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  • All,
    I've mostly been lurking here. I've seen some discussion about various sailmakers on the forum. Has anybody here made their own sails? I have an interest to do so. I've bought the sailrite books and I've been playing with sailcut CAD. I did find this old article:
    https://www.thebeachcats.com/news/213/building-your-own-catamaran-sails/

    It seems there is not a lot of internet presence of people who build their own so I thought I'd ask here. I have made one sail for a little foam monohull that I play with but that was before I either bought the books or downloaded sailcut. That project did give me the confidence that I can do it though.

    I'm still planning to head to Florida next month and pick up a Supercat 17 from a buddy of mine, assuming Covid doesn't shut down the country. I had to rebuild the trunk of my tow vehicle but have since wrapped that project up.

    --
    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Future Supercat 17 owner
    Currently own two foam monohulls
    --
  • There's a whole lot of not much out there about sail making, besides a few hits on YouTube and sailrite's kit videos. Be fun to make one or two, and people apparently make garage-built sails frequently. Just not a lot about design and build methods shared that I know of. May be due to competitive forces in a tight market.

    If you find any sources, please post here, I'll do the same. I'm going to be repairing a couple sails, and may eventually build a jib. A main would be a good month long project and a commitment of a lot of materials. Still..

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • Dacron or nylon would be easy enough. I have a book, "Sails", that goes over (rather outdated) methods of construction. There are rules of thumb you can use to make cross cut sails. I think you would need a plotter or at least a projector to transfer over the pattern for a tri-radial cut. I have looked and failed to find a source for any laminate cloths more serious than x-ply, does anyone else know where they can be had?
  • Sailrite will get you the cloth - have to call them. They'll even cut you out a "kit", but the kit runs about the same as a finished Whirlwind sail (or more), so... My local sail loft will sell me some material, though I haven't asked about advanced laminates.

    You can plot the panels from SailCut CAD; it gives you the coordinates. Crosscut sails would be "relatively simple", but near as sexy as a tri-radial. "Sail-makers Apprentice" is a decent book, but doesn't have enough good diagrams, etc. to fully translate the knowledge. But still, better than nothing and does get a TON of basics across. It seems the only true method for learning this besides trial and error is to intern in a loft, something that's both not readily available nor easy to get into.

    A 5 by 10 plotter that could hold a low power CO2 laser running on Mach 3 would be the ticket... Then you need a sewing machine. Triple stitch, zig-zag sewing machines are $$$. Reasonable zig zag walking foot machine = $500 to $1,000. You're in it deep now and a new main for me costs somewhere around $1,200 to $1,500 (roughly). So, unless you already have the sewing machine you got to do it because you want to. At least to hit anywhere near the ballpark quality of a loft. Having said that, after I re-stitch my current jib, repair a main and release a couple of bolt ropes, I'll likely try my hand at a new jib for grins.

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • i have a buddy who has made a bunch of sails
    he had a phaf (spelling) sewing machine and a little knowledge

    mostly started as a way to repair his (and our) sails from wear and dying windows

    i think his first couple we jibs and he was defiantly learning as he went

    after he made a few mains for himself a friend of ours purchased a main from him - looked nice and i think the results were decent

    I purchased a jib from him and i was mostly pleased accept the jib died a quick death

    I think in the end- it was a good deal of work with decent (not great results) and required many sails to be able to do it right

    we have another friend who sails more than anyone else in the world (kidding but around 150 days a year, since 2004). he has a machine and does his own repairs and modifications but knows he can't compete with a quality sail shop. i think that is a good lesson for most

    So if you are interested in saving money, may be hard to do if you don't have the equipment

    if having great shape in your sails - probably gonna take lots of practice runs

    but dont let that stop you if you are interested and willing to accept those factors



