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Old 02-19-2011
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Sailrite LSZ-1 Sewing Machine Purchase

I am considering purchase of a Sailrite LSZ-1 Sewing Machine. Of course, would like to purchase for lowest cost. Direct from Sailrite (via Amazon) is $899 plus $45 shipping. Other vendors considered include;

1.) Sewing Machines Plus, etc. (via Amazon) @ $869 includes shipping;
2.) Zamirsew (via eBay) @ $774 includes shipping.

Any thoughts/comment would be appreciated. thanks

Last edited by Edmonds44; 02-19-2011 at 11:48 AM. Reason: made a mistake in pricing.
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Old 02-19-2011
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I have the Sailrite LSZ-1. I added the Monster wheel and the LED light. It's a great machine with wonderful customer support. IMO, the price is fair and the slight differential between other (possibly less supported) machines will be negligible over time.

The machine has paid for itself many times over by sewing all our covers, cushions, some sail repair, canvas bags, etc. I would use it to make small sails (for boats up to about 25') but would not use it for a large, heavy sail such as our mainsail or jib.
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Old 02-19-2011
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I just picked one up from Craigs list in Los Angleles a couple of weeks ago. $700 and it came with the optional case and table and some other accesories.

I have already made new coaming covers, as well as a forward hatch cover out of phifertex. Awsome machine that will save you money and spark your imagination for projects.

I was also looking at an outlet to buy before it popped up on Craigs list. Next project is an anchor riding sail.

Good luck, Bill
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Old 02-19-2011
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We really like the Sailrite LSZ-1. We bought it from the store in Annapolis. I would check - I "think" they might match prices from other places.

Their service has been wonderful. (Well - customer service in ordering stuff and asking questions - nothing has gone wrong with the machine.)

I am currently building a dodger for a C&C 30.

Rik
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I also bought a Sailrite (the one with the zig zag stitch - I forget what they call it) and it has really paid for itself many times over. Just redoing the cushions for the boat saved thousands and if you add all the other projects it adds up to a lot of cash. I've also found their instructional videos worth the money. Unless you have a friendly sailmaker willing to show you the ropes, the videos cut the learning curve way, way down. They are also very good on the phone when you're stuck. Overall one of the best outfits I have dealt with and I have no financial connection with them other than a satisfied customer who has made cushions, a storm jib, cockpit line holders, parachute anchor, JSD, Foul weather gear locker, stack pack and just starting a binnacle cover, all from their material and/or instructions.
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Old 02-19-2011
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The LSZ-1 is an impressive machine. We are just getting to know ours. Customer support is exceptional!

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Old 02-19-2011
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We purchase our LZ1 from Dan in Annapolis about 3 years ago. It has saved us many many dollars and paid for itself many time over already.

I am lucky in that my wife had excellant sewing skills already. She has made our main sheet cover, a new dodger and bimini with strataglass, a custom dinghy cover.

In addition we take our sails home every off season and wash them outside, and she goes over a panel a week looking at the stitching and repairing any loose threads or weaknesses.

Her next project is the cushions inside. Sabre could you PM me where you got the foam for them....material you used for the cushions. We are looking at other fabric stores to do this aas they have a variety of patterns.

Dave
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Old 02-21-2011
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Thanks for all of your feedback. I bought the LSZ-1 direct from Sailrite -- dealt with Matt Grant -- good guy.... Looking forward to its arrival..
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Old 02-21-2011
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I meant to get this reply in prior to your purchase. But....I'll pass this along to others who may want to do a little sewing.

The Sailrite machines seem to keep their owners reasonably happy. I was originally attracted to them because they can be bought new at a reasonable price, and the folks at Sailrite can get you through the initial setup, etc..

I really started looking into industrial straight stitch machines a couple years ago, and early on considered the top of the line table mounted Sailrite machines. But, as you "look behind the curtain", you discover that their top of the line machines are pretty much lower end industrial machines (rebranded).

Of course, you quickly realize that to buy the sort of machine that a canvas shop would use, new, would be unreasonable for the occasional sewing job. Which led me to start looking at used machines. TOTALLY bewildering. Without a great deal of research, finding the right model with the right features, in good condition is a real trick. Very easy to make a dumb or inappropriate purchase.

Sailrite succeeds because they discovered that there's a market out there that needs a heavy duty machine, but has no knowledge. They hold your hand, and that's appealing.

The industrial machine makers like Juki, Consew, Adler, etc., don't want to know you. Their buyers are canvas shops and probably mostly, big shops in Asia.

After much research I finally ended up with a Consew model 206rb. I bought it new, but had many projects to do. The moral of this story is that for about the price of the Sailrite machine new, a Consew 206rb can be found used. This is a model that been around a lot of years and is highly reliable. This is the VW Beetle of industrial machines...parts and service will not be a problem. Walk into any canvas shop and you'll have to be careful not to stumble on one. Easy to find used. There are many industrial machines that could serve you, but why make this confusing. This is me "holding your hand".

Like the Sailrite machine, the 206rb has a walking foot, but they also have "needle feed" with means that with every stitch, the needle, when it lifts, slants a little to move forward to grab the fabric and pull it back along with the walking foot. Very cool.

Sailrite machine motor is 1/10th horsepower. The Consew is 3/4 horse. You will not encounter the boat sewing project this machine won't handle easily.

A Consew sits on a table with the motor mounted underneath. If you need portability, this ain't the machine. But, if you want to sew in comfort, without a lot of hassle, you need a good table. The small table the Consew (or other machines in its class) comes on is the minimum. You want to add at least a small infeed and small outfeed table. Might as well enjoy yourself. Plastic folding tables (3x6 or 3x8 feet) from Staples are great for this and also can be used for laying out material for cutting.

Getting handy with a Consew or any industrial machine just takes a little time. Learn to thread it. Adjust the tension. It's a very basic machine. Pretty much just forward, reverse, and stitch length. You really don't need anyone to hold your hand, as the info's online. It's no more complicated than the Sailrite machine.

One additional word. An industrial machine like a Consew may have a little surprise in store for you. The motor is not on a rheostat. As soon as you turn on the machine, the motor is running at full speed and power. When you press the pedal down, you're engaging the clutch. Quickly. It's like revving a Corvette and just dropping the clutch. It really takes a little practice to learn how to feather or tickle the clutch to control it. Then it becomes easy to put in stitches one or two at time, or at a slow, steady, thump, thump, thump. The bonus is that because the motor is running at full power, when you start sewing, it doesn't matter if you're starting on 2 layers of Sunbrella or 12...you're going to punch in a row of stitches. If you're apprehensive about the clutch, Consew also has a 1/2 horse motor available with a digital speed control that really tames the beast. The 1/2 horse with speed control isn't as easily available used, but a used machine can be easily upgraded to the speed controlled motor for not a lot of money.
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Old 02-21-2011
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I grew up sewing on my dads 111W singer(s), his favorite machine over the years.

No reverse, and it will (properly set up) sew through elephant skin... Siamese is correct about the clutch thing. It does takes practice... The sewing equivalent of an old mercedes..
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