All rolled up waiting on a sunburn
The first decision you have to make is "Am I going to do this unorthodox thing to my sail?" With us it was easy. We purchased the sail for about $300 on eBay, almost brand new. We then spent some at Keys Sail Repair getting it re-sized and a tape put on the luff. With only $600 in a sail that was quoted by Hood at $2200 we figured why not. Now if we paid $2200 for a sail we would have probably spent the balance for a Sunbrella cover.
During the decision process we visited Google often. Searching things like "Painting Dacron" quickly gives you the ins and outs of painting Dacron in the sailing, hang gliding, kite, ultralight, and RC plane groups. If those that soar above us with nothing between them and the ground other than the Dacron on their wings are willing to even entertain the thought of painting it then a boat that will remain afloat with out that Dacron is just past one hurdle. Fabric Degradation.
Glidden, flat, exterior, Navy, $9.70
Second we found all extremes of life and adhesion. Blues break down faster, no reds do, no reds go on a barn not a boat, black absorbs more UV, White reflects more UV, you shouldn't use green on the water, you shouldn't use Killz, You should use Killz, use interior only no use exterior only, you should use flat, you should use gloss. Then suddenly within it's conglomerated wisdom you realize as a whole the Internet doesn't know for sure.
- Will it peel? Who knows time will tell.
- Will it fade? Who knows time will tell.
- What color is best? Navy blue like the rest of our trim. But is it better than the red on s/v Soulmate? Or the Tan on s/v Whisper? Or the Orange on s/v Sjöjungfru?
- What will we do if it fails quickly? Plan B.
Off to Home Depot we went. Our little Vega with roller furlers have a luff of about 28 and a foot of about 13+-. At one foot wide and two coats this comes out to 40 square feet a coat. Easily with in the one quart coverage. We purchased a quart of Glidden outdoor long life in the closest Navy Blue they had to match the other canvas on the boat for $9.70. We had an old disposable brush on board and made do without a drop cloth. The total for the experiment was just over $10 out of pocket today and a couple of hours.
by the time we got 6 feet painted it was dry at the starting end, mostly.
It rolled much tighter than with a Sunbrella cover on the previous sail.
Even without any proof of UV Protection every time we are arriving back to our boat the blue furling is much more calming than the white "I need to take care of that before we loose the sail" impending doom.
For reference 10" UV Dacron insignia cloth from Sailrite would run about $70 plus shipping for a peel and stick solution.
If there are any issues we will update the blog with "Sunblock and Genoas, part 2, updates" and I will turn the previous quote into a click-able link.