My wife has expressed an interest in building a sail or two. It would be fun to be able to experiment with more than one rig for my present boats, and I have a Coquina coming along that will need a tuxedo pretty soon. Since she hasn't ever tried a sewing project of that magnitutude--building any sail, that is--I don't want to plunk down $900 for a specialty rig. I want to try it out once and see if it holds her interest. I found a Morse ZigZag for not much money, in surprisingly good shape (it looks to be a mid50s model, made in Japan) and I have found several sites that mention it as adequate for small boat sailmaking. I would expect to use something like 4 ounce dacron, and in the range of 50-100sq. ft. size. One problem that I see coming right out of the gate is the seller says it works, but doesn't know how to operate it herself. Therefore, I don't know what size needle the machine might be able to handle, and I would have to figure out if it is truly operational--as opposed to the motor works and it looks functional. The machine is cheap enough that if she loses interest, it will be a nominal loss only.
Any sailmakers have an opinion? As an aside, I have a couple of sailmaking books, including The Sailmaker's Apprentice, which seems much more thorough than our experience will probably ever achieve.