A fact that has been proven time and time again is that if a furling genoa is left unprotected from the sun, the foot and leech exposed to the UV rays will be burn and deteriorate the condition of the sail dramatically.
When deciding on the colours of fabric to use for UV protection many take into account t the cosmetic factors of personal taste, hull colour, deck furnishings etc. Our experience over decades indicates that most durable material is an acrylic blue fabric; however we have never been pointed out the research conducted on the disadvantages of the colour white.
In a previous experiment we protected the roller furling genoa marked with dark black lines with white UV protection. Months later we noticed that the intensity of the dark lines had faded to a grey colour. It was strange, the UV fabric that supposedly protected the sail, had not performed according to expectations. It seemed as if no UV protection was used at all in this situation. It seems that not all acrylic fabric colours offer the same UV protection and experience proves that white is the least protective or had the ability to be penetrated by the harmful sunlight and destroying the sail it was supposed to be protecting. Previous experiences have shown that this has not happened with other colours such as grey, black, blue, which provide the best protection. Applying the right colour UV protection to roller furling genoas can add on many more years of life to the sail.
It is not my intention n to speak badly about Sunbrella, the best fabric on the market for sail UV protection; however, one must take care in the colour selection. As mentioned previously, blue is the most durable and protective. After a period of 10 years with blue UV protection, the sail looks impeccable and the dirt is less noticeable. Light colour fabrics tend to get dirty very quickly from varying weather conditions such as dirty rain, pollution, pollen etc, however boater owners prefer the lighter colours like white and beige.
Either way, if your boat is not in very frequent use, get the sails off the rig and packed away. Those planning on using their sailboat this summer, it is always beneficial to get the sails into your local sail loft for repairs, washing and if you have a roller furling genoa, apply the best UV protection availableâ¦.you will be glad you did. Fair winds!
Source La Gaceta NaÃºtica