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Cleaning your Sails and Sailbags
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mamero



Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Posts: 353
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:45 pm    Post subject: Cleaning your Sails and Sailbags Reply with quote

Do you guys ever clean/wash your sails and sail bags?
A couple sails I used the most this season are a dirty and the sail bag has quite a bit of dried salt in it. I'm thinking it might be an idea to give the sail a soapy rinse, put the sail bag in the washing machine (gentle cycle), and let them dry before I put them away for the winter. Thoughts?
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westender



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 1095
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think if you keep your sails clean you'll be able to see through your Mono window a lot longer. Wipe your hand over the window on your dry sail sometime. I sail fresh water and my sails look clean but there's very tiny grit all over. If you roll it up and jamb it in the bag you'll get travel wear especially with other gear or sails piled on top. At least that's' my theory. Shocked
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grantmac017



Joined: 04 Aug 2016
Posts: 569

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a guy who brings a plant sprayer of fresh water, his gear is always immaculate.
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mamero



Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Posts: 353
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grantmac017 wrote:
I know a guy who brings a plant sprayer of fresh water, his gear is always immaculate.


I use a garden sprayer also. Garden sprayers work very well. Very handy for gear and wetsuits and booties. By the end of the season a plant sprayer only goes so far though. Especially at dirty sites and at this time of the year when gear doesn't naturally air dry before you pack up. You just clean one side and it gets dirty again cleaning the other. My sail bag is particularly dirty with dried salt etc. It could certainly use a wash. I believe clean gear lasts longer, is less likely to damage or failure, holds it's value more, and looks good.
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mamero



Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Posts: 353
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps I should start putting a little mild detergent in my sprayer when I spray gear down.
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 4848
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Cleaning your Sails and Sailbags Reply with quote

mamero wrote:
Do you guys ever clean/wash your sails and sail bags?
A couple sails I used the most this season are a dirty and the sail bag has quite a bit of dried salt in it. I'm thinking it might be an idea to give the sail a soapy rinse, put the sail bag in the washing machine (gentle cycle), and let them dry before I put them away for the winter. Thoughts?


Hardly ever.
Good idea, soapy then rinse sail, cant hurt.
Sail bag in the washer , this is the joke part right ? Stuff it into a bucket with dish detergent, rinse , hang on line , air dry.
Dry sail before putting away, ahh yes .
Thoughts ...

Above.

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18710

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do we know which session is our last of the season? I'm not sure until the water gets below my lower limit, because the air temps can always rebound ... maybe even enough to tempt me out one more time. My last day has ranged from early November to mid-January even long after I quit chasing blizzards. If I washed all my gear for the winter, then up came a good sailing day, I might decide it's not worth having to wash all my stuff again.

But from what I've heard, salt water left on gear alla time is detrimental. You have some vexing choices to make we fresh water sailors don't face.

BTW ... (front loading) washing machines only help my wetsuits. I'd think sail bags would be fine.
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windswell



Joined: 20 May 2010
Posts: 199

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have heard from custom sailmakers who WANT my sails to last, that unrolling, hosing, turning, hosing, hanging to FULLY dry, rerolling to bag, does much more damage to the fabric and stitching than just putting the sail away a little salty.

Bagging a sail wet with FRESH water can cloud the window and film. Salt water doesn't do this.

I avoid storing a sandy sail, carry a clean towel, and lightly soak up any beaded water, brush off any bits of sand left (especially if near stitching), and bag my sails damp after saltwater sailing. I still have production and custom sails over 17 years old that perform well, win races, and make me look like an old man. OK, I have new sails too. Alright, I probably have more sails than I need.

I very rarely let a sail flog in the wind while rigging, or flog in wavebreak after falling. Lots of fabric damage from flogging. If I'm not going to sail for 3-4 months (dead of winter), I usually will carefully hose off my sails on a firm surface (my deck), and fully dry them. Then store them away from where mice might nest in them (a painful lesson years ago).
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18710

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't moisture (as opposed to abrasion) fogging a thing of the past? I haven't seen it happen with any PVC or monofilm made his century. Even when it did occur decades ago, a good day in the sun cleared it right up.

I DO have to wonder, though, about the crud buildup from the Columbia River. The further west/downstream I sail, the quicker my eyes and eyeglasses gunk up. This increases something like five to tenfold west of Portland.

BTW, about those arcs ground into the sail window by the nose of the board when reorienting the board for a waterstart ... just one more reason to sand and pad the nose.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 9153

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing wrong with salty sails. What you really want to avoid is dirt and sand. While I've never been one to regularly rinse off my sails with fresh water, I've always been very fastidious about coming out of the ocean with a well rinsed sail that is free of sand. I also try to de-rig in as clean an area as possible. Lastly, I've never worried about drying my sails off. Yet, many of my sails are 15-18 years old and still going strong. I have to admit though, they are a bit scratched up in the window area from carrying them on my helmeted head. Pretty hard to avoid that kind of wear and tear over time.
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