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Old 15-07-2010, 22:47   #1
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Question 12/120 Volt Sewing Machine

Advice/suggestions/recommendations please.
What is the best heavy duty portable sewing machine to have aboard for: general sewing and sail repair? Either 12V or dual 12/120V ?

Thanks.
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Old 16-07-2010, 03:55   #2
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Sailrite
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Old 16-07-2010, 07:16   #3
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I don't believe that Sailrite, nor anyone, makes a heavy-duty 12V (or 12/120V) sewing machine.

http ://www . sailrite.com/
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Old 16-07-2010, 07:18   #4
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Sailrite, probably the Ultrafeed for non-commercial use:

Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Sewing Machine ZigZag / Straight Stitch Sewing Machine

Heavy enough to stay put when you run sails through. Runs on 110 AC or by hand. Made by Brothers.
I also had a hand crank 1930 Singer machine - straight stitch only - that did really well, from a flea market for about $40. They are still available in Mexico new...
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Old 16-07-2010, 07:26   #5
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Sailrite is 110 but a small inverter will power it.
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Old 16-07-2010, 07:28   #6
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Dont bother looking for a 12 volt machine.. not only rare but they dont work very well.. I had an early sailmaker from sailrite with 12 vold and didnt like the performance. changed over the motor to 110 and ran an inverter and it was like night and day.. worked great..
There are a couple threads on sewing machines carried aboard on the forum.. do a search.
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Old 18-07-2010, 17:56   #7
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Most sewing machines draw less than 100 watts. A small inverter will handle most all of them.

I have a Bernina 180 aboard. It draws about 60 watts and will do a 9mm zigzag.

It's more machine than I need, but I'm also a Certified Bernina Technician.
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Old 06-08-2010, 14:29   #8
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If you plan to use the maching for anything heavier than minor clothing repairs, my advice is purchase something that has a walking foot. I have a Juki 1541-S, certainly not portable but it is a machine that can sew multiple layers of canvas without problems.
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Old 06-08-2010, 16:18   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
If you plan to use the maching for anything heavier than minor clothing repairs, my advice is purchase something that has a walking foot. I have a Juki 1541-S, certainly not portable but it is a machine that can sew multiple layers of canvas without problems.
It is possible to turn a "JUKI" into a protable machine for your boat but it takes a little work..
We've turned our 1181-N into a portable by modifing the table to take down easy and by going to a sailrite MC-SCR power system..
This is not by any means the setup for everyone but it does show what is possible..
We've done this as sewing canvas and sail repair is a major part of us working as we cruise and provides a good "added income"
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Old 06-08-2010, 18:44   #10
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Randy--- three (3) cheers to you!!!

We limit our cruising to local areas so there is no need to mount the machine on the boat. Everyone should consider a machine, one capable of sewing canvas like materials. I had ziltch experience prior to purchasing my Juki. Did all my canvas work including new cushions for the dinette and the list goes on. I swapped some canvas work with a cabinet maker friend for some new kitchen cabinets along with Corian counter tops.

ALSO--- YOUR PICTURES LOOK GREAT!!!

Of course your using only polyester thread and most likely size 92..... the larger thead is like string. I don't like the way it looks compared to 92.

Foggy
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Old 22-11-2010, 17:37   #11
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Needles and thread

@Foggysail... I am looking to replace all the zips on my bimini /dodger soon. I had one zip replaced last week and it cost me $60. At that rate it will cost me close to $600 to replace them all. I would rather buy a sewing machine and do the work myself (I have dabbled with sewing machines in my past so I feel relatively confident).
I have done plenty of research on the sewing machines themselves but wanted to know what size of needle and thread I should use for sunbrella work for zips on bimini's or general sunbrella works . What is the criteria for certain sizes? Is there a chart available that gives this sort of info? I am sure that all thread is not equal so what should I look for? U/V protected I presume but I have been told that not all U/V rated thread is really up to par. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,

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Old 22-11-2010, 20:07   #12
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Moray,

The gold standard is the Sailrite LSZ-1 (you need the zigzag for sail repair) for about $900. A less expensive alternative is the Reliable 2000U Baracuda ($500), which is almost identical to the Sailrite. Check ebay for used models. However, you get what you pay for and the Sailrite comes with a great warranty, lots of extras and good customer support.

There are some great older machines available, but you really need to know what you are getting with an older machine.

$900 is a lot to pay for a sewing machine, but about the same as having a single bimini made. It's really a good investment and ours has paid for itself many times over.

We easily run the LSZ off our intverter but with the monster wheel you have the option of hand cranking. The monster wheel also makes sewing the heavy stuff easier and slows the machine down.
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Old 22-11-2010, 20:09   #13
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I'm just trying to figure out where I'd stow one and what I'd have to leave behind, even on a 35 - 40 foot boat.

The 110V looks like the best way to go, in my very uneducated opinion.
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Old 22-11-2010, 20:23   #14
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About 1/4 of the repairs we do are zippers.. I'm using a new thread, "ANEFIL POLY" made here in the US.. the size is 135 but because its braided, it looks like 92..
I can use a size 20 but find after awhile it starts to fray so I've gone up to a 21 or 22..
As for the zippers.. just a little hint... we charge between 8 and 9 dollars a foot to change out a zipper, so a 5 foot zipper would be about 45 dollars.. out of that 45 dollars, the zipper only costs about 3.50 for a 5 foot.. thats a #10 YKK...
Most of the cost is labor.. now a canvas shop has a lot of le-way when it comes to labor, and zippers are easy to change.. I can change out a 5 foot zipper in about 10 minutes but we charge the amount based on "ONE" zipper.. after about 3 or 4 setting on the table together, we can start to discount the cost..
A couple months ago, a guy came in and had his complete canvas gone over, (top stitching and zippers) If I were to charge him the normal rate, for 18 zippers and top-stitch, it would have cost him over $900.00..
I did the job in one afternoon, figured I was good to make $400.00 for the afternoon and he walked out paying the $400 plus the zippers at about $60 and he was happy as hell and I made good money..
So dont feel bad about asking the guy for a discount for doing all of them at one time.. He can either get FAT on your job or make a decent wage.. ask him to cut the labor in half.....
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Old 22-11-2010, 20:35   #15
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I'll second the Sailrite. You DO get what you pay for - the support is just plain outstanding.
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