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post #21 of 41 Old 12-16-2013
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Re: Sewing machine corner

" Do sail fabrics also require taping? "

Yes. Sailrite included 250 yards of double sided sticky tape in the two sail kits I recently purchased. The Dacron is very slick. I don't see how one could sew together the parts with any kind of accuracy without the tape. I have stapled together parts of cushions prior to sewing.

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post #22 of 41 Old 12-16-2013
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Re: Sewing machine corner

Seam-tape can gum-up the needle. However, seam-tape seems almost essential for long, internal runs, including sails. Two ways to help mitigate gumming the needle is to apply the seam-tape offset from the line of stitches or use a thread lubricator.

When hemming, in addition to staples I also use HDX 3/4 in. Mini Spring Clamps (37 cents each from Home Depot), Binder clips from an office supply store, such as 3/4” wide, 3/8” capacity, or T-Pins from Sailrite.
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post #23 of 41 Old 12-17-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Sewing machine corner

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Originally Posted by glymroff View Post
Is there a 'new' machine in the $300 dollar range that is ok for cruising? The intended use would be canvas (bimini, dodger, sail cover, etc.), re-doing the cushions both inside and out, & emergency sail repair (just to get to a sail loft and have it done right).

I'm of the assumption that a zig-zag feature would be just for sail repair, and not really necessary for quick 'get you home' repairs.

thx in advance!
That is a tough order! There are a great deal of machines that you can get that will do what you want (used) but the portability is where you are going to suffer a bit. For that price you are likely going to be in the range of a used NELCO, BROTHER or if you are lucky and early generation Sailrite LS. The Nelco is a better quality home machine that will do some medium duty sewing but is not necessarily designed to do the heavier canvas so results on a tri-fold seem may not be consistent. Many machines that were designed to do the heavier materials were designed to also be compact. You can get a Sailrite machine at the sailing shows for a deal which would put you in the $600 range.

Here is a sample of a NELCO machine

Restored Vintage Nelco R-400-2 Zigzag Sewing Machine - made in Japan, heavy duty - Sewing Machines & Sergers


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post #24 of 41 Old 12-17-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Sewing machine corner

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Hi-thanks for doing this. I have a red sailrite machine and would like to know if I could take it to my moored boat and sew with it running off a small red honda generator, EU200i. If so that would push me over the edge in buying a small gen.
Should work fine. The Machine you describe is the LS-1 (I think) and that motor pulls 1.7 amps at 6600RPM. Even at start up I don't think it would be enough to trip the breaker on the Honda by a good 5-8 amps. You should be just fine doing that. By the way that is a nice little generator!


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post #25 of 41 Old 12-17-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Sewing machine corner

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Tad off subject BUT I recently purchased the Sailrite LZ1 along with a jib and main sail kits. I have to say the sewing machine is a brute. It has gone thru 8 layers of 7.4 oz dacron along with 4 layers of nylon webbing. I do believe whatever fits under the foot it will sew.
I'm just about done with the jib.

You are correct. If it fits under the foot it will go through it. Heavier needle helps the cause.


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Re: Sewing machine corner

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Do sail fabrics also require taping? I think the issue is that nylon/dacron tend to be very slick thus causing the feed rates being different. Any insights into this by some of the more expereinced users?
The thicker the material the better it hold shape and feeds more evenly. Double sided or "basting tape" is a good practice for novice or learning sewers. I still use double sided tape when making sail repairs because it is one less thing that I have to worry about. The other thing that you can use is one of the many attachments available the will do the folding for specific seams for you. Sailrite has a good selection of attachments. With more experience you will need less assistance. I have a couple women in the shop here that can sew very quickly with little to no aid from folders, attachments or tape.


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post #27 of 41 Old 12-20-2013
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Re: Sewing machine corner

So interested in a lsz-1 ..but have some questions. First, how old should I consider purchasing a used one? What changes have been made to a new one to warrant a newer model? Is the monster wheel needed? I will be making new sails and canvas accessories.

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post #28 of 41 Old 12-20-2013
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Re: Sewing machine corner

You might want to ask this question on the Sailrite forum. I'd read through some of the threads there because I think I recall similar questions have been asked.

Sailrite Sewing Machines - Sailrite Forum - Page 1
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post #29 of 41 Old 12-20-2013
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Re: Sewing machine corner

Thanks TS, I did find out what I was looking for as far as how old should you go. Sailrite recommends 4 years as that was when the last update went out

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post #30 of 41 Old 12-21-2013
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Re: Sewing machine corner

Just an update:

Bought an lz1 sail rite. Every blog I've read said essentially the same thing. So I caved.
Also bought the bundle accessories and the magnetic guide.

Now begins the work for the admiral :-)

Although I may do some as well. Hey it's like a new toy at Xmas .
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