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Old 09-03-2012, 07:05   #1
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Sail Cleaning in Pool ?

Got an older boat and the main sail needs cleaning. Don't know what stains are but it does have dirty spots on it. Can it be put in the pool and scrub down where the stains are? Any other recommendations?
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:17   #2
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Re: Sail cleaning in pool???

Just be aware that chlorine is corrosive... and will rot fabrics if not rinsed off thoroughly... as proven by an incredibly lazy divemaster we used to have who would get back from the sea and throw it in his pool to clean it off. After only 6 months it looked as if it were about to disintegrate!
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:19   #3
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Re: Sail cleaning in pool???

That's an interesting thought. They say to never use bleach on dacron, but the chlorine level in a pool is low enough, I don't think it would do much harm. You could get the sail laid out flat on the bottom and after some soaking, use the pool brush to scrub it a little. I think you would probably want to close the suction from the main drain and only circulate through the skimmers.
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Old 09-03-2012, 13:47   #4
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Re: Sail cleaning in pool???

We washed our jib in our hot tub using something called (IIRC) Sailwash.
The tub water went bright green from the sail's dirt.
It came out a lot cleaner, not perfect.
We rinsed it off in the driveway with a hose.
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Old 09-03-2012, 15:10   #5
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Re: Sail cleaning in pool???

I've been doing this for the past 14 years and the sails were made in 1986 and no problems with the stiching or sails. Boat lives in the slip year-round in Florida and sails are always on the furler and boom. I sail nearly every weekend. Spread the sails out on the lawn and wash them gently with a very soft brush, laundry detergent ( I use Tide with bleach alternative) then rinse with garden hose. Shock the pool with chlorine and toss them in after chlorine has circulated for about 20 minutes. Let them soak about an hour, spread out on the surface of the pool. (for some reason, my sails float just below the surface when spread out). Does a great job of removing all the mildew and seems to slow mildew growth. I do this every other year. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-03-2012, 16:26   #6
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Re: Sail cleaning in pool???

I cleaned all of the lines in the pool. Actually, I removed the black mold in a 55 gallon plastic barrel and sort-of aggressive bleach and rinsed in the pool.

The boat arrived from Ft Lauderdale with nearly 1/2 inch thick mold on everything in every locker.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:34   #7
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Re: Sail cleaning in pool???

The available chlorine level in a private / backyard pool (using trichloroisocyanurate or cyanic acid stabilized sodium hypochlorite) is typically about 1-2 ppm. It's roughly double that in a public pool. A freshly shocked pool is 6 to 12 ppm for about a day.

Tap water, in places where it's safe to drink, usually has 0.2 to 1 ppm chlorine.

Bleach is 3 to 6 percent chlorine, i.e. 30,000 to 60,000 ppm.

So no, pool water on its own should not cause chlorine damage to anything that can handle ordinary tap water. But do be careful with the bleach.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:46   #8
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Re: Sail Cleaning in Pool ?

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Originally Posted by rhr1956 View Post
You could get the sail laid out flat on the bottom and after some soaking, use the pool brush to scrub it a little.
Doh. I never thought of emptying the pool!!!
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:51   #9
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Re: Sail Cleaning in Pool ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post
will rot fabrics if not rinsed off thoroughly...
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.....So no, pool water on its own should not cause chlorine damage to anything that can handle ordinary tap water. But do be careful with the bleach.
Trust me, I have seen, with my own eyes, what chlorine can do to fabrics if not thoroughly rinsed. In fact, here in the Middle East they call bleach 'chlorox'! I am quite sure that the mix is weaker - MUCH weaker... but that does not negate the effects of it, simply reduces it. Not a chance I would want to take with older sails which are then to be rinsed in the sun. Unless of course, they are
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rinsed off thoroughly...
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:53   #10
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Re: Sail cleaning in pool???

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
I cleaned all of the lines in the pool. Actually, I removed the black mold in a 55 gallon plastic barrel and sort-of aggressive bleach and rinsed in the pool.

The boat arrived from Ft Lauderdale with nearly 1/2 inch thick mold on everything in every locker.
Very, very clean looking lines. That must be on account of all the bleach!
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:56   #11
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Re: Sail cleaning in pool???

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Very, very clean looking lines. That must be on account of all the bleach!
I wish I had photos of the before. The lazerette was suffed full of wet lines and the cockpit was stacked to the combing as well. Lines were covered with velvety layers of black fuzz except where they were green with algae. I think I diluted about a cup of clorox in 50 gallons of water. The active chlorine will readily attack (and be consumed in so doing) the living organic stuff. The pool chlorine is so dilute as noted above that I considered if a water rinse. I left the lines in the pool for abut 24 hours. It was quite a job flaking the mess of tangled rope. They covered the bottom about a foot thick.

I used 100 % clorox and a plastic garden sprayer to hose down the lockers. They cleaned up to sparkling white in seconds. NOTE - if you do this wear a respirator and spend no time in an enclosed space.
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Old 12-03-2012, 14:38   #12
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Re: Sail Cleaning in Pool ?

I definitely wouldn't soak my sails in a pool. It's too big of an investment. Just handwash them with a soft brush and mild detergent and be sure to rinse and dry them properly.
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Old 12-03-2012, 16:45   #13
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Re: Sail Cleaning in Pool ?

I must say I am firmly on the side of those who say no to chlorine. Why not just lay it out on the lawn and use some mild detergent, maybe focus on the stains with a non chlorine whitening product? A little elbow grease and call it good. If you want to be the brightest sail on the horizon - get new sails! Fabulous for about a season.
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Old 12-03-2012, 19:22   #14
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Last year I unfortunately had to leave my boat for 4 months. Here are some before and after results of the cleanup. I personally would not use anything stronger than detergent. Sails were not bad but all rope on the boat was pretty grungy. Soaked for about 8 hours, hosed out the detergent thoroughly and hung to dry.

Just personally Inwould stick my dirty crappy sails in my pool (if I had one) sails get laid out and mildly scrubbed with a soft deck brush and detergent. Power washer has also been used for a rinse but very carefully to avoid damage.

Best advice is to derig the boat if you know you will be away for a while. Leaving sails furled and main in the boom bag for extended periods is inviting mold. If possible store lines and sails off the boat. The interior gets pretty muggy as well. At least here at the equator.
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Old 12-03-2012, 19:48   #15
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Re: Sail Cleaning in Pool ?

to stow a sail, first you clean and dry in the sun then get a hand on both ends of the luff and pull straight - now both hands clap on to respective leech and foot and fold in board toward the luff in 24" increments - when done, fold it like a towel, now mark the head cringle clearly - fluff and stow in a convenient spot...be diligent in this and the sail will blow out before it gets stained.
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