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Dingy Davits

Miscellaneous Cockpit Projects


Cockpit Canvas Cleaning and Waterproofing

This comes from the Forum, here, which also includes a great tutorial on dodger construction from Maine Sail (also included in the "101 Topics" sticky on the Forum),8640.0.html

The following was received from 303 Products, just passed along without comment on whether to use 303 or any other product (such as Trek 7, StarBrite, etc.)

Hello Ken. I’m getting back to you on your technical questions

Coverage: Depends on density of material, and type of sprayer & tip. On Sunbrella weight material and experience application using a proper sprayer and tip can expect 500 sq’ ft’ coverage per gallon or more. Proper tip means even flat fan, fine-mist tip. Experienced applicator means someone that won’t dramatically over-apply basically….a natural tendency.

First concern: This is NOT something that is merely done. The loss of water repellency (which happens as the protective chemical finish deteriorates to an inadequate level) tells you when it’s time to clean and “re-treat” the canvas. If one of your canvasses still “beads water” radically, the chemical finish on that is fine, no need to clean and re-treat that one now. More on getting top results pasted in at the bottom here. But in addition, if any of this canvas isn’t suspended like a bimini or t-top and is lying on a surface, you’ll want to be sure to remove it for treating. You may want to anyway for cleaning. But after it’s prepped, string it up….make a few lines of clothes line to drape it on. In the hot sun heated up by the sun is best. You don’t want canvas wet from the fabric protector product lying on fiberglass, vinyl, etc. And you want to protect vinyl windows from overspray too(more below and on the label).

How much cleaner. 303’s Fabric/Vinyl Cleaner is a concentrate. Use at ½ cup or more per gallon of warm water. (see short video below). The cleaner smallest size (32 oz) is more than sufficient.

Shelf life info, and then will paste in what folks need to know to get TOP RESULTS when doing this task. 303 HTFG. Pour remainder back into container, seal tightly to prevent evaporation, store at room temperature. Shelf life is indefinite. Cleaner. Good to use products like this up in 3 years, though official shelf life is 5 years when stored at room temperature.

Here’s further info. Please contact me with any questions. Thank you. RKD ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

In all cases 303 HT Fabric Guard is not used on new outdoor fabric. No point. Why? Because ALL outdoor fabrics come new with a protective fabric finish(fluoropolymer finish) already applied at the mill. This finish goes away over time. When loss of repellency indicates that cleaning and "re-treating" is required, it is THEN that 303's products come into play. Thorough prep (cleaning and rinsing) and using in warm weather only are required.

Text from 303's informational pamphlet on outdoor fabrics:

Short video showing this being done on Sunbrella. This from a boating TV show earlier this year. Though this example is on acrylic marine fabric, principles are exactly the same for any outdoor fabric.(can treat this on the boat because the fabric is not lying on any surface)

The below text stresses what is crucial if TOP RESULTS are to be achieved. Includes a link to product label instructions. .......................................................................................

Overview: What to do for best results with a fluoropolymer fabric protector.

Performance: With a fluoropolymer fabric protector product one gets performance on all fabrics except polypropylene. Typically seats and carpeting in an automobile are NOT this material, though some aftermarket floor mats are (because of the low price of polypropylene textiles). Fabric Convertible topping and the better quality marine canvas, residential, commercial and RV FABRIC awnings and the patio furniture fabric are “solution dyed acrylic”. Only fluoropolymer fabric protector products should be used to “re-treat” this material after cleaning.

A quality fluoropolymer fabric protector is safe and effective for colorfast fabrics, carpeting, upholstery and other textiles, including: polyester, nylon, acrylic, other synthetics, blends, and natural fabrics such as wool, Haitian cotton and fine silk.

Textiles treated with a high quality fluoropolymer fabric protector protect in several ways: Treated materials stay cleaner longer, and clean up much easier when finally soiled. Protects against both water-based AND oil-based stains. This includes protection from stains from grease, oils, lotions, body oils, sweat and other biologics, food and beverages.

NOTE: To get best results with any fluoropolymer fabric protector product, one must give particular attention to:

USING ONLY ON A THOROUGHLY CLEAN TEXTILE: Any soiling residue or cleaning agent residue that is NOT removed from the textile interferes with the bonding and performance of the fabric protector. With outdoor fabrics this means a thorough cleaning and a double-thorough rinsing (cleaning agent residues do NOT rinse off easily). On carpeting, upholstery, furniture fabric, this means cleaning with a machine extractor and, when the fabric is judged to be "clean", going over it one more time with water only (to remove cleaning agent residue). On garments, proper cleaning means a normal cleaning/rinsing cycle followed by at least one additional rinse cycle.

USING ONLY IN WARM TEMPERATURES: Fabric protector chemistry likes heat. This means using such products in warm weather...on a hot day and in full sun is best. 70°F is at the low end of marginal (OK but not good) conditions. But one can get good results on outdoor fabrics if the clean, dry textile is positioned in, and heated up by, the sun. Below 70° or 70° & humid....wait for a better day. The quicker you can get the treated fabric to dry and cure, the better bonding and performance is attained. This is why after cleaning and rinsing one allows textiles to dry completely before treating.

Hints with Garments: In marginal temperatures after the re-treated fabric has completely dried (and when there is no longer a solvent smell), you can put the garment in the dryer for about 5 minutes to increase the level of curing/bonding. (at a temperature no higher than the garment manufacturer recommends"). Or one can use a hair dryer, passing the hot air back and forth over the treated garment. Again, only after the fabric has completely dried and there is no more “solvent” smell. Of course, when doing the “hot air trick” avoid touching the textile with the hair dryer itself.

The hot air trick with the hair dryer (only after the treated fabric has dried) can be used on convertible topping and other smaller outdoor fabric applications, too. In marginal conditions this is a good way to enhance the curing.

Safety: When using fabric protector products, follow all label instructions, warnings and cautions. Please read product label instructions fully before use. Note, with 303 High Tech Fabric Guard all label warnings and cautions no longer apply when the treated fabric has dried.

Label Instructions…one of the first Main Links on 303’s Home Page:

Yours truly, 303 PRODUCTS, INC. R. K. Dyer 800 223-4303

--KWKloeber 19:07, 28 September 2015 (PDT)

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