Nov 29, 2023 By William Souter, Custom Keel Sales & Design, MarsKeel Technology Keel maintenance is like any other maintenance on the boat; it is a matter of keeping an eye out for any tell-tale signs of water, or corrosion or wear. If you can stay ahead of it, it is extremely unlikely that major…
Nov 15, 2023 I had a very interesting conversation with a client just yesterday. They have a popular one design class that limits mainsail cloth to woven polyester (PET – polyethylene terephthalate) in a minimum weight of 300g/m2. The client also believed that the class mandated crosscut panel cuts because “all of the other sailmakers”…
Nov 1, 2023 I’m going to let you all in on my secret fall sailboat maintenance list. This is the time to get prepared for Spring launch, and you won’t be waiting for sail repairs, delivery of new sails, new impellers or replacement anodes. 1 – Check your cradle, stands or trailer. Grease the threads…
Club Racing has evolved over the years, from primarily racer/cruisers flying spinnakers, to a fairly serious level of non-spinnaker racers. A quick look at race registrations around the Great Lakes shows most clubs having more NFS (Non-Flying Sails = no spinnakers) racers than Flying Sails racers.
At the beginning of every season, I get large numbers of sailors calling and dropping by the loft to get replacement battens. Most of these batten losses are preventable if the sail is getting serviced regularly and the battens are installed correctly.
When the wind builds waves also build creating large choppy waves and gradually increasing swells. These waves slow down your boat when you are trying to make windward progress. Every wave is like climbing a hill or punching through a wall, especially when the wind gets over 25 knots.
At the sail loft, we are always busy repairing and maintaining sails. Much of the damage we are fixing can be prevented with some simple sail handling tips.
Most sailors just don’t have practice sailing in really windy conditions. Club racers don’t go out if it is more than 25 knots (nor will the race committee). When doing a long-distance cruise or race, you don’t have much option if a squall runs at you.
If you sail on the Great Lakes long enough, you are going to need to deal with summertime squalls. Because of the landlocked humid continental climate, we see very hot summer temperatures that lead to convective weather events.
A balanced boat is key to performance and as the season winds down, let’s take a look at why and how. It’s that time of the year that we put our boats to bed and clean up the sailing locker.
Working alongside a US-based designer and boat building company, Burlington ON’s MarsKeel Technology recently provided a dissimilar metal combination keel for a 68-foot modern classic cruiser/racer.
I was helping teach my daughters to drive a 5-speed manual over the last while, and they have gotten very good at it. The clutch has survived, and they willingly take that car when they need it, so I think that is a win. I only wish my customers would figure out the 3 gears they need to race a sailboat!
Sails are attached to the sailboat rig using several different systems. Let’s begin with mainsails. The most basic attachment is with a boltrope that fits into a mast groove. This is very secure, and the sail is very well supported along the luff edge.
Sailing really is a simple sport, just you and the wind and waves. And the boat, an infernal contraption made of twisted ropes, slipping cleats and flapping sails. Ok, so sailing is simple when you tame Hydra’s nest and get all the ropey bits correct.
Even after 30 years in the business, I still love thumbing through the pages of Canadian Yachting magazine – the beautiful new boats, the latest electronics or sailing gear. I particularly like reading the advertisements describing something that I may or not know anything about. “Lighter, faster, stronger, brighter”.
Many sailors get their sails into the sail loft for inspection at the end of the sailing season for a professional inspection, recuts and repairs. The sailmakers can quickly assess the condition, get the sail hung up on their pulling rig, check the shape of the sail, and easily take care of damaged stitching.