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Building SAILRITE Drifter

02 April 2011 | Fairbanks, Alaska
Rick 46,690
Ahoy! from Frozen Fairbanks, Alaska!

I'm doing well after my knee surgery and filling in as a MEDEVAC pilot (must refill the sailing kitty!)

Since I had a lot of INDOOR time on my hands, I decided to try my hand at building a Drifter for the boat. I went with the SAILRITE sail kit (custom cut for the BCC). It was around $900 with sail-kit, sail-bag and deployment sock (as a single hander, I wanted the quick and easy way to douse the Drifter if the wind piped up!!!) The box of materials arrived within a week after ordering.

The sewing part has turned out to be more difficult than I imagined. I wanted to have PERFECT parallel stitches along each panel, however I SUCK at sewing! (the only time I used a sewing machine was a couple weeks of mandatory home economics class in 9th grade, and I got a D or C in that class!)

The problem was with my sewing technique... When you have have two long cigar tubes of sail cloth running thru the machine, it's hard to keep the pace consistent and accurate. If you push or pull or drift off into lala land for a split second, the machine does what ever she wants! (kinda like a woman...haha)

(I picked up this SEARS sewing machine on sale!!!! score!)

I also found that the double stick tape that is supplied to hold the panels together during the sewing is very....... finicky. I found out the hard way that I was over powering the tape and then the fabric would bunch up. A very steep learning curve for a neophyte sailmaker! I have all the panels sewn together (Green and White Stripe) so, it looks pretty cool. Now the really fun part, sewing the corner patches and grommets.

If you do decided to build one of these cool kits, make sure the area is VERY CLEAN!! That sail material turns into one HUGE DUST/DIRT MAGNET when you move it around. I got ZAPPED more times than I care to remember because of static build up. (Fairbanks is VERY VERY DRY in the winter)

I can't wait to hoist the sail for the first time and see my handiwork!

Check out the Sailrite website for all kinds of Do-it-yourself kits!

Vessel Name: JUNESSA
Vessel Make/Model: 28' Bristol Channel Cutter (BCC)
Hailing Port: Anchorage, Alaska
Crew: Rick Peterson
About: JUNESSA has a few new crew members! My lovely wife, Terri, who is eager to go cruising as a family! Taylor, our teenager, and Jenna our youngest and Pixie the wonder dog.
This is my very first boat!!!! Nothing like starting out with the best Blue Water Cruiser money can buy! The BCC was designed by Lyle Hess and made famous by Lin & Larry Pardey as they documented in books, videos and dvd's their sailing adventures on board their homebuilt BCC 'Taleisin'. My [...]
JUNESSA's Photos - (Main)
Working and Playing on the Big Island of Hawaii ALOHA!
24 Photos
Created 20 January 2009
Working on bottom and interior.
9 Photos
Created 9 January 2009
4 Photos
Created 12 April 2007
Here's a few shots of prepping the boat for the long ride NORTH to Gig Harbor, Wa. It took about 5 hours to prep and load her up.
5 Photos
Created 8 April 2007
Here's a few shots of my 1985 28 foot Bristol Channel Cutter (BCC) built in Vancouver, BC. She's a full keel fiberglass hull with teak and mahogany wood throughout. She's powered by a Volvo 28hp diesel.
4 Photos
Created 7 April 2007
I had a great day learning how to sail my BCC. The learning curve was a little steeper than I had anticipated. The day ended pretty crappy... I couldn't get the engine out of gear and I plowed into the back side of a large powerboat in the slip next to me. OUCH!
6 Photos
Created 7 April 2007
This was the first day on board Junessa. I looked in every corner on board and climbed to the top of the mast! I had Chinese food and Corona Beer then feel asleep to some beautiful candle light and music.
4 Photos
Created 4 April 2007
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