Preparing the Sails


  1. Vinyl Sails
    • Cut the sail material to 19" (width/sides) x 41" (length/end).
    • On the dull side of the material make a line 5" from each end.
    • Fold over the end to meet the line and make a crease mark in the material where the fold should be.
    • Apply glue (using the width of the glue brush as a guide) along the very edge of the sail and along the line
    • Fold edge over and match the edge to the line (The glue dries fairly quickly so only do one sail pocket at a time).
    • After glue sets up insert spars temporarily to test sleeve. (If you followed the enclosed instructions and used the template, these sails should have a perfect fit but it is advisable to test all sails after the glue has dried (3-5 minutes).
    • Slide sails onto spars and secure with a small hose clamp at the end of each spar.

  2. Cloth sails
    • option 1:"cruciform"shape
      • Cut the 8oz cotton drop cloth to 21" by 43" rectangles
        Note: if you have 1"-diameter spars you'll need the full 43" but if if you 3/8"-diameter spars, you can cut the cloth to 41" or less
      • Fold the long edges over by 1" and secure with glue or sewn thread in order to hem and prevent ragged edges (ie loose threads)
      • Fold short edges of sail over spars ~2-3" (see note below) to create sleeves for spars leaving sail 36" long.
      • Using a grommet maker, fasten a grommet to each of the two in-board corners of the sail through the sleeve you have created. Be sure to place the grommet lower on the sleeve so there is enough clearance for the spar to pass through.
      • Using either a needle and thread or glue, fabricate the sleeve between the grommets closed so it is a true sleeve.
      • When it it time to assemble, you will slide sails onto spars, thread 3/16" nylon cord through the grommets closest to the mast of each sail and tie off. This prevents the sails from slipping off.
      • For additional support, marine fabric glue can be applied to the spars prior to slipping the sails on. We might also consider some sort of stainless staples for additional support but we do not want to weaken the spar with any substantial fasteners. For additional security, a marine grade thread can be sewn into the sails.

    • option 2:"star"shape
      • We need to cut 7 pieces of sail. At first, we should cut 3 square sails with sides being 89cm , 93cm, and 97cm, respectively. The square with sides of 93cm should cut along a diagonal. The square which sides of 97cm should also be cut along the diagonal and then cut these two triangles in half. Finally, we will get 7 piece of sail.
      • We need to hem the edges to prevent the material from fraying. We glue each side of the sail 2 cm.
      • Grommet the sail. We need to put grommets at every corner and the middle of some of the side (see picture).
      • Cut a 1 ½” diameter hole in the middle of the square for the bamboo mast

        Figure 1. Cloth sail option with grommets, stitching, and cord securing system displayed.

        sail 1 sail 2

        sail 8 sail 3 sail 4

        sail 5 sail 6
Note: If you feel you may have not have been accurate in drilling the holes in the 2x4, insert spars in 2x4 and take measurements (from top of spar to top of spar) and make each sail separately.
Note: If you are making a lot of sails, you may want to build a jig to eliminate the measuring step on each sail.
Note: If you are adding shelf-brackett supports under the spars or you are using 1" bamboo spars, you will need more than a 2" sleeve, perhaps 3"-4".