Making Sails!?

SummerDayz

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12 Aug 2015
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Hi everyone!

Bought myself a Galion 22 last Tuesday, she needs sails and an engine.

I have a few questions, I hope someone is able to answer?!

Can I make the sails for her myself, can anyone point me in the way of some directions?

Would a 6.5bph single cylinder diesel engine be enough?
 

PuffTheMagicDragon

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(1) Sails can be made at home given access to a reasonably good sewing machine that preferably has zig-zag stitching. Whether you can make them yourself only you can answer. There are several good books available that range from the very basic right up to the clasics. Try your local library. There are also many video clips on Youtube. Bear in mind that sewing is only a small part of the entire process. Having said that I would suggest that you consider buying your first set of sails second-hand from people like SeaTeach or similar. See how you fare with them and then decide whether a new home-made set would be a good project for the winter.
(2) Yes, a 6,5 bHp engine would be fine, especially if it is water-cooled; if it is air-cooled things might get rather too hot for comfort below.

Good Luck with whichever way you go!
 

prv

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I reckon you could probably buy old sails for less than the materials to make new ones, and even old sails will probably work better than home-made by a beginner from cheap cloth. There was a thread a while back about what people did with their old sails - an awful lot seem to be tucked away in sheds and garages, considered basically worthless but people can't bring themselves to throw them out. So it's not impossible that some kind person might even give you something for free, or a small donation to the lifeboats.

The only people who routinely make their own sails are people with junk rigs, because for a simple junk rig (there are high-tech versions) the sail is cut flat and the loads in any one panel are very small.

Pete
 

lw395

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For a 22ft boat, I'd be looking around the racing fleets for used sails.
You'd need to research dimensions.
For the engine, unless i already has the shaft and prop, an outboard on the back will get you on the water a lot sooner.
 

temptress

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Gone Sailing -in Greece for a while
Hi everyone!

Bought myself a Galion 22 last Tuesday, she needs sails and an engine.

I have a few questions, I hope someone is able to answer?!

Can I make the sails for her myself, can anyone point me in the way of some directions?

Would a 6.5bph single cylinder diesel engine be enough?

I used to own a Gallion 22 - cracking little boat There is/was an owners association with a website, can't remember the url.....
 

Fimacca

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find second hand ones.........unless you are very good, home made wont work that well !

right size is what matters.
 

sailorman

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21 May 2003
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Here or thertemp ashore
Hi everyone!

Bought myself a Galion 22 last Tuesday, she needs sails and an engine.

I have a few questions, I hope someone is able to answer?!

Can I make the sails for her myself, can anyone point me in the way of some directions?

Would a 6.5bph single cylinder diesel engine be enough?
This post reminds me of PBO 45 years ago. Keep it up pls :encouragement:

We made a tent for our Silhouette Mk2 out of clear 1000g poly with eyelets. Doubled our living space
 
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Fimacca

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Love it! Go see a local sailmaker. They often have sails the orderer never paid for!
 

DownWest

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S.W. France
Buy a copy of 'The Sailmaker's Apprentice' off Amazon. That will give a better idea of what is involved and if you can do it. Second hand sails are probably your best bet, even if a bit big and recut to fit. DIY needs a large area to lay out the cloth. I luckily have a 7x7mtr loft to do mine. Enjoyed making them too.
Good luck with your boat.
 

SummerDayz

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12 Aug 2015
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Thank you, everybody!

I have done some research, and it seems to be a mammoth task to make sails, I will be going with second hand ones, I have my eye on a few at the moment. I am a dab hand with the sewing machine, so I will eventually challenge myself and make some.
This s our first yacht, she is in need of a lot of love. She has only been used to live on in hard standing & ( we have been told) she has never been in the water! I find this hard to believe, but the survey bloke said the paint work was all original, so its a possibility!

She is a work in progress, and I am already in love with her. The person who lived in 'Summer Dayz' completely gutted her before he passed away, I think he was planning on doing her up. So we only have the hull and a toilet ( he fitted a new one before he passed away!)

I will post pics when we have made some progress, if anyone is interested?!

I will no doubt be back with more questions, I have no clue when I comes to yachts! We are putting the mast up at the weekend- who knows what rigging is? ( that is a joke, obviously!)

(but in all seriousness- how do you put a mast up?)

Maxine :)
 

Fimacca

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good luck with the boat. they are loads of work even if up together ok.
you need a crane, an 'a' frame or very long pole, or ropes from height for a mast.
check out youtube. loads of lifts on there.

Don't guess or rush it - be careful, if you drop, it may go across the way and damage other boats and people AND smash it up...............
I used to raise mine with a 12 ft pole and a strong dude with a 20m rope stood on the hard attached to the top - and that was hard in a tabernacle (pivot lock attached to foot of mast)
 

AndrewL

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20 Jun 2014
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Cowes, Isle of Wight
Mast stepping is not too difficult, there are lots of guides online and videos on youtube.

I think a Galion 22 will have a a deck-stepped mast so you should be able to do it yourself using an A-frame, and by yourself I actually mean you and 2 friends. Check how the mast foot attaches, it may have a removable pin about 10mm diameter which it pivots on or it may just sit on the deck with something to locate it. Masts with a pivot are easier as when the mast is horizontal the pin is inserted and then you only need to concentrate on keeping the mast aligned laterally.

