Your sails are one of your biggest and most important investments on your sailboat. A good sail cover will protect your sails and help keep them in good condition for as long as possible. Mainsail covers and headsail covers protect your sails from mildew and rot, damaging UV rays, bird droppings, salt spray, and airborne particulates. Cheap sail covers are more likely to be made with lower-quality canvas, non-marine-grade grommets and fastenings, and ineffective closures — they'll wear out faster, be more prone to rips and tears, and won't protect your expensive sails as well. The best custom canvas sail cover is far less expensive than replacing your sails, so don't be cheap when shopping for sail covers.
Off-the-shelf and custom sail covers are available in the following configurations:
Canvas sail covers help protect your sails against the effects of the sun, salt spray, dirt and debris, and damage from birds.
Headsail covers (jib bags) are most often stand-alone bags that you tote topsides from below and back again. But headsail covers can be specially designed to allow you to keep the jib hanked onto the forestay, so that it's ready to hoist at any time. This will protect the jib while keeping it on deck and out of the cabin. Look for a bag that provides a secure attachment to the forestay, UV resistant marine canvas, a heavy-duty marine grade zipper closure, and a halyard clasp to lift the rear part of the bag off the deck.
Consider these points when choosing your sail cover:
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