The process of drying sails was common and one commonly depicted in maritime art. Before the late 20th century sailcloth was a more porous fabric which could not sustain pressure differences. Wetting the canvas was said to thicken the fibers and give more resistance to the wind and thus speed to the vessel. Even if the technique was not used, mildew could eat away at precious sailcloth over time, and poor care could lead to stretch and a poorly setting sail. Time in port allowed the sails to catch the sun and dry before they were furled.
In very good condition, untouched, and set into a period midcentury modern frame with fabric inset.
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