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Old 01-11-2009, 13:08   #1
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Sail Repair

My Genoa recently tore due to dry rot and I am looking into repairing it, along with making other items, like bimini tops, sail covers, ect. But I am not sure what kind of sewing machine i need to do the repairs. Machines specifically designated for sailing seem very expensive, with low functionality compared to an industrial Singer sewing machine. What are your thoughts on Sewing Machines?
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Old 01-11-2009, 13:15   #2
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My Genoa recently tore due to dry rot and I am looking into repairing it, along with making other items, like bimini tops, sail covers, ect. But I am not sure what kind of sewing machine i need to do the repairs. Machines specifically designated for sailing seem very expensive, with low functionality compared to an industrial Singer sewing machine. What are your thoughts on Sewing Machines?
You can go with one of them. Get the all metal type. Granted they are mostly only sew straight stitches and you'll often want to do a zig-zag for your projects (which ones like a sailrite do) but you can turn the material. So, I suppose part of the answer is a question: how much is your time worth?

For us, the answer was enough to get a LSZ-1 off ebay. We don't want to be out on the water have a critical problem and not be able to repair it. (albeit slowly with hand cranking)
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Old 01-11-2009, 17:27   #3
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My Genoa recently tore due to dry rot and I am looking into repairing it, ... What are your thoughts on Sewing Machines?
We have a naughty mainsail that is being replaced in a few weeks. Its UV damage tears often. We use contact glue then hand stitch. But its mainly the glue that works Saves a bundle on a specialist machine.
Considering most covers only need doing once every few years it seems a difficult cost / space thing.
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Old 01-11-2009, 17:46   #4
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Mark,

are you using what I would call "contact cement"? You know, the glue we use on our counter tops? Or is this a different product?
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Old 01-11-2009, 18:07   #5
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Mark,

are you using what I would call "contact cement"? You know, the glue we use on our counter tops? Or is this a different product?
Yep, normal contact adhesive. Brown in colour.
This one is called Parafix Gel Bond in 200g can covers aprox 1 m.
In the small writing I see its a Selleys product. Bunnings.
Much cheaper than the tubes.
Spread a bit on both surfaces and wait till just touch dry and press and hold together.

It really works a treat because any localised weakness in the frayed sail is strengthened with the glue

It shows a little brown on the sail, but not too bad at all.

Mark
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Old 01-11-2009, 18:38   #6
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Well that would work to repair small areas but the entire leech rippedso that is a 40+ foot patch, the rest of the sail is fine, but that part had UV damage
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Old 01-11-2009, 18:56   #7
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the entire leech ripped so that is a 40+ foot patch,
Damn, thats a pitty!

Good luck with it
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Old 01-11-2009, 19:52   #8
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Our mainsail lasted eleven years before it died of UV rot. In the Med, I glued patches on rotten parts of the dacron sail, but it was to no avail. When I applied the patches with contact cement, the pressure or rubbing the patch on resulted in a tear forming adjacent to the patch.

I got a new mainsail shipped in from Thailand from Rolly Tasker.

When the dacron is rotten, the sail is finished.
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Old 01-11-2009, 21:35   #9
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Actually T-5200 works real well on sail repairs and it is white. Cut your patch to size and then put a small bead of T5200 on the mating side along where you will be stitching. Also in the area of the rip and any "hairs" of old sailcloth. Press them together and stitch around the perimeter where the outer ring of T5200 is. The T5200 will also protect the sewing thread and holes made by the sewing.
- - Sewing machines - - You cannot go wrong with the Sailrite machines. We started with the little machine and after it paid for itself sewing up all our canvas and sail covers, etc. we moved up to the largest industrial machine they sold.
- - Besides the machine you need special threads, cloth, zippers, and tons of heavy duty needles and repair parts for your sewing machine. Staying with Sailrite means you can get all the supplies you need quickly and easily. And, the tech support for the machines is fabulous. They will answer the same "stupid" question a hundred times if necessary to help you understand how to operate the machines.
- - Sewing Machines for sails are quite special animals. They have to be able to puncture through many layers of resin impregnated cloth and put up with vibrations and lots of needle bending abuses.
- - Having a sail type sewing machine is described by professionals as a love-hate relationship. The machine will function beautifully for a day or two then go out of adjustment and break needles and cause havoc and much frustration as you try to get everything back into alignment again. Some days you go through 6 needles and then the 7th needle lasts for a week.
- - Sailrite has many good books and pamphlets and videos on how to sew all the different things needed on a sailboat. You can even sew your own new sails - if you are that adventurous.
- - But for sail repairs, canvas repairs, and odd jobs requiring real sewing muscle the machines pay for themselves in short order.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:47   #10
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Yes, 5200 works great for sail repairs. Also, once you get to know your Sailrite, you have no more trouble with it (it's operator error, not the machine).

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Old 02-11-2009, 07:55   #11
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Sailrite machine is worth its weight in gold. The Admiral loves ours. She can't believe how well it works.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:28   #12
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i appreciate all of the help, I will look into the sail right machine, how necessary is the ability to do zigzag stitching?
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:19   #13
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I have a EuroPro

I have a Europro I bought from Target on board. It's Ok, but has had its' drawbacks; such as when I tried using my heavy duty thread I purchased from Sailrite my bobbin couldn't handle the thread. I, too had to repair a sail. Our furling jib was damaged during a storm. Mostly the sacrificial sunbrella which I patched using an outdoor coates & clark thread which my bobbin can handle. I still ended up having to do a fair amount of handsewing through the clew ends due to the layers, but this should get us home from Beaufort NC to St Augustine, FL. So I'm going to look for a used industrial machine in the near future
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Old 02-11-2009, 14:30   #14
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i appreciate all of the help, I will look into the sail right machine, how necessary is the ability to do zigzag stitching?
Again, you don't have to have the machine do the stitch. But it does save a lot of time. There are times when you want the force to be spread out over a larger area. A zig zag is a great stitch to use, but there are others like a box with an X in it. Obviously if you have a very long run, that wouldn't work so well. The big advantage to a zig-zag is that you can make a bar tack with it; the only other option is a specialized bar tack machine.
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Old 02-11-2009, 19:46   #15
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A zig-zag machine is needed for sail repair but not for canvas.

cheers,
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