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Old 26-01-2018, 14:34   #16
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

Self made sewing projects for a 57 foot Lagoon.
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Old 26-01-2018, 16:00   #17
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

Yes or no? Yes! I'm a guy, I love my Sailrite. I've had it for two seasons now and she's been a champ on chaps, cushions, awnings, BBQ cooker covers, sail covers, pillow cases, and a few more. The company is very helpful and kind. Their YouTube videos are very helpful. I'm not a great tailor but the results are pretty good. Good luck and enjoyment to you however you choose. Oh too, the resale and demand for Sailrite machines is very good.
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Old 26-01-2018, 18:13   #18
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

Hell yes! Buutttttt..........
That being said, my wife now sews canvas and cushions for a living. It paid for itself on our first bimini. After that it was gravy and she figured that everyone needs work done so why not!
Do you need a sailrite machine? Doubt it. But the customer service is top notch. The videos will walk you through most anything you need to make.
Cons- it is heavy! Plus you don't really need anything this industrial for the jobs you need done. Either get the job done locally or buy an old 1960 thru 70's all metal machine and your golden.
On the positive side, the sailrite machine has not balked at anything we have thrown at it. And the resale on the sailrite is not much less than what we paid for it!! Oh and get the upgraded heavy wheel, we can sew through 8 layers of sunbrella without electricity, hand crank only.
Either way ya can't go wrong! Enjoy and go sailing!
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Old 26-01-2018, 18:44   #19
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

Ha - yes, the leech of my headsail is now pure drag owing to a seam slip while repairing it myself. Don't have a walking foot (as you may have guessed), but sure would love to get one (ideally a Sailrite).
My machines are industrial so are not going anywhere in a hurry (c 200kg each). One of em can sew 9 layers of 16oz canvas (not that there is a lot of call for that, but I was curious - I swear it could sew sheet metal if there was a reason to)...
I don't think I would take a machine aboard unless I was going permanent liveaboard. Do it at home in comfort and with room to lay out properly (and don't forget the double sided tape if doing any sail work)
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Old 26-01-2018, 22:03   #20
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

Originally Posted by SVTwilight View Post
Had ours for 17 years and done tons or sunbrella projects include large sail covers. Great product and company.

I agree with Ann about sails, best left to a loft except in emergency perhaps
Roger that. Had my Sailrite machine since 1997. Used it for all sorts of Sunbrella covers and repairs all over the boat. I use it either on the salon table or the double bunk aft. It has needed no service, just the usual adjustments common to working with various thicknesses of material. It is always stored on the boat. I spray the guts with light rust retardent once a year if I think of it. As it is heavy duty it is not too useful if you want to work with very thin and stretchy material that is found in most women's clothing, as I found out when trying to repair some articles for my wife!

Don't be fooled by any claims that a normal home sewing machine is basically equivalent. They are not.

Sailrite machine is fine for emergency sail repair as long as you are not working in the areas that need more than 6 or so layers like clew, head and tack.

BTW, I always use the very largest thread sold by SailRite and the machine handles it just fine. I don't know why they sell the smaller gauge thread (sorry I can't remember the numbers right now) but bigger is better for UV resistance and abrasion.
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Old 26-01-2018, 22:52   #21
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

Originally Posted by fatherchronica View Post
We did not want to spend a lot of money on a sewing machine, and after researching a little decided to buy a Molly A-Line Series Sewing machine. We bought Model BL30A. It is suprisingly powerful and able to sew several layers of Sunbrella cloth. She made, on a cruise to Mexico, wind screens for the cockpit, a full cabin and cockpit awning, a small cockpit awning, winch covers, a sailbag, new settee cushions, a stack pack mainsail cover, a curtain to separate the main cabin from the pilothouse, custom sheets for the berths and a headliner for the forward cabin held in by snaps. Although she hadn't done a lot of sewing during our 35 years together before casting off, everyone asks where we had the stuff made. She also sewed a main for our dinghy and is about to replace the 4 cushions that make up the 2 quarter berths. I think we paid about $300 ish for the machine.

