Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Thanked 606 Times in 582 Posts
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Cleaning control lines
I have to admit, I've not done this much over the years. Last I recall, I just soaked them in a tub of some concoction and was underwhelmed.
Most of my lines stay aboard, but are covered in the winter, so they stay pretty clean. One set control the adjustable genoa cars and get pretty funky, even in season. The spot they lay inside the track is a collection point for dirt, especially pollen in the Spring.
These lines had gotten stiff, moldy, even black along some stretches. I removed them to buy new this winter. For giggles, I thought I would toss them in the washing machine. It's a front loader, as I'm sure a top loading agitator would wrap them into a knot.
I daisy chained the line and tossed them in one at a time. I used regular Tide detergent and maybe a tablespoon of bleach (influence by the mold). I figured I had nothing to lose, as a few hundred dollars of new lines and splices were sitting in my online cart.
I was amazed how well they came out. Zero dirt or mold. Consistently flexible along the entire length. They look as near new as conceivable, although, I suspect they've broken down somewhat. The outer covering shows a slight amount of fuzz, so they aren't new, for sure. But they don't show any notable chafe. I'm reinstalling and saved myself quite a few bucks.
My only regret is that I cut one splice off, assuming they were being replaced and now I have to redo it. Even though they are a decade old, I believe they are soft enough again to take a new splice.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.