I lowered and raised the mast on my 22 footer this year using a home made A-frame, it went smoothly and I would use the same method again. Although there were only two of us doing it, next time I would have 3 people. Some other things worth remembering:

Make sure all rigging is attached to the mast, split-pins etc are properly inserted and all the rigging is labelled at the lower end before you begin.

Although the two of us could carry the mast around the yard with no problem, getting it from the pontoon onto the boat was much harder and it nearly got dropped. Three people would have made this part easy.

Have a sturdy support in the cockpit to support the mast so that when in the horizontal position it is not just resting on deck. Have this support as far back as possible so the mast does not want to tip backwards.

When attaching the rigging use some string to tie each turnbuckle in its correct vertical position, so string tied from turnbuckle to guard wires. Because when the mast is coming up, it a turnbuckle was not free to move it may get bent. If it is already in the vertical position this cannot happen.

We used a 2:1 purchase pulley attached to the A-frame and fed back to a halyard winch, passing through a clutch. Actually winching in to raise the mast required very little physical effort so it was very controlled and the clutch meant it was not going to come crashing down onto whoever was in the cockpit doing the winching.

It only took 1 person to winch the mast up, the other(s) can stand at the side of the mast to keep it aligned laterally.
 
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rob2

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There are so many variations in mast stepping, mostly dictated by the exact type of kit that's fitted. The easiest type is a mast in a tabernacle as it will swing up and down on its pivot pin. With the caveats above, this type can be winched up single0handed - it's what it is designed for. Some other mast steps, whilst not as robust, still offer a pivot and can be treated the same, though with a little more care and definitely on windless days. Other masts have a box they have to be dropped into and will need two people at the foot just to guide it into position with several other bodies using the halyards to keep the masthead under control as it is bodily lifted to vertical. We've found it helps to have a ladder that you can push up under the spreaders. Once in position it allows you to pause and take stock, then it can be used to push the mast up the final bit. My own mast is hollow at the base and drops onto a spigot on the base, so it really only works by being craned up using a strop under the spreaders which halves the height of crane needed. Luckily the driver from the local scrapyard likes to make a few quid using the Hiab crane on his truck on his way home from work...

Moral is, I guess, ask around others at the yard and form a pan from what they have to offer.

Rob.
 

rob2

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When you decide to have a go at making some sails, it's worth thinking how to match the technique to what you have available. I'm told it's worth using a hot knife to seal the edges of the panels and prevent fraying. Sailmakers stick the panels together with double sided tape before sewing which achieves correct positioning and prevents creep on the machine which would give you creases. A professionally made sail usually has grommets hydraulically pressed into the clew and tack, but these can be substituted with webbing loops. I don't know how you'd fit a headboard on the mainsail, but it is basically rivetted, so should be possible. Many pros are reverting to older methods, using lashing principles in new materials where it was once the norm to fit metal or plastic hardware. Certainly it is much simpler to DIY a headsail than a main so I'd suggest doing that first then decide whether to try the main too.

Rob.
 

NealB

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Burnham on Crouch
Westaway have used sails - you may get lucky:
http://www.westawaysails.co.uk/used-sails-sailmakers/

Unless they have changed, I'd be very cautious of dealing with them.

A surprising number of forumites (including myself) have had very bad experiences with them (mainly to do with taking money upfront, then not delivering, then not answering phone calls or emails).

I'd only consider it if I could go and collect, and pay cash.
 

William_H

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28 Jul 2003
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West Australia
As said try to buy used sails. You can make your own sails but it is the large eyelets and multilayers of cloth at the corners that make home DIY difficult.
If you really want to try make a large light weight jib first. I understand that for a proffessional to make a sail the cost of cloth will represent about half tyhe cost the finished product. So not as much savings DIY. There is a book by Jeremy Howard Williams on sail making would be useful.
I would suggest you start with a large jib and a small one hank on.
Re the engine. A s said much depends on what stern gear is in place in the hull. ie if prop and shaft then yes a small diesel would be good. If not outboard can be very convenient and cheaper.
Re mast raising. I would strongly suggest you put some effort into making the right gear to raise and lower the mast. This includes a crutch either single or A frame firmly mounted at the transom to rest the mast in. his should be as high as you can reach to lift the mast into. ie 2 metres for crutch bed above the cockpit seats. With one person (or 2) lifting the mast up on to the crutch the other at the mast base will guide the base into the step. Presumably (hopefully) with a pivot bolt.
You will need a 4 purchase tackle with around 15 metres of rope. to go from the botom of the forestay to the bow fitting then back to a halyard winch or cleat. You then need to have 2 poles pivotted on the deck abeam the mast and reaching to the bow. These 2 poles make an A frame shape with the end of the forestay attached. The purpose of these poles is to improve the angle of pull of the tackle on the forestay. ie with the mast down without the poles when you pull the forestay you will not pull up so much as pull forward. The poles make a big triangle of mast and forestay. Vital especially if mast starts from horizontal position. Around here most people use 2 spin poles and purpose fitted rings on the side deck for the bottom of the poles. One pole can be used attached to the base of the mast and stayed sideways.
It is well worth setting up properly before you begin. You will need to access the top of the mast a lot and of course you may want to go under bridges etc.
There is lots of info on this forum about mast raising and lowering. Take the project seriously form the start and you will have no regrets. Or get a crane and pay for mast removal in future. Certainly fr the first time be carefula nd have lots of helpers. good lcuk olewill
 
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