Cleaning of Sail & Canvas

Sale of Cleaning of Sail & Canvas for Boat

Cleaning of yacht sails is very simple if you use the boat canvas cleaning products presented in this section of the topRik marketplace. We offer only proven cleaning compositions from the best manufacturers of marine biosoluble chemicals - Star brite, Silpar TK, Arexons, etc.

If you find it difficult to choose, contact topRik experts. They are experienced sailors and will recommend sail and canvas products that will be ideal for rigging your yacht. You can get a free professional consultation right now. Use one of the contact methods: online feedback form, phone call (using the number above) or email - [email protected].

Proper handling of sails, proper storage, and timely washing not only ensure their long service life, but also help maintain the correct shape and good traction characteristics. We must remember that preventing the occurrence of defects is always easier than correcting them. Cleaning and washing are the most effective ways to extend the life of a boat's rigging.

How to Choose Cleaning Products

Choice of the sail cleaning products largely depends on the material from which they are made.

The life of a modern yachtsman is greatly facilitated by the development of the chemical industry. We are not yet talking about detergents, which are becoming more and more effective and safe in terms of preserving the environment. In less than a century, humanity has decisively abandoned traditional canvas in favor of artificial materials - stronger, lighter and more durable.

Instead of ordinary linen or cotton fibers, sails are now woven from artificial synthetic threads, which have a whole range of new useful properties.

  • Polyester or Dacron. It was the first to replace natural fabrics, and today remains the most popular for making sails. It has fairly good strength, a relatively low specific gravity, resistance to wear, and at the same time is relatively inexpensive.
  • Polyamide, or nylon. It is as strong as Dacron and at the same time even lighter. Compared to polyester, it has greater elasticity, which allows it to dampen sudden loads caused by strong gusts of wind (squalls). Typically, nylon is used to make full course sails (spinnakers and gennakers). Significant disadvantages of nylon include its increased sensitivity to household chemicals. This is especially true for chlorine-containing drugs, the impact of which even in small concentrations can lead to irreparable damage to the sail.
  • Laminate sails. Unlike woven ones, which are polyester and polyamide, they have a combined structure. The outer layer, which forms the body and profile of the sail, is made of a stronger yet flexible material (laminate), while the inner layer consists of more elastic fibers that can withstand prolonged loads. Sometimes a special layer of light fiber is applied to this sailing sandwich on both sides, which further protects it from mechanical damage, moisture and ultraviolet radiation.
  • Aramid. Along with the already familiar polyester, other specially developed materials are also used to make laminate sails, which determine the individual properties of each fabric. The most famous aramid fabrics currently are Kevlar® (USA), Twaron® and Technora® (Japan). Sails made from these fabrics are significantly lighter than traditional polyester ones, wear out much less, and therefore retain their effectiveness longer. At the same time, they, unfortunately, are more susceptible to the destructive effects of sunlight, and also do not like folds and creases, which can lead to damage to the fibers and destruction of the fabric.
  • Polyethylene. The fibers have increased resistance to the strongest oxidizing agents and are somewhat less vulnerable to UV radiation than aramid fibers. In terms of their strength and ability to resist stretching, they are somewhat superior to ordinary polyester, but significantly inferior to aramids.
  • Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. Ultra PE fibers are noticeably lighter than aramid fibers, practically do not absorb water and successfully resist not only most acids and alkalis, but also ultraviolet rays.
  • Liquid crystal polymers. LCP sails have increased strength, as well as almost complete immunity to high temperatures and all aggressive reagents, but require reliable additional protection from UV rays.
  • Carbon. Today it is one of the most popular materials for racing sailing wardrobes. Carbon fiber sails are much more sensitive to mechanical damage than aramid sails.

When caring for sailing fabrics, the properties of the material must be taken into account. As follows from the characteristics listed above, when cleaning a sailing wardrobe, you should not use household chemicals, chlorine-containing preparations, various bleaches and solvents. This especially applies to the care of colored Dacron sails.

Alkalis make polyester fabrics more sensitive to UV rays (weakening the fabric), while acids have the same effect with nylon. The bottom line is: avoid using alkaline-based detergents on Terylene and Dacron unless you have time to rinse them thoroughly, and keep highly acidic products away from spinnakers.

Liquid detergents are less likely to contain alkalis and are usually known as soap-free detergents. Soap-free detergents (liquid or powder) are equally effective in hard, soft and salt water. They are neutral, as they are neither alkali nor acid based, and are suitable for washing both polyester and nylon sails.

Acidic and alkaline contents can be measured using the pH scale (acid number). When a pH test paper is immersed in a detergent solution, it changes color - this can be compared with a color chart to determine the pH value and acidity of the solution. This is in case you have doubts about the detergent you purchased or found in your own supplies.

But still, the best cleaners for canvases are specialized marine compounds that:

  • are manufactured specifically taking into account the characteristics of the materials from which the sails are made;
  • contain a waterproofing agent that restores the water-repellent properties of the sail;
  • protect from ultraviolet radiation;
  • do not change the color and texture of the fabric;
  • non-toxic and biodegradable, making them safe for the environment;
  • effectively clean the surface of the sails from the accumulation of sea salt, dirt, traces of oils and petroleum products, rust, mold;
  • do not contain toxic, aggressive, flammable or abrasive substances, including ammonia, phosphates and dyes.

