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Old 02-10-2008, 10:31   #16
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I feel compelled to respond here.

We've had our Sailrite machine for less than a year. Seriously, at least a DOZEN folks with machines similar/same as those noted above, have tried our Sailrite. At least HALF of those folks have subsequently tossed their machines, and bought Sailrites. There's not a SINGLE ONE of them that didn't find the Sailrite heads and shoulders above what they had. This includes older sail sewing machines, Singer Industrial machines, and "jeans" sewing machines, etc.

If it doesn't have zigzag, don't buy it.

If it doesn't have a walking foot, don't buy it.

If it won't handle the "lifetime threads" like Tenara and Profilen, don't buy it. These are a bit harder to work with, but eliminate the need for restitching your canvas several times over it's life.

BTW, there are folks selling "the same machine as Sailrite", but it's not. It's the same machine Sailrite STARTS OUT WITH, but then Sailrite makes a lot of mods to the machine.
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Old 02-10-2008, 14:13   #17
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Jack, The features you need on a machine depend on what you plan to do with it. If you plan to do predominantly canvas work and an occassional sail repair, you don't need a zig zag stitch. If you plan to make your own sails then a zig zag stitch machine is necessary. I HIGHLY recommend a walking foot for any machine you buy to allow smooth feeding and to minimize puckering.

I ran a canvas business for 4 years with one Sailrite straight-stitch machine (Thompson Mini-Walker) and didn't find a need for anything more. The "monster wheel" option offerred by Sailrite is a good one because it gives good punching power for your needles going through thick fabric. I just finished putting a new sunbrella cover on my genoa and I was able to go through many layers of sailcloth (about 3/16" thick) around the clew.

Another tip: I've found that sunbrella life is much longer than thread life, so I use very heavy thread, V-138 polyester, on all my projects exposed to the sun. I have not tried the "lifetime threads" because they are very pricey. The Sailrite machine handles the V-138 very well with a #20 needle. Type of thread is also important. I use "Dabond" thread because it has a lubricant imbedded in it and goes thru machine very smoothly. I tried another type of thread without the lubricant and had many more thread snags and breaks.
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Old 02-10-2008, 16:09   #18
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Yup. The lifetime thread IS expensive. It's about 8X as much. But, we figured we used about $30 worth on our bimini. Isn't it worth $30 NOT to have to resew it every couple of years?
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Old 02-10-2008, 19:12   #19
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Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
Yup. The lifetime thread IS expensive. It's about 8X as much. But, we figured we used about $30 worth on our bimini. Isn't it worth $30 NOT to have to resew it every couple of years?
It IS probably worthwhile to use the lifetime thread. I get about 6yrs out of the V138 thread and so one restitching isn't a big deal for me. (In Florida the max lifespan for sunbrella is about 10 yrs for dark colors and shorter for light colors.) Probably an example of trying to teach old dogs new tricks. I've run miles of polyester thread through my machine and by golly I'm not going to mess with something that works. (If you have any left over tenora, send it to me & I'll experiment!)
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Old 03-10-2008, 06:11   #20
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I sew everything on our boat except for the real heavy-canvas jobs. For that I take the sails to the professionals. IMHO, I think that a lot of people think that they're going to be doing a lot of heavy-duty sail-repair and it just ain't so (as indicated by the number of second-hand sailrite machines on the market). We have a little Brother sewing machine that has saved us, literally, thousands of dollars! But the savings were in doing light sewing such as cabin cushions and various covers on the boat. Unless you're really flogging your sails, I'm not sure getting a super heavy-duty sailrite machine is necessary and I'd certainly never buy a new one when there are so many used ones on the market.

Uh, what was the question again?
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:44   #21
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I did not see any used sailrites.

I went ahead and bought an entry level industrial machine. I don't think it is nearly as burly as the sailrites but it was a crap-ton cheaper. It had a picture of it sewing through 8 layers of sunbrella with 69 thread. I figured that put it in the ballpark of what I might need. And for the price I felt if it wasn't beefy enough I could upgrade later.

