Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Bill » Wed, 28 Mar 2007 23:00:32


Hello all,

Perhaps this has been discussed before, and kind of an odd question,
but has anyone tried Rain-X on your sail view panels to help keep them
clear?  Does it work, is it safe on clear film/vinyl?  I was wondering
given that usually when my windows cloud up where I cannot see easily
the swell/wave on approach, it is time for new sails.  However, this
can happen fairly quickly (few months), so I was wondering if there is
a way to extend and keep the windows clear?

Bill
http://obxbeachlife.blogspot.com/

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Roger Jacks » Wed, 28 Mar 2007 23:21:23

Quote:

> Hello all,

> Perhaps this has been discussed before, and kind of an odd question,
> but has anyone tried Rain-X on your sail view panels to help keep them
> clear?  Does it work, is it safe on clear film/vinyl?  I was wondering
> given that usually when my windows cloud up where I cannot see easily
> the swell/wave on approach, it is time for new sails.  However, this
> can happen fairly quickly (few months), so I was wondering if there is
> a way to extend and keep the windows clear?

> Bill
> http://obxbeachlife.blogspot.com/

Hi Bill,
Since you are primarily a wave sailor, and rig/derig on the beach, I'd
bet most of the "cloudiness" in your sails is due to sand still being
on/in them after you roll them up.
If you sailed in flat water venues, I'd suggest derigging your sails in
the water, but that's not an option with the shorebreak here in Hatteras.
I don't sail in the waves, and I get as much for my demo sails at the
end of the year as anyone.
The secret..... I almost always roll them up in the water and take a
little extra time to ensure that there's as little sand retained in the
sail as possible.
Clean salt water doesn't cause any problems (beyond rust in the vehicle).
Muddy fresh water can be a problem as the mud seems to cling to the
sails alot, but a couple of sessions in the sound seems to soak the
mud off them.
You can try the Rain-X or better still, use 303 Protectant, but either
way the sand left from beach derigging is going to scratch and cloud the
windows in your sails.
Hope this helps,

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Bill » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 00:25:06

Yes true, you love blowing sand when arriving at the beach, but hate
it at the end of the day while derigging and packing stuff back into
the truck!  My 4runner basically always has some level of Hatteras
sand in it.

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Dan Weis » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 00:52:35


Quote:
> Yes true, you love blowing sand when arriving at the beach, but hate
> it at the end of the day while derigging and packing stuff back into
> the truck!  My 4runner basically always has some level of Hatteras
> sand in it.

Bill:  Rain-X is used to prevent fogging of surfaces, not clouding.
The difference is that fogging occurs when tiny individual droplets of
water form on a surface.  Rain-X contains a surfactant, or wetting
agent, that reduces the surface tension of water and allows sheeting.
"Fogging" or clouding of vinyl or other surfaces is not the same
thing.  This doesn't mean that Rain-X won't improve visibility if it
sheets water that ordinarily would form distorting droplets.

You might be thinking of Plexus polish.  Plexus seems to fill in very
minor scratches in film and adds some sort of shiny protection that
reduces the appearance of scratches.  I use it regularly and it really
works.  As Roger suggested, 303 Protectant seems to give a nice shine
on new sails and certainly is known to add some UV protection, but it
doesn't remove the appearance of scratches as well as Plexus, IMHO.

-Dan

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Bill » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 01:03:27


Quote:

> > Yes true, you love blowing sand when arriving at the beach, but hate
> > it at the end of the day while derigging and packing stuff back into
> > the truck!  My 4runner basically always has some level of Hatteras
> > sand in it.

> Bill:  Rain-X is used to prevent fogging of surfaces, not clouding.
> The difference is that fogging occurs when tiny individual droplets of
> water form on a surface.  Rain-X contains a surfactant, or wetting
> agent, that reduces the surface tension of water and allows sheeting.
> "Fogging" or clouding of vinyl or other surfaces is not the same
> thing.  This doesn't mean that Rain-X won't improve visibility if it
> sheets water that ordinarily would form distorting droplets.

