I decided to make a third reef for Cream Cheese in May. It has been 12 years since I sewed the sail, and I wasn't looking forward to re-learning all of the special sail sewing techniques.
|Pretty stitches on the new clew reef patch|
Next, I spread the sail out on the floor to plan the location and size the various panels that would be sewn together to make the reef patches.
|Reef patch dimensions|
|Cutting out dacron panels|
I used basting tape to assemble the clew, tack and cringle patches and then put them aside.
Now I was ready to start sewing, but before I could do that, I needed to freshen up on my sewing skills and make sure the needle, thread and machine were going to be able to go through seven layers of dacron. This probably took more time than any other part of of the project. My sewing machine is a Janome 7330, which is a "home decor" machine. It comes with a two kinds of zig-zag stitches, has a pretty good motor and a fairly strong feeder. I discovered that this machine with a #90 needle will do a zigzag seam on five layers of 4oz dacron, but not on seven layers. It works fine with a #110 needle but but I was worried that the holes in the fabric were a little too large. After talking it over with a few people, I decided to go with the #110 needle and larger holes. I've been happy with the results.
|Janome 7330, basted reef patches, practice patch.|
|First seams going together.|
|Reef cringle patch|
|Reef cringle patch and tools|
Installing the sailrite jiffy grommets on the clew and tack were a bit trickier. A jiffy grommet is comprised of two washers that are attached to the sail using six aluminum rivets. The kit came with no instructions and there is very little on the web about the best way to do it, but I'm pleased with the results.
|Third reef - project complete|
Now the third reef is finished - I can hardly wait to try it out in heavy weather.