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Old 12-07-2013
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

My local sail loft quoted £90 ($150) to clean and reproof my 3 piece sprayhood and cockpit tent. And I had pretty grimy sailcover to clean too. So I did a bit of googling and this worked out as the best diy alternative. It took me a long morning to do the whole job
1 soak all the items in a diluted antiseptic solution - Dettol in my case.
2 scrub with a sponge (I wore 2 out, but they were just cheap ones)
3 drip dry then wash with a very mild detergent and rinse thoroughly. I took this stage indoors into the bath, treading them in bare feet, because water from the garden tap was just too damn cold for me!
4 let them drip dry.
5 let them have a final dry in place on the boat. This is the time to also apply the reproofer. I used a commercial canvas reproofing product because I had enough in but next time I'll use a construction industry water repellent like Thompson's Waterseal - far more bangs for your buck! btw, spray can reproofers are wasteful and ineffective - brush in a liquid instead
You'll have to live with the smell of the disinfectant in the canvas for a good while. But at least it makes your boat smell sweet. I often put a squirt into my bilges where water collects from a rainwater leak that I've not cured yet, so Offbeat tends to smell like a hospital most of the time!
I have to admit sending my huge Genoa to be cleaned professionally though. I just couldn't cope with that much wet canvas in the house. So I'm open to ideas for the next time that chore comes around (which is all too often as I keep my boat in the centre of the city and everything gets grimy rather too quickly)
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