    Edited by MN3 on Nov 12, 2020 - 10:09 AM.
  • Thanks all for the replies. Mainly I am doing it because I like to do things. Looking at the principles between putting the shape in the sails and also the mechanics of sewing them together more or less aligns with my idea of fun. I do have 3 machines - one which was light duty. I destroyed it making a ski boot bag out of old hovercraft skirt material. My neighbors gave me a 1928 Singer 29K machine which will sew anything, but it is a straight stitch machine. My kid sewed up the new hovercraft skirt with this machine. Finally I got an older Brother sewing/embroidery machine from my mom which has a walking foot attachment and a bunch of stitches. I used that to make my first sail, which came out decent except it doesn't perform. But it was only about $60 worth of materials and I'll probably make another one as I learn. Both of my foam boats need new sails. They are both a lateen rig and about 45 square feet. So I'll make a couple more before I commit to making a new mainsail for the Supercat.

    I'll probably sail the first season on the old sails. Sounds like they need some repairs, especially in the batten pockets. We are not racers, just recreational sailors. Anything compared to the foam monohulls will seem like a rocket ship.

    --
    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Future Supercat 17 owner
    Currently own two foam monohulls
    --
  • ziper1221Dacron or nylon would be easy enough. I have a book, "Sails", that goes over (rather outdated) methods of construction. There are rules of thumb you can use to make cross cut sails. I think you would need a plotter or at least a projector to transfer over the pattern for a tri-radial cut. I have looked and failed to find a source for any laminate cloths more serious than x-ply, does anyone else know where they can be had?

    I made my first sail out of 1.5 oz nylon, bought from Sailrite. This material seems like a good choice for the little boats. I am thinking of using 4oz Dacron for the Supercat sail but would be willing to listen to suggestions on material choice. I don't see any rush to get into laminates based on my recreational sailing nature.

    --
    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Future Supercat 17 owner
    Currently own two foam monohulls
    --
  • Aquarius Sail had my new sq top made by Ulman in Deltaville VA. It's a beautiful sail and performs really well.
    If you can make a sail that will do that SC 17 justice, go for it.

    --
    1982 Super Cat 15
    #315
    Virginia
    --
  • I bought a complete Sailrite kit a long time ago and stitched up a jib sail for a Hobie 16 using my mothers fancy Singer sewing machine. The jib was OK. I did not damage the sewing machine. It took a lot longer than the 4-6 hours Sailrite had estimated in their directions. It was only a little bit cheaper than buying "brand name" jib new.

    Just be aware if you give any value to your time you will not be saving any money and will not be making a superior product until you have made many many sails.

    I think everyone should at least try it. Then you will have the basics to do your own repairs. Also, you will have new and profound respect for the artistry and skill of your local sail loft.

    Good luck!
  • bradinjaxJust be aware if you give any value to your time you will not be saving any money and will not be making a superior product until you have made many many sails.


    I've heard that many times before! Like everything I do - I'm building an airplane, I rebuilt my '99 Saturn, Got my old '80s motorcycles going after a 16 year storage, and so on. It's all therapy, and you are right it is not time effective.

    As to whether or not I can make a sail that will do the SC17 justice or not, we will see!

    --
    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Future Supercat 17 owner
    Currently own two foam monohulls
    --
  • what kinda motorcycle?

    i owned a kawaski 84 LTD 750 (with kickstart) that i rode around the north east (US), Scotland and Greece - miss that girl



    Edited by MN3 on Nov 12, 2020 - 04:58 PM.
  • Good time lapse here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTy43MH2Wyg

    I wouldn't recommend it unless you have A LOT of time on your hands and a four-point zig-zag machine.
  • A two-step zig zag will do the job, just have to re-seam twice. Many sails built this way in the past, just a 4 point stitch saves time. Down side is those machines are really high dollar, even used. I got a Zoje 20U93, which was the last contractor for Singer prior to their demise. Its a Singer knock-off, sort of. Still has the Singer emblems cast into it. Anyway, had to do a few mods to get it to sew through 5-6 layers (servo motor, large pulley, locked drive shaft, etc.) but it will and do a nice, wide zig zag through whatever goes under it now. Sewed on a leech patch to my main (laminate), and it worked great outside of running out of bobbin thread 3 times and extended the life of my main by probably 2 seasons. Replaced a jib zipper, etc.

