My first big boat sewing project.
The Mission: To replace the fragile cheesecloth mainsail cover.
For our 17-foot boom, I purchased 34 feet of canvas from Sailrite, set up the Sailrite LZ- 1 sewing machine on our boat salon table, and followed the Sailrite Video proved I can produced a new Mainsail Cover for our Tatoosh 42. Sounds pretty easy, right!?! It didn’t get completed without a few setbacks along the process.
After receiving the 34 feet of 46″ wide canvas, I figured I can use the floor of my school to lay out the canvas and using a hot knife to cut the patterned parts.
Before sewing the seams, I used double sided hem tape to hold the folds in place. In most hems there were two folds and found it easier to maintain a even hem to use the hem tape at each fold.
Learning to sew 34+feet of canvas in a 8 foot wide space took a little engineering. I had to push and pull the canvas on one side of the sewing machine to the opposite side as I sew the seams. It took more time than actual sewing.
We have lazy jacks and it’s common to have slits on the mainsail cover to accommodate the lazy jack lines. I completed one slit before it dawned on me that there has to be a better approach. Deciding to continue with Lazy jack slits or not Lazy Jack Slits. After some researching what other options I had, I decided to go with the Brion Toss approach. After consulting Hayden Island Canvas on how to ‘undo what I sewed’ I began with ripping out the stitches and patching the slit. The end result looks good.
I continued with the steps from the video and the book provided with the Sailrite mainsail order. Overall, being this was my first canvas project, and a large one, the project was more time consuming than difficult. Do keep in mind, it took more time because I worked in a confined space. It would been dreaming to have had a dedicated space where I completed the entire project without having to set up the sewing machine and canvas and return when done for the day.
I’m very pleased with the results. I’ve learned a few things along the way. It’s been over a year now and I still get giddy when someone compliments my work.
Tip: You may want to consider tapering the aft end of the cover. Since the end of our boom doesn’t have lines and such, the end looks droopy. It’s really not a problem. More of a critical eye from a Type A personality.
Please note that I completed this canvas project November 2018.