Actually, I've got a fascinating project about to get underway. I plan on building a new mainsail, from a kit by Sailrite. No, I have no real experience sewing, but Sailrite has excellent videos outlining how it's done, plus I have some assistance available - my friend Brian's wife.
I've seen some sails that have been built from Sailrite kits and I was impressed. These are nicely designed, nicely put together sails, custom cut to the dimensions of your boat. To make it even easier, the sailplans of thousands of sails and boats are right there on the website:
|Sailrite LSZ 1 Walking foot sewing machine|
Another important factor in building your own sail is having the right machine, one capable of punching through heavy sailcloth. Sailrite is of course known for its sewing machines, and the unit I'll be using to do this job is the LSZ 1 Walking Foot machine. This unit is top of the line, and the walking foot greatly simplifies sail construction by keeping the cloth together as you sew.
When the kit arrives, I'll post photos of it, the machine, and all the 'stuff' that will most assuredly come along with it.
Here is the video of my mainsail repair, for those interested: Mainsail repair
My second project involves installing an arch from Atlantic Towers, an aluminum arch on the boat, something I've always lusted after. I saw the company at the Toronto Boat Show last winter, and was hooked on their product. There are some practical reasons for this project, but the pleasure will come from how attractive it looks.
In terms of practicality, I'll be able to install both my solar panels and wind generator on the arch, eliminating the overly complex setup I now have to support these units. As well, the new arch will have dinghy davits, permitting me to lift the dinghy from the water rather than tow it. I'll have more to say on that down the road.
What I really like about this company is that they will work with you to make sure you have the right measurements, style and options so that your arch is exactly what you want and need it to be. Also, if you've ever checked out the price of a custom built arch, you'll be very impressed with Atlantic Towers' pricing.
Want to see what your boat will look like with an arch? Check out their Photofinder page, which has pictures of hundreds of installations, such as the one of a Dufour 38 here.