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Old 01-12-2012, 12:09   #46
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Re: Sewing Machines

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Hi all, I have a query that I posted as a separate thread yesterday, but I have had no response. If anyone here can answer this I would be very grateful:


Has anyone had any experience with Sailrite in the UK?

The general comments from people in the US seems to be:
"buying a new Sailrite includes the great support from the folks at Sailrite".

I have not had a lot of joy corresponding with them in the UK. I tried to buy an LSZ-1 while we were on the hardstand last winter and I had a mailing address. They didn't have one in stock, but said they would let me know as soon as it was in. Every couple of weeks I would email and ask had one come in yet (I was really keen to get one before we left) with the same reply. Eventually we launched and seven months later I have still not heard back from them.

Also contacted them a couple of years ago regarding a query on purchasing sewing thread. Never had a response at all.

I will be in a spot again soon where I will have a delivery address again and am tossing up what to do. I am a bit concerned purchasing an expensive item like this if after sale service mirrors my experience so far.
Strange?? I think that after looking on their site just now that the LSZ-1 is in stock. It might not be convenient or inexpensive, but have you tried calling them?

We have ordered thousands in supplies from them with never a problem and phone orders have gone without a problem. We will have the machine with us on the boat, but will for the most part be in waters here. I know that a number of cruisers that go outside of U.S. waters take their machine with them. Hopefully some of them will respond,

Sum
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:20   #47
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Re: Sewing Machines

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Strange?? I think that after looking on their site just now that the LSZ-1 is in stock. It might not be convenient or inexpensive, but have you tried calling them?

We have ordered thousands in supplies from them with never a problem and phone orders have gone without a problem. We will have the machine with us on the boat, but will for the most part be in waters here. I know that a number of cruisers that go outside of U.S. waters take their machine with them. Hopefully some of them will respond,

Sum
Thanks for replying Sum. I haven't called the UK number or emailed them since April as I did not have a delivery address while we were on the move (will have in about three weeks again). I was just concerned their lack of response may be reflected in their after sale service (not good for an expensive purchase).

I am keen to get a sturdy reliable machine as there are loads of simple boat projects I would like to tackle like new covers for our cockpit cushions, new dinghy cover, tiller cover etc, but I am really hoping for some positive feedback about the suppliers in the UK before I proceed with the purchase.
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Old 01-12-2012, 13:08   #48
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Re: Sewing Machines

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
... I haven't called the UK number or emailed them since April .......but I am really hoping for some positive feedback about the suppliers in the UK before I proceed with the purchase.
Have you been trying to deal with Sailrite direct or through a supplier over there, such as Solent, who sell Sailrite machines along with others?

If you aren't dealing with them direct I think I would try that approach. I see on their site where they say they ship international,

Sum
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Old 01-12-2012, 13:57   #49
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Re: Sewing Machines

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Have you been trying to deal with Sailrite direct or through a supplier over there, such as Solent, who sell Sailrite machines along with others?

If you aren't dealing with them direct I think I would try that approach. I see on their site where they say they ship international,

Sum
Oh, sorry, just realized it wasn't Sailrite directly, but their UK distributor (Solent) I have been trying to deal with. I think if I had any warranty issues etc it would be Solent I would have to turn to rather than Sailrite in the US, so hence my hesitation at the moment.

I wish ordering directly through Sailrite in the US was an option . However, I am in Greece and would be hit with import problems. It is not just the duty payable (and apparently they have a weird regulation here in Greece where this is paid by weight rather than value!!!!!), but it is a huge hassle trying to get anything in that is not from another EU country. Buying though Sailrite's distributor in the UK avoids these problems.
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Old 01-12-2012, 14:15   #50
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Re: Sewing Machines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Oh, sorry, just realized it wasn't Sailrite directly, but their UK distributor (Solent) I have been trying to deal with. I think if I had any warranty issues etc it would be Solent I would have to turn to rather than Sailrite in the US, so hence my hesitation at the moment.

I wish ordering directly through Sailrite in the US was an option . However, I am in Greece and would be hit with import problems. It is not just the duty payable (and apparently they have a weird regulation here in Greece where this is paid by weight rather than value!!!!!), but it is a huge hassle trying to get anything in that is not from another EU country. Buying though Sailrite's distributor in the UK avoids these problems.
Sounds like you are in a difficult situation on the whole deal and Sailrite probably has no real control on how Solent handles their customers.

Maybe for your situation the Sailrite machine might not be the best solution. Possibly a good used machine (other manufacture) from someone local? Maybe a U.S. sailor in the area that has a used Sailrite that wouldn't mind picking up a new one once back home?

Good luck,

Sum
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Old 01-12-2012, 14:37   #51
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Re: Sewing Machines

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Originally Posted by Sumner View Post
Sounds like you are in a difficult situation on the whole deal and Sailrite probably has no real control on how Solent handles their customers.

