known for a long time that dark colored plastic water jugs far outlast
clear or white ones. Seems the color gives UV protection. We noted
colored dacron sails seem to outlast white ones unless the white
dacron was made from UV protected fibers. Thats why we spent the
extra 10 percent to have ours built of special protected cloth.
For some reason we never connected these facts when we ordered our
nylon drifter six years ago. Never had any problems with nylon sails
because they are rarely set for more than a few hours at a time.
But over the past 20,000 miles we have had a lot of light wind sailing
and at times our blue, silver and white nylon drifter has been set
for ten or l4 days at a time. It really did its job well and jokingly
became known as our working sail.
When the drifter developed
a l6 foot long split in the lower white panel just 40 miles out
of the Cape Verdes during our one day of less than 25 knot winds
(we had about 6 knots with a heavy swell as we approached the
islands), we looked for all possible sources of chafe, then we
looked for something that could have accidentally snagged the
sail. Finally we decided to test the fabric. We inserted a three
cornered sailors needle, pulled it sideways and it pulled through
the fabric like it was butter, not a bit of strength left. A test
on the blue and on the silver showed they were almost as strong
as new fabric.
That´s it, unless
we find someone selling UV protected nylon sailcloth, it´s
no more white for us.
| For years we´ve used square
plastic wash basins for ice molds, taking them into fish freezing
plants that are usually near the anchorage in ports we visit. In
a couple of days we have 20 or 25 pound blocks of crystal clear
ice. About six blocks plus a few gallons of chiped ice fill our
chest and give us l0 or l2 days of iced food and cold drinks in
the extreme tropics, l5 to 20 days in more temporate climes. Only
problem is, the extreme fast freeze cap-acity at fish plants meant
our basins tended to shatter after as few as ten uses. Then in Horta,
Larry had a grand idea. He sprayed the inside of each basin with
silicon. Perfect, the ice did not stick to the sides of the basins
as it froze. We don´t use this ice in our drinks so its not
a health worry and a spray every six or ten uses will help the basins
last and cut our ice costs even more. (We paid about 50 cents per
glock in the Azores, usually in way of a bottle of wine as the ice
plant folks refused cash.) When on passage we use the same basins,
lined with newspaper, to hold extra vegetables.
For more ways to make
ice last and also to build a better box for any type of refrigeration,
see "Hold that Cold" in our book, Care and feeding
of Sailing Crew