Friday, 4 September 2009

Clean Sails.

It's been a busy few days as we have got to grips with cleaning and refurbishing the fore sails. After two rainy seasons they were beginning to take on a rather nasty green hue!

I was pleasantly surprised that the staysail was in much better shape than I had expected. It's UV (sun-protection) strip was beginning to show signs of wear in a couple of places but on close inspection, once we took the sail down, these are easily repairable and we don't need to replace the whole strip yet.

We last had these sails overhauled in St Marten and that's back in 2005. Then we replaced the UV strips on the staysail and yankee and had both of them restitched. We have had to make the odd repair since but nothing more than a few stitches or a small patch.

The staysail is our 'storm' sail too. Being a cutter rig when we reef down the main with three reefs in bad weather we can balance beautifully with the staysail. The two sails balance us extremely well and we can keep good power( and steerage) even in very high winds.

So it's important that the staysail is in tip-top condition. It's the one we rely on when the going gets really tough.

Mind you it's hard work cleaning them at anchor! Not a lot of space! We took the staysail down and one of us feed it in sections to the other who, with the help of a bucket of oxy-clean and a stiff brush, put plenty of elbow power in to scrubbing off the disgusting green mould that was taking over. Well worth it though as it looks fantastic this morning.

We jumped over the side as soon as we had finished to cool down and get clean, bliss.

Now the Yankee to do, that's somewhat bigger and will take longer, oh well.

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