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Forum LockedHeadsail Sacrificial Cover Sewing

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Sue2 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 February 2016 at 1:09pm
I'm replacing the sacrificial cover on a Quickstep 23 headsail, and had a question about sewing the new fabric.  I've replaced these covers in the past, and typically the fabric is approximately 12" wide along the entire leach and something similar on the foot.  On this sail, the cover is tapered, such that it is nearly 22" wide at the clew.  It looks as if originally had each section of cover fabric sewn around the perimeter, and then a shallow V shape sewn across the center  In the (many!) repairs and re-stitching of this old cover, there are seemingly random stitch lines angling across the interior portion of the fabric pieces, leading me to wonder if it was separating from the sail and needed to be held down.

Long story still long, my question is this:  Is there a "rule of thumb" for sewing the covers, based on their width?

Thanks,
Sue
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MattGrant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattGrant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2016 at 1:22pm
Yes there is a rule. Here is a great document for reference:
http://www.sailrite.com/Convert-a-Sail-to-Rollerfurling-Instructions-PDF

The sail you have is an interesting and somewhat common example of how some sailmakers do the job. Basically they determine the minimum width required and they then take a strip of Sunbrella and lay it flat along the leech (or foot) edge of the sail. To have the material lay flat it can not follow the curve cut into the edge of the sail. So the effect is that the leech panel is wider at the head and clew by quite a lot. In the case of the foot cover the opposite happens, since the foot edge has round instead of hollow. The cover is widest at the center of the foot edge. In my opinion this is a waste of fabric so we cut smaller panels and "trip" them along the edge to follow the curve.

As for the diagonal stitching, this should always be done as it keeps the sacraficial cover from creating a disturbed shape at the trailing edge of the sail. Basically any time you stitch something you create a degree of pucking. By over-stitching with the diagonal rows you are distributing the pucking all along the leech and helping to create a more consistent exit shape to the sail.
Best Regards,
Matt Grant
Sailrite
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Sue2 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sue2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2016 at 1:50pm
Thanks, Matt!  That will definitely help.
This sail is interesting, because it appears that the exposed area (easily seen on the faded cloth) is tapered the same amount as the sun cover itself it tapered, so it really does not waste much fabric.  I assume it is due to the cut of the sail.  The fading shows I had 5-6" of overlap, so that could be trimmed down somewhat, but it may be more aesthetic to hide the old needle holes.

One thing I can not tell in the article (Figure 5): Does each panel have one diagonal stitch line across it, or a "V" shape from corner to middle/opposite, back to corner?  If the latter, should the point of the V be on the leech, or toward the sail?  I'm using 60" panels.

Thanks!
-Sue
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MattGrant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattGrant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2016 at 3:44pm
It really does not matter on the diagonal stitching. I generally do one diagonal across each panel since it is easier.
Best Regards,
Matt Grant
Sailrite
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