E-mail from a summer loft worker:

How is it possible for Mark to be up to his neck in sharks if the tide is going out again?  Obviously there's a conflict of lunar and solar pull.
Tell C that one of my professors also feels a draft coming and is warning all of his male students.  That ought to get his heart rate up a little.  What does he have to worry about, though?  The draft will never catch up to him; he's too old!

What the hell am I talking about?  Ah, I'm rambling.  Anyway, Mark's not going to be rescued.  He'll make his own way off the oyster bar, probably on the back of a giant  snapping shrimp, then he'll thump Barracuda and bitch-slap Birdie.  The drug bust will resound throughout whatever fantasy land they're in and the song of Mark will be known in everyone's hearts for generations to come.
- Zam!

February 10, 2005 in Sailmaking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Company Blog

After some pondering we have decided to start a company web log at my sail loft.  That means that much of the material on sailmaking that would have appeared here will now be there.

January 24, 2005 in Sailmaking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Loft Report 12/31

This is another short week for us.  We finally finished the famous cryin' lion (see below).  We got examined by our freight forwarder to become a 'known' shipper.  Mostly, we did inventory.  Fortunately, with 5 people to do the job, it went relatively quickly (and I could avoid doing any counting myself).  We have over 300 different items to count, some with dozens of pieces.  Of course, that's not a huge number if you're a supermarket or a big box, but it seems like a lot for a small enterprise like ours.  Anyway, it's now done.  Now, it is up to me to enter the counts into our spreadsheet and make sure the prices for the items are up to date.

While others were doing the counting, I was writing checks, paying all the bills I could - a necessity for us as we are on a modified cash accounting system.  It's important to have paid for the stuff we're counting in inventory...


Someday, I hope to show you a picture of him flying...

January 4, 2005 in Sailmaking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Loft Report 12/22/04

This short week we cut and partially assembled some Sabre 34 sails for our partner loft in Vermont.  We've been finishing up our giant Cryin' Lion spinnaker inlay (which got delayed while we looked for an ink that was more compatible with the fabric we were using). 

We have been building a Maxx laminate J/30 blade, a Hunter 31 main, and 8 turnabout mainsails for a Maine yacht club junior program.  The program director for that club is known to us as a competitive J/24 and Melges 24 sailor and he is demanding that these be pretty hotted up Turnabout sails.  I grew up sailing Turnabouts, and I know that the juniors sailing them can be every bit as much into hot sails as the twenty something wannabe sailing rock stars.

We have also been learning a thing or two about air-freighting cargo in the post 9/11 world.  Turns out one can't ship cargo on passenger planes unless one is a "known" shipper, which means someone who with established bona fides themselves checks you out and gives you a clean bill of health.  Since only passenger carriers carry air freight to Micronesia, we need to become "known" in order to get a recently completed sail to our customer in the South Pacific.

December 22, 2004 in Sailmaking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Loft Report 12/9

This week we are working on a HydraNet roller furling jib topsail for a 55 foot aluminum cutter cruising in the South Pacific.  We will be sewing on the acrylic canvas tabling cover, a strip of cloth on the leech and foot that protects the sail from sun damage when its furled up, with PTFE thread.  We usually polyester, which in Maine lasts about 6-8 years, but in the tropics needs replacing every year or two.  The PTFE should last as long as the sail.  When were done we'll have to figure out how to get it to Pohnpei, Micronesia. 

We are having some difficulty finding a good dark black ink that will stick to silver Airx spinnaker fabric, so we can finish up our crying lion inlay. 

We just did some mylar patterns on our plotter of the rudder, centerboard and stem of a Fish-class day sailer for an MIT professor who is building one in his barn.  When he gets farther along, we'll do patterns for each of the stations.  If he gets that far, we'll build him some sails.

We are also building a jib for an Etchells and some Turnabout mainsails.  We should be starting on some International Class jibs, but the fleet is getting cold feet about building them from Maxx laminates.  It has been pretty entertaining, watching the e-mail discussion of this issue. 

Today, we sent Patience off in the van on her first trip down East.  She'll be visiting a few boatyards to pick up sails that need some work.  They are pretty much off the beaten track, so she will be exploring new places.  Should be a nice adventure, with the sun out and a bit of new snow around.

December 9, 2004 in Sailmaking | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Loft Report

This is a short week at MSP, as we take a four day Thanksgiving break.  We packed up the Hood 60 genoa for shipment to Bermuda.  We just got an order for a HydraNet genoa for a Tripp 55 to be deliverd to the South Pacific in January.  And we just started building a large asymmetrical spinnaker with a 20 foot inlaid cryin' lion.


November 26, 2004 in Sailmaking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Little History

Yesterday, Etienne Giroire, the perfector of the spinnaker sleeve, came into our loft.  He has a trimaran that's being worked on by our local multihull guru Walter Greene.  (This boat has a long and checkered history, but that's for another day.)  He is planning to sail off back to Florida today, and he was picking up a couple of sails we've had here for storage. 

Anyway he came across an ancient display model of one of his sleeves that we've had for many years hyanging off in a dingy corner of the loft.  We have a newer, nicer display model.  Apparently, the discovery of this old relic was quite a nostalgia trip for him. so we insisted he take it away with him.  All very nice until you realize that we're turning into a little bit of a museum...


November 23, 2004 in Sailmaking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Loft Report

Last week we started to build a Spectra/Dynema reinforced laminate roller furling headsial for a 60 footer which will go out before we leave for Thanksgiving.  We finshed off a suit of sails that we've been working on for an Allied Princess 37 foot ketch.  We also started to tackle in earnest our pile of winter service work - the several hundred sails we have to wash, inspect, and put in that  occasional stitch in time that saves nine...

We also received three fleet orders - groups of identical sails ordered simultaneously that make our production life a little easier if less interesting.  This is a little unusual to have in hand this early in the winter, but it's been an unusual year - we have quite a pile of new sails to build.  So, we're once again advertising for help.

November 22, 2004 in Sailmaking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Loft Report

When last you visited, we were just starting on a new Cuben Fiber Mainsail for Bruce Schwab.  That project pretty much consumed the loft for the month of October.  It was really more than we ever should have taken on - not enough time to do it right, too big a sail to fit comfortably in our loft, a little short on people to tackle the job and keep up with our other customers, a test of the limits of our sewing equipment.


So, it was a great relief when we finally got it done, out of the loft and Bruce hoisted it for the first time.  Now, we are watching the race closely in the hopes that Bruce and our sail both acquit themselves well. 

From now on, sails for more conventional 60 and 70 footers will seem a piece of cake.  Which is good, because we have a few of those coming up...

November 11, 2004 in Sailmaking | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Made in Maine

Just found out that Maine PBS will be airing a segment on our loft on Lou McNally's 'Made in Maine' at 8:30 pm on Thursday, October 21, at 8:30 pm. I'm afraid I'm going to miss the music of the Howard Fishman Quartet at PopTech.

September 30, 2004 in Sailmaking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack