I've always felt that sail cloth (stiff, no stretch, hard to sew) was exactly the wrong material for everything other than sails. Thus, trying to make anything out of old sails is a waste of labor using the wrong material for the job. You wouldn't make sails from Cordura, Sunbrella or cotton canvas, would you? Thus, the only reason to sew a bag out of old sails is to be cute or cool, neither of which make any sense to me.
Racers don't have bags made from sailcloth, so they don't look racy either. Just "cute." Just sayin'.
Well we didn’t make the bags to be “cute or cool “ as you mentioned. We decided that we could either just throw the sail away ( it was 20 yers old) or do something with the material. Since it was Haleakulas old sail, that was our own uniqueness.
Throwing things away when not necessary when you can repurpose it is just another example of wasteful thinking our society has become.
As far as a waste of labor, that’s ridiculous. We have a Sailrite machine and my wife is a expert seemstress. She makes her own scrub suits, our house curtains etc, even if she only had average self taught sewing ability, little projects like this help to make her feel involved in the boat, it’s upkeep and the adventure we share with Haleakula. So many of our friends have wives/ significant others who just barely tolerate their “husbands “ sailboat. This keeps her involved. I have amateur sewing skill compared to her and can make a handled duffle bag in about 2 hours. No real “waste” of labor.
As far as the “wrong material” , that’s a matter of opinion. It’s indestructible and easy to clean.
The sail cloth is a perfect cover for our detachable engine lift and blocks to our Garhauer radar pole. It’s a perfect “ bag “ to load all our dry goods for a aweekend to transfer from the dock, dinghy to put onto the boat safely with a zipper and handles. Then it’s just folds up and stores easily with no bulk. We have even put mini wheels on one end of it.
One of things we noticed when traveling on our longer cruises was when we went into towns to do some reprovisioning using the dinghy, was that we needed bags to take the foods back on the dinghy and back to Haleakula. Taking this made bag with wheels made it easy. All folded up when we left the boat to the store. Easy to roll back from the store to the dinghy and easy and safe to lift back up into the boat. Then fold up small again when empty.
Again for 2 hours total work , reused sails ( ours) , not a bad investment. My wife has a seemstreess eye so she can trip the bag out so it looks professional, but even without that, my sewing attempts do look bad either and are very functional.