12 years is about the average life span in North America with several
1/ Presuming normal use. What I call "dog years" , or about 250 hours per year
of use and U.V. exposure.
2/ One Bermuda or Hawaii trip can equal sevaral Dog Years even though it takes
3/ Boats will often sit for a few years unused, unloved, and unsold. If the
sails are out of the weather (below, or at home) they'll be fine. Rolled on
furler, or under Mainsail cover can still be pretty ratty -- but usually it's
4/ Grab the cloth of the mainsail and genoa below the multiple layers of head
reinforcement and 3" to 6" in from the leech and try to tear it vertically.
Then try along the "dotted line" where the leech tape or tabling is sewn. if
you can't rip the sail it doesn't mean you're out of the woods, but if you can,
you've got some negotiating to do.
5/ Call around to the sailmakers in your area and find one who sounds
responsive. Make a date to bring in your sails and get his/her opinion. If
they're good, you have begun a mutually beneficial relationship which can
greatly enhance your enjoyment of the boat and maybe save you money, or at least heartache.