Time for the hand sewing. This is the stitch by stitch stuff that adds real strength to the pressure points on the sail. For this, sailrite has sent along wax coated Dacron thread and a sail makers needle. The needle is like a tiny bayonet. Three sides and super sharp, poking yourself and you're sure to bleed a bit. I use a few other tools when doing this. One of them, is my trusty sewing awl. This is a must have in my opinion. I'm sure you could get by with a regular awl, but this thing makes punching through finishing leather, nylon strapping and six layers of Dacron a bit easier.
I didn't bend the needle, it came curved. I suspect this little curve adds some strength or at least takes direct pressure off the shaft of the needle as you jam it into something hard.
This is a thick brass thimble. Last sail I made I punched right through a little tin one and into my hand. I'm not making that mistake again. Most of the time I actually stick this on the back of the sail maker needle to help push it through the fabric.
The head and tack has a brass reinforcement rings sewn into the sail corner patches. First, you have to cut a small hole through the patch then sew all the way around the ring basically in bedding it into the sail. Then comes the easy part, you simply lace the eye and luff edge back to the brass ring. This will stiffen up the whole head structure significantly.
To cover up all the structural work of the lacing, I dress up the outer layer of the corners with some white pearl leather. This again, adds another layer of strength to the corners of the sail.
Here, you can see the final product for the Genoa's head.
Here is the tack, basically the same process as the head. In-bed the brass ring and wrap waxed Dacron through and around.
The tack finished and wrapped in its leather outer casing.
The clew is a little different. The hand stitching goes around the outer edge of the ring through all that nylon strapping and the thickest layer of the Dacron patch. The sewing awl is your friend here.
Here is the tack finally wrapped up with a butterfly cut piece of leather passed through the ring for additional support.
The last thing to do was press on the grommets and sail hanks. Thankfully sailrite sent extra grommets I messed up three of those buggers before I got a hang of using the grommet press tool.
My previous sail came with nylon clip on hanks. Frankly they are a pain in the neck and it's not unusual for one or two of the lower ones to come unclipped when raising the sail. I opted to go with brass hanks for this sail and now that I know how to use the grommet tool I for see changing out the nylon ones on the working jib in the near future. (There is always another boat project.)
One completed Genoa.
I even installed the new sailrite logos. This was a tough decision I actually have two of the older logos in a box that I almost stuck on, so they would match my other sails but ultimately decided I liked the new logo more. The only thing left to do now is install the tell tails but that will have to wait until spring when I set the sail up for the first time and get a real sense of where exactly on the sail I want them placed.
Here we are, folded up and waiting for spring to break. It is 8 degrees outside right now. Brrrr.