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Old 31-10-2012, 07:08   #16
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We are just about finished with our first sailrite kit........

It's been surprisingly straight forward. All materials are well laid out and the instructions have been easy to follow. So far the results have been excellent.

This first project is small. It's a sailing rig for our home built chameleon nesting dinghy. But all of the principals and procedures that apply to this sail will apply to a larger sail project. Can't wait to start on a few larger sails......

We will keep you posted.

S
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Old 31-10-2012, 08:04   #17
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Re: Sailrite kits... Do it yourself sailmaking

I made an asymmetrical spinnaker that they cut for me. The instructions were very good. I got to choose my colors and where they were placed. I also sewed the spinnaker sock (dousing bag).

It is beautiful. Good instructions, easy to make ( I have a sailrite machine, and experience in sewing). They were very helpful. They answered any questions that I had. I would definitely make a replacement sail again.
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Old 31-10-2012, 11:31   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirsi
I made an asymmetrical spinnaker that they cut for me. The instructions were very good. I got to choose my colors and where they were placed. I also sewed the spinnaker sock (dousing bag).

It is beautiful. Good instructions, easy to make ( I have a sailrite machine, and experience in sewing). They were very helpful. They answered any questions that I had. I would definitely make a replacement sail again.
How is the shape of your spinnaker......... Are you happy with the design????

Would you consider building a mainsail from one of their kits????

We are satisfied so far, but taking it slow. Sailrite LSZ is great........ Learning as we go.

S
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Old 31-10-2012, 12:47   #19
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Very interesting, would love to know what the cost and weight of the spinnaker material was?
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Old 31-10-2012, 15:17   #20
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Re: Sailrite kits... Do it yourself sailmaking

I am finishing a Jordan Drogue project. Will tackle a Yankee Jib for my Valiant next. Have one of their upgraded machines from the LSZ. So far no problems.
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Old 31-10-2012, 15:28   #21
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Re: Sailrite kits... Do it yourself sailmaking

Do you really want your sails to be at the beginning of a learning curve?
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Old 31-10-2012, 16:35   #22
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Not a beginner, stitched all my own canvas, cushions, Bimini, awnings, winch covers, etc...

Have the equipment just never tackled a sail, not interested in making a main as I like fully battened mains and can't imagine tackling that but a spinnaker seems like it would be a piece of cake, especially with precut panels...
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Old 31-10-2012, 17:48   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako
Do you really want your sails to be at the beginning of a learning curve?
CAD program is pretty much universal. That was the jist of the original post. Materials are the same or better than the average sailmaker provides.

Thus far the process of building the sails is pretty much straight forward. As long as the panels are designed and cut properly the shape of the sail will be good. Performance from a cruising sailors perspective will be excellent.

So it is just sail making technique and learning the nuances of the LSZ industrial sewing machine. That's where the learning curve is. Everything else is just gravey.......
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Old 31-10-2012, 21:42   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w32honu

How is the shape of your spinnaker......... Are you happy with the design????

Would you consider building a mainsail from one of their kits????

We are satisfied so far, but taking it slow. Sailrite LSZ is great........ Learning as we go.

S
I like the sail, and the cut. A light fabric sail is easier. As another said, heavy fabric, a sailrite machine does not have the throat. Even with a spinnaker, you will need lots of room to sew.
AS far as costs, I don't remember exactly, but Sailrite will give you a quote. Fabric is like a light ripstop tent fabric. Seems very durable, but not too heavy.
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Old 05-11-2012, 19:04   #25
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Re: Sailrite kits... Do it yourself sailmaking

Making your own sails offer a great opportunity to learn a bit about sail-making. Some customers of ours have been surprised to learn there was very little in the way of cost savings if they had to pay someone else to cut the cloth. Great to get the experience but unless you value your time at below minimum wage, it doesn't pencil out.

There are more things to go wrong building a mainsail than a headsail so best to start with a jib or genoa if you go this route.
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Old 23-02-2013, 09:02   #26
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Re: Sailrite kits... Do it yourself sailmaking

Just finishing a heavy weather staysail. Kit was great. Project went together with no trouble. Specs were for 8 oz. cloth so the machine had some challenges with the thickness of patches and strapping. But this was very thick and the Sailrite handled it with no trouble.

Nice design with a spliced to thimble bolt rope and sewn in rings. Also a nice bit of soft leather at all three corners for chaff. We are very happy with the results. Only thing I would change is to not order the kit with black thread. I figured this would be more UV resistant and I can see where there might be chaff problems in the future.........which is true. But I did not take into account my less than perfect talent with the machine. Every line of stitch that is not true shows up like a sore thumb. No worries tho.........its just aesthetics.

