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Making your own sails

Old 08-05-2003, 11:29 AM
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RobStagis
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Default Making your own sails

Referencing the current thread on Fairwind sails: For beginners, you might not know that sailmaking is half art and half science. If your sails are bad enough, then flat-panel sails (single piece of fabric) will be a benefit.

However, most sails aren't single-panel. If you look at 'em, they're made out of multiple panels. This isn't for cosmetics. The panels aren't simply pieces cut out and taped/sewn to come out in the same shape as the original triangle. They're quite precise in their shape with the end result being a piece of fabric that, if laid down on a table, wrinkles. They've got a built-in camber (belly) that builds a better airfoil than a single piece of fabric.

Don't let that put you off - if you've got a guy who can make 'em, then by all means get some new sails on the boat and go sail!

Rod Carr's prices are middle-of-the-road, actually. I prefer his sails because I'm a simple guy, and Mr. Carr's sails require a straight mast, which is easy to rig. Other sailmakers believe in cutting their sails to fit a mast that has a rigged-in bend. They'll tell you, when you buy them, how much of a bend they want, but I'm not patient or precise enough to want to worry about that.....
Old 08-05-2003, 01:01 PM
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RC-Archer
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Default Making your own sails

Rob, you're right.

A few years ago when I built my Marblehead, I picked up a freeware sailmaker software program that allowed me to design a sail and then output the individual sail panels in dxf for printing. I tried to go that route but my $19.95 sewing machine wasn't up to the task.

So I ended up buying Carr sails. They're great!
Old 08-05-2003, 01:09 PM
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RobStagis
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Default Making your own sails

Think 'sail tape'. We've got a whole bunch of sails in the club made by one of our members who's patient enough to figure out how to use the borrowed sail block. Tape only!!! Not a one of 'em has come apart yet. A couple grommets in the corners and you're ready to go.

A sail block is a built-up (or molded) thingie that allows you to set up the panels for a built-in camber. It's deceptively simple-looking - but if you keep looking at it you realize that every curve on it changes......
Old 08-05-2003, 03:32 PM
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Default Making your own sails

Where do you get the tape?
Old 08-05-2003, 03:47 PM
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RobStagis
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Default Making your own sails

www.gbmy.com or mariner sails - I don't know their URL. Hit the AMYA suppliers' page.

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