Boat Journal

Chronicling a love affair with sailing

Month: May 2009

Sewing the Sail

The UV cloth on my head sail had been coming loose for quite awhile now. And, after our recent storm event, it was looking pretty raggedy as well. I emailed a couple of places for bids on getting it repaired. Right around $500. Ouch! Well, that was including new fabric as well.

So, just before heading out of town, I pulled the sail down. As I did, it appeared that the fabric was not in as bad a shape as I thought. And it was just the one edge that was loose. So I figured I could sew it myself.

I have a wonderful Brothers sewing machine. That thing can sew through leather, according to the guy who sold it to me. I don’t know about that. I do know that he took a piece of denim, folded it in half, and sewed a seam on it. He then took that, doubled it again, and sewed it again. He repeated the process a couple more times and the machine never balked.

I’ve also sewn quilts with it. My quilts are made with denim and broadcloth, and the seams on those can get quite thick. Again, no problems.

So, rather than put out $500 on what looked to be a simple zigzag seam, I took it home and did it myself.

The machine didn’t like it. The zig wouldn’t. Just the zag held. So I sewed a straight seam in it. That did work pretty well.

But I am a bit worried about it. If you’ve ever felt the cloth on a sail, it feels like it’s permeated with plastic. So, did I just create a perforation that will make it easier to tear? Usually when one uses a zigzag stitch, it’s to allow the seam to ‘give’. Did I just create a seam that’s just going to tear more easily? Only time will tell.

Next problem: the foot was floppy. It would wave at me in the wind. After seeing the UV strip, I assumed that sewing the seams would fix that as well, since I thought I might just be witnessing that fabric flapping. That wasn’t the case. The foot is still loose. So I still may need to take this sail in for repairs.

Holes in the Boat, Parte Deux

Well, I finally did it. I decided the music was important enough to me that I went ahead and put holes between the cabin and the cockpit so I could have tunes when sailing.

So, I picked up a small saw, my drill, and some screws. I already had the wire I needed and a mounting frame(?). And I set to work.

The place I wanted to put it was lined with wood I was trying to miss on the inside, so I measured carefully to make sure they went in the proper place.

measuring the spot

Somehow, over the months I’d had the speakers, I lost the pattern that was included. So I created my own.

pattern for the speakers

I drew the holes and measured again:


I drilled a couple of sample holes, just to make sure I’d gotten it right. And I still seemed to have messed it up, since one of the holes ended up in the wood.

messing it up

I used the drill to create a ring of holes around the ring, as I’d read in a book recently. Then I used the saw I’d purchased to connected them and finish the job. But the saw broke after getting only 1/4 way around one of the holes. So I finished it up by using the drill to connect the dots.

Holes around a hole

I finished it up, then put epoxy in to seal the wood and fiberglass against water damage.

Finished Hole

Notice how thick it is? That really surprised me!