Maybe for your situation the Sailrite machine might not be the best solution. Possibly a good used machine (other manufacture) from someone local? Maybe a U.S. sailor in the area that has a used Sailrite that wouldn't mind picking up a new one once back home?

Good luck,

Sum
Thanks for all your suggestions Sum. Very appreciated. I have been watching out for second hand Sailrites in the EU. Rare as hens' teeth! I have also been watching out for any sturdy old sewing machines locally in Greece, but with no luck. Will need to think about whether to just bite the bullet and order one from the UK despite their lacklustre service, as if I don't do it soon I will be waiting another year before I can take delivery of one.
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Old 01-12-2012, 14:53   #52
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Re: Sewing Machines

Hey SL, I googled this as a joke but lo and behold:

craigslist: greece classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events Whoda thunk it?
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Old 01-12-2012, 15:02   #53
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Re: Sewing Machines

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WOW, never knew Greece had Craigslist!
Searched for "sewing machine" but nothing came up. May be useful for other things though.
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Old 01-12-2012, 15:06   #54
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Re: Sewing Machines

Check this:

"I know this is a UK based forum but recently was asked by a member who is also in Greece for some advice about shopping here. I thought I would start a new thread in case other members can benefit from this thread or add more.

I bought my Janome serger and coverpro from the Janome shop (listed below). There is also local representation here for Bernina and some industrial machine brands as well. I also did research to see if there was Husqvarna representation locally, but there is not. Singer however, is here too.

MACHINES

Thanos Zaharakis
Janome
Kerameikou 5 (Κεραμεικού 5)
Omonia (Ομόνοια), Athens
210 5246293

Michalopoulos & Co.
Bernina (and some industrial machines)
Pallados 20 (Παλλάδος 20)
Psiri, Athens
210 3218682

Singer
Many locations
http://www.singer.gr/main.htm"

Per steve, Senormechanico, the Bernina is the way to go.
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Old 01-12-2012, 15:10   #55
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Re: Sewing Machines

Thanks very much for the links Blue Crab!
I will do some research.
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Old 01-12-2012, 15:18   #56
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Re: Sewing Machines

Here's Adler, a solid name machine. adler sewing machines

I know ya wanta Sailrite but maybe you can do better. Besides, you're a girl so you already know how to sew. Right? Our gorgeous mod and model, the cat wrangler, wants a Bernina. Supply and Demand, baby.
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Old 01-12-2012, 15:41   #57
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Re: Sewing Machines

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......
I know ya wanta Sailrite but maybe you can do better. Besides, you're a girl so you already know how to sew. Right? Our gorgeous mod and model, the cat wrangler, wants a Bernina. Supply and Demand, baby.
Actually yes, LOL, I grew up in the olden days when boys still did "woodwork" and girls did "needlework" at school. I think the first item they had us make then was a high necked cotton nightie LOL. It was of course never worn. I never would have dreamed then though where those sewing skills would now be utilized!

I tried to research the best sewing machine for boat use. Sailrite seems to be the name that pops up the most. It will be very likely kept for years and apart from all the canvas work I would like to do now, it may come in handy for sail repairs once we are in more remote spots like the South Pacific, so I don't mind the investment. I hate dealing with unreliable companies though, so I have a bit of a dilemma at the moment.
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Old 01-12-2012, 16:23   #58
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Re: Sewing Machines

what does anyone know about SMV 2002 RB? The specifications look a lot like a 'stretch' LSZ-1 except there is 2 more inches of space under the arm and it costs 300 less.

[IMG]http://i.tfcdn.com/img2/CCuC4FAABcHbDYAgDABAohs4CEXFD13DAUgFghgeDaCs790gp5 EhERYb2N0aHQC9d44hXAWTqVznCD6isxWoZPPqVlVEn-BU6yZ3RUSLEHONH3_I_Q**/FXRM8P8A[/IMG]

  • Up To 900 Stitches Per Minute
    Straight Stitch & Reverse Lever
    Sews Up To 1/4" Compressed Fabric
  • 9 Inch Arm Space Right Of Needle
  • All Metal Portable 38 Pounds
    Walking Foot Sewing Machine
  • Includes Foot Control & Light Assembly
  • 150 Watt, 1.5 Amp, 110 Volt, 60 Cycle Motor, 6000RPM US Warranty 90 Days labor on defects in materials and workmanship. Non-US Warranty: 30 days parts and labor
Specifications

Positive traction toothed belts to match geared handwheel, motor pulley and speed reduction pulley. No belt slipping when sewing on heavy or difficult materials - Longer belt life
Economical in space and cost makes this machine fun and easy to use
Special 150 Watt, 1.5 amp heavy duty motor gives this machine the strength and durability that most sewing enthusiasts expect
Fits in included Singer-type long base hard white portable case making this machine easy to transport
Can be used anywhere so you never have to worry about traveling
Reverse for tacking and back sewing so that you can get more strength in your stitches
High presser foot lift up to 13/32 inch
Equipped with Welting Foot in the most popular 1/4 inch size for cording and piping
Perfect for home and upholstery, drapery, leather, canvas, slippery fabric, sticky fabric, sails and other heavy sewing that sews under the Power Pro 1/4" lift presser foot.


