Tag Archives | sailmaker

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Cruisers should care about performance sailing

There’s a problem: many cruisers think that sailing performance isn’t important. Hey, cruising is about slowing down, right?! But dismissing performance is poor seamanship. After some years of listening to cruisers disregard performance and gripe about slow passages, it dawned on me that confusion is to blame. Our good friend William demonstrated this last year during a […]

At left, under tensioned luff; at right, slightly over tensioned; notice the knuckle in the luff near the head.

Mainsail Trim: luff tension

This post comes from Jamie, one in a series where he shares his knowledge as a tenured sailmaker. For more about Jamie’s experience in the field, see Sailmaker SAYS!.  Hey sailmaker. Tell me about luff tension. Hey dude, this isn’t Dear Abby. I won’t cover love tension or any other emotional instability you may have… […]

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Mainsail Features: headboard vs head ring

This post comes from Jamie, one in a series where he shares his knowledge as a tenured sailmaker. For more about Jamie’s experience in the field, see Sailmaker SAYS!. Pictured above, Jamie replaced a corroded headboard with a ring on the mainsail of Solstice in Madagascar last year. Why does the head of a mainsail have a […]

reef reefed main mainsail sailing

Mainsail Features: loosefoot versus attached foot

This post comes from Jamie, one in a series where he shares his knowledge as a tenured sailmaker. For more about Jamie’s experience in the field, see Sailmaker SAYS!.  My friend just bought a new mainsail and the foot isn’t attached to the boom. Her sailmaker said it’s the way to go, but I’m not […]

reef reefed main mainsail sailing

Reefing, by and large

When do you reef? How should you reef? What are some excellent ways to screw it up? A few thoughts from Jamie (filtered through fun with salty sayings and his fondness for puns). Many witty phrases stem from seafaring and sailing ships of yore. It’s a wonder that so few truly help while sailing. Three […]

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Dock walk:  rigging fails

We’re rarely in marinas, but in South Africa’s harbors tying up is the norm. Jamie and I have fun walking the docks, checking out other boats; I always have something to learn from the critical eye of my sailmaker/rigging-savvy husband. Most often, it’s the condition of sails; on a blustery day in Durban, rigging mishaps […]

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Sailcloth 102: a primer for cruisers

Jamie is a sailmaker; he periodically shares his knowledge on the blog, and those posts are under the Sailmaker tag. This is the second post in a two-part series to demystify some of the woo around sailcloth material; you can read the first post here. Anyone with questions about sails is invited to get in […]

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Sailcloth 101: a primer for cruisers

Jamie is a sailmaker; he periodically shares his knowledge on the blog, and those posts are under the Sailmaker tag here. In this first post of a two-part series, he hopes to demystify some of the woo around sailcloth material. Anyone with questions about sails is invited to get in touch; Jamie enjoys sharing from his […]

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Inspect your sails: identifying UV damaged cloth

A dependable suit of sails to carry you towards the horizon is the basic tool of every cruiser. I’m sharing more of Jamie’s expertise as a sailmaker on the blog: most recently, about how to check the stitching in sails for UV damage.  This time- he’s going to tell you how to evaluate the cloth. […]

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Inspect your sails: how to find UV damage in stitching

Cruisers flock towards the tropics, where all that sun exposure can be tough on sails. Short of alien ships on a bad landing approach, UV damage is the biggest culprit in ending the useful life of a sail. Jamie often checks sails on the boats we’re with, like Papa Djo next to us in the shipyard: in the […]

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