What is the issue?Spray hoods become slightly porous after four or five years of constant sunshine. Once this happens they loose their waterproofing capability.
Why address this?At first small pools of water that stand in the middle of the spray hood start to drip down into the companionway. Over time it becomes increasingly wet beneath the spray hood so nothing that needs any water-protection may be left there.
How to address this?Thoroughly clean the canvas and spray or paint the hood with a clear water resistant silicone solution such as Fabsil or Thompsons Waterseal, available from most good caravan and camping shops.
These products form a colourless, non-staining 'hydrophobic' protection to the fabric which protects and waterproofs the spray hood. They work by creating a water beading reaction, 'hydrophobic', so that the fabric becomes resistant to water and also UV, yet remains breathable.
An annual touch up with this very inexpensive spray made our spray hood serviceable for many years beyond where I would have naturally replaced it. Silicon is very versatile on a vessel and can also be used to renovate plastic, rubber and wooden surfaces and protect and lubricate locks, switches, latches, hinges zips etc. So it is convenient to keep a can aboard.
The product comes in two forms, aerosol and paint-on of which the latter is much better as spraying in the slightest breeze makes it impossible to get an even covering, half of it blows away and it smells horribly. Keeping it on the canvas is also essential as it is slippery and should be kept off the decking and well clear of the transparent windows and paintwork with which it tends to bond very efficiently, making it difficult to clean these surfaces in the future. On the other hand putting it on with a soft paintbrush whilst saturating the canopy is easy and presents little difficulty.
With thanks to:Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession with thanks to Mark Beasly
How To Clean and Maintain your Canvas
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