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Re: [bolger] Grape shot damage (sort of like)

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  • Dawn and Derek
    Hullo Jack A caveat; I m by no means a sailmaker. I ve put together a few sails, kit and otherwise, is all. You might get more erudition asking over on the
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 30, 2004
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      Hullo Jack

      A caveat; I'm by no means a sailmaker. I've put together a few sails, kit
      and otherwise, is all. You might get more erudition asking over on the
      saildesign group. If you are desperate to get out on the water before the
      season ends then sailtape will work, but you will likely hate cleaning up
      the sticky mess if you decide to keep the sails and do a proper repair. A
      sewn repair is pretty easy anyway. Emiliano Marino's book [The Sailmaker's
      Apprentice] is very good on hand sewn sailmaking and probably available from
      the library. Sails of the weight of Micro's can be sewn on a domestic
      machine though, the older and heavier the better. Zigzag is better but
      straight-stitch will do.

      Use a soldering iron or hot-knife to clean up and seal the edges of the
      holes against coming unravelled. Use the same hot-knife to cut patches from
      sailcloth, allowing yourself about half an inch of overlap. The sailcloth
      should ideally be sound, but from a used sail - in other words, the better
      you can match the two fabrics, the less effect the patches will have on the
      sail. Chuck at Duckworks could sell you a yard of new cloth at a good price.
      Alternatively, someone on list may have a few square feet from an old sail.
      I sometimes buy them from marine fleamarkets. I'd be happy to send you a few
      feet of cloth, but what I have on hand is probably rather heavy to match the
      fabric on a Micro sail.

      When cutting out your patches, check that the weave of the patch is aligned
      to match that of the section being repaired; this is important.

      Cut yourself a few slices of four inch diameter plastic pipe, with each
      slice being about an inch or two in length. Split the slices once down the
      side wall to make your sail-clamps. Roll up the sail either side of the area
      to be repaired and spring a couple of your tubular clamps over the 'sausage'
      to keep things under control.

      Sailmakers use a double sided tape to 'baste' panels and patches together
      before they are stitched. You can buy the stuff from sailmaker's supply
      houses such as Sailrite, but I've seen similar stuff sold for attaching
      plastic film to single glazed windows to reduce winter drafts. CanTire carry
      the window film kits, and that might be a quicker way of getting the tape.
      Once your patch is taped in place it can be sewn to the sail with at least
      two rows of stitching; not short stitches, and not long; somewhere in the
      middle of the machine's range should be OK. The sticky tape is extremely
      thin and stays in place after the repair is finished. If you are energetic,
      it is a good idea to do one row of stitching from one side of the sail and
      then flip the whole thing over to do the second row; Sailcloth is tough
      stuff, and the thread does not pull into the fabric as it would into
      domestic cloth so flipping the sail means that the patch has a better chance
      of avoiding failure through thread chafe. Not a big deal here, I suspect.

      It probably took longer to write this than it would to do it, once the
      materials were on hand. Practice on some scrap sailcloth to set up the
      machine's thread tension before working on the sail proper. Real sailthread
      is available from Chuck or Sailrite [amongst others] but in a pinch you
      could use stout polyester thread. Tape a blob of cotton wadding to the top
      of the sewing machine, arranged so the thread passes across it, and soak the
      wadding with silicone lube. Good Luck.

      cheers
      Derek
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