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Thread: Old style sailmaking

  1. #1
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    Default Old style sailmaking

    I've had the opportunity over the last few weeks to make some sails for a replica of a 1908 Moreton Bay Mullet Boat.
    It's similarish to a couta boat but a bit bigger I believe.
    The owner keeps the boat in show room condition while having a lot of fun racing it in and around different parts of Australia.
    They are heading down to the Tasmanian wooden boat festival and taking part of a raid from the bottom of tassy up to Hobart for the festival.
    Below are a couple of pictures of "Boxer"

    [IMG]


    Another one with a few sails up.
    They can get 7 sails up at once when they set the watersail and jib inside the kite.
    Anyone on bookface can look up "Boxer" and they have a page with heaps of pictures.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The mainsail we have made has been done with Handsewn corner and reef cringles.
    Here's the finished product.

    [IMG][/IMG]

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    Here it is step by step,

    First sew on a leather chafe strip to the leach and punch a hole where the centre of the ring will sit,
    [IMG][/IMG]


    Next trace around the outside of the ring and punch holes with an awl (floor spike) for the needle to pass through (saves many busted needles and makes the job a lot easier)

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Start Sewing!!
    I do the two rows of stitching rather than one single tight row. you need to pull these tight as you go around.
    I'm not a big fan of putting a lot of holes right next to each other in the current fabric which have a higher resin content than the old style fabric of yester year.

    [IMG][/IMG]


    Here the ring is finished being sewn in. At the end I double put a few stitches where the thread starts and stops.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Next a liner gets pressed in to the ring to protect the stitching from wear.
    I just use stainless steel headboard liners they come in a few different sizes and fit nicely inside this size ring.


    [IMG][/IMG]

    For the leach line tie off point I cheat a bit.
    I use our standard eyelets and just sew around them to give the appearance of a handsewn ring.

    [IMG][/IMG]

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    And here is the finished product. (to many pictures to do in one post)

    [IMG][/IMG]

    This really makes me want to get around to making a new mainsail for my H28.
    The one currently on there is a good 40 years old and pretty bad.
    I got given a sheet with some old formulas on floor shaping a mainsail a little while ago which I really want to give a go.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    Looks great! I had a discussion about fifteen years ago with my Bainbridge/Aquabatten sales rep about the fact that they were no longer carrying much of the old traditional sailmaking hardware bits - oval bronze thimbles, most sizes of the liners to fit brass hand sewn rings, etc. His comment was that nobody currently with the company had ever used that stuff, and the guys who had made it were dead. That helped a lot.......

    The next level in generating the traditional look is narrow paneling. It's kind of tedious, but really looks classic and just takes more time panel-seaming. It does give you a lot of opportunities for broadseaming though.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Looks great! I had a discussion about fifteen years ago with my Bainbridge/Aquabatten sales rep about the fact that they were no longer carrying much of the old traditional sailmaking hardware bits - oval bronze thimbles, most sizes of the liners to fit brass hand sewn rings, etc. His comment was that nobody currently with the company had ever used that stuff, and the guys who had made it were dead. That helped a lot.......

    The next level in generating the traditional look is narrow paneling. It's kind of tedious, but really looks classic and just takes more time panel-seaming. It does give you a lot of opportunities for broadseaming though.
    Had the same issue here with Bainbridge ect.

    We ended up splitting the 140cm fabric in half for this sail to get the narrow panel look.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    That's gorgeous! How many hectares of sail?

  7. #7
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    Default

    Very pretty. She will be the Queen of the Raid for sure.

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Default

    Boxer on farcebook comes up with an awful lot of dog pages. No boats

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    What is that wild Mainsail extension? Never seen one of those before. It is just used downwind?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    That is a "Ringtail". We have one for "Red Witch". Here is a photo of her sister ship, "Common Sense 1" back in the early thirty's. Note the huge masthead spinnaker and the telescoping pole. The rintail boom can just, barely, be seen at the end of the main boom as well as the line for the ringtail tack.
    Jay

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    Here is another shot of #1 with her ringtail set on a beam reach in Los Angeles Harbor. The mast head of the Common Sense is 43" above deck. The ringtail top mast brings the height to nearly fifty feet above deck! These boats raced in their own class out of California YC. They were equal in performance to an R boat, often beating them. Faster off wind than a six meter and an even match going to weather the boats were and still are a joy to sail! Beating sixes and Rs was done without the extra sail area seen here. Note the old square rigger in the background. I think is the "Rex' that became one of the gambling barges that anchored off of Santa Monica during Prohibition. The Common Sense Class sloops were designed and built by Matt Walsh who is at the helm of #1 in this photo.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 01-25-2019 at 04:45 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    I did not mean to hijack the tread here! The sail making work on "Boxer" is absolutely A1+ plus! Beautifuly done!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 01-27-2019 at 01:09 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    Beautiful work James. May I ask, did you cut the sails yourself?
    cheers steve

