First of all, to clarify: sheets on boats are what normal people refer to as ropes. They are also sometimes called lines. Most of you probably already know how to clean bedsheets. It involves either a washing machine or a trip to the laundromat.
Great news, readers! A boat’s sheets can easily be cleaned in exactly the same way! Just put them in the washing machine along with a bit of softener and wash them in cold water.
Benn washed the jib sheet yesterday, and it was very successful, as you can see from the photos.
And, even better, he did it all in our little Good Ideas Portable Mini Washing Machine. While it is not specifically a marine appliance, it more than satisfies our needs. It can easily be tucked away and requires only a hose for its water supply. Its only real drawback is that it runs on 240V and therefore requires shorepower or an inverter. This is going to be true of all big appliances, however, and this one has the particular advantage of costing only about 100 GBP, whereas the special marine version will run to about 800 GBP and still requires a 240V connection (or 120V in the USA). (After a quick check, I saw that the Good Ideas Portable Washing Machine is sadly no longer available at Amazon — there are plenty of comparable machines out there, though, SO DO NOT DESPAIR.)
Otherwise, a trip to the local laundromat (or the laundrette, for our UK readers) works just as well. In fact, the last time we were passing by, we saw someone from a nearby marina there, washing two full loads of sheets. So, even the professionals do it — albeit for a much steeper price than if you just go there and do it yourself.
Benn washed the mizzen and main sheets a few months ago, and they are still relatively white. Fighting the algae is a never-ending battle, however, and we are still trying to find a way to keep the green off the decks that doesn’t involve constantly washing them. We’ve had little success so far, but remain optimistic that a magic solution exists out there somewhere. Any advice from more seasoned sailors out there would be most welcome!