Some ‘off-season’ work

Well, it’s been pretty cold this winter…too cold to go out sailing and still be somewhat comfortable, except for just a few days ago, when there was one day of perfect sailing weather.

We had a huge ice storm last month that completely covered the entire northern portion of Texas. Thankfully, the marina where my boat is didn’t sustain any damage, but a neighboring marina had roofs collapse and submerged fingers actually pulled some boats into the water.

Even though it’s been too cold to go sailing, I’ve been going out every couple of weeks to start the motor and also continue work on the interior and other little projects that come up. I’m almost finished with tearing out the v-berth and once that’s done, I’ll be able to fix the leak(s) and begin the rebuild.

A few days ago I went out to start the motor and work on the v-berth some more since I had a couple of free hours. The motor has been performing perfectly since I finally took the advice of disconnecting the fuel line and letting it run itself out when I’m ready to shut it down. The motor started right up on the first try. While I let the motor run for about twenty minutes (idling, under load, forward and reverse), I decided to check out my selection of jibs onboard.

Every time I’ve gone out since I bought the boat, I used the jib that had been most easily accessible…turns out it’s a very small jib. I didn’t even think about how small it was until I saw it in a photo a friend took while I was under sail. So I pulled out another jib and ran it up while I was parked in the slip. I don’t think it’s perfectly fitted for this boat, but it’s roughly a 110% jib. I let it air out a little and checked the condition. It appears to be in very good condition, but there are some stains that I’ll need to clean. Anyone have some good advice on cleaning sails and removing these stains?

dirty jib

Dirty Jib

About the author  ⁄ Michael

Looking forward to trading in a life on land for a life aboard a sailboat and cruising wherever the wind takes us.

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  • Reply
    January 30, 2014

    Too cold for sailing? Admittedly I am a bit crazy as a guy that keeps my boat in the water until December in New England, but how cold is too cold for sailing in Texas?

    And what’s a roof on a slip? I have never seen that around here?

    On cleaning sails, I leave that to professionals. Too many chemicals could damage the fibers. Typically it doesn’t cost too much to have them cleaned. From what I can see in the picture, I would just try some water and a very small amount of dish soap. Use a soft bristle brush. I don’t think it will take much of the rust stain out. Find a local sail loft and ask how much for them to clean it.

    Good luck,


    • Reply
      Mike Author
      January 30, 2014

      Thanks Jesse, I’ll give that a try!

      So far this winter, on my days off (I’m only off work every other weekend), it’s been too cold, too windy or I’ve been unmotivated to go out. Temps have been down into the teens at times and winds can be high…today, for instance, was sustained 25 mph with gusts 35-40 mph. The winds are too much, but I’ll grant you the temps are not too bad…maybe just too cold for me right now, lol.

      The marina has covered slips for some power boats. That’s what collapsed last month when we experienced an ice storm of mammoth proportions. See the photo at the top of the post? Thankfully, my marina didn’t have any significant damage, though.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014


    You can use any oxygenated bleach on sails like Oxy-clean. Lay the sail out in the sun (when you get some) and scrub with a soft brush and some dawn soap, using oxygenated bleach where you need it. Rinse it well with a hose and let it dry in the sun.

    S/V Kintala

    • Reply
      Mike Author
      February 5, 2014

      Ahh, great. Thanks Deb! Just what I was looking for.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2014

    Hey Mike,

    I haven’t seen anything from you here in ages. How’s your boat work going?

    • Reply
      Mike Author
      July 9, 2014

      Hey there! It HAS been quite a while I know. There’s been a LOT of changes in the past several months in my personal life. I just haven’t been as active at the boat. I have been doing some minor repairs here and there which I’ll update with posts soon. Fear not, I’m still here!

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