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I just got a lovely old Star SY 3 yacht and needed to clean some filthy sails. My wife suggested Vanish and blow me down with a genoa, it's working. A generally mid to dark grey (I believe oil based) grubbiness has all but disappeared and I should be able to re-rig them with some new off white 1.3mm string from Caldercraft fittings at Cornwall Model Boats. I can make new styrene bowsies and any metal hooks and loops. I've scraped the mast and bowsprit fittings of rust until they look shiny again, repaired a broken mast and repainted the green edging which had been a bit knocked about. I love doing these restorations more than making new stuff!
Snap, I'm a bit of a restoration freak myself, a lot of our vintage sailing boats look terrible with bright new looking sails so my wife nicks a tea bag and washes in tea allowing to dry naturally then dabbing with a wet tea bag to add shading then iron dry, wallah antique sails. Cheers Colin.
Tenners...tenners....Oh you mean old tea bags we've used ten times, Doug. I'm sure Colin can oblige
Used to dodge up "old" pencil sketches and water colours with cold tea, Colin. Been forging for years. If the experts can't tell, sod 'em! Vanish has done a superb job. Wifey's just rinsed out and will be washing them carefully by hand. But there will be some residue left. Apparently the bleach element of Vanish is a Sodium Carbonate and doesn't damage fibres like ordinary bleach.
My wee red boat after a rub down and a file/sand on the steel keel. This morning I painted the red with HMG enamel and got the green mixed in the same make enamel by my wonderful chap at Kett's Auto Paints.
The mast came in two parts, so I did a slight scarf and glued it. When the joint is well set, I'll make a splint and set it in prior to a rub down and a good waxing. The steel (tinplate) parts came with the predictable rust, but with my selection of scrapers and chisels made of broken and worn Swiss files I was able to scrape most of it off back to reasonable shiny steel. The out of shapeness needed only a clout with a cold chisel type of bodywork tool in the right places to restore it to original shape. Loops were filed to lose most of their rust, but not replaced. They'll be Vaselined as a form of anti rust, waterproofing. I have some new 1.3mm cord coming from Caldercraft. I just hope I can remember how it was rigged. I ain't great with knots. The sails were absolutely filthy with some sort of oil based grime, but my dear bride sorted them out with Vanish and a good hand wash. Pics of those tomorrow.
I think Hydrogen Peroxide is the active ingredient in Vanish and the like. It is regarded as "The Safe Bleach" in the cleaning products industry. It remains active on cleaned surfaces for up to 72 hrs.Hypochlorite types only for as long as you can smell them. It is safe to use on just about any surface or fabric and mixed with a small amount of say washing up liquid it will clean body fats from baths and showers and other fats from cookers and work surfaces. Also removes mould etc. It produces no toxic fumes and is safe on the skin. I worked for a company called Environmental Chemicals who were devoted to safer cleansing alternatives. You would be amazed at it's effect on a previously washed bread board. I won't list all they made but the one with the HP in it was very popular with industry and the public. I could identify most of their chemicals used by smell and Hydrogen Peroxide was one. Well not so much a smell but it's action on my nasal passages. Likewise with gas fire and boiler fumes. A very handy thing to have when I was plumbing/gas fitting. Anyway back to the point. You can bleach your sails safely with it as often as you like to make them as white (or_ grey) as you like. It also shifts grime from painted/varnished wood and metals. A mention was made by someone (Westie ?)of metal masts etc on a star Yacht. I thought all Star yachts had all wooden masts and spars. I knew the Denyes.Jean-Jacques in particular and was allowed into the hallowed halls once or twice but didn't see everything. I was told that after the war wood was in short supply and old mangle rollers that were made with apple wood were sought and used . I am waiting to get back on my feet to restore the two yachts I was given for my two boys at that time.Around '67/68. Only the smaller unnamed ones. I don't know what no they are. I've already made a mast for one but all metal fittings will need cutting out afresh and new suits of sails acquired. Regarding sails. Handkerchiefs are too fine a material to allow recovery in a blow down. They don't allow the water out so keep the yacht flat. Anyone know of an alternative solution? Sorry to go on but I hope this diatribe has been helpful to someone.👍
Useful to know about Vanish. It certainly worked on my Star yacht sails. Fortunately the sails on the Ailsa yacht are lovely anyway, just some new rigging cord required. I would say the sails were the same as bed sheets.
I used some white spirit to clean the deck on the Ailsa. Most of the dirt being handling muck. Then I waxed it with 3M wax...twice. It's wonderful stuff which I bought for our historic narrowboat's new paintwork. It was a wooden boat and when I replaced the cabins and had painted them with Tra-mar Coatings hand made enamel paint, I waxed them with 3M's wax and they went another 3 winters before I sold the boat, with the rain still rolling off in beads.
The Ailsa is now waiting for some spar varnish over the repair's creamish paint. I couldn't match it perfectly, but I didn't want to repaint the whole hull. All the repairs are under the waterline so it shouldn't show.
The Star...I never heard of them using aluminium for masts. How would they have kept the rigging eyes in place?
If they had been of Ali (or steel )as I have seen on another make The eyes/loops etc were retained in punched holes. The only one I have seen was on a pressed alloy hull of a cabin yacht with wire stays. That would have been just after the war. Make not known.👍 PS re creamish paint. Give it a light T Cut before painting to remove oxidation first👍
I did indeed use an abrasive polish on the cream paint, but as it was a very severe crack or two all along the hull, I injected resin in the crack and clamped it up as far as possible, then Milliputted in to fair it. This was between two strips of tape to prevent the spread of epoxy or Milli further than necessary. I managed to match the cream more or less and once I've put a coat of nice amber spar varnish on it'll look like the original when heeled and won't show at all when on display.