Once your sailing's done, strip off the sails as soon as you can, advises Chris Pitts at North Atlantic Sails, in Newport, Rhode Island. "You've got to get the salt out of the sails. A freshwater rinse and getting them thoroughly dry is the biggest first step." If sails are left unwashed, salt acts as an abrasive and can damage the fabric when it's folded and chafes against itself. Salt also holds moisture, which means that the sail can't fully dry, and you remember what moisture breeds: mildew. Both he and Loory recommend that sails be stored in a dry place in which the temperature is relatively constant. A dry basement is ideal. Don't leave them in the boat, they say, where it's hot during the day, cold at night, and damp. In very cold climes, notes Pitts, the windows in a headsail can crack if the mercury dips too low.