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Old 20-04-2018, 15:07   #1
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Advice needed for a sewing machine

Hola!

I want to buy a sewing machine to the boat, for obvious reasons A good sailmaker friend of course adviced me to buy Sailrite which makes sense for long term but extremely expensve for us. So my question is; Is there any other brand you can advice, cheaper and have same skills of course? Or s there any website etc you guys know where I can find a second hand Sailrite or Thompson machine? Cause I couldnt find any through google! I guess noone wants to leave their sailrite once they buy it)

thanks
banu
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Old 20-04-2018, 17:21   #2
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

The Pfaff 130 has a long-standing reputation, not industrial grade but a good strong machine.
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Old 20-04-2018, 18:28   #3
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

I can recall a few threads with this subject, let me see if I can find one or more of these:
Best Sewing Machine
Sewing Machines
Sewing machine
best sewing machine for sunbrella

BTW, I used the "Google search" button for finding the above. I believe one of the members and contributors to (some of) those threads is a sewing machine mechanic, hehehe, his advice would be worth heeding IMO.

In the past I have used a Bernina (minimatic) machine, very good, small and reasonably light, compared with the ubiquitous Sailrite machine that weighs ~30 kg (60 lbs) or so. My Bernina is over 40 years old, still going good, lived on the boat for 15 years, can be purchased 2nd hand (in Oz) between $100 and $200, suitable for Sunbrella covers etc. Admission: I have now a Sailrite machine...... as well.
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Old 20-04-2018, 19:29   #4
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

Senormechanico is the guy to go to here...just type his name in under in the 'search'
tab.

I have a Thompson, but prefer to use the Necci Supernova Julia I found in a motorhome I was scrapping out.

Don't know where you're at, but there're always good deals on sewing machines on craigslist...
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Old 20-04-2018, 20:24   #5
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

I was able to find a Thomson Mini Walker on the local classified for $30. Sailrite bought the patent / design from them. It looks feels and smells like a sailright but cost $30 and works great for the vinyl work I have used it for. Maybe there is one you could find?
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Old 21-04-2018, 06:01   #6
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

@Steve Bean

What year would the Pfaff 130 be?
I see model 130 offered starting build year 1930...
The reason I am asking is also the availability of spares and especially needles in the medium term.
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Old 21-04-2018, 08:48   #7
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

When I had difficulties with my old commercial grade sewing machine I bought one from Amazon called a heavy duty Singer. A toy compared to my commercial machine. But it worked flawlessly right out of the box. The major part has a 30 year warranty! Cost $126 and with prime, free delivery. What a deal
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Old 21-04-2018, 08:54   #8
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

Thank you all. I assume the advices re different machines include the skill of sewing several hard layers of canvas/sunbrella/sails material. I dont wanna end up sewing clothes or just 2 layers of canvas and stop
gonna check all adviced machines soon.
best
banu
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Old 21-04-2018, 08:54   #9
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

We had very bad luck with our Thomson Mini-Walker. The timing was always going out and the casting parts were cracking often. It may have been the manufacturer. It may have been seconds inventory from the manufacturer. See picture. The money saved on the machine was more than wasted on replacement parts, constant repair, ugly sewing work, and frustration.
Then again we had some bad luck with an early Sailrite machine. But Sailrite has worked through the inadequacies of the earlier design and manufacture. It's a solid reliable machine.
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Old 21-04-2018, 09:07   #10
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Thumbs up Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

Reliable barracuda, same exact machine as the Sailrite. $500 to $700 cheaper. Good luck
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Old 21-04-2018, 09:32   #11
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

Forgot to mention that the"heavy duty" Singer machine I bought from Amazon was for making small boat sail. About 5 layers of 4 oz Dacron in the corners
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Old 21-04-2018, 09:42   #12
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by foufou View Post
Forgot to mention that the"heavy duty" Singer machine I bought from Amazon was for making small boat sail. About 5 layers of 4 oz Dacron in the corners
Yeap, I also have this one, sailbags with zips in addition to several layers of material in corners were no problem.
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Old 21-04-2018, 09:52   #13
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseboat View Post
Reliable barracuda, same exact machine as the Sailrite. $500 to $700 cheaper. Good luck
Ive seen this said before, but in my research Ive seen other apparent experts say they are only superficially the same. Similar housing, but Sailrite uses more refined internals (gears, etc). This is apparently what makes Sailrites worth the extra boat bucks.

Where is the truth?

One reference point: I asked a friend who has a lot of expertise with quality DIY machines to assess the value of the Sailrite. He was very impressed, and said it is well worth the money. Not over-priced for the quality, was his assessment.
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Old 21-04-2018, 09:53   #14
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

@Foufou

You got a model number on the Singer by any chance?
Does it have Zigzag and a moving leg?

Thanks Fran
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Old 21-04-2018, 10:06   #15
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Re: Advice needed for a sewing machine

Last year, I bought a Tuffsew machine. Very similar to the older Sailrites. It will go through as many layers as I can get under the walking foot. A couple weeks ago, I bought the Sailrite Monster II wheel. It fits my Tuffsew perfectly and reduces the needle speed by about half, so it no longer runs away from me and probably increasing the power at the needle. The Tuffsew (used) was about half what I was seeing Sailrites (used) for on Ebay or Amazon. I gather that Sailrite has revamped their machines but for now, I'm very content with the Tuffsew
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