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 Post subject: stain removal on sails
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:13 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Conway, New Hampshire
Anyone have thoughts on removal of staining on '85 H16 sails? I don't want to damage the material, but the staining is probably from leaving the sails in the trailer tube without bags and organic material while wet. The stains are pretty bad.

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1989 H14 'Jaws'
1985 H16


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:09 am
Posts: 74
Location: Delaware Bay
Robie,

A seemingly easy question without an easy answer.

Some preliminary thoughts... heavy staining (I'm assuming this is mildew) cannot be 100% removed. Period. At best, you may mitigate the stains. The best practice is to dry sails before storage and definitely rinse and dry thoroughly before storing for off season. But you cannot undo the damage someone else did, so read on...

You've probably searched the world wide web and found that there are basically two approaches and you're gonna have to decide which works for you. I'm without basis to say one is better than the other and don't plan to start the next forum war here.

One approach is to use bleach. The general recommendation is 3/4 cup per gallon and let is soak for 5 to 15 min. You may want to test with 2 tsp per 1/4cup on an inconspicuous spot. Hobie sails are made from Dacron, and chemically-speaking, Dacron is not damaged by bleach. That said, the stitching may (or may not) be damaged by bleach, so take that into consideration. You need to rinse the sails REALLY well afterwards with LOTS of fresh water and let them dry completely. You can add a small amount of dish soap or Woolite (or other detergent) to help solubilize any dirt/oils. I did this with my 20-year-old colored sails (which had minor mildew staining) and the results were pleasing and I haven't seen any signs of damage (yet).

The other approach is to use anything other than bleach. This is based on the theory that bleach destroys sails. I think (but can't confirm) the bleach-is-bad consensus is to use Oxi-Clean or some similar peroxide-based cleaner. I don't know in what amount, but you can search. You probably also can include with some detergent for same reason as the bleach approach. I have no experience with the peroxide approach and cannot give you any specific details but maybe others have.

FWIW, there's likely one or more "sail cleaners" at your local marine store that may (or may not) work better than bleach or peroxide.

And finally, you could send them out for professional cleaning that may (or may not) be any more effective than any of the above other than costing a whole lot more.

If you've got really old sails and the staining is really bad, my 2-cents is try the bleach approach and start saving up for some new sails.

If/when you get new sails, treat them well, rinse out occasionally, spot-clean any dirt spots as they show up with mild detergent and gentle cleaning, and store in a ventilated, dry (and rodent-free) place in the off-season.

Good luck,
Daniel

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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:13 pm
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Location: Conway, New Hampshire
Thanks Dookie.
The sails are pretty badly worn and well used as they are the original '85 sails to the cat. Just trying to clean them up a little for this year and set about obtaining newer ones on next years budget. Just poor storage in the trailer tube that lets in organic material to decay.

Again, thank you for your thoughts to this matter. If you look closely, you can see the staining on the main in front of the sail numbers and behind on the same panel.

Image

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1989 H14 'Jaws'
1985 H16


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 12:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:30 pm
Posts: 17
Robie Hobie wrote:
Thanks Dookie.
The sails are pretty badly worn and well used as they are the original '85 sails to the cat. Just trying to clean them up a little for this year and set about obtaining newer ones on next years budget. Just poor storage in the trailer tube that lets in organic material to decay.

Again, thank you for your thoughts to this matter. If you look closely, you can see the staining on the main in front of the sail numbers and behind on the same panel.

Image


I am currently redoing a 73 H14 that had the sails occupied by mice so I chose the bleach method. Mixed bleach water and a bit of Dawn detergent in a sprayer, sprayed them down and let it sit for about 20 minutes to kill all the nasties and then hosed it off. I then hung it from my deck to a tie off point and washed it down real good with fresh water for about 15 minutes or so. Came out pretty good considering how nasty it was. Doesn't seem to have hurt the sail either (it is a newer 6 batten and is still crisp). Your 16 brings back memories, my last 16 was an 85 bought new in 87 when Hobie unloaded a bunch of left over 16's to racers. You could list preferences on your order but had to take whatever they sent you. Last of the 16's with solid masts! Killer deal, $2500 delivered...in a bunch of boxes! Was strictly a build it yourself deal. Was pretty close to yours Sail #85604.


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 2:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:13 pm
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Location: Conway, New Hampshire
Nice deal even back then. Love the '85 Nationals red sails! Thanks Watermanbob

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