folds: Starting from one end, fold the mainsail in small triangular sections until you reach the other end.

This folding technique helps distribute stress evenly across the fabric and avoids creating weak points.

Step 3: Store in a Sail Bag

Investing in a sail bag is a wise decision to protect your main sail from dust, moisture, and UV rays. Here are some tips for storing your folded sail in a sail bag:

  • Choose the Right Size: Make sure the sail bag is large enough to accommodate your main sail without excessive compression or folding.
  • Clean and Dry: Ensure the sail bag is clean and dry before placing your folded main sail inside.
  • Avoid Sharp Objects: Be mindful of any sharp objects that could potentially damage the sail while inside the bag.
  • Label the Bag: To stay organized, label the sail bag with the type and size of the main sail stored inside.

Step 4: Find an Ideal Storage Location

The last step in storing your main sail is finding an ideal location where it will be safe and protected until its next use. Consider these factors when selecting a storage location:

  • Dry and Cool Environment: Choose a storage area that is dry, cool, and well-ventilated to prevent mold or mildew growth.
  • Away from Sunlight: Avoid exposing your stored main sail to direct sunlight, as UV rays can degrade the fabric over time.
  • Avoid Pests: Make sure the storage area is free from pests such as rodents or insects that may cause damage to your sail.


Properly storing your main sail is crucial for its longevity and performance on the water. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can ensure that your sail remains in excellent condition and ready for your next sailing adventure.

Photo of author

Michael Allen