Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sewing the Sail

I'm up to the sail-making stage and so far two things haven't gone as well as I'd hoped.

First, I bought a $25 polytarp from SuperCheap Auto. It had high UV resistance (so it advertised) and the next quality version up was nearly $90. Every pic I've seen of the PDRs that had polytarp sails had the plain old $25 blue type. So I went with that. It's pretty stretchy, if you stick tape to it during the marking out process then pull it off, it takes the blue colouring off and generally just looks a bit light and crappy. There's also a lot of work to make the sail, which would be wasted if it only lasts a couple of outings. Fingers crossed it works okay.

Second, there's a technique recommended in the OZ Racer instructions for sewing all the patches. Basically, you use a 10mm straight stitch, zig-zagging back and forward to create a huge zig-zag stitch. So you stitch 10mm, turn 90 deg, stitch 10mm, turn 90 deg, stitch 10mm... around every patch, then around the whole sail. Close ups of the sewing work in the rigging list site just look like normal zig zag stitching; not what the instructions say. I tried it as per the instructions and gave up in frustration after lots of jams and misfeeds, the wife tried it and called me all sorts of names, so after persevering as long as we could, we gave up.

So, we've now gone to plan B. Straight stitch about 1mm - 2mm in all around the piece being sewn, then go around again with a normal zig-zag stitch. Much easier for the machine and for the person sewing.

Still, making the sail is a huge job. Thank goodness the missus took pity on me and is doing the sewing part (though I'm sure it's going to cost me, big time).

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