Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Singing Sailrite's praises

I had a reader ask about my boat sewing kit today and it got me to thinking about a couple things that I thought I'd pass on.

Courtesy of Sailrite.com
First of all, for any of you who sew for a boat, or want to sew for a boat, I just can't say enough good things about Sailrite. I have an LZ-1 machine which we bought at the Annapolis boat show a few years ago on boat show special, and while its weight is a big pain in the you-know-what, it's that heftiness that makes it so reliable. Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know that the Sailrite machine will sew through the many layers of fabric, trim, and 30-mil windows that a dodger requires, and yet can turn right around and sew lighter weight cushion fabric. I am eternally thankful that we had the foresight to purchase this machine and remind Tim of that every time he has to move it up our eight companionway steps, off the boat and to the clubhouse for those bigger sail repair jobs.I have no affiliation with
Sailrite other than being an incredibly satisfied customer that is continuously wowed by the quality of their product and the consistency of their customer service.

Courtesy of harborfreight.com
In addition to the machine, I have some really well-thought-out storage boxes that we've added to our boat for sewing supplies and hardware and small parts. I found them at Harbor Freight but they also have them on Amazon. They come in 8-bin, 15-bin and 20-bin and I think there might be other sizes out there as well. There are several qualities in these boxes that make them perfect for the boat. First of all, they all stack no
Courtesy of harborfreight.com
 matter what size. The 15-bin ones are half the size of the others but two
of them are the exact size as one of the others so they still stack. They
lock securely with flip latches and a safety latch, the dividers are actually removable bins so you can pick out the bin you need for your project and take it topsides without risking losing the whole storage box overboard. They are plastic so they don't corrode, they have a clear lid so you can
see what you want before you open it, and they have a carrying handle that you can use without spilling the contents of the bins into the other adjoining bins. After using these I give them a big thumbs up.

Courtesy of harborfreight.com
Some other tools that we have found invaluable are my new fabric / rope / webbing cutter which I slightly modified to use Sailrite's Engle hotknife blade, and a good wallboard T for measuring out large pieces like for cushions and sail sacrificial covering. I also have my old electric knife on
the boat that used to cut ham and turkey and now is cutting foam for cushions. Works great.

Some indispensables in the sewing kit: Seamstick in varying widths, sail repair tape, spares for every fabric fastener on the boat, a Press-n-Snap tool (if you're going to spend money on something I would say that this is the one to do it on), a soapstone marking pencil, a grease pencil, some good art erasers ( work well to lift thread bits off that you cut with a seam ripper) and high-quality scissors.

Sorry if this sounds like an advertisement. That is not my intent, only to pass along what I know works after many many many hours at this. If you have any questions about what we use for sewing on the boat just leave a comment and I'll be happy to answer. Remember that my sewing kit is set up for sewing as a business so we have many more spares on the boat than you would need to have for sewing just for your boat.


Sabrina and Tom said...

I stopped by Harbor Freight this evening. I wanted to check out the storage boxes. I didn't buy yet. I just wanted to get an idea of size. I did however find a bunch of other kewl items for s/v Honey Ryder at terrific prices. I totally forgot about that place. Thanks for the tip as well as insight into your sewing kit.

s/v Honey Ryder Caliber 40 LRC

Deb said...

Sabrina - we're building a parts storage area in the starboard aft berth that we don't ever use so we're going to build a rack to hold these boxes in. They will slide into the rack horizontally in a stack and have doors to enclose them in a cabinet. Once we get that going we'll post pics.

Latitude 43 said...

Harbor Freight is evil. I can't get out of there without an armful of stuff. I keep it in the van now, so Deb doesn't see it. Shhh.

Deb said...

I know what you mean Paul. I once sent Tim down there unsupervised and was holding my breath till he came back. I do have to admit to being nearly as bad in there though...