    Anyone got SailCut to display the sail you generate in 3D? Can't figure how to get there.

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • MN3what kinda motorcycle?

    I still own my first motorcycle - a 1981 Suzuki GN400 that I bought new at age 15. I had gotten that running a couple of years ago. Last spring my kid got a 1984 Magna V30 from a neighbor, and I got my long dormant 1989 FJ1200 running again. Lots of carb and hydraulic work. Oh, and I made a seatcover for the GN that came out really nice. Plus new tires on all the bikes. I mount and balance my own.

    --
    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Future Supercat 17 owner
    Currently own two foam monohulls
    --
  • QuoteI wouldn't recommend it unless you have A LOT of time on your hands and a four-point zig-zag machine.

    Great video! This won't be my biggest project by any means. I don't watch TV or go to bars, so I like to spend my time making things. I've got like 1500 hours into building an airplane, and my kid has about 500 hours helping me. I'll post a couple of my timelapses if it is of any interest.

    I did my first sail with a 2 point zig zag. I just did two rows.

    --
    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Future Supercat 17 owner
    Currently own two foam monohulls
    --
  • MN3what kinda motorcycle?

    i owned a kawaski 84 LTD 750 (with kickstart) that i rode around the north east (US), Scotland and Greece - miss that girlEdited by MN3 on Nov 12, 2020 - 04:58 PM.


    My first bike was a 1977 Suzuki 750 3 cylinder 2 cycle water cooled bike. Known as the Suzuki Water Buffalo cuz it was so heavy and first water cooled motorcycle in US market ....many gears (8 or 9?).... cafe racer build. Very narrow powerband. Kinda like a high performance cat. When you have the groove on, you know it.
  • QuoteAnyone got SailCut to display the sail you generate in 3D? Can't figure how to get there.

    Are you talking about the 3D rendering that Sailcut has on its primary screen, or are you talking about an export to DXF or one of the other formats? I get the Sailcut 3D rendering when I start the program.

    I saw a water buffalo come up on Craigslist not long ago. You don't see many of those these days. I've seen a couple of RE5s come up as well. I used to own a 1981 GS650E that I bought from my dad. I rode it from Connecticut to California and back, just after graduation and before I started working.

    --
    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Future Supercat 17 owner
    Currently own two foam monohulls
    --
  • What I want to see is the 3D rendering after inputting all the sail parameters, like the boot screen. Would love a comprehensive how-to guide...

    Funny, my first bike at 15 was a Suzuki GS 400. Not much power compared to my later bikes but I sure put some miles on it. Setting valve clearances was some kind of time consuming. Learned a lot and still have the scars...

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • Note-have to reload Sailcut...missing menus somehow. It also won't run on a Surface Pro on Windoze 10.

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • Chuck,
    I thought my copy of sailcut was missing the menus also. I'm working on a linux machine running Ubuntu 16.04. So, I downloaded sailcut on one of our windows machine and initially saw the same thing. But what happens with sailcut is the main screen pops up and appears to be floating over the windows/linux background. But, up at the top, there are menus. So don't look for them on the screen with the sail itself.

    When I change sail parameters, and click OK, those changes go into the sail and the boot screen changes to become the new sail.

    I did email Robert Lainé (Sailcut creator) with a question and he responded. So there is still support.

    My poor GN400 is out of action at the moment. I had a bad oil leak, which I fixed. Then it came back. I was trying to remove stuff to get a better view of where it was coming from, and took off the exhaust pipe. The bolts snapped. So I drilled them for an ez out. The ez out snapped. That project is on the back burner. The great thing about the GN400 compared to my FJ1200 is you can ride it WOT to high RPM in every gear, get the enjoyment of thrashing a bike well, and you have barely broken the speed limit. Do that on a fast bike and it can be go directly to jail.

    --
    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Future Supercat 17 owner
    Currently own two foam monohulls
    --

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