If you have a furling headsail you know the importance of keeping your sail sheltered from the sun. UV rays will quickly cause a headsail to rot if it’s left exposed. There are a couple of different methods for protecting your headsail. You can sew a sacrificial sun cover to the leech and foot of your sail or you can cover it with a sleeve furling cover. Today, we’re going to focus on sleeve furling covers, which are easy to make and easy to use.
Sleeve furling covers, also known as Genoa covers or jib socks, are long canvas covers that will cover your entire furled headsail. They are often made from marine polyester like Sur Last or an acrylic, like Sunbrella Marine Grade. Covers protect the sail from sun, weather, mildew, and pollution. Many sailors also prefer to use furling covers as a safe guard from their sail coming unfurled in high winds.
Sleeve furling covers are pulled up over the furled sail using an extra halyard. They are made to fit snugly so they don’t flap in the wind but so tight that they chafe the sail. A long, Vislon zipper secures the entire length of the cover. Sleeve furling covers are great for sailors with older sails (they’re easier to install than sacrificial covers) and for racers who don’t want the added weight of a sacrificial sun cover.
Watch this demo video to see how quick and easy it is to install a sleeve furling cover.
Make your own sleeve furling cover with a kit from Sailrite. Kits contain everything you need to sew a genoa sleeve and are available for sails from 15-63 feet.
Learn more about these and other sail cover kits at www.sailrite.com.
How to you protect your furling headsail? With a sacrificial cover or a sleeve? Share your personal experience and tips in the comments!