Some posters had good advice and recommended lots of floor space. They are right!!! Seems like a no brainer but it would be a big help to have a bit more space to spread things out. As far as feeding the bulk of material thru the machine we had no big problems. We found we could tightly roll a panel or two and clamp it such that it was easy to move through the machine...........even a non deep throated one. A bit of planning with regard to the sequence and the way each panel will be sewn in helps here.

The cost savings has been substantial. We have learned a bit along the way. Now I find myself studying other sails to see how they are constructed and checking for quality work. One more headsail, perhaps a nylon drifter, and then we might consider a mainsail. Still on the fence with that one.......

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Old 23-02-2013, 12:02   #27
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Re: Sailrite kits... Do it yourself sailmaking

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Originally Posted by w32honu View Post
The cost savings has been substantial.

As I've said before it's well worth it for the learning experience but unless someone values their labor at below minimum wage, you're kidding yourself about cost savings. A staysail is a relatively inexpensive sail to build. I'd actually be surprised if there was more than $100-200 in savings as opposed to a new sail.
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Old 23-02-2013, 13:44   #28
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Re: Sailrite kits... Do it yourself sailmaking

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As I've said before it's well worth it for the learning experience but unless someone values their labor at below minimum wage, you're kidding yourself about cost savings. A staysail is a relatively inexpensive sail to build. I'd actually be surprised if there was more than $100-200 in savings as opposed to a new sail.
Your point is well taken........

But I work odd hours anyway. I often have a number of days off in blocks. So I don't mind putting in the time. And as you mentioned I might stand to learn something along the way.

I can toss up a few real live quotes........

A new cruising main of the same material and weight has ranged (multiple quotes) from $3175 to $2700. Thats a battenless main with two reefs and does not include shipping if necessary.

The Sailrite kit was quoted at $1065.........including shipping. Thats a fairly substantial savings. And thus far the product has proven to be as good or better. It may not be for everyone, but I am fitting out with at least four sails. Not to mention interior upholstery so it has been well worth the effort thus far.

This has been my past experience....... Ordered a sail from a local sailmaker that owns a franchise of one of the leading "brands." Lets just call it North sails. Placed my order with specs and a down payment. Sail is delivered but not as ordered. Not only was it not triple stitched but the material was in question as well. I figured it was reasonable to ask to have the sail triple stitched (should be no big deal) since those were the specs and that is what I had paid for. "Nope cannot do that because the sail was sewn and constructed in Sri Lanka." Nothing against the good folks in Sri Lanka. I am just tired of the bait and switch mentality that many business' use these days. And the product is inferior. So thats where I am at.

This is not rocket science after all. Although I am sure most sailmakers would have us believe that it is. If the CAD program is good and the panels are cut correctly than the sail will provide good service............ no question. If I arrive at the point where I think building a new main will be too much for me to handle then I will probably pool my previous savings and have Carol Hasse and the crew at PT sailmakers build it for me....... Top dollar but arguably one of the best sail lofts around.
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Old 23-02-2013, 15:14   #29
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Re: Sailrite kits... Do it yourself sailmaking

I think it's a stretch to think you're going to produce a sail comparable to one of our premium cruising sails working at home on your Sailrite. Here's a photo of one of our customers nearing Tonga after starting in California. This mainsail has a lot of miles on it. As you say, it's not rocket science but you do need the right tools, equipment, and expertise to produce a sail at this level....
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uaUPC5Vn4C...8Copy%2529.jpg

If you do build your own, make sure you use something like Fiber 104 or Marblehead (low to medium aspect), not the Performance Cruise stuff which is Challenge's lower end material. (Catchy name though!) If you're cruising any distance, be sure the patches are larger than the stock size, and preferably radial rather than block.

I think you're making a huge mistake if you go with a batten-less main. Not only is it a peformance killer but you really lose the ability to make much progress upwind. I have a lot of respect for the Pardey's who still advocate batten-less mains but it's obsolete thinking. We have much better hardware and technology available now than we did back in the 1970's and 1980's when battens were more of an issue. I remember breaking battens when I was a kid. And I've still got some wood battens as mementos laying around. But we have customers logging many thousands of miles with mainsails like the one in the photo and they are very reliable.
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Old 23-02-2013, 15:26   #30
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Re: Sailrite kits... Do it yourself sailmaking

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CAD program is pretty much universal.
There are a handful of sail design packages in use. Most sails are designed with SMSW, Azure, or SailPack. We use Azure as a matter of preference.

However there's a lot that goes into sail design and like any program, the output is only as good as the inputs. There's an infinite number of tweaks and subtle adjustments. I have a sail designer that does all our design work. I can run the software myself but he has many more years of experience and is pretty much a guru when it comes to design.

So while there may be somethign "universal" about the software, but the skill of the person working with the software will determine the quality of the design.

Here's an analogy. You could hand me a paint brush and canvas but would I be able to produce the same results as a master artist? We have the same "universal" tools but not too many people would pay to have the results of my efforts hanging on their wall.
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