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Old 29-07-2013, 13:59   #1
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Weightless Sewing Machine Suggestions?

A little tongue-in-cheek here. I want a sewing machine on board our '34-foot sailboat for offshore cruising. I borrowed a Sailrite LSZ-1 from a friend to check it out but it seemed so heavy. My husband says he doesn't want to stow a 600 pound sewing machine on our boat.

Would anyone like to take a shot at suggesting a lighter (less than the LSZ-1's 44 pounds) machine? I'm willing to limit my projects to hire out for sail work if I need to, but I do want a machine strong enough for canvas. BTW, I've already read all the threads I can find on this forum about sewing machines. Thanks.
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Old 29-07-2013, 14:27   #2
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Re: Weightless sewing machine suggestions?

We sold ours. Did a ton of projects with it but so far (in Mexico at least):

- Finding someone with a sewing machine isn't that hard.
- Labor is relatively inexpensive.
- Materials are expensive, sub-standard, or unavailable.

If we had the space we'd keep it but it's just too big for our layout.
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Old 29-07-2013, 14:35   #3
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Re: Weightless sewing machine suggestions?

1. Buy a cheap second hand commercial machine and make everything before you leave

2. Use Tenara thread so it never has to be re-stitched
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Old 29-07-2013, 15:21   #4
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Re: Weightless sewing machine suggestions?

Give consideration to the PFAFF 130. Very versatile machine. I was introduced to it in a sail loft. I have one, and it will go on the boat.
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Old 29-07-2013, 15:22   #5
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Re: Weightless sewing machine suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie in WA View Post
BTW, I've already read all the threads I can find on this forum about sewing machines. Thanks.
LOL!!

OK, so we have my little old Toyota sewing machine which I bought for dressmaking back in the late eighties. It's lightweight - not sure how light, but I can carry it with one finger! It's used primarily for dressmaking and upholstery, but we have used it to fix a whole load of beach cat sails when we were in Kuwait; since the 'local' sail loft in Dubai closed down and left us with not much choice.

I doubt very much it would cope with our yacht sails - but they hardly split anyway and like you say, labour is cheap for the big jobs.
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Old 29-07-2013, 19:17   #6
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Re: Weightless sewing machine suggestions?

No an expert or anything ... but usually lighter machines can only handle "light" work and heavy machines handle heavy work - end of story. Does Seattle have a Garment District? In Los Angeles there are loads of places selling used commercial machines in the garment district ... downside is they are usually HUGE and heavy. I almost bought a compact Sail Rite machine for $600 at our marina swap meet ... The owners of a local uphostery & canvas outfit were retiring and going cruising. it was a great deal but I didn't really need it. Anyway, you might find a deal like that at a marina swap meet? Or see if you can find a local sailmaker or canvas outfit selling-off their gear?
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Old 30-07-2013, 14:22   #7
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Re: Weightless Sewing Machine Suggestions?

Thanks for all your comments. Tamicatana, would you weigh your Pfaff 130 and pot its weight to give me a general idea of how much one weighs?
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Old 30-07-2013, 14:30   #8
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Re: Weightless Sewing Machine Suggestions?

sure. Husband has estimated the Pfaff 130 to be about 35 lb. So not that much dif in weight, but I think the Pfaff's overall footprint is smaller. But the Pfaff quality is there, and its throat size is somewhat bigger. I mean, I got this Pfaff and then sold my LSZ, for whatever that's worth. You can find P130s for as little as 2-300 simoleons.

I'm trying to remember, years ago there was a brand of sewing machine meant for boats, was it a Yachtsman? some kinda salty name like that, I seem to remember reading about, might want to Google round
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Old 30-07-2013, 14:32   #9
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Re: Weightless Sewing Machine Suggestions?

i will take the heavy one off your hands......
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Old 30-07-2013, 14:41   #10
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Re: Weightless Sewing Machine Suggestions?

good sewing machine thread here
Boat Sewing Machine
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Old 31-07-2013, 17:51   #11
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Re: Weightless Sewing Machine Suggestions?

O.k., I think I've found a good sewing machine from a repair shop. Not a pfaff, not a Sailrite, but a metal Kenmore 158.19411 with a high walking foot, zigzag, great condition, aluminum body, removable plate so that it has an open area for round sewing (like pant legs). Made in Japan in the '80's. The price is right at $239, reconditioned. I ended up checking the local thrift stores and Craigslist, finding nada. My husband can live with the price and the weight. I'll miss the "monster wheel" though. Thanks for your help.
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Old 20-08-2013, 23:23   #12
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Re: Weightless Sewing Machine Suggestions?

I like hand-cranked machine:
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Old 21-08-2013, 07:52   #13
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Re: Weightless Sewing Machine Suggestions?

Wow, nice old machine, and what a great portable case! I have a Singer red-eye that was electrified, although I have the treadle base and belt to convert it back. I also have an old Wheeler & Wilson treadle. Neither of those are very portable though, unless I convert one to hand-cranked.

I like those old gear-driven machines. I have a new portable no-name machine I bought on sale from Defender, and it does go through 8 layers of Sunbrella as advertised. Barely. Put some seam tape in the mix though, and it stops. The gear-driven machines won't spin out like that, you just power the needle through by hand and keep going.
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Old 21-08-2013, 08:16   #14
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Re: Weightless Sewing Machine Suggestions?

Hi,

I have my mother's old Pfaff 130, and I bought a hand crank for it, so it can be used ashore, without electricity. With it, I replaced a friend's sacrificial strip on a lawn in Port Vila.

It was used a lot for sewing clothing in its early days, then graduated to light canvas work. It has made mainsail covers, weather and lee cloths, awnings, our downwind rain protection and done heaps of repairs on canvas, but I haven't used it to sew sails. It seems to be wearing out after 60+ yrs. of use, and finding parts for it can be tricky. I once lost one of the screws that adjusts the tension on the bobbin (fortunately was able to locate a replacement); I would suggest that you get a spare for your Kenmore, and tape it in it's case, just in case.

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Old 21-08-2013, 15:52   #15
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Re: Weightless Sewing Machine Suggestions?

And definitive weightless sewing machine: .

Also called "speedy stitcher".



And- I like to use double-needle hand saddle stitch with just 2 hand sewing needles...
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