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Old 01-05-2012
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Emergency triage for sails. Advice to save them?

I purchased a 42' 1980 steel sailboat in Florida a couple of months ago and it has arrived at my home in Vermont recently. I am working on minimizing damages due to past neglect and am now easing the boat into a healthy state of storage while I begin a full refitting in earnest. The boat is in pretty rough shape now but an excellent candidate for a full restoration.

Question; as I am just starting to assess the sails I have come across this condition that I think will be prevalent on all of the sails. The bronze hanks have corroded a bit and now have the typical bluish/whitish powder on them. They are sticky to open but they all open. The grommets that the hanks run through in the sail have the same condition. What is the best way to treat this before I wash the sails and dry for long term storage? I do not want to involve a sailmaker at this point. I just want to store the sails for now in a clean condition. If I bend the bronze tabs on the hanks to ease them off of the sail for cleaning will I be able to re bend them on or do you think they will break... that would be bend #3 on each hank.

Second question; the stainless steel tack and clew grommets were put away salty and are corroded and have stained the sails in a few places. Any advice to treat these spots on the sail and on the stainless? I think that any acid solution on the stainless would destroy the sail material.

Thanks for your help.

Jay

the photos below were taken 15 years ago... the boat is in much rougher shape now!
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Emergency triage for sails. Advice to save them?-maverick1.jpg   Emergency triage for sails. Advice to save them?-maverick3.jpg  
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Old 01-05-2012
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If DACRON sails and if you're going to 'wash' the sails anyway .... lemon juice will dissolve the 'verdigris' (various complex forms of copper acetate/oxide) on the bronze hanks ... just 'partition' the hanks away from the sail cloth with plastic film (saran, etc) when 'soaking' in the lemon juice so that the loosened verdigris doesnt 'transfer' & become embedded in the cloth. Be sure to rinse well.

For the staining from the ss (???) grommets, its probably 'rust' from the ss .... then a soak with oxalic acid (from a paint/hardware store - sold as dry crystals) will quickly remove any 'rust' staining (plus tannin staining). Usually its best to 'wash' the sails with a caustic/alkaline detergent to remove grease/oil/fungus before bleaching with oxalic. Again be sure to rinse well to remove any oxalic acid. Be sure to use 'protection' when using oxalic acid ... absorbs through skin quickly and can do great harm to your kidneys. Oxalic Acid is usually available in non-eco-frenzy, non-chemophobic states.

Again if the sails are woven polyester/dacron, such is quite stable and resistant to most 'inorganic' chemicals and solvents. .... not so with many 'organic' solvents, etc. (gasoline, kerosene, MEK, 'paint thinner', etc. etc.) ... Avoid! do websearch for "chemical compatibility" + polyester if in doubt.

;-)
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Old 01-05-2012
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Out of curiosity where are you in Vermont? We trucked my Fuji 36 up to Bennington this year for a retrofit.
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Old 01-05-2012
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Ha! It must be just as tricky to find an empty mooring in Bennington as it is in Norwich! Normally I would have to ask why ANYONE would have such a boat so far in-state but truth is.... I am probably the only other person in this state that can answer that question. Besides you of course!

Here is a link of the delivery of my newest project. Generally the boat is in excellent condition. But I clearly have very much work to do - which is just fine with me. I am crazy about boats. At least that is what my wife tells me... but I think we interpret the same sentence quite differently.

Jay

Sail on!

Maverick Arrives! - YouTube
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Old 01-05-2012
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Cool video. Keep us updated with your progress!
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Old 01-06-2012
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Nice video. What design is Maverick and who was the builder?
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Old 01-06-2012
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The designer is Henk Tingen. This particular design was one of his last. It was built by the Kompier yard and finished privately. The steel has held up very well except for the teak decking over steel. That was laid before people realized it's inherent faults. As such, salt water crept under some of the teak and caused much of the steel to fail, which in turn caused significant leaking inside the boat. I am now learning of the extent of the rust and am pleased to have learned that after I cleaned off the deepest mold I have ever run into, much of the interior can be saved. It will be a beautiful boat when the refit is complete.... which I am taking my time with.

Jay

Sail on!
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