A Few Tips on Patching or Masking with Tape


Tape seems like simple thing to manage. How complicated can it get? But as webe found in multiple past tests at Practical Sailor, the type of tape you choose, and how you use it determines the quality and durability of your work.

Weve carried out multiple tests of sail repair tapes, most recently in 2018 (see PS June 2018, Simple Sail Repair). In that report we found that Sailrite (www.sailrite.com) had the right stuff for just about any repair, but we also discovered the importance of prepping the surface before taping. Our report on masking tape explored the various types of tapes-long term vs. short term, normal edge vs. fine line, etc.-and their uses (see PS October 2013, 3M Masking Tape Matchup).

1. Use short strips of tape for long repairs to eliminate wrinkles.

2. Multiple passes with a seam rubber ensures good adhesion

3.Rub the tape until all the threads and texture show through.

4.Poorly adhered masking tape can let paint seep underneath.

Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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