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Old 14-05-2009, 18:50   #1
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Cleaning a Mainsail

HI all;

We bought a used main, that came from a J-29. The dimensions are almost identical, but with more roach - a good thing we think.

The sail needs a good cleaning, and numbers/insignia adhesive removal. There were two sets of numbers, when the first was removed, the glue apparently was not - so now they read as a nice dingy grey. The rest of the sail is ok - a few rust stains, and some dingy areas.

So what is the best stuff for removing the adhesive, and for cleaning the sail? I would be doing this out on the yard.

Also - Is there a good way to attach luff slides, without involving a sailmaker? I have an industrial sewing machine that could do webbing, but not sailcloth - as it is only streight stitch. I was thinking press-in grommets and webbing?

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 14-05-2009, 18:55   #2
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Gord's links in this thread may help:

Cleaning Some (Really) Nasty Sails

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Old 14-05-2009, 19:15   #3
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Quote:
lso - Is there a good way to attach luff slides, without involving a sailmaker? I have an industrial sewing machine that could do webbing, but not sailcloth - as it is only streight stitch. I was thinking press-in grommets and webbing?
Maybe you could be a sailmaker. It's what they do. Find one and get the details. This is one area where they don't just put it on the machine and sew.

As for cleaning, be as gentle as possible (to get the job done) is the rule. The treatment applied to sil cloth does not favor agressive chemical. dacron is pretty tuff stuff, but don't push any farther than required. A discoloration isn't functional. making it oerfectly qwhite take more than it delivers. Last time I had to do it $0.79 / lb. commercial rate. I had serious algea growth. The PO had used ensign cloth as a sun strip.
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Old 14-05-2009, 19:40   #4
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try sailcare and see what they say....jt
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Old 15-05-2009, 09:27   #5
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Thanks all. Sounds like a very low concentration of bleach and a mild detergent is what I need. Don't have the kiddy pool - might be fun to have one as well ;>

Chris
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Old 15-05-2009, 11:20   #6
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Hi Chris,

You can install your own slugs without much trouble. You will need a grommet die set, #1 or #2 grommets and luff shackles all of which you can get at Sunbrella Fabrics, Sailmaking Supplies, Sailcloth, Sail Kits, Canvas & Sail Hardware. Grommet spacing is typically around 28". Install the grommets tangent to the bolt rope and then attach the slugs with the shackles. Use a metal shackle at the headboard or web it on since all the load of the mainsheet goes to that point.

As far as rust and adhesive: You can remove rust stains with a product called Whink available in most hardware stores. Dacron is not as sensitive as many think. You can remove adhesive with acetone... yes I know it sounds harsh but try it on a small corner to convince yourself if you are skeptical. There are other goo removers on the market but I haven't tried them. Mildew can be removed by spray bleach cleaners like Scrubbing Bubbles.

Hope that helps,
Jim
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