I won't get much of a chance to use it before I go. Could you guys give me a sense of how much canvas it takes to do various jobs so I can figure out how much to take with me?
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Old 03-10-2008, 13:17   #22
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Also, I found a nice batch of sunbrella for about half price but it is black. Black looks cool but will I totally regret it in the tropics?
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Old 03-10-2008, 14:50   #23
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Check out Instructions and Tips, they might have some material requirements for the various projects described.
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Old 03-10-2008, 14:50   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Long View Post
Also, I found a nice batch of sunbrella for about half price but it is black. Black looks cool but will I totally regret it in the tropics?
It'll last longer (more UV resistant) but it'll warm up quicker. I think we had a conversation awhile back on which color thread was more UV resistant. I haven't been to the tropics yet but I'm told that "shade", "any shade" is better than "no shade" at all!
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Old 03-10-2008, 15:20   #25
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Ha! I am sure that is true.

I went ahead and bought it. 50yards of 60inch Sunbrella Surlast for 239.99 including shipping!

My boat will look good in black.
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Old 03-10-2008, 16:11   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty28 View Post
I sew everything on our boat except for the real heavy-canvas jobs. For that I take the sails to the professionals. IMHO, I think that a lot of people think that they're going to be doing a lot of heavy-duty sail-repair and it just ain't so (as indicated by the number of second-hand sailrite machines on the market). We have a little Brother sewing machine that has saved us, literally, thousands of dollars! But the savings were in doing light sewing such as cabin cushions and various covers on the boat. Unless you're really flogging your sails, I'm not sure getting a super heavy-duty sailrite machine is necessary and I'd certainly never buy a new one when there are so many used ones on the market.

Uh, what was the question again?
I have to disagree with this. It is true that you can do most light canvas projects with a "home" machine - older, all metal machines with a minimum of fancy "features" are best. But, simply re-stitching one sail where the thread is at the end of it's life will pay for one of the sailrites. I tried doing it on my "home" machine and it was a disaster. Zigzag and a large stitch is a must on sails, and it would only do a few stiches before busting a needle or chewing up the thread. Also, the "home" machines are pretty much at their limit with V92 thread, V138 is out of the question.
None of the cruisers I knew out here (there's not very many) had a Sailrite so I wound up taking it to a sail guy and now wish I had just bought the sailrite and done it myself.
Where do you see all these uses Sailrites on the market? I rarely see one anywhere, and when I do, it's always already sold!
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Old 03-10-2008, 17:06   #27
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The problem I had in choosing, well, one of the problems, was the incredible job marketing all the sewing machine sellers do! EVERY ad was like an infomertial. Seriously, mine was about average and had 50+ photos and the text I've appended- in the crazy fonts too.

Anyway, I am sure this is just a home machine that they say is "industrial strength" but for 86 bucks I felt it was a better bet than one that looked "more industrial" for 300 or paying 360+ for a new Sailrite that didn't do zig zag.

Primary usage will be canvas with some minor (I hope) sail repair.



EURO PRO 801 SEWING MACHINE
SOLID METAL MECHANISM
Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price: 399$

