SAIL - - Boat Works / Ask Sail -

I pre­sume you mean those hor­i­zon­tal wrin­kles and not the ver­ti­cal ones. (The ver­ti­cal ones are bad and are caused by too much bend in the mast or too much hal­yard ten­sion.) The hor­i­zon­tal wrin­kles, on the other hand, are not as bad as they look. Granted, all things be­ing equal, it’s prob­a­bly bet­ter to take up on the hal­yard or cun­ning­ham to re­move them, but not if that comes at a cost to sail shape. Un­der­stand that a sail is de­signed to a cer­tain shape, and you have a lim­ited num­ber of tools with which to ma­nip­u­late it. In light winds you want more draft, which means keep­ing the mast a bit straighter. In heav­ier winds you want a flat shape, so you bend your mast more and take up on the out­haul. Also un­der­stand that the main has to op­er­ate in winds from zero to 30 knots. The sail may be op­ti­mized for cer­tain wind speeds and not for oth­ers, so what you may be see­ing is the re­sult of a com­pro­mise on the part of the sail­maker. A few wrin­kles along the luff in the area just be­hind the mast is also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a cer­tain amount of tur­bu­lence from the mast any­way, so the is­sue is not a crit­i­cal one.

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