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Drying and rolling sails

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Created by Shipmate A week ago, 16 Oct 2020
Shipmate
22 posts
16 Oct 2020 6:30PM
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After every session, once I get home I put my mast into the sail and stick the mast into a rectangular box that is sized for the base of my RDM masts. This "box" is mounted on the side of my deck, parallel to the ground so the mast is also parallel to the ground. This is about 7 feet off the ground.

The sail hangs from the mast and I do this all without a mast base so there is zero uphaul. It hangs loosely. I give both sides a good rinse which removes sand, grass, weeds and other debris. After it dries I take it down and roll it on a different section of the lawn carefully but quickly. The problem is, it *always* seems to pick up moisture (condensation) and more debris from the lawn. I haven't found a way to roll the sails and keep them completely dry.


I really don't want to end up with mildew on my sails. Any ideas?

Shipmate
22 posts
16 Oct 2020 6:32PM
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I found that leaving them unrolled inside the house and then rolling them indoors works very well. However, my wife tells me I will be leaving if I try this again.

Subsonic
WA, 2173 posts
16 Oct 2020 7:46PM
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When youre done for the day, roll the sail up, put it in its bag. When you get home pull it out of it's bag And sit it with the luff sitting up angle outside overnight.

Unless its made of cotton, trust me when i say you'll never see any mildew on your sail, especially not through summer in west aus. You would have to be trying really hard to have mildew form on a sail. I give mine a quick wash at the beach when ever possible, And then the above. Despite everyone saying don't ever wash your sail, ive never seen a spot of mildew on one of my sails ever.

sailquik
VIC, 5154 posts
17 Oct 2020 12:07AM
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Roll it up in sailt water. When you get home stand it on end to drain. You will only ever get stuff growing on your sails if you rise them in fresh water. Salt kills stuff.

And nothing really grows on Mylar anyhow. Of course, if you live in some place with rediculous humidity, (like Qld) and your sails never get a chance to dry out, you are just stuffed anyhow.

Edit: Dont do this if you dont have plastic zip sliders on your cam openings. They need to be washed in fresh water and/or sprayed with silicon spay of the each sail.

WaveMuppet
19 posts
16 Oct 2020 9:21PM
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Is it really recommend to not wash sails after use in salt water? I always do wash mine, partly to get sand off, then leave rolled up luff side down for a couple of days in the garage to dry before putting back in bag. Happy to give up this routine if it's damaging or not necessary!

Subsonic
WA, 2173 posts
16 Oct 2020 9:44PM
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WaveMuppet said..
Is it really recommend to not wash sails after use in salt water? I always do wash mine, partly to get sand off, then leave rolled up luff side down for a couple of days in the garage to dry before putting back in bag. Happy to give up this routine if it's damaging or not necessary!


As a general rule sailquik is right, salt kills stuff. I think giving the sail some drying time helps. But even through winter in perth when sails rarely dry properly, mildew/lime scale are not something i've ever seen on my washed sails, or any sail, period.

Mark _australia
WA, 20017 posts
16 Oct 2020 9:47PM
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Never washed a sail ever - if you're sailing in salt water just roll it and stand it.

forceten
1274 posts
16 Oct 2020 9:48PM
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I feel you are too intensive in being 100% dry.
the cleaning, yes, the dirt will be abrasive.

better this than the opposite however

Obelix
WA, 898 posts
16 Oct 2020 10:04PM
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Never wash any of my sails. Just roll them wet into a bag, and throw them like that on the rack and don't even think about them until I need them again. No issues at all.

LeeD
1774 posts
17 Oct 2020 2:18AM
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Don't handle sails, that's what wears them out, that crinkle NOISE, causing monofilm damage, by folds.

Mark _australia
WA, 20017 posts
17 Oct 2020 2:20AM
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^^ Yes and the pure Dacron ones are better.

In fact, when professionals used them they were better sailors than we can sail so really, triangle dacron is capable of 50kn and is just as good as the new stuff

Shipmate
22 posts
17 Oct 2020 3:07AM
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When I first setup my account for this website I didn't see that I could specify a location outside of Australia. Sorry about not tending to this sooner. My bad. I live in the US in New England. I sail in a small harbor area that leads into Long Island Sound. However, to get to the harbor I have maybe a quarter mile of a river I need to sail down. LI Sound is salt water. The harbor is brackish and so is the river. The water temps are dropping lately and it's down to 60 degrees F. Sadly, every day that I'm able to go out I ask myself if this is the last time for the season. Lately I'm using my 3/2 wetsuit but that inrush of cold water ... wow. It's getting a bit chilly for my blood. I'd like to keep going until November if I can but then I'll need to store my sails until early June.