This machine is in a NEW condition and completely serviced !
This machine does it all ! Straight, Zigzag, Invisible Hem, 4 Step Buttonholes, Stretch Stitches including Triple Stretch on Straight & Zigzag, Overlock, Double Overlock, Honeycomb & more !!
The internal mechanism is made from solid metal parts as you can see. It has a oscillating hook system (semi rotating) that is driven by 2 metal gears to provide a lot of power on thickness.
90 DAYS OF WARRANTY!!!
This machine has BIG advantages compared to many other models !
  • All the patterns are built in, no cams to change every time you select a stitch
  • No chance to lose individual cams, they are inside the machine (built in)
  • It uses METAL bobbins & a METAL bobbin case: the good old system, thread jam proof.
  • The bobbin case semi rotating hook is driven by METAL GEARS
  • It accepts easily the commercial #69 nylon thread, thanks to the Euro Pro ALL METAL mechanism.
  • Inside Frame is made of cast aluminium alloy and is very rigid compared to many plastic frames.
  • Powerful on Jeans and Soft Leather with the Euro Pro powerful Motor & Cog Belt system !
  • Heavy fabrics tested with the #69 nylon thread. There are 8 layers of heavy canvas, 8 layers of heavy denim, 2 layers of leather and 2 layers of sheepskin. Reverse was also tested on leather. This machine has the needed power to sew tarps, sunbrella, heavy canvas, sailcloth, naughahyde, soft leather, as well as the most delicate fabrics like silk, chiffon, cotton, with regular sewing thread.
  • This will be your last sewing machine! The all metal mechanism will last for years to come !
    It makes a VERY nice stitch in
  • *Please note that this machine is not adapted to sew in any kind of heavy leather such as knife sheaths, horse saddle or any kind of very heavy leather or any kind of materials that is more than 5/16''.
    It does perfect buttonholes with the 4 step built-in buttonholer and the included buttonhole foot !
    The double needle stitch is always a nice and useful stitch!!!
  • *Please note that the double needle is not included with the machine.
    No problem anymore to sew knits, swimsuits, elastics and stretched fabrics !
    Ideal for the beginner or the advanced seamstress !!!
  • With this machine you will receive:
1 Buttonhole Foot
1 Zipper/Cording Foot
1 Blindstitch Foot
3 #14 Needles for regular sewing
4 Extra Bobbins
2 Screwdrivers
1 Seam Ripper
1 Oiler
1 Original Euro-Pro 801c Instruction Manual (English, French, Spanish)
Please note that it is possible that on your instruction manual it will be written Shark 801B, It is actually the very same manual for the same machine.
It comes with its original Instruction Manual, very well explained and illustrated.
Also in the manual there is a 90 warranty from the Euro-Pro corporation.
All the accessories are located in the free arm compartment
This high quality sewing machine has top of the line features:
fast & Easy Threading, one way needle insertion
Double or single needle stitching
Easy to select Stitch Pattern Selector
23 Built in stitches including a 4 step buttonholer
Push button for fast reverse sewing
Free arm for sleeves, pants hemming, patch works, etc.
Easy to carry wide handle (weigh 19 lbs)
Original Accessories included
*Please note that it is possible that the logo Shark would replace the logo Euro-Pro on your sewing machine. It is actually the same machine and Shark and Euro-Pro are the same brand.
It comes with this brand new foot controller and power cord. The power switch controls both the motor and light.
This nice all Metal Construction Euro-Pro Sewing Machine is in its original box and is fully equipped ! This machine is in a like new condition. Parts are available worldwide by THE EURO-PRO HEADQUARTERS IN CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. I am checking them also from A to Z, including a complete set up with my own samples.
Space under the pressure foot is 5/16'' maximum
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Old 03-10-2008, 19:18   #28
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With font that big I'd buy 2!
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Old 03-10-2008, 19:56   #29
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Wow, you'd need earmuffs just to read that ad!
Hmmm, a machine named EURO-PRO, with company Hq in New York, selling machines made in China... definitely for a World cruiser.
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Old 03-10-2008, 20:07   #30
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Some advice...

Some advice;

#1 Buy local with support or buy from Sail Rite !!!

#2 Do not buy off eBay or from some scam artist selling machines "just like" a Sail Rite. The Grant brothers spend close to an hour on the set up for each machine that goes out the door.

#3 If you think tuning a sewing machine is easy, and you can fix things such as the thimble hook distance, and the timing, think again!!! I can rebuild an injector pump for a diesel, and the entire engine, but setting up a sewing machine takes MUCH practice and it borders more on art than skill.

#4 If you are doing any sort of sail or canvas work you NEED not want a walking foot.

#5 You only need zig-zag for sail work.

I bought my machine locally, it's a Brother industrial machine (same as a Consew 206). After hitting a grommet, and spinning the shaft, which through the timing off, among other things, I was really glad I had local support that I could bring the head to because the six hours I spent fiddling with it, manual/schematics in hand, did nothing what so ever.

Buy local or buy Sail Rite!!!

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