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Cleaning your Sails and Sailbags
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westender



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 1093
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspend my sails horizontally to clean and dry. I can get to both sides and the sails never touch the ground..
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flaherty



Joined: 01 May 1997
Posts: 398

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't mildew an issue, if you don't thoroughly dry the sail ? I'd worry more about this than having salt on the sail.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18692

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put away my sails (and boards) wet all the time. I've never seen a speck of mildew (or smelled a problem). Even the bird crap rinses off the next time I ride it (if they've been lying on the ground for a few days and gathered half a dozen big bird splotches, I may wipe the crap off). The only time I clean my sails is the day before I sell them, and it takes all of 2-3 minutes per sail to get them as clean as new. They're about as maintenance-free as a brick in a garden ... unless, of course, one actually enjoys unstowing, unbagging, unrolling, hanging, washing, drying, hoping it doesn't get windy, rolling back up, bagging again, and stowing again.

Folks who wash that garden brick weekly may feel differently.

And, no, I do not roll my sails extra tight, hook up that damn little bungee strap around the sail foot, and wrestle the recalcitrant bottom end of the sail into the bag. I roll 'em casually, slip the much smaller top of the sail into the bag, and lay 'em horizontally in my RV ready for their next session, which may be 3 days or 6 months away.

Brick.

Wetsuits are a different story. They go in the washing machine every time I get back home, and the good ones look and smell like new for a decade if I don't cut them on something.

It has never occurred to me to clean a sailbag. They don't get dirty where I sail.
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1702

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For my first decade of windsurfing I rinsed my sails down and air dried them after every sesh (it was convenient to do so.) For the following 15 years I just rolled them up after each sesh, and stored them in the garage vertically so they'd drain dry over time.

I've noticed no difference in the health and well being of my sails. None.

Also: sails take on additional wear and damage as they are handled, as Windswell pointed out.

Per SWChandler I do dip my sail in the ocean if it's got sand on it before taking it to derig.

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Michael
http://www.peconicpuffin.com
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2644
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had similar results over the years as Perconic. I haven't rinced anything in years of sailing salt water, have seen no difference. (except aluminum booms). Wetsuits too only hang to dry, no rinse=no problem (unless relief happens).
Too much sun is what kills sails and wetsuits, not salt.
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westender



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 1093
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My sailing partner doesn't wash his sails. I will let him know that even if he did wash them he will still need to replace the windows every two years so I don't have to listen to him complain about not being able to see through his windows.
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 5135
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somebody who used to sail with us, who has since quit, was also a parachute jumper, I think he still does that. He was taught that anyone who parachutes into the ocean, always has to rinse off the parachute to remove all the salt. Theory being that the dried salt crystals cut the fibers of the chute, that sounded pretty serious to me when he told me that a very long time ago.
So did I start rinsing my sails off after hearing that? No.
I'm a firm believer that the sun will kill a sail long before salt crystals will. I've seen it with my own sails over the decades.
Monofilm is the worst, the sun can turn a monofilm sail into crackling potato chip bag in no time, I'd never buy one of those.
Also, I don't use the sail bags, I just roll the sail up after drying a bit, and throw it in the van.
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