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Changing Sail Numbers

Postby Windy Hillbilly on Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:02 am

G'Day

Would like to change numbers on an older sail. Any reccommendations on the best way of going about the process? DIY or take the sail to a sail-maker?

If DIY. What is the best way to remove the old numbers? What are the various methods of creating/sourcing new numbers?

If using a sail-maker. What is the likely cost?

It is an older boat and only has a three digit number.

cheers Andrew.
cheers Andrew.
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Postby Mike Simpson on Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:21 pm

(Erased double post)
Last edited by Mike Simpson on Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Altering Sail Numbers

Postby Mike Simpson on Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:24 pm

Removal:
I generally prefer to use a hair dryer to soften up the glue on the old sail numbers then grab a corner of the number with light long-nose pliers and squirt hot air under while gently lifting off the old numbers.
Take care not to apply too much heat - you may end up with a hole in your sail. For this reason I do not recommend heat guns.

New Numbers:
Your sailmaker will cut you new numbers (quick and accurate but a bit dearer) but I usually buy a bit of stickyback sailcloth (red for Sabre numbers) and cut the required numbers out (remembering you're drawing the numbers in mirror image if you are setting them out on the backing paper on the stickyback.) The numbers must be sans serif upright Arabic font, minimum size 300mm high x 200mm wide (except for the figure 1) x 40mm thick.

Application:
Partially peel the backing off the number and align it very carefully in the correct place [numbers go under the class insignia in the area bounded by in the area bounded by the luff, the leech, the lower full batten and the upper short batten with the top number on the starboard side of the sail.]
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Postby GuestMember on Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:37 am

Hi Andrew

My experience is, sail makers are a bit reluctant to refit numbers as it takes a while cleaning off the old ones and people are a bit shocked at the cost.
If you DIY, Mike's advice is spot on.
I'd add a few extras.
Sometimes even with warmth the glue stays stuck to the sail.
If you leave it like that it will pick up every piece of dust and muck for miles around!
The only way to remove the glue is with acetone.
Use some rags over the numbers and pour the acetone on- do one number at a time.
The rag keeps the acetone on the surface and softens the glue into a gooey mass. After several minutes scrape off with plastic spatula.
Sometimes a second go on spots is needed.
Caution with acetone-use rubber gloves as it is harsh on skin.
Best luck

Matt
1747
Alchemy
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removing numbers

Postby Slow Hand on Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:10 pm

G'day folks,

All good advice, here is a bit more .....

To remove the 'sticky' glue, you can also use drycleaning fluid (Murlex).
Lay the sail out on a flat clean surface, then dab the murlex onto the sticky areas and scrape off the glue.
The Murlex may seep thru to the underside, so if that is a risk and you are concerned, place something absorbent underneath.

Dacron sails also respond well to the use of 'ironing aid' and a warm iron.
Again, a flat clean surface is needed.
Interestingly the ironing aid tends to help lift out dirt from the dacron.

Slow Hand
ex sailmaker
1724 nui uma
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Mineral Turps, and hints on getting the numbers on straight

Postby Ron_F on Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:13 pm

Gettin the glue off:
I bought some numbers off Bill Hooper a while back, and I'm pretty sure he told me to use Mineral Turps to remove the glue (after peeling off the numbers). Just let is soak a little while, then scrub with a stiff brush and/or rag. Pretty easy (either it was Mineral Turps, or metho, but I'm pretty sure it was turps). Then wash / rinse off.

Getting the numbers on:
It can be hard not to get bubbles or creases in the numbers if you're not careful, because the numbers go floppy and stretchy once the backing paper is removed. A small trick is to leave the backing paper on the back of numbers, except for peeling a bit of the paper back along one side. Position the number exactly where you want it, and press down the side with the sticky part exposed onto the sail (it helps to lay the number on accurately if you first cut away say 1 to 2 cm of the backing paper from the edge with a sharp razor, taking care not to cut into the number). Then slowly peel the paper back from underneath the number, pressing the freshly exposed sticky down against the sail as you go (to avoid bubbles, press down with a gentle sliding motion in the direction of the part with the paper still on it). Keep doing this until all of the backing paper has been slid out and the number is stuck down. Then give the number a firm rub, say with the back of a spoon, to really press the glue on (you will see the colour go slightly darker where you've rubbed - this should only be done on a smooth surface, like a table top or an old flat door, not on anything like concrete that could damage the sail).
I only worked out this trick after seven of my eight numbers!

Anyway, that's what I did, and it worked for me.

Cheers,
Ron F. - 'Hun' 1009
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Postby Windy Hillbilly on Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:41 pm

G'Day
Thanks for the all the great advice. Am much better informed now and should be able to complete the job with a suitable result.
cheers Andrew.
cheers Andrew.
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

some more information on removing and applying numbers

Postby Ron_F on Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:58 pm

Here's a web site found by the OK association: http://www.geocities.com/kc7cscow/clink/cmanual/removlet.htm
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