Also found these that look like a private label (perhaps identical) to the Sailrite.
Thompson http://conyersewing.com/PWZ-500-Brochure.pdf

and REX Rex 607Z Portable Walking Foot/Zig Zag Machine

and Consew Consew CP146R Portable Walking Foot Zigzag Industrial Machine

here are interesting results of a search. WIde variety of machines and prices. several look like LSZ-1 knock-offs
Zig zag walking foot - TheFind
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Old 01-12-2012, 16:34   #59
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Re: Sewing Machines

When it comes to questions of the form "What is the best (fill-in-the-blank) to buy" it is all too easy to recommend the expensive models as used by professionals. But most people aren't professional, and don't need the quality, durability, and features of such equipment.

For those of us who use our sewing machines for new Sunbrella work, and repair of canvas and sails, I don't see that it is necessary to have a high-end machine. What is necessary is a sturdy machine (modern plastic ones need not apply), and one that can do a fairly long stitch. (Long stitches are desirable for acrylics like Sunbrella.) Zig-zag is useful for sail repairs, but not really necessary. For sail repair, on the rare occasion that the corner tabling needs work it is simple enough to do this with a sailor's palm and needle. It does help to have a powerful motor, but this is usually easy to add afterwards. A heavy flywheel and stronger springs are also desirable, and can be purchased to fit many machines. IIRC Sailrite used to sell these parts for upgrading existing machines. As for the walking foot, of course I would like to have one but I certainly don't see it as necessary - it just makes it easier to feed heavy fabric through the machine smoothly, and get even stitches. After breaking a few needles I learned how to feed the beast, if not as straight and evenly as a pro.

I have known cruisers and professional canvasmakers who used old Pfaff 130's. Although small (and with a small throat) and only capable of straight stitches, they are incredibly sturdy and reliable - it is hard to beat a rotary mechanism. And they can be modified easily, including adding very large motors.

For those on a budget, who have no illusions about doing professional-quality work, I would recommend an older used machine. I was lucky enough to score an old Read's Sailmaker - the machine Sailrite used to sell before Reads went out of business. There should be quite a few of these floating around the UK - Reads was a UK company. It was based on the Japanese standard sewing machine so widely used in the first decade or two after the war by the Japanese garment industry; thus parts are readily available for everything (except the bobbin winder). Of course a used Sailrite would be great, but I think pretty much any quality cast metal machine would do the job. Just avoid the plastic and computerized models - simple and strong is the best.

I don't mean to discourage those who want the very best and are willing to pay for it; I just am pointing out that one can get by with a whole lot less. Just like we don't need a Leica to take snapshots, or a Bentley to drive to the supermarket. Not that I wouldn't enjoy having them...

Greg
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Old 01-12-2012, 19:08   #60
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Re: Sewing Machines

First off I don't work for Sailrite or get a discount, commission or anything else, but there are some things to consider here.

There are knockoffs as shown in some of the other posts. I have a feeling that some are made in the same factories that the Sailrite machines are made in. There are differences. Look at the flywheels for instance. I think that Sailrite has better quality control and other features that you will find on their machines that they insist on vs. the clones that don't have to meet those specs and can possibly cut corners.

Here is a thread on this....

LSZ-1 Clone (Consew and Yamata) - Sailrite Forum

I think by the time you buy a clone and then get a case for it you won't be all that far off and then you won't still have some of the other features that make their machine so nice to work with. To me the service they have provide in the way of videos on adjusting and maintaining the machine itself has been worth the difference along with the help over the phone by Matt and Grant. We have finished projects in time to take back to the boat when we might of been broke down for days or weeks with another machine.

If you sew much you are going to need some parts. Not major, but small parts that for instance the needle will hit. You loose a small screw, the timing gets out. These things will happen eventually. Will the place that sold you that clone have that part and get it to you quickly and tell you how to get the machine back in timing? Sailrite has taken the time to make sure you can keep the machine working no matter where you may find yourself. To me that is worth paying more for. Sure you might be able to use their videos and such to fix your clone, but is that right.

If you are fortunate enough to live some place where there is an experience person selling used machines that can get you parts and keep it running then that can be an option. If you want a machine that you can use at home and easily at the boat or boatyard and want service and parts no matter where you are then consider the Sailrite machine very seriously,

Sum
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