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Here is another shot of #1 with her ringtail set on a beam reach in Los Angeles Harbor. The mast head of the Common Sense is 43" above deck. The ringtail top mast brings the height to nearly fifty feet above deck! These boats raced in their own class out of California YC. They were equal in performance to an R boat, often beating them. Faster off wind than a six meter and an even match going to weather the boats were and still are a joy to sail! Beating sixes and Rs was done without the extra sail area seen here. Note the old square rigger in the background. I think is the "Rex' that became one of the gambling barges that anchored off of Santa Monica during Prohibition. The Common Sense Class sloops were designed and built by Matt Walsh who is at the helm of #1 in this photo.
    Jay


    Do you have anymore pictures of a ringtail on a Bermuda rig?
    I had in my head that they where more for gaff rigs.
    I might put one on the h28 if they do work.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    Boxer is an awesome looking vessel. Is she sailing down the coast to Hobart or being trailered.?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Geftb View Post
    Beautiful work James. May I ask, did you cut the sails yourself?
    cheers steve
    I am also curious about this. And nice work.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    Check out the Australian 18 dinghies for more rintail shots. The Common Sense boats are the only ones I have.
    Jay

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by FF View Post
    I am also curious about this. And nice work.
    This sail was computer designed and plotted. You do get a better shape doing it this way.
    We did make the panels narrow (two panels for the width of the fabric) which gives it an older look as the fabric back than was narrower than what avaliable these days.

    I will be floor shaping my own sail as I want to give it a go and it's going to be a lot better than what I currently have.
    I was one of the last sailmakers in this area which was trained in how to loft a sail on the floor. It's not taught anymore unfortunately.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    [QUOTE/]You do get a better shape doing it this way.[/QUOTE]

    You can, but it depends on how good you are on the floor. It's panel-shaping vs. broadseaming to essentially arrive at the same shape. The computer isn't really figuring out anything that can't be figured out without one, it just takes longer and more training or experience to do it the old way for traditional cuts. Some of us who started building sails before computer design and plotting was even invented would certainly disagree with that statement.

    Back when I was building modern radials from Mylar/Kevlar and Mylar/Technora laminates, the computer plotter was indeed very helpful and the way to go. For traditional cross-cut, vertical cut or mitre-cut sails though, especially if you want them to really look the part, the old ways still work just fine. If you're building a variety of oddball small sails, like I have for the past 20 years or so, I find it faster to just do it on the floor and the quality doesn't seem to suffer. It was a different story when I was building big sails though. The plotted sails were sometimes bigger than the room I was working in. I didn't even get to see the whole thing unrolled until it was finished and taken outside.

    For traditional sailmaking though, the deck is stacked against you and it just gets worse every year. Sources for needed parts dry up, the fabrics are not really geared toward your market and few customers can afford to pay you to do a lot of tedious traditional hand finishing work. If you do add lots of fancy trim, you are doing it for the enjoyment of it, because you would make a better hourly wage working at Burger King.

    cs6.jpg

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    If you do add lots of fancy trim, you are doing it for the enjoyment of it, because you would make a better hourly wage working at Burger King.
    Like many hand made goods Todd , its a real pity , it all just disappears .

    More importantly perhaps , so do the artisans ( like yourself ) with the skill sets required .

    I`m sure it crosses your mind sometimes.

    BTW that sail looks spectaccular !

    Could it work on a dinghy ?

    cs6.jpg

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    Yes, the Lat-Bat sails are basically just lateen dinghy sails with a big roach added and essentially a radial cut in terms of the orientation of the yarns in the cloth. Since it takes battens which are two and a half to three times as long as the amount of local roach to support that roach and keep the sail from hinging at the front end of the battens, the big roach demands long battens. There wasn't much reason to go full length on them and then have them bending over the mast in strange ways on one tack, so I decided to do them this way. The spider-web narrow paneling was done because it made for interesting cosmetics and also allowed for a little bit of vertical broadseaming along the top and bottom edges for better shape along the spars. I probably made half a dozen Lat-Bats over the years. They require a lot of tedious sewing time for such small sails, but are pretty neat looking when they're finished. I consider them to be in my top three or so useful sailmaking brainstorms.

    latbats.jpg

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Old style sailmaking

    Thank you for the explanation .

    It`s easy to see that there is a lot of work in that sail .

    It`s also most likely why there are not more of them .

    More the pity , they are magnificent Todd !
    Last edited by beam reach; 01-29-2019 at 05:42 PM.

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