Wow. Seriously, kudos. I'm also looking at purchasing a better sewing machine than the plastic Husqvarna that I've been using. How long was the cruise to Mexico????
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Old 27-01-2018, 03:47   #22
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

Sailrite is a great company with great products. I purchased one of their machines several years ago and have not regretted it. Fantastic machine that has worked very well. I have done numerous products for myself from bimini with shades to sail pack covers. Definitely paid for itself. Plan to use it to make a little money along the way while cruising by doing work for other cruisers and sailors. I would highly recommend Sailrite. They are not always the cheapest, but they have quality products and great service. Plus their how-to videos are excellent.
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Old 27-01-2018, 07:30   #23
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

If you live aboard, a Sailrite is probably the best choice. The walking foot gives you much better control and consistent stitch length. They hold their value and the company is good to deal with. If the machine is for home use and space is available, I would find a used true walking foot industrial machine in good condition. There are companies that offer refurbished machines and Craigslists is another good source. It would be fairly easy to pick one up for the price of a new Sailrite or even the price for a used one. Test sewing is absolutely essential. A larger wheel will give a slower speed machine which in turn will give you more control. Most of the sewing for boat projects are done at very slow speed. A machine with a clutch motor is preferable and the deeper throat, smoother operation and better machining place a properly tuned industrial machine heads and shoulders above the Sailrite. I have worked in the marine canvas industry for many years. When I have shop space with industrial machines available to me that is where I work on my own projects. I am a full time live aboard and own a Sailrite. The pics were taken two weeks ago. Some of that cover was made on the boat the rest in the shop. Winter in New England!
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Old 27-01-2018, 08:54   #24
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

Red Sailrite machine has done well for me with initial boat outfitting: dodger, Cockpit cushions, cockpit enclosure, many more small projects - saved many thousands compared to pros. Lots of time, mistakes and cussing learning how to sew. Big and heavy, I never carry it on the boat, carry a small lite weight sewing kit with a palm for emergency repairs. Get the blue one - zig zag- it does sails better, get the heavy duty fly wheel- you'll cuss much less. A replacement foot pedal I recently bought from Sailrite was so incredibly cheap it disintegrated quickly - ask for better quality. Hope this helps, Jerry
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Old 27-01-2018, 09:45   #25
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

We thought about a Sailrite a few years ago and opted for a used heavy duty Singer. Struggled a couple of years on heavy projects, then bought a Sailrite. My wife just recently completed new Chaps and a friend did the same before we set off for the Bahamas. We think it was a great purchase and wished we had just bought the right tool for the job in the first place. Yes, its heavy and bulky to store - but it does the job well!
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Old 27-01-2018, 10:51   #26
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

I would love to own a Sailrite again. In my last home I went in as part-owner of a blue Sailrite. I had never sewn anything, but was able to get going with the machine right away and actually do some interesting projects.

When we left our land home we had to part ways with the machine (our partners wouldn’t let me buy them out), so we are without one — and missing it deeply.

I would buy a new one in an instant, but now that we’re cruising (and poor), it’s a very hard financial pill to swallow. I keep watching and hoping for a LSZ‑1 to come up on the used market anywhere nearby me — hasn’t happened yet.

And on that note, I’m currently in BC for the next couple of months. If there are any PNW sailors wanting to part with LSZ‑1, PM me!
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Old 28-01-2018, 00:11   #27
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No


I purchased the red one maybe 11 years ago and used it to make military equipment. Using heavy webbing and nylons. Get the case and the heavy balance wheel as well as the swing away binder foot if you can afford it.

They are quite finicky as a few have mentioned to keep tuned at least for me. I have owned industrial Brother table mounted machines, Huskey's, Singer, etc. The SailRite is the best rugged little portable machine I have used except for the need for frequent tuning which is my only complaint.

I sure am glad I saved the SailRite now that we own a boat.
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Old 28-01-2018, 12:55   #28
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

A Sailrite is a great gear for tough material. Really love it.

But if it comes to bikinis, t-shirts and other light material, it is just not the right machine.

We will have 2 machines on board. A Sailrite for the Sunbrella / bimini / sails stuff and a singer for clothes and light fabric.

The Sailrite is a kind of a sledge hammer. You may tear down a house with it, but you can't use it for jeweler work.

The bigger the problem, the bigger the hammer...;-)
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Old 28-01-2018, 13:15   #29
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

My biggest complaint about the SailRite is that the area for the fabric to go through is so narrow, that and the aforementioned difficulty of oiling, which could be addressed by an oiling device sold by SailRite. It's just hard to get the oil to where it is needed.

@Mike O Reilly: maybe you can find a used one somewhere. Ours paid for itself with the boom bag cum lazy jacks that we made. Should you decide to go the old metal portable route, be sure to get one or two spare bobbin adjusting screws. I lost one, and counted myself very fortunate to find a sewing machine repair guy who had one he'd sell me in his spare parts drawer.

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Old 28-01-2018, 14:04   #30
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Re: Sailrite - Yes or No

Almost everything you can adjust some how on a Sailrite.

I managed to get the foot higher in the open position, so I can now really use very thick fabric. It's a workhorse for serious projects. I like it.

We have the Sailrite Ultrafeed® LSZ-1 with Monster wheel and the zipper-feet's. What we don't like is the flimsy cheep LED light; the plastic thread holder and the transport case. It just don't fit to such a quality build.
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