This was my 3rd year. I've definitely advanced this year. Previously I had this feeling of - oh no - I'm going to try to jibe shortly and I know I'm just going to crash like I always do. Finally I spent one day doing figure eights over and over. I must have jibed at least 60x. Now I don't have anxiety before a jibe. Due to COVID the only reasonably close windsurf instruction was closed this year. OK, I guess I'm getting a bit off topic. Sorry bout that.

Anyway, I didn't realize you could store sails without first washing them and drying them. You guys are my lifeline to windsurfing info. Thank you.

LeeD
1774 posts
Saturday , 17 Oct 2020 5:45AM
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Mid August here at Berkeley Ca., 90% of wind users wear 4/3 full sealed wetsuits.
Average air temp 64, water temp 60.

sailquik
VIC, 5154 posts
Saturday , 17 Oct 2020 12:07PM
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It's different if sand on the sails is an issue for sure. In my case, I am in a VERY sandy place (Sandy Point!) so I never roll up my sails on land. I do it on the water to try to rinse all the sand off as I go. If I cant do that for some reason I hang the sails over a long PVC downpipes between trees at home and wash the sand off them with fresh water. As said, sand is very abrasive and will scratch the film. I do try to make sure they dry out completely before rolling and storing. In the 80's I did have issues with growth and staining on my cloth sails if I sailed in freshwater lakes and folded the sails up wet after sailing or washing.

One issue I have when travelling on big trips is the sails rattling in my trailer or van. Any sand left in them is hyper abrasive. Even if there is none, the film rubs together and scuffing occurs. For long trips, I roll the sails up with black builders plastic sheet which seems soft enough to prevent scuffing. It is a bit of a pain in the arse to do it every time one sails though.

sailquik
VIC, 5154 posts
Saturday , 17 Oct 2020 12:12PM
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LeeD said..
Mid August here at Berkeley Ca., 90% of wind users wear 4/3 full sealed wetsuits.
Average air temp 64, water temp 60.




Holy crap thats HOT!! Like, world record HOT!!

40 degrees is a very hot day here in summer! Absolutely no wetsuits needed!

Madge
NSW, 288 posts
Saturday , 17 Oct 2020 3:16PM
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sailquik said..

LeeD said..
Mid August here at Berkeley Ca., 90% of wind users wear 4/3 full sealed wetsuits.
Average air temp 64, water temp 60.





Holy crap thats HOT!! Like, world record HOT!!

40 degrees is a very hot day here in summer! Absolutely no wetsuits needed!


Thats because he's American, he talks in pounds too.........they are a bit weird over there.

sboardcrazy
NSW, 7137 posts
Saturday , 17 Oct 2020 3:32PM
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Shipmate said..
After every session, once I get home I put my mast into the sail and stick the mast into a rectangular box that is sized for the base of my RDM masts. This "box" is mounted on the side of my deck, parallel to the ground so the mast is also parallel to the ground. This is about 7 feet off the ground.

The sail hangs from the mast and I do this all without a mast base so there is zero uphaul. It hangs loosely. I give both sides a good rinse which removes sand, grass, weeds and other debris. After it dries I take it down and roll it on a different section of the lawn carefully but quickly. The problem is, it *always* seems to pick up moisture (condensation) and more debris from the lawn. I haven't found a way to roll the sails and keep them completely dry.


I really don't want to end up with mildew on my sails. Any ideas?



When you put them on the grass make sure you have ripples so that the air can circulate..then turn it over and make sure there are ripples that side.
I only wash mine if the window gets cloudy or there is sand..
After sailing I generally take them out of their bag. If it's overnight I stand the end in a bucket with a peice of wood in the bottom so they don't sit in the runoff.. The next day I'll stand them on their luff against a wall to drain and dry out..I don't like wet sails in my van..

Tardy
3724 posts
Saturday , 17 Oct 2020 1:03PM
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last time i washed a sail it went mouldy ...bugger that never again ..unless i have to

if i get mud on mine I am forced to wash it ,as the council think mowing it down to the dirty in winter looks cool .

i have a house on poles ,so i have bent a 4 INCH nail in the shape of a hook for the top ,string that up ,then tie the other end to the other pole ,pull it tight ,then hose off

after that let it dry ,for 2 hours strung up,then in the bag ,then stand it up against the house ,for a further drain ,under the randa.

but in general no wash .means no mould .white is the worst colour that goes first ...

ducati
QLD, 443 posts
Saturday , 17 Oct 2020 3:32PM
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Obelix
WA, 898 posts
Saturday , 17 Oct 2020 2:13PM
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Madge said..

sailquik said..


