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Old 09-15-2023, 10:36 AM   #1
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Sewing Machine?

Due to astronomical prices from canvass shops I'm thinking about attempting the project of replacing the brown, cracked and broken, previously clear roll up windows on the flybridge. The canvas and zippers are fine so I hope that replacing the vinyl or eisenglass (not sure what it is) is all I need to do. Sailrite prices are a lot. Canvas shops are totally backed up and very expensive to do the work.

Anyone know of a sewing machine that can make it through 40 gauge vinyl and canvas?

They will be rolled up the majority of the time and I'm thinking I only want the front and front-side corners done for use in rain and chilly days. I prefer operating from the flybridge even though I have a lower helm.
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Old 09-15-2023, 10:53 AM   #2
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Sailrite is the sewing machine that will pop up.

There are supposed to be other machines that will work as well, but my impression from reading a bunch of conversations about sail and canvas projects, is that Sailrite is likely the "best." It is "expensive" but you get what you pay for, the company has videos, supplies and support.

If you do not get a response on this site, try the Cruising Forum. Here is a random discussion I quickly found, https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ns-254237.html

Sewing machines can be found for sale on Cruising Forum.

Decades back, a coworker bought a nice sewing machine from a local shop, took some classes and then made drapes. The cost of drapes was high enough that he could by the machine and cloth cheaper, course he spent his time. What you are thinking about doing is a somewhat common conversation on Cruising Forum.

Later,
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Old 09-15-2023, 11:27 AM   #3
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Let me start by saying my sewing skill level is about a 3 out of 10. I say that even though I have made several items that saved tons of money. But you quickly realize the upper skill levels take a tremendous amount of experience to attain.

I started with a homeowners Singer Heavy duty unit. This is a non-walking foot machine. It was plenty good enough to make interior cushions and they are amazingly refined machines and are more capable than many give them credit for. Those cushions are coming up on 3 years and look new still. I easily save $2500 doing those myself.

I then bought a Sailrite LSZ1 which is a walking foot. That is much more capable when doing Sunbrella, canvas and other heavier, multi-layer projects. It also has Zig Zag which I never had the need to use. Apparently zig zag stitch is mainly for sails and things that need to stretch. I used that machine to make several exterior covers and repair the bimini etc.

Then at my work they were having a silent auction for equipment they no longer needed for a very large Aviation facility. In the auction was a Seiko STH-8BLD-3. Its a professional walking foot machine. I got it for $200 and it was pretty much brand new. I added a servo motor for another $200. It is an absolute Cadillac when comparing to the Sailrite machine. Its like a Swiss watch.

The great following and reputation of the Sailrite IMO is not quite deserved. Its finicky, noisy and prone to breakage at times. One of the main reasons it has such a following is because that model can be used at sea using the handcrank wheel to make repairs and do any sewing needed. So mainly cruisers and sailors had them onboard. There are also many clones that are much cheaper. Actually the Sailrite is a clone as well. In Sailrites favor they do have several proprietary improvements that in theory make their machines a bit smoother and more reliable than the other clones. They also have a servo type drive now called the Worker Bee that should improve things. But IMO the price is a bit high. For the price of a new Sailrite you should be able the find a used Seiko STH-8BLD-3 or its twin the Consew 206RB. Both are far superior machines to the sailrite.

I ended up selling the Sailrite, kept the Singer and the Seiko STH-8BLD-3. And yes you will save THOUSANDS by learning to sew. And there are many small repairs and small jobs to be done that are just hard to pay someone for. Some of my favorite projects are when I get to get back on the sewing machine. I love completing these things and it feels great knowing you did it yourself.

Here is a comparison between the Sailrite and the Seiko STH-8BLD-3

https://youtu.be/WZpRXbTTMzU?si=8WeEydhE9TFGHail
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Old 09-15-2023, 11:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Barking Sands View Post
Let me start by saying my sewing skill level is about a 3 out of 10. I say that even though I have made several items that saved tons of money. But you quickly realize the upper skill levels take a tremendous amount of experience to attain.

I started with a homeowners Singer Heavy duty unit. This is a non-walking foot machine. It was plenty good enough to make interior cushions and they are amazingly refined machines and are more capable than many give them credit for. Those cushions are coming up on 3 years and look new still. I easily save $2500 doing those myself.

I then bought a Sailrite LSZ1 which is a walking foot. That is much more capable when doing Sunbrella, canvas and other heavier, multi-layer projects. It also has Zig Zag which I never had the need to use. Apparently zig zag stitch is mainly for sails and things that need to stretch. I used that machine to make several exterior covers and repair the bimini etc.

