To do list of March: What to wear in 2024?

With springtime slowly approaching, the month of March is the time to check your wardrobe. That also means the one of your floating companion.

3/10/20243 min read

With springtime slowly approaching, the month of March is the time to check your wardrobe. That also means the one of your floating companion. With the yachting plans done and dusted in January, and the planning and prep stuff for the underwater hull in February, let's take a closer look if the sailing wardrobe is up to those plans. After all, the sails are your engine. A few of the basics, which are the least one should do.

Quality check.
It is exactly as it says: check the status of each of your sails. That means all the stitches, the eyes, the pockets, the battens and of course, are the telltales still there?! Make sure you have enough spare battens of the right size, repair or have your sails strengthened or repaired before they are really damaged, and spoil your sailing trip. Damage always happens when you can least have it.

If you have been out on salt water the previous year, why not give the sails a good sweet water rinse, and have them dry thoroughly to avoid any mold. This preserves your sails and at the same time gets rid of extra salty ballast where you don’t want it. Or, if you are more of a river-ly or lake-ey type, the rinse might shake off last year’s sticky dead insect leftovers.

Did you know that all sails shrink? Depending on the use, the material used, and how wrinkly you managed to get your sail, it varies how much it shrinks, especially between the official measurement points. But don’t be surprised that when you bought new sails last year and one remeasures them now, they shrunk for about 1% to 2%. It might seem little, but when you calculate it on a luff length of 12 meters, we talk about 12-24 centimeters! Just imagine how that effects your rating.

So, in case you clean your sails or have them repaired, ask the sailmaker to remeasure them. It is up to you, the owner, to provide the new measurement data to the national authority (MNA) who administers for ORC or IRC, and provides you with a new certificate. A remeasurement is such an easy gain to your racing performance.

What to wear: the gennies are back in 2024. 
First and foremost: It all comes down to your plans and what you want to sail, what is the ambition and with whom will you do all that. Followed by a close second: what is the budget available? Maybe you want to cross the Atlantic? Or sail long offshore races? Do more double-handed trips? Depending on what your plans are, reconsider if you are well-equipped with your current sail wardrobe.

Do you want or need any replacements? Or a recut of an existing sail to recycle it a bit more? Maybe you recognize that a few sail-items are missing in your wardrobe for your 2024 plans? A code zero? A staysail? A jibtop? In March you might still have your sailmaker fill in those gaps.

Do you remember that in the January to-do list we emphasized on keeping your certificate up to date with the annual changes of both ORC and IRC? Just to give an example: In previous years one can say that ORC ‘punished’ you when you had genoa’s in your sailing wardrobe. One of the changes in 2024 for ORC is that the gennies are back in grace.

So, as a must-do to all the racers: make sure you have a check and an update every year, it might bring you from ‘zero to hero’ at your planned events. Also, when you optimize your rating, don’t exaggerate. Make sure you keep the boat sailing and don’t make your sails too small. The weather is the weather, not a theoretical exercise, and you need some margins.

If you find it a bit dazzling what is best for your sailing plans, performance, and budget? Don’t worry, our experts will help you to make the right choices.

Photo by John Bell on Unsplash