How to Fold a Sailboat Sail

Item # X-HT-200684

When it’s time to fold or flake your sail, it can be a daunting task. In our short video tutorial, we show you how to properly flake a mainsail in an Islander 37 sailboat. We also show you how to flake a dinghy sail and a Genoa sail. Let’s get started.

To flake a mainsail, you’ll need another person to help you. First you need to remove the battens. The sail should be spread out as flat as possible on a soft surface — an epoxy floor or grass is ideal. Never flake your sail on concrete or any surface that can scratch or damage the sailcloth. From the luff and leech edge of the sail, you and your helper should fold and stack the layers in 2-foot-wide increments. Then you can roll the stacked sail up and slide it into a sail bag for storage. The video will show you exactly how this is done.

Next, we show you how to fold a dinghy sail. On this type of sail, leave the battens in place. Fold the sail going perpendicular to the leech. Again, this is a two-person job. Finally, we show you how to fold a Genoa sail. There are no battens to get in your way with this type of sail. Again, lay your sail out on a smooth, abrasion-free surface. This sail is flaked in much the same way as our first example, a mainsail.

We hope this video has helped you learn how to properly flake and store your sails for storage. Be sure to check out our other videos on sail repair and maintenance. Our Sail Repair Series is a great place to start. Simply type “Sail repair series” in the search engine and watch videos on inspecting your sails, replacing a sail window, patching holes and tears, and more. At Sailrite, we’re your sailing authority.