Repairs to the Foresail
Tansy, who has learned a great deal about sewing at home, put those skills to good use by helping the Passing Cloud’s Captain Matt with some sail repairs on a day with no passengers on board. The sail is scheduled for replacement in an upcoming refit, but until then a few weak areas needed reinforcement.
Some of the small rubbed areas were reinforced with adhesive patches of sail cloth.
There were some worn areas that were in danger of tearing along the luff of the sail, and these required sewn patches. Tansy had never seen such heavy needles and thread, nor a sailors palm. Matt is wearing a sailors palm in the top picture to help force the needle through many layers of sail cloth.
Tansy prepared the large patches – she cut them out of a roll of sail cloth, rounded the corners and then drew on stitching guidelines. The patches were made to wrap around the luff so that the patch covered both sides of the foresail.
Sail makers don’t knot their threads, so a complicated overlap was done to secure either end of the stitching line.
Tansy learned to wield the large needles, though she sometimes needed help pushing the needle through the cloth where there were too many layers.
She soon had the hang of sail repairs and Matt left her to finish up the work.
She was especially adept at stitching from the underside of the patch.
All done, and underway once again.