SAIL PANEL CARE
Sail panels are made of acrylic sheet similar to Plexiglas. (Plexiglas is a registered trade mark.) Information about the longevity, care, and cleaning of the acrylic sheet is provided below. The information is from a 1994 publication entitled "Plexiglas" by Atohass Corporation, a licensee of Rohm and Haas Company.
LONGEVITY: Plexiglas has a proven ability to withstand the effects of weather, sun, and a wide range of temperatures in outdoor use. In tests performed in Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania, samples of Plexiglas sheet exposed for 20 years or more show no significant discoloration, crazing, surface dulling, or development of haze or turbidity. The test samples were mounted on outdoor racks at a 45 degree angle facing south.
CLEANING: Plexiglas will scratch easily and a common-sense approach must be used to keep it looking good. To clean Plexiglas, wash with plenty of non-abrasive soap or detergent and water. Use a bare hand to feel and dislodge any caked dirt or mud. A soft, grit-free cloth, sponge, or chamois may be used, but only as a means of carrying water to the sheet. Do not use hard, rough cloths that will scratch. Dry with a clean, damp, chamois. Grease and oil may be removed with kerosene or aliphatic naphtha (no aromatic content).
For obvious reasons, DO NOT USE A PRESSURE WASHER AROUND SAIL PANELS. This WILL cause them to pop loose.
DO NOT USE WINDOW SPRAYS OR KITCHEN SCOURING COMPOUNDS to clean Plexiglas. Also do not use solvents such as acetone, dry-cleaning fluid, lacquer thinners, alcohol, etc., since they attack the Plexiglas surface. Alcohol solutions containing more than 10% alcohol or cresylic acid germicides may attack and harm the Plexiglas surface. Strong alkali solutions (lye, ammonium hydroxide, etc.) can be used freely on Plexiglas, but may damage automobile paints.
HAND POLISHING: Most minor scratches can be removed or reduced by application of polish. To apply polishes, use a small pad of soft cotton flannel dampened with water. Rub the sheet along the length of the scratches with a back and forth or circular motion. Avoid excess rubbing in one spot. Several applications may be necessary, but most minor scratches can be reduced and the clarity improved within a short time. When scratches are removed or reduced, consider the application of wax or anti-static coating.
WAXING: If, after removing dirt and grease, no great amount of scratching is visible, coat the Plexiglas with a good grade of commercial wax. This will improve the appearance by filling minor scratches. The wax should be applied in a thin, even coat and brought to a high luster by rubbing lightly with a dry, soft cloth such as cotton flannel, outing flannel, or flannelette. EXCESSIVE RUBBING WITH A DRY CLOTH WILL CAUSE SCRATCHES.
PAINT REMOVAL: If you paint around your car, mask the sail panels or better yet, remove them entirely. If you get overspray on them, soak the painted part in a 10% - 20% solution of lye or trisodium phosphate. (Do not get this on the car paint.) Wallpaper paste can be mixed with these solutions to make a paste that will cling to vertical surfaces. Paints which have an acrylic resin base CANNOT be removed from Plexiglas with this method, and this includes many automobile paints.