Join Date: Jun 2005
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About six years ago I ordered and recieved the Sailrite LSZ-1 plus the upgrade kit that includes the wooden case, the monster wheel kit, the light, the electronic variable speed, and a few other things. At the time, with tax and shipping, it cost me right around $1000 - and worth EVERY PENNY!!
The thing is heavy and strong, and the monster wheel gears it down so it easily punches through anything you can fit under the foot. The walking foot feature is invaluable and greatly enhances operation for an amateur like me. Since then, I have bought about $250 worth of additional gadgets as well as spare parts and replacement parts. (falling from the chair while wrestling a big Bimini through at full speed will generally snap the needle and might dent that little bitty thin plate on the bobbin holder)
I have made WAY more money than I ever thought while helping others around the dock (right now I'm completing a huge sun shade for a big trimaran - and after 6 years, I'm getting much better at wrangling cloth)
I've repaired dozens of sails for people, and am about to make my own sails for my boat (as opposed to 'for my car')
Anyone even a little familiar with dockside sewing admires the machine and asks about it, and most say they wish they had one.
Yes, you can find alternatives for less money, but big table models will not stow easily on a boat, and old favorites from dusty cellars may not have any support as far as parts, information, or manuals, let alone telephone help.
As far as I'm concerned, your choice of the LSZ-1 shows you've already done your homework. It's a great choice.