Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sailmaking Weather Again

I returned from Florida this week with renewed enthusiasm to get back to building, but working in an open shed this time of year is hit and miss. Tuesday was a fairly nice day and I did some work on the starboard hull companionway steps and made some other interior layout decisions. But yesterday was a whole day of steady cold rain, which turned to snow this morning. By noon today everything was covered, but it won't last long as temperatures are rising again.

The jib that I assembled last spring from a Sailrite kit has been stored away awaiting the finish work that must be done by hand. I got it out yesterday and started to work on the corners. The Sailrite kits utilize sewn brass rings for reinforcing the tack, head and clew rather than pressed rings. Installing them takes some time, but is rather pleasant work, hand sewing with the help of an awl and sailmaker's palm.

Below is the sewn-in ring for the tack. I had already completed the installation of the wire luff, which is also hand-sewn into the corner of the sail.

After the ring is sewn in place through all the layers of Dacron reinforcing patches in the corner, it is then laced to the thimble of the luff wire using about 40 turns of waxed sailmaker's twine.

The final step in finishing the corner is to dress it in protective leather. This was also done with an awl and sailmaker's twine. The photo below shows the tack. The head of the sail is treated the same way, and is also complete.

The clew of the jib is done a bit different, as there is no wire or thimble to reinforce. Instead, a larger #9 brass ring is sewn into the corner and then using a die set and hammer, a #9 brass eyelet is pressed inside the ring to form a smooth, chafe-proof interior for attaching the jib sheets. The outer corner is protected by a strip of leather.

There are two more rings like the above one at the clew that must be sewn in at the reef point tack and clew. Then I have to install the grommets for the reef points and hanks and then the hanks, and this sail will be finished.


tsunamichaser said...

What the H! Sendthat snow my way. It's bare and green in the PNW. I should have cut the lawn today!

n6mz said...

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the photos of the tack on your Salirite sail. I was having trouble visualizing the assembly based on the kit instructions.

One question, when you measured the boltrope, how much did you stretch it? Mine (1/4" pre-stretched, 29ft 7-1/8in long) stretches at least an inch from rest to a gentle tug, maybe 5lb of force? I was surprised to see pre-stretched polyester do that.