I just bought a boat that has been sitting in a boat yard for several years with the main on and covered. I would like to get some feedback as to how to remove various stains--small spots of mold, some ground in dirt.
All the books I''ve read & sailmakers I''ve spoken with suggest using a mild dishwashing detergent, like Dove or Palmolive. With a soft brush, this gets most of the grime and some of the other stuff. Sunlight should put the mildew and mold on hold. Leave the sail out in a flat spot on a sunny day and turn it over a few times. The big oil spot a previous owner left on one mainsail was not affected by this procedure, so we have been tempted to try something more powerful. Bleach or other chemical cleaners may cause the plastic (even dacron is plastic) to deteriorate, however, and we think a big spot is better than a big hole. We are therefore waiting until the miracle cleaner turns up before attacking the oil spot(s). What does your sailmaker suggest?
Thanks for the input Paul. Simply put, the best advise I got from you was to contact US sails for what they say. I saw somewhere that oxolic acid works well on a multitude of stains, but I think i''ll talk to the maker, as you suggest, first. I''ve used the stuff on water stained table tops before but wood is a little different than sail cloth. Brian
i sent my jib (393 SF) and main (334 SF) from my 40 foot beneteau to Sail Care, Inc in pennsylvania. I decided to have only the jib cleaned and repaired. They dry clean the sail, re-impregnated the dacron cloth with resins and UV inhibitors, restiched the sunband, reinforced the leathers, repaired my spreader patches and fixed the overlay on the luff. Cost was less than $600 including shipping. They can only clean and service dacron sails as dry cleaning fluids do not harm fabric fibers like dacron. Laminates would be destroyed.
Sail came back pure white, no mildew, grease or oil stains. You can''t tell it was a 6 year old sail from a charter boat. It looks and performs as new. Even sail shape was restored close to new.
Call Gerry at Sail Care - 800-433-7245. I will always have Gerry look at a sail first before ever thinking of buying new unless I was looking for increased sail area or special laminate performance sails. They perform miracles.
We recently had the main & jib for our Caliber 40 cleaned and a small tear repaired. This was done at The Loft Inc., Ft. Myers Beach, FL and the outrageous charge was $975, double what we paid in Annapolis three years ago. Also these Doyle sails, which had been white, are now yellowed.
Does anyone know a method for whitening them? We emailed Doyle but did not get a reply.