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Sailpilot 02-04-2008 10:51 AM

Dirty Headsail
Have some dirt and mildew on a roller headsail. (Don't furl in rain shower and wait weeks to go sailing again). Just looking for some suggestions for cleaning products? Standard Dacron cruising sail on Hunter 40.5.

Thanks in advanced to anyone that can help.

PS sails just fine... but she needs to look pretty while out on the dance floor.:D

sailortjk1 02-04-2008 11:39 AM

I would just send it in to sail care and let them handle it.
Nothing you try yourself is going to do as good of a job as they can do.

US27inKS 02-04-2008 11:45 AM

I second that. I just got my sails back from sailcare and they look great.

T34C 02-04-2008 11:45 AM

I agree with tjk- SAilCare is the best way to go.
I have used them several times (they have my main and mizzen now) and always impressed by the quality of their work and the excellent customer service they provide.

Freesail99 02-04-2008 11:55 AM

sailcare does do a great job of making older sails look and preform like newer sails. But in dealing with them, I've found it is best to mind your wallet.

nolatom 02-04-2008 12:39 PM

If it's mildew, it's progressive and you should treat it. If it's a stain (such as from rust) it has less effect on the cloth than would any efforts to remove it. I'm inclined to leave stains on, and just sail with an "experienced" sail. Sometimes the chemicals used to "fix" it are worse for the dacron (or kevlar, or whatever) than the original stain was.

As a kid, I regularly got beat by a boat with a "rhorschact blot" paint stain on the main which didn't seem to slow those guys down much.

If it's strictly aesthetics, I'd say leave it alone. If it's progressive moisture-based deterioration, then treat it.

bestfriend 02-04-2008 02:29 PM

Seems like a lot of money to me. I took mine off and scrubbed it myself. Took about an hour, looks great. I used dish soap because thats all I had handy. Probably could have gone with something a little stronger. Of course I didn't do all the fancy stuff they do.

adamtroyg 02-04-2008 02:37 PM

don't think they're dacron, cleaned my hobie cat sails last spring with a scoop of OXI-clean in a clean garbage can. let 'em soak for a few days then layed them on a big tarp in the drive way and scrubbed with a soft brush, rinsed with a hose and back in the bucket with more OXI-clean. several days and another rinse later raised them on the boat to dry. made 'em look pretty again.

T37Chef 02-04-2008 02:44 PM

To be or not to be...
Sailcare will do more than just wash & rinse, they will inspect everything, of course at a price.

For what its worth, the sail loft I have worked with will not send sails to SailCare, he feels the detergents they use are to harsh. Of course I don't know who he sends them too instead :o

TDMModels 02-04-2008 05:45 PM

I was told that RV awning cleaner works good for cleaning sails.

If you send to sail care be prepared to wait during a 10-12 week turn-a-round.

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