Monday, November 3, 2014

Laundering the Lines

Just like everything on a sailboat that needs care and maintenance, our lines are no exception. And some of our lines are looking a wee bit...nasty; some in part because of frequent (main sheet) and others due to lack of use (cunningham and boom vang lines).

The main sheet is not only used to adjust the main sail, which can be a lot when Ron is 'playing', but it also serves as a convenient hand hold when descending the companionway stairs (which is also a lot). Throw in some greasy, sunscreened hands doing all the touching and you can see how it would get grimy after a while. The boom vang and cunningham lines on the other hand are used much less, the ends generally lie on the deck and soak up water and have been allowed to get moldy, crusty and downright gah-rossss. Shame on us!
In case you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about
We've replaced a couple lines here and there and thought that we'd need to replace these as well but instead of just going out and getting new ones, and since we have 5 months of winter to play with them, we decided to try and wash them first and see what happens.
I like colorful lines...but not green a-la-mold
We packed the lines in  pillow cases, tossed in some detergent and Oxyclean and let the washer work its magic. The good news is that the main sheet and boom vang lines brightened up and can be put back on the boat, the bad news is that the cunningham did not (shocker). Besides the discoloration, the line was getting to be fairly brittle and stiff so we decided to just get a new one. At least it won't be too costly as it's only 18ft long and Ron can splice in the loop himself.

I was sort of secretly wishing they'd all need to be replaced so we could spice up our color motif but the cheap practical side of me would rather not waste perfectly functional (but boring) line.

6 comments:

  1. We tried to clean a line once using the washing machine/pillow case method and it definitely did not work for us. Lol. Still not sure what the heck went wrong. ;)

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    1. Ours are functional...I still wouldn't describe them as pretty though ;) Maybe the Oxyclean helped a bit??

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  2. 5 gallon bucket with about 2 gallons of hot water and about 3 cups of bleach. Put on your cleaning gloves and crappy clothes (trust me on this one) pack in the lines, swish them around for about 5 mins. Let them sit for about 10 mins, swish some more, wait some more..... You get the idea. After about an hour of this, they will look like new! Rinse them good about 10 times, It's tough to get the bleach out, but it's worth it. Mine were so cruddy, I had to change out the water and bleach about half way through. Clean lines are awesome, and they last longer when they are clean too!

    Thanks for all the blogging you guys, it's lots of fun reading along. Even my wife is getting excited about this stuff. I caught her looking at cruising boats for sale a few days ago :)

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    1. Glad you're enjoying the blog, and that your wife is getting into sailing stuff as well! Do you have plans to go cruising? I know it can be a lengthy process to get there!

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  3. At this point I would have to answer, yes we do. We are creeping up on it. We will spend the next couple of seasons just messing around with our little sailboat (19 feet) too many family obligations for the next couple of summers, but the great lakes are calling! We live in the Holland Area, however, we are both from Muskegon! We are empty nesters and are reaching the point that we will be thinking about this pretty seriously in a few years. We both figure we will have a few good years just cruising the great lakes, however, we are HUGE fans of the Caribbean and can't wait to spent a lot more time there.

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    1. Such a small world! I definitely can see spending a few years (or summers) cruising the Great Lakes...I'd LOVE to make it up to Lake Superior for some cruising at some point! There's no doubt in my mind that doing some leisurely sailing is a great way to get ready for cruising. A 'few years' will be here before you know it! ;)

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