Is Sail Fabric Waterproof?

Sail fabric is a popular material used for a variety of purposes such as sails, tents, and outdoor awnings. It is commonly made from polyester, nylon or a blend of both materials. One of the most common questions about sail fabric is whether or not it is waterproof.

What is waterproofing?

Before we dive into the topic of sail fabric and waterproofing, it’s important to understand what waterproofing means. Waterproofing refers to the process of making a material impervious to water. This means that water cannot penetrate the material and cause damage or deterioration.

Is sail fabric waterproof?

The answer to this question depends on the type of sail fabric you are using. There are two main types of sail fabrics: laminated and woven.

Laminated sail fabric is made by bonding several layers of material together using heat and pressure. This type of sail fabric is often used in high-performance sails due to its strength and durability. Laminated sail fabrics are typically coated with a layer of waterproofing material such as polyurethane or fluoropolymer to make them completely waterproof.

Woven sail fabric, on the other hand, is made by weaving threads together in a specific pattern. This type of fabric can be treated with a water-repellent coating to make it resistant to water, but it may not be completely waterproof.

How can you make sail fabric waterproof?

If you have woven sail fabric that is not completely waterproof, there are several steps you can take to make it more resistant to water:

  • Apply a water-repellent coating: There are many products available that can be sprayed onto your sail fabric to make it more water-resistant.
  • Treat your sails with wax: Waxing your sails can help repel water and prevent them from absorbing moisture.
  • Store your sails properly: Make sure your sails are dry before storing them to prevent mold and mildew from forming.

If you have laminated sail fabric, it is already waterproof. However, it’s important to note that over time, the waterproofing material on laminated sail fabrics can break down and become less effective. If you notice that your laminated sail fabric is no longer repelling water, you may need to have it re-coated with a waterproofing material.


In conclusion, whether or not sail fabric is waterproof depends on the type of fabric you are using. Laminated sail fabrics are typically completely waterproof, while woven sail fabrics may require additional treatments to make them more resistant to water. If you’re unsure about whether or not your sail fabric is waterproof, consult with a professional in the industry who can help you determine what steps you need to take to protect your sails from water damage.

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Daniel Bennet