Monday, January 18, 2016

Cape Dory Typhoon Genoa Project

Today, I started sewing up a new Genoa for Kraken.  This summer, I patched and taped the old Genoa several times.  It is ripping down the luff seam, the foot seam and it is pretty thin in several other spots so it is well past time for the old sail to be retired.  I believe the Genoa may have come with the boat in 1978.  Happy birthday to me and the boat; at 38 years, we are the same age.  This is my second sailrite sail. A few years ago, I built a working jib. Here's a link to that project.  The previous owner built a main and a storm.  So this will fill out the sail inventory with all sailrite sails.  

Over the last few weeks I've been working on getting a sewing machine fixed and tuned up.  It has been interesting as I have pulled apart and checked the timing on my machine. I even made a few modifications to beef it up a bit and allow for some extra clearance at the base plate.

 Friday the kit from sailrite arrived! This was super fast I did not expect it to even ship until Friday and here it was delivered by UPS.  Can't knock that the guys and gals over at sailrite got this one out super quickly.  Special thanks to Jeff Frank who ran all the numbers and answered my questions.

Today I started laying out the pieces and parts for an inventory. I wasn't going to start until; well it is... 10 degrees outside. We decided we were not going to spend it out on the snowshoe trails and going to the aquatic center did not sound appealing.  So may as well start sewing.  

The first step was to find some room to work I moved all the furniture in the living room and rolled out the Dacron.

Next I laid out the panels and got a general idea of how this thing will go together.  Yep, it's a triangle.  
A really big triangle.

Basting tape is the greatest stuff.  This is basically two sided tape used to hold the seams together with out pinning.

Matching up the seams is super easy with the tape you just line it up and pull out the top layer of tape backing.  Sailrite draws nice lines on each panel that make matching up the overlaps easy as can be. 

Once the seam is matched up I roll up the sail and place a clamp on the cloth so it will fit under the machines arm.  Then line it up with the machine.

Time to zip away.  See? That was an easy little short run.

First run done.  Each seam is sewn twice with a zig-zag stitch.  So time to flip the sail over and sew the other side.  It is probably a good thing it is sewn twice as I'm not a professional at this. But I figure this is about half the price of having a loft sew one up. 

Time to baste and match up seam 2.

Here is what it looks like when you break a needle.   This I think is around seam 3 so things are getting bigger and I was getting a bit of pressure placed on the needle from the weight of the rolled up portion of the sail.   Sailrite suggests planning your sail ahead and building in parts to alleviate some of these problems.  Ultimately I will build three large sections and assemble them.

Two side rolls now it's getting real.

Here is a nice clean run.

Many runs later, you can see the shape of the sail coming together.

A nice top down view of the sewing operation.

Here you can see all three large sections of sail ready to go together.  The head is rolled up at the top of the room, Then you have the body of the sail and the foot at the bottom of the picture.

These longer runs required the use of two rooms.  Time to move the dinning room table. 

All three big sections sewn together take up all of the living room and go up the wall about half way. This took me about 7 hours I figure and I broke 3 needles in the machine.  Like I said, I'm not a professional and I was not in any big hurry.  The seven hours includes stopping for dinner and mixing up margaritas, so no hurry at all.  The corner patches edging finishes and detail work to come in a later posts.


  1. The cold weather must force this beehive of activity upon you! Impressive work Chris.

    1. Thanks William with these temps the past week we have to find something to do to keep us warm for sure.

  2. Nice job! I never did it in my living room, so kudos to you. This is Janine Meneely, editor at Chesapeake Bay Magazine. I'm looking for a few good photos of a typhoon under sail to use in an upcoming article. Got any? Would love to here from you. My dad was one of the first typhoon dealers and I've always loved that boat. COntact me at and many thanks for a morning well spent.

  3. LOL! Some editor I am: that would be "hear" from you, and again, many thanks.

    1. Janine I replied through email let me know if you got the message. 😀


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