How to pack sailing equipment

Sailing is tremendous! It really is. The smell of the ocean, the wind on your face, the amazing feeling of speed powered only by the wind! Truly, there are many great things about sailing. Sadly, unless you are professionally involved in sailing there comes a time when you need to pack your sailing equipment up, until the next chance to revisit your hobby appears. However, in order to be able to enjoy your next sailing getaway, you will need to do it right. That is precisely why we decided to write this article – to help you pack sailing equipment like a pro! So, let’s see what are some things you will need to keep in mind.

How to tend to the sails when you pack sailing equipment

Sails are one of the main pieces of sailing equipment, as indicated by the name. However, they are also one of the most fragile ones. They are prone to mold, rot and other forms of damage while in storage. However even before they are stored, the sails are under attack from two culprits – UV rays and chafing. Naturally, no good guide on how to pack sailing equipment would exclude water damage. With proper care, your sails should last for years. They might need repairs from time to time but even in prolonged winter storage, they should hold their own.

A sailing boat with rolled up sails
When you pack sailing equipment take good care of your sails.

So how do you prepare your sails for storage? Well, as professionals from moving companies Maine might tell you, there are a few things you will need to do to your sails to ensure their resting period leaves them intact. First of all, after taking them down you want to clean them, dry them and inspect them for damage. Chafed areas or thinned out fabric can be indicators of damage down the road. In that case, hire professional help to repair any damage before it becomes too great. Next, you will want to spray a waterproofing spray on your sails for the next season. Finally, you will want to find secure storage where humidity and rodents can’t get to your sails.


Similar treatment as the sails should be given to your other canvas items like sail covers and bimini tops. Just as the sails, these are prone to water and UV light damage and can fall victim to rot in storage. So here too you will want to clean them thoroughly. Then air them out and apply a waterproofing spray. Just make sure that the canvas items are clean and completely dry before you apply the spray. Just as the sails, canvas items need proper storage. Rodents are especially fond of eating through them, more so if there is any salt residue. Not only will the salt attract rodents, but its sharp crystals can damage the canvas, so a good clean is a must both with these items and the sails.


Another part of the sailing boat that will have to be dismantled before storage is the rigging. Just like with packing any very specific item like say antique furniture, you will be better off leaving the packing of the rigging to a professional service. First of all to remove the mast you will need to first remove all rigging ropes and any electronics going up the mast as well as the sail. This is the relatively easy part that you can do by yourself. Next, you will want to buy or build wooden mast supports as the past will be laid out the length of the boat. Finally, the mast needs to come down. After that is done, you should inspect it for damage. Chipping paint or rust are the real red flags here. Also, use this opportunity to lubricate any mechanical parts of the mast.

A boat making a turn. Rigging should be inspected for damage when you pack sailing equipment
The rigging can come under great strain when sailing. Take this chance to inspect it for cracks.

Another thing to look for when inspecting the mast are any cracks. With how vital this part is in mind you might be safest hiring a professional rigger to do the inspection. They will usually also be the ones that can make the repairs for you. Finally, make sure the mast is well secured when packing sailing equipment. This will prevent it from rolling off the wooden supports and causing damage when being hauled to the storage, which is a major moving stress point for any sailing boat owner.

A part of packing sailing equipment is caring for the boat itself

When you decide to pack sailing equipment, you must not forget to care for the boat itself, obviously. A lot can be said about this topic and it really is deserving of an article on its own. In short, this part of packing sailing equipment will absolutely require professional assistance. You will need to have the boat moved out of the water and onto a carriage. With the boat out of the water, inspect the lower side for damages or marine growth and make sure that it’s scrubbed. For optimal storage, you will also need to drain the fresh water tanks and toilet pumps with fresh water. Finally, check the engine for leaks and unplug the batteries.


A final point in our guide on how to pack sailing equipment would be caring for the boat’s electronics. These too need good protection while in storage, especially if you are storing them over the winter. Professionals from packing services NH might tell you that in order to offer the best protection for your electronics, you need to get sealable lid containers. These will keep the moisture out during the storage. Make sure any removable boat electronics are unplugged and well packed up. To add a layer of protection you can use plastic wrap around the containers. Do not wrap the electronics themselves though, as plastic wrap tends to lead to condensation and might damage them. Take the electronics home as they are expensive and storage may be a too risky option here.

A ship's GPS
Protect your electronics well while storing the boat away.

How to pack sailing equipment like a pro

You may or may not be a sailing professional. You might just be a sailing enthusiast that likes to spend their time on the water. However, after reading our guide you should be ready to pack your sailing equipment like a pro. Just do your research and think about every step and you should be all set.