The benefits of sail and canvas cleaning products do not end there for the yacht owner. As a rule, these are universal cleaning compositions that can be used on any surface, including pillows, sofas, awnings, gelcoat, plastic parts and upholstery, synthetic deck coverings, glass, etc.

How to Clean a Sail

Caring for sails and canvas includes washing or cleaning them with special products. Washing refers to the usual washing of the sailing wardrobe with a hose after sailing in wet weather. And they clean the sails with special means, removing salt, dirt, grease, etc. while preparing them for storage for the winter. In this case, you should be guided by the instructions for use of a specific composition regarding the temperature of the water for dilution and the ratio of the parts of water and detergent, if we are talking about a concentrated preparation.

The process of cleaning canvases requires a large tank or smooth area so that the sail can be spread out without risking damage to the lumpy surface. What are the advantages of special marine surface cleaning products - their biosoluble composition allows you to clean sails on pier boards without fear that the chemicals will get into the sea or other body of water.

So, you've found a place to clean your sails. First, they should be rinsed with fresh water (preferably hot), removing sea salt, which eats into all the “pores” that form the weave of the threads. Moreover, it clogs even the smallest cracks and abrasions.

After this, a detergent diluted in the required proportion is applied to the wet surface. There are compositions that are sprayed over the surface, such as the FULCRON and Waterproofing sprays presented in this section from Arexons, Star brite and Silpar TK.

Be sure to pay attention to what materials the drug is intended for. For example, Sail & Canvas Cleaner by Star brite is ideal for cleaning nylon and mylar sails, providing a thorough yet gentle cleaning process. This, by the way, is a concentrated, biodegradable sail cleaner that, in addition to dirt and grease, removes mold stains.

After letting the product sit for some time, clean the surface of the sail with a soft brush (or in the form of a roller), but without being too enthusiastic. The smoothness of the surface on which the sail is laid reduces the likelihood of the fabric fraying, but you should still not rub the seams in the same place for a long time.

Rinse the detergent thoroughly with clean, fresh water and dry the sail.

Recommendations for Restoring Sail Fabrics

If the sail has lost its water resistance, use special sprays and compounds that contain a waterproofing agent. Such detergents restore the water resistance of both sails and other woven materials, which may be necessary when treating sun loungers, awnings, as well as pillows and mattresses for sun loungers.

Removing stains from sails is the task of almost any sailing wardrobe detergent presented in this section. Almost all compositions cope well with dirt, grease, traces of rust, motor oil, blood and mold.

Despite the special treatment, the surface of the sailing fabric still has some unevenness in which moisture, dirt and various particles suspended in the air accumulate. These are the smallest centers of mold occurrence and development. Mold does not affect synthetic fabric and does not reduce its strength, but it leaves stains that are difficult to remove.

The batten pockets obviously retain moisture longer than anywhere else on the sail. It is by the humidity of the armor pockets that one can judge. Is the sail dry enough and can it be stored away? Be sure to check their condition for mold.

Mold fungi cannot damage the durable synthetic fabric of modern sails, but they leave disgusting stains and streaks on it that remain even after washing with conventional means. Fighting mold on canvas begins with the fact that you should first clean off the dry mycelium from the dry sail. Then, after washing the salt with fresh water, treat the sail with a special detergent - Sail & Canvas Cleaner by Star brite also does an excellent job against mold fungi.

It should be noted that most marine sail restoration products provide UV protection. They should be chosen by owners of sails made of aramid fabrics, which are very sensitive to UV rays.

How to Store Sails

Advice on this issue usually boils down to recommendations for storing sails in winter. At the end of the season, all synthetic sails are thoroughly washed, dried, rolled and stored for winter in a clean, dry and well-ventilated room.

Before stowing the sail away, make sure that the sail is dry and the bag for storage (like the sail storage room in general) is spacious enough. When storing sails on a boat, you should also choose a dry and well-ventilated place.

Care for canvases during storage involves checking their condition at least a couple of times during this period. It’s great if storage conditions allow you to unfurl the sails for ventilation during this check.

To prevent damage to canvases and their excessive contamination, several rules should be followed during the sailing process.

To make the sails less dirty, you need to keep the spar and rigging clean; it is recommended to wash the deck whenever possible before each work with sails.

The layer of salt that remains on the sails after the sea water has dried absorbs moisture from the air and makes the sails damp, hard and heavy, susceptible to mechanical damage from gusts of wind. Rinse your sails with fresh water whenever possible.

When moored in a fresh wind, you should avoid useless rinsing of the sails and remove them. This should be done to prevent microscopic mechanical damage. To reduce porosity, sailing synthetic fabric is impregnated with a resin filler and then calendered - rolled between two heated rollers. As a result, the warp and weft threads are melted and welded together, reducing the tendency of the fabric to stretch, the fabric becomes denser, and its surface is smooth and glossy. Over time, aggregate becomes brittle and prone to cracking. If you carefully examine a used Dacron sail, you will see thousands of small cracks. Naturally, this aging of the canvas, which occurs the faster the worse the sail is treated, spoils its surface and reduces its efficiency.

By using special techniques when setting, controlling and cleaning sails, you can reduce the risk of abrasion of seams, corners and luffs. Proper use of your sail wardrobe and caring for it with modern marine cleaning products can significantly extend the life of your sails.