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Old 26-06-2016, 15:22   #1
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Mouldy Halyards

My recent yacht purchase came with a lot of mouldy halyards. Is there a way of cleaning them or will the mould damage the fibres and I need to replace?

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Old 26-06-2016, 16:24   #2
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Re: Mouldy Halyards

washing machine

in a bag


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Old 26-06-2016, 16:33   #3
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Re: Mouldy Halyards

Especially in a net laundry bag tied shut and included with other items or other bags with other lines. I go really P.Oed when the climbing club used the washer in my college dorm without the bags, and thoroughly messed up the washer. Avoid bleach - it damages some synthetic fibers. The mould should not harm synthetic rope - it's living off stuff on the dirty rope, not the fibers themselves. With hemp or cotton, it's another matter. If you have a modern washer without the center agitator, or a front loader, all the better.
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Old 26-06-2016, 16:46   #4
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Re: Mouldy Halyards

--in an onion sack.
so many projects--so little time !!
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Old 26-06-2016, 17:13   #5
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Re: Mouldy Halyards

Bind up the snap shackles with something soft. Bubble wrap works. Select the gentle wash or whatever you call the wash with no spin.
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Old 26-06-2016, 17:19   #6
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Re: Mouldy Halyards

A mild sodium hypochlorite bleach will not harm Dacron halyards but will help kill mold spores.

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s/v Insatiable back in MBTBC marina, waiting for next eye jobs to be done
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Old 26-06-2016, 17:26   #7
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Re: Mouldy Halyards

My boat sat unattended on the hard for 5 years. The halyards looked pretty bad.

I soaked them in bleach and detergent in the bath tub overnite then rinsed really well.

That was in 2011 and I'm still using them. They are polyester.
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Old 26-06-2016, 18:49   #8
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Re: Mouldy Halyards

Actually, I think thom225 has the best method here. You do not really need a washing machine, just to soak and slosh, in lukewarm or cold water. Soaking loosens the dirt, a small amount of bleach will not hurt, and may kill all the spores, for the time being. However, as long as the boat stays in Lae, it is moist, and molds will proliferate.

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Old 26-06-2016, 19:58   #9
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Re: Mouldy Halyards

Soaking only kind of works Anne. It will kill the spores but only removes the ones on the surface. The halyard will stay fairly stiff with salt and half the spores will still be there. On top of that a washing machine makes them as soft as a baby's bum. I washed mine successfully just 2 weeks ago.

If you can find a baby willing to volunteer its bum for a comparison then I'm in.
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Old 26-06-2016, 20:17   #10
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Re: Mouldy Halyards

Skip the bleach, seriously. Ditto on anything resembling a fabric softener. As some fibers, like aramids for example, have serious bleach allergies; it'll eat'em up. And some of these chemicals are also Bad Juju for the line's proprietary coatings (below).
- Sorry, Ann, Jim, et. all :-)

And personally, I pass on washing any lines with parallel fibered internal cores. Particularly the ones which have cores that are encased in a proprietary fibrous tape, such as StaSet-X. As I'm thinking that washing such lines in a machine, might damage the coils & stacked wrap of their internal structures. That, or possible hockle or kink such cores.

Also, both before & after washing, make sure that you're lines are fully free of internal hockles or twists. As you don't want to set up the lines for a preventable, early demise. And it's good practice to check all lines for such regularly anyway.

Otherwise, washing running rigging in the machine's fine. I've always just used a mild detergent in the washing machine. Sometimes dish soap, or even baby shampoo. And you shouldn't have a problem in most types of washers.
Though if you're worried about them jamming the spindle, try seizing the loops of line together into a large O-shaped coil, in several places around their perimeter. And if you like, pad the shackles with an old sock folded over several times, & seized in place.

You're trying to get the salt & dirt out of the fibers of the line, as that's what eats them up when under load, due to internal abrasions. Think of the salt crystals & dirt as tiny belt sanders inside of the line. So to get the stuff out, some agitation while their being washed helps.

However, if you wash them frequently or aggressively, you'll wash off/out the protective coatings which are built into them. Such as the Samthane on Samson Ropes.
It's what makes them shiny & slippery; internally, & externally. With a big part of it's function being to enhance the abrasion resistance of the line, between the core & cover, as well as external sources of wear.

As, for example, New England Ropes touts the coatings on their anchor rodes as being a key factor in what makes them significantly more abrasion resistant than other manufacturer's lines.


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