Sails

I bought a Sailrite kit for this boat and here are the panels for the jib laid out and the top two sewn together, along with the patches.

Sewing on the top section to the rest of the sail that’s bundled up. Each seam gets two zig sag stitches. This wasn’t too bad as the seams were fairly short and it stayed rolled up pretty well.

Now to do the hems on the edges.

I started with the foot which wasn’t too bad either.

Sewing up the luff and leach was a lot harder. The material gets pretty heavy so the machine doesn’t feed it so well, plus there’s so much material it’s hard to handle. I don’t even want to think about doing the main sail just yet.

But eventually I got it done and installed the grommets and leather. Also a stainless cable with two eyes gets sewn into a pocket on the luff. I think it came out pretty well, considering my general lack of experience. I found cleaning the needle with acetone every few seams helped keep the stickum from the basting tape from building up. The machine seemed to sew a little better after each cleaning. The instructions were adequate and had all the required information, although they could have been clearer.

I started off the mainsail by basting the patches onto the panel with the reef points. There are five patches while the jib only had four. I also had to make some 3″ square patches for the actual reef points out of the scrap material supplied in the kit.

Next I sewed the bottom panels together and the top panels together along with their respective patches. At this point it kinda hit me how bulky this thing was going to be to sew.

Sewing on the head panel to everything else. I tried keeping it rolled up with clothespins, but they didn’t work so well. The sail doesn’t have parallel sides so I couldn’t grab all the layers at once, and they weren’t strong enough to bite in from the side.

But eventually I got all the panels sewn together and it was time to hem up the edges. The leech just got a double folded over hem, while the other edges got varying sizes of folded Dacron tape.

Sewing on the Dacron tape along the foot.

And again along the head. This is where I encountered the only problem in the Sailrite kit. I wasn’t sent enough of the 1.5″ Dacron tape to do the edges of the sails specified in the plans. I did have enough 4″ tape left over so I could cut it down to 1.5″ and piece it together. I emailed Sailrite so they should have that right for the next kit.

Next up was to install the grommets.

And finally the sails were done. It took about 12 hours for each sail. I was definitely faster on the mainsail from the practice making the jib.

I used my mom’s Janome New Home 2014LE sewing machine. It worked ok, but it just barely got through the 10 layer sections.

I bent a coat hanger into a little stand so the string would feed off the spool properly. Getting the tension right took a bit of trial and error on a scrap piece. Eventually I found a cotton ball clipped over the string provided enough tension that the stitches looked good.

 

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