> You might be thinking of Plexus polish.  Plexus seems to fill in very
> minor scratches in film and adds some sort of shiny protection that
> reduces the appearance of scratches.  I use it regularly and it really
> works.  As Roger suggested, 303 Protectant seems to give a nice shine
> on new sails and certainly is known to add some UV protection, but it
> doesn't remove the appearance of scratches as well as Plexus, IMHO.

> -Dan

Well, as I think about my last experience this past Sunday on
Ocracoke, it was not scratches that was the issue but rather water
running off the sail.  If I missed an outside jibe and wetted the
sail, when coming back in and lining up the swell, it would be hard to
see because there was water droplets on the sail, and the sun angle
produced a lot of glare.  If Rain-X would cause the water to bead and
roll off the clear window, it would likely help visibility given the
sun glare.  Scratches, I believe, are not the issue yet since the
sails are fairly new (07s), but rather water on the sail combined with
sun glare.  Especially, on Ocracoke where the low afternoon westerly
sun angle sits almost directly in line of sight with the DTL wave ride
on NE winds.
 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by bodne.. » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 01:19:15

There's a product called 303 aerospace protectant that work well to
help your sails keep that " i can still see through window" look.
http://www.303products.com/tech/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&...

I think its due the the uv, sand and salt water. I believe there was a
topic on this awhile ago with someone suggesting that if you leave
your sails rolled in the car- the vibrations of the sand in your sails
from driving also contribute.

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by wtrplne » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 01:48:58


Quote:
> There's a product called 303 aerospace protectant that work well to
> help your sails keep that " i can still see through window" look.
> http://www.303products.com/tech/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&...

> I think its due the the uv, sand and salt water. I believe there was a
> topic on this awhile ago with someone suggesting that if you leave
> your sails rolled in the car- the vibrations of the sand in your sails
> from driving also contribute.

In my experience Rain-X will help the water run off the treated areas and
improve visibility in that way, and I've never experienced any sail damage
using it.  But it has to be applied fairly often to be effective.  303 seems
to work ok too, as do polishes, for what they are intended to do.  To clear
the sail of water droplets I'd go with Rain-X.  Keeping the sail free of
scratches is probably the most effective way to maintain good visibility.
There are so many ways to scratch a sail, most of which are detailed above.
One thing that works pretty well if you don't have a decent rigging area is
taking a large piece of indoor/outdoor carpet (the cheap/light plastic
type), nailing one edge to a 1"x1" piece of wood to roll it up, and using
that to rig the sail on.  Of course then you have *another* piece of gear to
carry around.  In any case, taking good care of sails is a lot of work.  I
think it's worth the effort.

Alan

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Bob A » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 03:02:26

Does the 303 protectant leave any kind of palpable film that you will get on
your hands or mast, or does it dry hard and stay put? Does it have a "fresh
pleasant smell" or no smell. I hate those 'fresh pleasant smell" products!
Bought some Sonus brand car polish once and the fragrance made me ill! So
sickly sweet. Thanks.


Quote:
> There's a product called 303 aerospace protectant that work well to
> help your sails keep that " i can still see through window" look.

http://www.303products.com/tech/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&...
Quote:

> I think its due the the uv, sand and salt water. I believe there was a
> topic on this awhile ago with someone suggesting that if you leave
> your sails rolled in the car- the vibrations of the sand in your sails
> from driving also contribute.

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Bob A » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 03:09:22

Dan, or anyone else, have you ever heard of using the 3M plastic cleaner and
plastic polish system on scratched mono windows? I've used this on my car's
headlights and it works great on those. I've been thinking about trying it
on an old favorite sail whose window is badly scratched, but I've been
nervous about doing it.Seems like this 3M stuff may be same idea as the
Plexxus polish?


Quote:
> You might be thinking of Plexus polish.  Plexus seems to fill in very
> minor scratches in film and adds some sort of shiny protection that
> reduces the appearance of scratches.  I use it regularly and it really
> works.  As Roger suggested, 303 Protectant seems to give a nice shine
> on new sails and certainly is known to add some UV protection, but it
> doesn't remove the appearance of scratches as well as Plexus, IMHO.

