Ideas for Modifying Your Sail Pack

Item # X-HT-300119

We've shared a video tutorial on How to Make a Sail Pack (#200598XHT) but now we're going to take a closer look at a few modifications and customizations that you can make to your sail pack. One of the best things about doing your own canvaswork is that you can customize any project to perfectly suit your taste or the needs of your boat.  

We often hear about ingenious ways customers are making their kits work better for them. Let’s take a look at some great twists and features you can add to your sail pack.

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Add a Zipper Slider Control Line

A common difficulty with sail packs is that their zippers can be really hard to reach, especially on larger boats. A great way to fix this problem is to install a simple pulley system that allows you to open and close the zipper with just the tug of a line. This system is similar to a clothesline pulley, and works in a circular manner to open and close the zipper. A length of leech line hangs alongside the cover, giving you easy access to the system.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Add a block with a becket to the end of the boom.
  2. Using a strap eye, add another block to the mast just above the sail pack.
  3. Run a length of leech line through the aft block.
  4. Tie one end of the leech line to the zipper slider.
  5. Run the other end of the line down the outside of the sail pack and the lazy jacks.
  6. Guide the free end of the line through the block and run it on the inside of the lazy jacks.
  7. Tie the end of the line to the zipper slider.
  8. Trim the zipper tail, and add a webbing loop to the end of the zipper.
  9. Using leech line, attach the webbing loop to the becket on the aft block.

Use Dacron® Straps Under Boltrope Mainsails

Many people think they can’t use a sail pack if their mainsail attaches with boltrope instead of slides or slugs. This actually isn’t the case. There are a couple of ways that you can rework your sail and sail pack to work with your boltrope mainsail. We typically recommend cutting slits in your sail, which allow the sail pack’s connection straps to pass through. For sailors with new sails who prefer not to cut into them, one of our customers, Charles Helldorfer, came up with a great alternative.

Charles made straps from 4-inch folded Dacron for his sail pack. The 4 inch long straps attach to the bottom of the sail pack with Common Sense fasteners and are thin enough to slide under the bolt rope in the slot on the boom. He attests that they slide in easily when there is no halyard tension on the mainsail and that they fit great.

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More Quick Tips

And because we love to share tips, here are some other useful sail pack tips that our customers have shared with us:

  • Add extra fabric over the zipper to protect it from the sun.
  • Using two strap eyes, one on either side of the mast, works just as well as using one.
  • Keep the lazy jacks tight when lowering the sail helps guide the sail into the pack, but leaving them loose when raising the sail will help keep the sail battens from catching on the lazy jack lines.

Have you made any helpful modifications to your sail pack? Do you have any tips to share? Leave them in the comments!