Kingston Sail Loft Continues

Mar 20, 2024

By Keven Piper

As of February 1, Kingston Sail Loft is up and running with repairs and new sails for 2024. Stephen Yates, Sue Fraser and Ali Meller at Kingston Sail Loft are busy with servicing, repairs and selling new sails. Bay Sails will be supporting KSL with new sail design and production. KSL principal, John Clark, who passed not long ago, was excited for them to continue running the loft, and even gave them sewing lessons on the venerable Adler 166, with extensive instructions to keep it oiled. Every sailmaker knows nothing runs like a well-oiled sewing machine, unless it doesn’t get oiled.

Stephen is often found aboard his boat Jack Tar or his J/80; Ali is actively sailing 505’s and Albacores, or aboard the J/35 he and Sue own. Sue is also very active promoting foiling and has probably introduced more sailors to Waszps than anyone else. 

To help them get rolling with their Kingston Sail Loft launch for 2024, myself and one of my sailmakers, Drake McGillivray spent some time down at KSL in Kingston along with retired sailmaker and traditional vessel specialist Andy Soaper. This time allowed us to get the loft and sewing machines tuned up and ready for the season. 

Left to Right: Keven Piper, Ali Meller, Sue Fraser, Drake McGillivray, Andy Soaper

The other weekend we also had Ali and Sue down to the Bay Sails Loft in Hamilton to get their stocked repair material inventory together and some very detailed hands on lessons in measuring boats and sails for replacement.

Sue and Ali at Bay Sails in Hamilton

While they were at the Hamilton Bay Sails loft, we also dusted off John Clark’s well-loved sail patterns and digitized them along with photometric scans of the last sails he made. We are currently building test sails and will be able to supply race ready KSL Shark sails this sailing season. We worked with John Clark at KSL over the decades providing him with cut panels for Quilt Cut Triradial race sails and spinnakers when we were with Haarstick Sailmakers in Rochester, and working with KSL picks up with that relationship. Tony Peelle who runs Bay Sails New York in Sodus Point was the loft manager at Haarstick, worked closely with John Clark getting Gerber CNC cutsail panels cut for him over the years, with that operation being done by Paul Seymour who is also with Bay Sails New York. 

Digitizing Shark 24 Sail Designs
CAD modelled and faired KSL Shark 24 Sails

If you want the John Clark designed KSL Shark 24 sails, you can order them through the Kingston Sail Loft. Or, if you want the Bay Sails’ Shark 24 sails, contact either Bay Sails locations. 

The sails are quite different sail design philosophies with dramatically different panel layouts, luff curve and seam curve offsets. The benefit of newly digitized KSL design is that they will be more accurately reproduced by laser CNC cutting and plotting. They may be very different, but both Shark inventories have won many World Championships between them. The upcoming Shark Worlds 2024 will be held at Whitby Yacht Club this September 7-13 (ww.wyc.ca), registration is currently open.

Bay Sails Shark 24 Sails

We plan to support KSL and their customers at the eastern end of Lake Ontario.

Kingston Sail Loft
774 Baker Crescent
Kingston, ON

Bay Sails Custom Sailmakers
469 Bay St N
Hamilton, ON

Bay Sails New York
7448 Route 14
Sodus Point, NY

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