Canvas Pacific Northwest

The Craft

Canvas Making book and tools

I never thought I would be diving head first into making canvas and learning about making sails. I finished reading The Sailmakers Apprentice this week and I am blown away by the amount of information I picked up for that book. If you want to learn about making sails and canvas the right way, I suggest you pick up this book and read it from cover to appendix. I say the right way because much of the author’s ideas on how to make something that will last a long time holds true. He references the Schattauer loft here in Seattle as one of the few who follow the tradition and the sails that I fly right now are a testament to this kind of craftsmanship. Still flying 35 years later and still pushing the boat to theoretical hull speed as well. I picked up some additional materials for making some new canvas bags, covers, interior canvas and netting, etc. and am ready to buckle down and get some new canvas made for Satori. Last week I also was granted live aboard status at Shilshole Marina so I’m giving myself until June to get moved out of the house and fully into the boat. Like anyone else who has been through this process, I need to downsize considerably. I am confident that I picked the right boat and am able to scale it back to just what I need to live aboard comfortably.

Last Sunday my friend Matt came out and did a quick sailing trip out into the shipping lanes on a nice cool day with good winds. I had some trouble getting Satori’s bow pointed down the lane to get out of the marina this time. Thankfully my neighbor Mary was kind enough to offer to push her around after a futile attempt. I have some ideas on how to do it alone and I’m heading out tomorrow for another trip around Blake Island. Winds look good and I also want to see how the batteries fare with some solar powered assistance. I’m going to come up with a method to singlehandedly push that bow up and eliminate this problem.

Anyways, here are some photos Matt took while we were out. At first I just pulled the main and stays’l up just to get going and then convinced Matt that it would be more fun with the jib up and heeled a little. He agreed so I pulled it up and Satori took off holding six to six-point-two knots. I saw a ship hauling ass down the shipping lanes at twenty knots so we tacked and then turned back once we were in the clear. I’m grateful for AIS and being able to track other vessels for this very reason. It’s really easy to communicate with my heading exactly what I’m doing and using a tiller pilot also helps keep on a straight course so other boats can tell where I’m going and when I’m really changing course.

Holding at six-point-two knots
Holding at six-point-two knots
I'm not steering here. The tiller pilot is actually engaged.
I’m not steering here. The tiller pilot is actually engaged.
What am I pointing at?
What am I pointing at?

Well, off to the boat so I can get her ready for another trip into the Salish Sea. Good night all.


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