> -Dan

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Dan Weis » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 04:06:38


Quote:
> Dan, or anyone else, have you ever heard of using the 3M plastic cleaner and
> plastic polish system on scratched mono windows? I've used this on my car's
> headlights and it works great on those. I've been thinking about trying it
> on an old favorite sail whose window is badly scratched, but I've been
> nervous about doing it.Seems like this 3M stuff may be same idea as the
> Plexxus polish?

Bob:  3M makes both a plastic cleaner and plastic polish.  The cleaner
is not abrasive, while the polish contains abrasives.  I've used the
polish (at least I think it was the 3M stuff) to buff out yellowed car
headlamp covers. It was a soft abrasive, but abrasive nonetheless.
Monofilm is extruded polyester film.  Much softer than ABS or Lexan
plastic used on headlamp covers.

Try a small amount on an old sail as a test.  Nothing like proof from
the pudding.

-Dan

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Bob A » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 05:41:05

Thanks Dan. Yeah, I'll try on a small place. Will post results once I get
around to it.
Quote:
> Bob:  3M makes both a plastic cleaner and plastic polish.  The cleaner
> is not abrasive, while the polish contains abrasives.  I've used the
> polish (at least I think it was the 3M stuff) to buff out yellowed car
> headlamp covers. It was a soft abrasive, but abrasive nonetheless.
> Monofilm is extruded polyester film.  Much softer than ABS or Lexan
> plastic used on headlamp covers.

> Try a small amount on an old sail as a test.  Nothing like proof from
> the pudding.

> -Dan

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Bob A » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 05:45:03

I'll answer my own question here. Emailed the 303 people. They say "while
there is a slight "characteristic" odor noticeable if one removes the top of
the container of this product and sniffs it, this odor is almost neutral and
does not remain once product has been applied...only 303 Shower Shield
[different product] has an odor of fragrance...due to a slight lemon
fragrance added to the formulation."


Quote:
> Does the 303 protectant leave any kind of palpable film that you will get
on
> your hands or mast, or does it dry hard and stay put? Does it have a
"fresh
> pleasant smell" or no smell. I hate those 'fresh pleasant smell" products!
> Bought some Sonus brand car polish once and the fragrance made me ill! So
> sickly sweet. Thanks.

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Bob A » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 14:24:45

Tried the 3M system. Some improvement in the window clarity. Nothing earth
shattering though. It lessened the overall haze but a lot of deeper
scratches remain. Before polishing the window area was somewhat worse than
the panels above. Now the window is somewhat better than the other panels.
The small width of scrim near the luff actually improved more than the
straight monofilm of the window. I'll have to see how the improvement works
out on the water. I can post a photo link if anyone's interested.


Quote:
> Thanks Dan. Yeah, I'll try on a small place. Will post results once I get
> around to it.

> > Bob:  3M makes both a plastic cleaner and plastic polish.  The cleaner
> > is not abrasive, while the polish contains abrasives.  I've used the
> > polish (at least I think it was the 3M stuff) to buff out yellowed car
> > headlamp covers. It was a soft abrasive, but abrasive nonetheless.
> > Monofilm is extruded polyester film.  Much softer than ABS or Lexan
> > plastic used on headlamp covers.

> > Try a small amount on an old sail as a test.  Nothing like proof from
> > the pudding.

> > -Dan

 
 
 

Rain-X on Windsurfing Sails?

Post by Tsunam » Mon, 02 Apr 2007 17:12:40


Quote:
> Hello all,

> Perhaps this has been discussed before, and kind of an odd question,
> but has anyone tried Rain-X on your sail view panels to help keep them
> clear?  Does it work, is it safe on clear film/vinyl?  I was wondering
> given that usually when my windows cloud up where I cannot see easily
> the swell/wave on approach, it is time for new sails.  However, this
> can happen fairly quickly (few months), so I was wondering if there is
> a way to extend and keep the windows clear?

> Bill
> http://obxbeachlife.blogspot.com/

Best I've found is once a year I:

Hang the sail
Hose off
Wash with a warm water with a tiny bit of detergent (dishwashing liquid),
using a broom to scrub
Hose off.
And cos the water here has a fair bit of calcium (so leaves white spots), I
rinse again, whilst still wet, with rainwater in a watering can.

The windows are then lovely and clear.

I use Simmer X-Flex'es in DTL conditions