Then at my work they were having a silent auction for equipment they no longer needed for a very large Aviation facility. In the auction was a Seiko STH-8BLD-3. Its a professional walking foot machine. I got it for $200 and it was pretty much brand new. I added a servo motor for another $200. It is an absolute Cadillac when comparing to the Sailrite machine. Its like a Swiss watch.

The great following and reputation of the Sailrite IMO is not quite deserved. Its finicky, noisy and prone to breakage at times. One of the main reasons it has such a following is because that model can be used at sea using the handcrank wheel to make repairs and do any sewing needed. So mainly cruisers and sailors had them onboard. There are also many clones that are much cheaper. Actually the Sailrite is a clone as well. In Sailrites favor they do have several proprietary improvements that in theory make their machines a bit smoother and more reliable than the other clones. They also have a servo type drive now called the Worker Bee that should improve things. But IMO the price is a bit high. For the price of a new Sailrite you should be able the find a used Seiko STH-8BLD-3 or its twin the Consew 206RB. Both are far superior machines to the sailrite.

I ended up selling the Sailrite, kept the Singer and the Seiko STH-8BLD-3. And yes you will save THOUSANDS by learning to sew. And there are many small repairs and small jobs to be done that are just hard to pay someone for. Some of my favorite projects are when I get to get back on the sewing machine. I love completing these things and it feels great knowing you did it yourself.

Here is a comparison between the Sailrite and the Seiko STH-8BLD-3

https://youtu.be/WZpRXbTTMzU?si=8WeEydhE9TFGHail


That Seiko is still a $1300 machine. I'm looking to spend much less.
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Old 09-15-2023, 11:53 AM   #5
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I've done a lot of work for myself, friends and a few "commercial" customers with a Sailrite LS-1. I added the monster wheel and highly recommend that version /upgrade. I am getting close to selling mine after I finish a few additional projects. Likely next spring. / summer if someone in NE is interested... it will be a package w large work surface, adjustable ht machine table, lots of tools, accys & fabric & mesh leftovers... I will post here on TF when ready to sell out.

If your panels & zips are in good shape and only the clear vinyl needing replacement I have been successful with a different & slightly longer process that the commercial shops use just sewing a new clear piece over the old and cutting the old out leaving a raw edge. If interested I'll elaborate or find my post describing the "how to"
Sailrite will have no problem w 0.040" vinyl plus canvas, binding, zips, etc.
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Old 09-15-2023, 12:05 PM   #6
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I currently have 2 complete machines ready to go. Both walking foot w reverse. Juki 562 & a Consew RB1.
$650 & 950 respectively. PM me if interested, Middle River MD
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Old 09-15-2023, 12:13 PM   #7
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I listed my LS-1 Sailrite 2-weeks ago. I reduced the asking price to $600 (and it has the Monster Wheel that Bacchus mentions), but it's in the San Diego area. Full disclosure - these machines do not ship well. As stated in my ad, I can drop at a UPS Store to have them pack and ship at buyer's expense - I'd estimate shipping in the $250 range.

My TF Listing is HERE.

I enjoy sewing and agree with others that having one is really handy and can save a bunch of money. More importantly, you will find many uses for it. I have a list of projects that I will get done eventually - cover for my upper helm instruments, storage bag to hang over the seat on my dinghy, bonnet for my table in the cockpit, sun-shades for my side windows, etc. These are all pretty easy projects.

Let me know if interested. If you send a PM with your email, I'll send a short video showing the machine working.

Peter
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Old 09-15-2023, 12:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
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That Seiko is still a $1300 machine. I'm looking to spend much less.
Thats why I mention used ones. Ive seen them for $600 to 900.
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Old 09-15-2023, 12:48 PM   #9
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I've also been wondering about the merits of removable polycarbonate panels since my plan would be for front and front corner panels.
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Old 09-15-2023, 01:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilPB View Post
Due to astronomical prices from canvass shops I'm thinking about attempting the project of replacing the brown, cracked and broken, previously clear roll up windows on the flybridge. The canvas and zippers are fine so I hope that replacing the vinyl or eisenglass (not sure what it is) is all I need to do. Sailrite prices are a lot. Canvas shops are totally backed up and very expensive to do the work.

Anyone know of a sewing machine that can make it through 40 gauge vinyl and canvas?

