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Old 31-08-2009, 21:35   #1
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Safe Solvent for Sails

OK, we've recently taken possession of a 21 year old cruising yacht and while out sailing last weekend we put up the gennaker. Yay!! Light winds on a broad reach and we were doing about 4.2kts in 5.5kts apparent.

It appears to be an original sail, so its probably close to 21 years old, but it set well and seems to be in pretty decent shape. The snuffer system needs some maintenance work, but other than that the sail appears to be perfectly serviceable and since the wallet is still in shock from the purchase of the boat, I'm reluctant to bin the sail and get a brand new one made anyway.

The big issue with the sail is the large, partially faded and generally pretty hideous hand painted coat of arms that graces the sail . Some panels have faded more than others and its a nasty patchwork of marginal artistic merit proudly proclaiming a scottish heritage that the original owner was obviously keen to share.

So, does anyone have any bright ideas as to how I can remove this hand painted image from an otherwise serviceable gennaker? Any solvents that are safe for nylon spinnaker cloth? Would it just turn into a huge smooshy blurry mess if I try to remove it with solvent?

I'm starting to think that we may be stuck with the "decoration" until we replace the sail. At least we'll be easily identifiable when we're sailing downwind.

Oh and using the spinnaker instead isn't going to be a solution because I'm told it too has the same hand painted coat of arms on it (though I haven't even pulled it out of its bag yet).
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Old 31-08-2009, 23:11   #2
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I've cleaned up the torn edges of a ripped nylon spinnaker using acetone, before applying emergency repair tape. I don't know if acetone will remove your paint, but it didn't seem to damage the nylon.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:37   #3
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Acetone will disolve most paints. It will not hurt Nylon.
I would try it.
Check this out :

http://www.huntingdonfusion.com/down...resistance.pdf
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Old 01-09-2009, 17:23   #4
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Forget it.

Cleaning from nylon next to impossible, even from Dacron not easy. You can use toluen or acetone. They will not hurt nylon nor dacron, but not clean much either.

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Old 01-09-2009, 18:28   #5
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After looking in to this issue it looks like its going to be a heap of hard work with marginal results and is generally not worth spending the time, money and effort on a 20+ year old sail.

Looks like we'll be living with our distinctive downwind wardrobe until we replace the sail.
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Old 02-09-2009, 13:03   #6
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Give it a name ('spotty'? 'mad picasso'?), use it, and soon you will forget about the odd looks.

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Old 16-09-2009, 21:42   #7
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Patch over it with your Logo Crest.

I had an issue similar to yours. I got some colored sail material and created logo patch and then had it stitched over the painted one on the sail. It works great. Mine is about 2 1/2 feet around with a figure stitched to it making a patch.
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Old 16-09-2009, 22:56   #8
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Consider the dirt battle scars and take pride in its longevity.

A sailmaker once told me there is no magic solution.
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