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Kit Guide

Protecting Your Assets - a Buyers Guide for Dinghy Spar and Foil Bags

By Steve Cockerill 2nd October 2020
Breathable Spar Bags
Putting your spars and foils into a cosy bag feels like the right thing to do. But if you are not careful, what appears to be a caring thing, might also be the worst thing. After sailing on salt water, we should wash our spars down with water and where possible allow them to dry out. I tend to bag mine for safe keeping in transit. However, many bags use non-breathable fabrics and foams in their construction which trap any residual moisture. Moisture encourages dissimilar metal corrosion where stainless or Monel rivets react with the aluminium of the mast. The fizzing is proof of the corrosion taking place. What you need is a spar bag that breathes. Foils packed away in a non-breathable foil bag will sweat rather than dry out, causing Osmosis. Ideally, you should dry off your foils before packing them away. Again salt water is a hindrance as it attracts moisture so a quick wash helps to remove the salt and gives it a chance to dry out. Look for foil bags that breathe. What to Look For: Open cell foams, with a breathable membrane, is the safest option for both Spars and Foils. Spars and foils dry out naturally if they are packed damp which prevents dissimilar metal corrosion and Osmosis. In my experience, many manufacturers are keen to save money on material cost which ends up costing you more in replacement spars and repairs to foils. Spar Bags and Foil Bags with Plush Lining and Open Cell Foam structure - that breathe Padded Spar Bag3650mm by 165mm (Laser Top Mast, Aero Top Mast and 9 Lower Mast, Lightening Upper and Lower mast) Padded Spar Bag2950mm by 165mm (Laser Boom and Standard Lower Master, Topper Upper, Lower Mast and Boom, Aero 7 Lower Mast, Aero Boom, Optimist Lower Mast and Lightening Boom) Padded Spar Bag2350mm by 165mm (Aero 5 Lower Mast, a Laser Radial Lower Mast and 4.7 Lower Mast, Optimist Sprit and Boom) Optimist Foil Bag Foil Bag for the Laser 4000 Rudder Bag 4000 Daggerboard Bag Foil Bag - large or small Solo Rudder Bag Padded Spar Bag for RS Aero or Lightening Be aware of the less breathable: Sailing Solutions Topper Spar Bag(the material has a waterproof backing) Foil Bag for the Topper (note, there is no chance of Osmosis on Topper Foils as they are plastic)

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