They will be rolled up the majority of the time and I'm thinking I only want the front and front-side corners done for use in rain and chilly days. I prefer operating from the flybridge even though I have a lower helm.
If you have not discovered the DIY videos from Sailrite, you're in for a treat. Here's one on doing flybridge enclosure side panels.

https://www.sailrite.com/How-to-Make...Curtains-Video

The Sailrite guy is extremely prolific about videos. Very helpful and informative. I am about to sew a screen-door with magnet catches (HERE).
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Old 09-15-2023, 01:09 PM   #11
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If you want a lower end walking foot that is similar to the Sailrite there are quite a few makers. This Consew comes to mind Consew CP206RL Portable Walking Foot Machine https://a.co/d/hLbgfgp

Weebles deal is a very good one. Especially with the monster wheel.
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Old 09-15-2023, 02:58 PM   #12
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If you want a lower end walking foot that is similar to the Sailrite there are quite a few makers. This Consew comes to mind Consew CP206RL Portable Walking Foot Machine https://a.co/d/hLbgfgp

Weebles deal is a very good one. Especially with the monster wheel.


Thanks. That seems to be more budget friendly.
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Old 09-15-2023, 04:13 PM   #13
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I have made2 sets of dinghy chaps and repaired my dodger and bimini with a cheap $100 Walmart sewing machine. IT went through sunbella and vinyl ok. It didn't like going through old glued sections. The problem isn't so much the machine punching through as it is to be able to roll the canvas up to be able to feed it through it
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Old 09-15-2023, 04:27 PM   #14
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I have a Sailrite machine that isnít made anymore. It wasnít cheap but boy does it work great. It will single stitch through 8 or more layers of Sunbrella with ease. I saved the cost of the machine in my first project. Since then I have made full enclosures for 4 boats. I have literally saved tens of thousands of dollars with it. I only use Tenara thread.
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Old 09-15-2023, 04:41 PM   #15
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I chose not to sew one of my projects. The PO had Sunbrella and clear plastic windows for the cockpit enclosure. They were in bad shape as the thread fails, the zippers fail, and the Sunbrella gets moldy (first picture).

I chose not to sew (although my machine will go through clear vinyl) and went with vinyl-coated polyester (VCP) and glued everything with HH66. No sewing. I used the old Sunbrella panels as patterns, extended a few inches to overlap, and then used twist fastenings instead of zippers. Zippers and snaps are great when (while) they work. The twist fasteners take a little getting used to. Also, the VCP and clear window combination gets stiff below 60 degrees and are difficult to roll up. Not a big problem as we usually leave them down all winter.
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Old 09-15-2023, 04:48 PM   #16
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I have a sailrite machine and it works very well. I did have a few problems that was more my fault not knowing sawing machines. There support video's and tech support was very helpful!
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Old 09-15-2023, 05:58 PM   #17
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I chose not to sew one of my projects. The PO had Sunbrella and clear plastic windows for the cockpit enclosure. They were in bad shape as the thread fails, the zippers fail, and the Sunbrella gets moldy (first picture).

I chose not to sew (although my machine will go through clear vinyl) and went with vinyl-coated polyester (VCP) and glued everything with HH66. No sewing. I used the old Sunbrella panels as patterns, extended a few inches to overlap, and then used twist fastenings instead of zippers. Zippers and snaps are great when (while) they work. The twist fasteners take a little getting used to. Also, the VCP and clear window combination gets stiff below 60 degrees and are difficult to roll up. Not a big problem as we usually leave them down all winter.
Tenara thread is guaranteed to last the life of the fabric. I have had it go through my hot knife and come out intact. You can get zippers that are made out of Sunbrella so they will last. If you donít like Sunbrella then Stamoid is a waterproof alternative. It is also easier to clean since it isnít woven.
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Old 09-15-2023, 09:00 PM   #18
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I just took a quick look at FB marketplace and saw a sailrite in WPB for $780. This is a zig zag portable machine designed for the job you want to do. There were also several commercial machines that looked capable although not portable. Those mounted on a table with a clutch motor mounted beneath the table are generally much more capable. I saw a Singer and a couple of Jukis that looked interesting in the $300 to $500 neighborhood.
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Old 09-15-2023, 09:07 PM   #19
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The great following and reputation of the Sailrite IMO is not quite deserved. Its finicky, noisy and prone to breakage at times. One of the main reasons it has such a following is because that model can be used at sea using the handcrank wheel to make repairs and do any sewing needed. So mainly cruisers and sailors had them onboard. There are also many clones that are much cheaper. Actually the Sailrite is a clone as well. In Sailrites favor they do have several proprietary improvements that in theory make their machines a bit smoother and more reliable than the other clones. They also have a servo type drive now called the Worker Bee that should improve things.
The Worker Bee absolutely transforms the Sailrite machine. Forget the Monster wheel. I would not buy a Sailrite without the Worker Bee servo drive. Huge improvement.

One big advantage to the Sailrite is they have all the parts in stock, and will advise you in videos and on the phone about how to maintain and repair the machine.
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Old 09-15-2023, 09:53 PM   #20
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