Have you ever wanted to make your own sail?
If you have looked at some tired old bagged out sails and said I need a new sail, These rags do not respond to changes to my astute knowledge of sail trim, something has to be done. If you do not want to pay es mucho denero for la 3DL, building your own sail is a possible solution. Get a sail kit and do it yourself. It is very satisfying to be cooking along the water and to look up and see your own handy work powering efficiently down the lake.
One can order a kit from Sailrite. It can be a stock kit from known measurements or it can be tailored to your specifications. In this example A Sabot sail is what we needed. Here is the kit as it arrived.
It consists of laser cut Dacron panels. Included is a spool of V69 thread, Nylon webbing, fiberglass battens, Heavy duty V69 thread, needle, basting tape, seamstick tape and grommets. I also bought some numbers and some telltales.
Next it is a good idea to layout the panels and do an inventory of contents. Doing this also gives a overall view of the size of the project.
Cutting and sewing the batten is one of the early steps. This is because manipulating the sail material is much easier when the material is smaller. Sewing full sails is difficult with anything other than a long arm sewing machine. Do the pockets first. In this case the leech will be a double rolled seam. Place the pocket at the seam line. Leave enough of the pocket unsewn to roll the leach under the pocket.
Start basting the panels together is a sequence that makes it easier to assemble the whole sail. A Sabot sail is not as a large factor than a bigger sail. L large sail has difficulity fitting under the throat of the sewing machine. More details on the custom logo in a later article.
The head is the las panel of the sail sewn.
Mark the patch panels with a pencil to guide sewing the corners in place.
Use seamstick double sided tape to stabilize the layers of fabric in place before sewing them down in place.
Arrange the patches in the coeners all three. Sew them to the sail. Use a zig zag stitch to distribute the stresses along the sailcloth.
Fold the leech of the sail to the seam line. Roll over again to make a presentable edge. The fold can be set with mashing down with battens as a seam tool. Magic clamps are useful in keeping everything in place before sewing.
Quality control inspector #2 making sure the foot tape is properly aligned. The 2" tape is folded over and ironed in half. Tape is then clipped in place to reinforce the foot. Magic clips are useful in sewing projects. these are purple. They hold fabric in place prior to stitching. A long 1" x 6" board is a budget substitute for a sail loft.
Sewing th foot down. Big zig zag. Double stitched at the tack and clew.
Inspector #3 checking the quality of the V69 thread. Used with a #16 needle. The industrial needles are different from home machines in that they have round shafts. orientation of the needle must be done by visual inspection.
Cutting the mast sleeve. Take some time to measure the panels and cut them. Cut straight. The instruction are mildly strange. Think them out before cutting.
Some of the tools for sail making. The "Sailmakers Apprentice" shows twine and a palm. In this project no palm was necessary. New tools are a plan, sharp scissors, seamstic, wescott ruler a hand calculator and paper to do measurement calculations. I missed including the granny glasses in the picture because they were on my head.
Seamsticking themastsleeve to the sail. Every seam is set using a batten to push the glue to each side.
Sewing the mast head in place. Nine inches folded on the leech with double zigzag stitching.
Setting grommets. A new tool has a lot of grease. Make sure it is washed before uased on a nice white sail.
Cutting a logo for the sail made out of sticky backed insignia cloth. A patter was traced from a factory sail ant transferred to Dacron then cut with an xacto knife.
Would have liked to have the lucky side of sabot logo to be pointing forward. Nice shape of the sail. Number s conform to direction of US Sailing. Numbers are not us sailing compliant. Who cares for sabots at lake mead.
Due to circumstances beyond anybody's control, I cannot test this sail in the immediate future. Lake Mead is closed due to COVD-19 concerns. However I am looking forward to having some impromptu races at the marina as soon as time permits.