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!