LeeD said..
Mid August here at Berkeley Ca., 90% of wind users wear 4/3 full sealed wetsuits.
Average air temp 64, water temp 60.






Holy crap thats HOT!! Like, world record HOT!!

40 degrees is a very hot day here in summer! Absolutely no wetsuits needed!



Thats because he's American, he talks in pounds too.........they are a bit weird over there.


I thought pounds was English money ?

Sparky
WA, 984 posts
Saturday , 17 Oct 2020 2:21PM
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ducati said..


Follow Davids' advice, that sail looks like it must have been designed and made in the 80s and it's still in like new condition.....

segler
582 posts
Sunday , 17 Oct 2020 11:57PM
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Yeah, we are weird over here. Fahrenheit, inches, feet, miles, pounds. 1/4-20 screw threads, and we spell aluminum without the second i.

At lease we went metric for sail sizes. I haven't seen a sail listed by square feet in many years.

However, there is a reason why mast lengths come in 340, 370, 400, 430, 460, 490, 520, and 550 cm sizes. Each of those gaps is one foot.

LOL

Gorgo
VIC, 4488 posts
Sunday , 18 Oct 2020 10:58AM
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I keep a damp chamois cloth on hand when packing up. I wipe down the board before putting it in the bag, and wipe anything that's dirty.

I also have a little brush to knock off any sand.

It isn't rigorous. More about being prepared if stuff is particularly dirty or messy.

At home I have a drying rack in the garage. It's simply a rectangle of 40mm plastic pipe hung from a couple of eye bolts. If I wash anything or anything is wet then it hangs there and usually dries overnight. Obviously it's positioned so nothing drips on the cars.

I've dried paragliders on it. Towels and wetsuit and harness tend to live on it. It's handy for extra laundry drying space.

Pacey
WA, 315 posts
Sunday , 18 Oct 2020 12:39PM
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I don't worry about getting salt and water off my sails before rolling them up and putting them in the bag. I do try to let them dry off as much as possible first however. I agree that the salt will prevent any mildew.

the thing I am meticulous about is sand, that is what scratches Mylar and messes up the sail. I make sure of not letting my rig touch the water close to the beach, as it is always a bit muddy/sandy, or let it get put down on sand, I will always make a point of putting the rig down on grass only.

Ian K
WA, 3442 posts
Sunday , 18 Oct 2020 1:50PM
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Pacey said..
I don't worry about getting salt ........the thing I am meticulous about is sand,


Choose your poison? Don't know what's worse but it's probably the hundreds of km in an under-damped trailer that best clouds them up. Sail local, don't worry about washing.


10%, seawater is 3% but the idea is the same


MarkSSC
QLD, 428 posts
Monday , 19 Oct 2020 3:39PM
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If you want to make your sails shiny again then try some Vuplex. Normally, I just wipe my sails lightly with an old towel to get the bigger droplets, but I do rinse the pulleys and check that no corrosion is developing there. They are stainless steel so it is not a big problem, just a check and perhaps a light spray with silicone lubricant once a year will be enough to keep them free. If you can, try sailing occasionally in a freshwater lake. It will clean the accumulated salt off your gear and is more fun than using a hose.

GasHazard
39 posts
Monday , 19 Oct 2020 9:20PM
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I don't think salt is hard enough to scratch sails, not that I've tested it.

segler
582 posts
Tuesday , 19 Oct 2020 11:13PM
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The Mohs hardness of NaCl crystals is quite low at 2.0-2.5, meaning soft. Same as a fingernail. The hardness of SiO2 crystals is very high, at 7. Diamond is the highest at 10.

So, yes, sand is the bad actor. It not only scratches plastics, but it also welds two-piece masts into one-piece.

Ben1973
478 posts
Tuesday , 20 Oct 2020 2:46AM
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I can say without a doubt salt scratches sails if you don't wash them, where I sail there's very little sand if any and after a couple of months use they are definitely scratched

pilchard
SA, 606 posts
Tuesday , 20 Oct 2020 8:14AM
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Only wash a sail before posting on buy and sell to make it look sexy as

kuotadriver
19 posts
Tuesday , 20 Oct 2020 3:12PM
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I bought a "rinsekit" which holds around 8 liters of water in a pressurized container. This is enough for a 6.5. I leave the sail rigged, hose it down and by the time I've packed everything else up the sail is almost dry (weather permitting).



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"Drying and rolling sails" started by Shipmate