Machine washing lines, sheets & halyards

Piddy

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18 Jan 2005
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Make the shackles wear old socks! It stops the clanging as they go round.

Sadly SWMBO is reluctant to let me put them in the new washing machine so I have to wait 'till she is out!

Cheers
 

CreakyDecks

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9 Sep 2011
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Fill dinghy with water on pontoon, allow sun to gently warm it....
It wouldn't have done that in the summer this year. By next week they reckon you'd be breaking the ice off after a few hours!

I just washed mine in the bath last year. I'd thought they were beyond hope but they came up so well I almost wished I hadn't bothered buying the new ones!
 

Jamesuk

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7 Apr 2007
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Deffo when SWMBO out, and never ever mention it.

I juts put them all in, coiled up tight and tied off, low temp 30C, a bit of powder (about a 1/4 of normal) and put it on a gentle wash with low spin speed. The latter is key.

Then when done take the tangled mess out and hide them away until you get a free evening to sit there, glass of red for sustenance, while you untangle it all: I found it strangely meditative, but once a year is enough. :)

I tried once leaving halyard shackles on and ex-SWMBO did notice the new machine I had to buy. :D
Clearly you should be putting your sheets in those little net bags so you dont have to untangle them.

I have a lovely picture of what i do with my sheets (boat sheets ill try dig it out)
 

KenMcCulloch

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I have dealt with the spliced-on shackle problem successfully by wrapping the shackle in a couple of layers of bubble wrap secured with electrical tape. Seems to work for me. I washed 2 spinnaker halyards at the weekend and took the rest of the running rigging off the mast yesterday.

One thing I have found is that even quite gentle washing will tend to expose any weaknesses. The older of the two spinnaker halyards I washed the other day, when it went in the wash had what looked like a very small and not yet too worrying patch chafed where it sometimes touches the spreader root. When it came out this small chafe had become a hole in the sheath with a loop of core protruding. I have also occasionally seen eye splices in braid-on-braid start to slacken slightly, although it's usually easy enough to tighten the splice up again once the rope is dry.

This might be treated as evidence that washing ropes is bad for them, I prefer to think of it as simply exposing weaknesses that were already present.
 

Tintin

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I have dealt with the spliced-on shackle problem successfully by wrapping the shackle in a couple of layers of bubble wrap secured with electrical tape. Seems to work for me. I washed 2 spinnaker halyards at the weekend and took the rest of the running rigging off the mast yesterday.

One thing I have found is that even quite gentle washing will tend to expose any weaknesses. The older of the two spinnaker halyards I washed the other day, when it went in the wash had what looked like a very small and not yet too worrying patch chafed where it sometimes touches the spreader root. When it came out this small chafe had become a hole in the sheath with a loop of core protruding. I have also occasionally seen eye splices in braid-on-braid start to slacken slightly, although it's usually easy enough to tighten the splice up again once the rope is dry.

This might be treated as evidence that washing ropes is bad for them, I prefer to think of it as simply exposing weaknesses that were already present.
That is a really good point Ken, thanks. I'd certaonly rather find a potential problem in the comfort of my living room than at night with a sea running.
 
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Noahsdad

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Hampshire
Just did mine last week!
Bunged a couple at a time in an old pillow case with socks tie wrapped over the shackles.
40 deg wash using Bio liquid washing capsule and a scoop of vanish for the really manky lines and a reduced spin rpm of 600 and they came out almost dry and much better than when they went in!
 

dansaskip

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Nobody has mentioned pressure washing. Is this because it is too fierce and can damage the rope?
It's 'cos it would force the dirt into the braid and core. Its why we all use our washine machines low temp and gentle detergent. I leave the shackles on but thanks for the tip about socks over them - it will stop so much clunking - but does seem to damage the drum anyway.
 
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If you don't have a washing net to bundle them into, and are using a top-loader, it is best to wrap a few turns around the coil and lock it off as if you are going to stow it. Otherwise, they just sit neatly at the bottom of the drum with the water swirling overhead.

Good tip about the Ecover bleach, but see this thread for info on using Patio Magic to remove the mould, I highlighted some more info on post #24
 
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NigelCraig

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The sheets on my Crabber are not damaged or frayed and therefore reluctant to replace but they are quite stiff, particularly where the jib sheets pass through bullseyes. Soaked them in fresh water last winter but didn't seem to have any effect. Do you think 30 degree wash with washing powder/fabric softener would soften them?
 

Leighb

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8 Aug 2007
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We wash our running rigging and mooring lines most years in the machine, 40C, very little powder, I don't bother to coil them up tight as they always come undone and have to be untangled anyway.

Halyards with spliced on shackles go in an old sail bag with the neck tied up very tight and that usually stops them banging around too much.

The result is worth the bother in our view as we start the season with salt free flexible lines.

It is important not to overload the machine, ropes are fairly dense and it is easy to push more than double the specified max load into the drum. We have some long mooring warps which each weigh around 10lbs so they get washed one at a time.
 

FWB

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Put them in a large bin and add Brintons Patio Magic and water. Slosh them around for a bit then hang them up in the garage. As they dry off they will be clean and stay clean for the season.
 

wotayottie

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Is this an urban myth or do people really wash their lines in a domestic washing machine?

If it's true, can anyone offer advice on how? Fully load the machine, flake the lines into the drum, temperature, cycle and so on?

Lastly, with the permission of SWMBO'd or do it when she's out of the house :D

Thanks for sharing your experience.
Urban myth? I thought everyone did it. I certainly do.

Only tip is to run the rope itself through the snap shackle seral times to prevent it knocking the h*ll out of the drum. Keep the water cool < 30c and use fabric conditioner.
 

ffiill

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5 Sep 2007
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Deffo when SWMBO out, and never ever mention it.

I juts put them all in, coiled up tight and tied off, low temp 30C, a bit of powder (about a 1/4 of normal) and put it on a gentle wash with low spin speed. The latter is key.

Then when done take the tangled mess out and hide them away until you get a free evening to sit there, glass of red for sustenance, while you untangle it all: I found it strangely meditative, but once a year is enough. :)

I tried once leaving halyard shackles on and ex-SWMBO did notice the new machine I had to buy. :D
Very important to hide away BUT inevitably I get caught!
Never be tempted to try to wash mould out of canopy covers etc on a hot wash-Acrylic doesnt shrink but the tapeing does!!
 

Baddox

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Sunny Northumberland
Non-bio will not make the ropes go green next season; it will potentially clean less well depending on what’s on the rope. Removing salt and sand from ropes reduces damage caused by abrasion so they live longer and stronger.
For thoroughness, give the rope a rinse to remove salt before washing. Powder detergent usually contains bleach and will clean more effectively than other forms, the drawback is that it could also react with the salt and leave deposits that stiffen the rope slightly.
Liquid detergents will clean less well but will leave the ropes softer.
Fabric softener will work on ropes and should give some water repellency as well as protection from mould etc.
 
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