Ask SAIL: Slimy Running Rigging - Sail Magazine

Ask SAIL: Slimy Running Rigging

Author:
Updated:
Original:
Hot water, a soft brush and a gentle laundry detergent are all you should use to clean up grungy lines: whatever you do, don’t put them in the washing machine

Hot water, a soft brush and a gentle laundry detergent are all you should use to clean up grungy lines: whatever you do, don’t put them in the washing machine

Q: I’ve just bought a sailboat that’s been sitting unattended for a couple of years. The docklines, sheets and furling line are green with algae and stiff to the touch where they have been in contact with the deck. What’s the best way to clean the crud off polyester and nylon rope?

Randy Coughlin, Seattle, WA

DON CASEY REPLIES

You may be satisfied by simply laying the lines out on a dock and hosing closely with the strongest jet setting on the dock-water nozzle, rotating the line as you go. A soft brush with a little laundry detergent can improve the result. Do not use a power washer or an abrasive scrubber as these will damage the line. If you have access to hot water, soaking the lines in a bucket of hot water with a capful of laundry detergent added can lift deep grime. Agitate by hand and rinse thoroughly. Some sailors add fabric softener to the rinse water. However, do not use bleach, as even a short exposure weakens the line. Also, do not put rope into a washing machine, even inside a bag. While machine washing is effective, odds are about 90-to-10 that the line will come out a tangled mess, and about 50-50 that it will be ruined—hockled if it is three-strand and herniated if it is double braid. Damage to the machine is also a very real possibility. Soaking in mild detergent and freshwater is slower, but safer and will give the same result.

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

July 2016

Related

PICTON CASTLE under sail with stunsls WV7 compressed

Picton Castle Seeks Crew

The Picton Castle is set to begin its eighth circumnavigation this spring under the command of Captain Daniel Moreland. A professional crew of 12 will guide up to 40 trainees at a time as they learn about all aspects of sailing the bark, from steering to lookout, ...read more

DSC_0013

Ask Sail: Keel Attachments

Q: I have an early ‘70s Catalina 27. The keel bolts look pretty good. My question is, why not glass over the keel to bond to the hull rather than changing the bolts if, or when the bolts are too far gone? I haven’t seen anything on this, so could you discuss? Full-keels are ...read more

04-GOPR0511

Book Review: Sailing Into Oblivion

Sailing Into Oblivion by Jerome Rand $15.99, available through Amazon As refreshing and inspiring as Jerome Rand’s 2017-18 solo-circumnavigation may have been, his account of the voyage in the book Sailing Into Oblivion: The Solo Non-Stop Voyage of the Mighty Sparrow may be even ...read more

01-1970-Dec

50 Years of SAIL

Back in early 1970, Bernie Goldhirsh and the recently founded “Institute for the Advancement of Sailing,” publisher of an annual sailboat and gear guide, launched something called SAIL. A half-century later, a look back at the magazine’s first few years provides a glimpse into a ...read more

Photo-by-Adobe-Stockpics721-2048x

Webinar: Navigating Post-Dorian Abaco

On Thursday, October 22 at 6 pm ET, Navigare Yachting presents a webinar on what to expect from Abaco post-Dorian. The event will feature the authors of The Cruising Guide to Abaco, Steve Dodge and his sons Jon and Jeff.Hurricane Dorian hit Abaco in early September of 2019 and ...read more

LunaRossaBoat2

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Christens “Boat 2”

Hot on the heels of the UK’s Britannia and the United States’ Patriot, Italy’s new AC75 Luna Rossa, formerly known as Boat 2, was christened in Auckland, New Zealand, this morning. As the moniker suggests, it was Team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s second design. In his christening ...read more

m7803_DSCF6698-1

Challengers Christen Britannia and Patriot

October 16 proved an exciting day for America’s Cup fans with the christening of both the UK’s Britannia and America’s Patriot. Britannia will be helmed by four-time Olympic gold medalist and America’s Cup winner Sir Ben Ainslie. Olympic Gold medalist Giles Scott will serve as ...read more

HookPromo

Defender Product Spotlight: Lowrance Hook Reveal

Defender product expert Alex Lyons explains the benefits of HOOK Reveal’s new FishReveal technology: “DownScan sonar uses high frequencies to provide a picture-like image of the sea floor. The traditional sonar’s lower frequencies are best suited for locating fish in the water ...read more