Model Boat Mayhem

Dry Dock / Shipyard: Builds & Questions => Yachts and Sail => Topic started by: bbdave on January 09, 2008, 06:28:11 PM

Title: Sail fabric
Post by: bbdave on January 09, 2008, 06:28:11 PM
What do people use for there sails, i am fitting out a hull which i have posted the build so far on here. i have been given a couple of rolls of what i'm told is draghtsmans linnen it is a pale blue paper that when soaked in warm water leaves only a fine linnen it seems easy to use as i can fold the seams before sewing and hold in place with masking tape. i just wandered if it is any good for sails as it's very thin. i'm making a practice sail and will be sewing it shortly.
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: MCR on January 09, 2008, 11:32:42 PM
Good! I would give an arm and a leg for it,great stuff.
Mark
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: tigertiger on January 10, 2008, 01:58:44 AM
Q. What are suitable materials for Sail fabric. For a working model.

I have read
   - Ordinary cotton sheets, if pre-shrunk.
   - Downproof cambric.
   - Egyptian cotton
   - Cotton sailcloth.
What are the pros and cons of each of these above?

What else can be used?

Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: mike_victoriabc on January 10, 2008, 06:03:09 AM
I used to draft plans on that linen when I first started, used a razor blade to carefully erase any poor text, etc.  haven't seen that in years! Very fine cloth there after you've rinsed the coating off it.
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: boatmadman on January 10, 2008, 06:20:19 AM
How about spinnaker cloth, its very light and made for the job.

I have also used plain dress lining cotton on two boats, works very well.

Ian
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: mike javelin on January 13, 2008, 02:24:23 AM
It depends a bit on what you want.
Fast race sails or scale-ish looking sails.
How big is the boat?
Do you want to panel or shape the sails?

In the Micro Magic Class we use a right royal mixture and they all have their good and bad points.
I have sails made from 40, 36 and even 15 micron Mylar film.
The 40 and 36 is normally supplied as draftsman drawing film and the 15micron (silvered) film came from a free flight Glider supplier.
I also have sails made from Scrim, which is a light mylar with cross threads to increase strength.
Spinny material, although unless treated with silicon, does absorb water and gets heavy and once it is treated it's a "xxxxx" to panel as noting sticks!
The light "crunchy" film they use in florists is pretty good.

However if you can provide a little more info on what sort of sails you want and for what boat I can probably be more help.
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: tigertiger on January 13, 2008, 07:15:33 AM
Hi Mike

My primary interest is scale sail. I should have been more forthcoming, sorry.
TT
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: bbdave on January 13, 2008, 05:05:47 PM
i am wanting to make sails for the boat i'm fitting out i have posted pictures on the ebay hull fit out thread. the hull measures 36.5" and 44" with the sprit i am putting a gaff cutter rig on it's based on pond yacht type boats. i have washed out a piece to practice on i tried sewing a piece up before wasing it out but it lost it's shape after washing.
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: JayDee on January 13, 2008, 06:37:09 PM
Dave,

Buy some good quality Cotton Sheeting, soak it for a few hours in COLD water, then hang it up to dry, don't try to squeeze or wring the water out, just let it dry on its own.
When its fully dried, soak it again, do this two or three times to fully shrink the fabric.

Cut the sails out using the edge of the sheet as the long side of the Sail - - the Leech, this will give you a nice formed edge to the finished sail.
While the fabric is wet, do not stretch or pull on the fabric as this will cause your finished sails to go out if shape.

Sewing the sails MUST be done using only Cotton thread, manmade threads will not "move " with the sail and will create wrinkles.
The sails on my schooner were made this way and are now 17 years old.

John,  :)  :)  :)
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: bbdave on January 14, 2008, 03:54:03 PM
I've been trying to make them from the cloth but just find it so infuriating i think my fingers are to big to make the hems acurately.
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: tigertiger on January 15, 2008, 06:14:37 AM
I've been trying to make them from the cloth but just find it so infuriating i think my fingers are to big to make the hems acurately.

You can also use dacron sailcloth on scale sail. I have on my Mary J Ward (that's her in the picture on the left). It came with Dacron sails, and I changed the sal plan so needed to make some additional sails. Dacron is a synthetic non absorbant material. It cuts with a knife/scissors, and needs no hemming. You just need to put eyelets in the corners.

I got my Dacron sailcloth, Dacron chord (for running rigging), eyelets, and eylet fitting tool from www.sailsetc.com
No connection, just a happy customer.
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: bbdave on January 19, 2008, 02:02:45 AM
Thanks guys i've enlisted my dads help he seems able to handle the cloth better the first sail looks good so fingers crossed soon be on the water  :)
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: roycv on January 22, 2008, 05:02:35 PM
Hi all, I have made sails for a couple of boats lately without sewing.  I have used Hemite (I think that is the name).  Go through the usual process as if to sew on a machine but instead of sewing slip the hemite material into the seam and iron it flat.  Working well for me and quick.  You can put in corner strengthening in this way and it takes eyelets.  If very careful you can slip a bolt rope in with the hemite.
good luck,
Roy
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: Jimmy James on July 15, 2008, 02:09:40 PM
From Freebooter
 On some of my boats I use old white shower curtins; they are light weight waterproof and don't stretch; Better still they don't cost an arm & a Leg
Jimmy (Freebooter)
Title: Re: Sail fabric
Post by: tobyker on July 15, 2008, 09:04:10 PM
I am told that if you use a light cotton you can seal the luff by drawing a line a coupl of mm outside the finished size and painting with nail varnish. The threads will draw the varnish in and when you cut at the inner line there will be just enough varnish to seal the edge but not to stiffen the sail too much.