The following is a pictorial record of how I
constructed a lateen rigged sail with about 45±
square feet of surface area for my 17 foot Grumman canoe.
1) The raw materials
The material was not what I expected.
It reminded me of Mylar in its stiffness.
However, I made the best of it
3) Taking shape
As I cut the sections, I laid them out to check
the fit. I made the two end
pieces a little longer to account for the seams.
together (in theory)
Now that the cutting was done, it was time for
the real challenge. How was
I going to reach those seams with a regular Singer sewing machine
borrowed from my boss and neighbor, Ken.
5) First fitting
Before going in to start the sewing, I sized it
up with the spares that I’d be using.
I made them from 2 tent ridge poles that I bought from a sporting
goods store when I made the original sail.
I decided to try ironing the seams to keep them
in place. It helped a
This is the edge seam after the rope was sewn
into it. I used a 3/8 inch
laid poly rope. I think ¼
inch would have worked fine.
I didn’t make the seams wide enough for the
grommets. So, I added extra material every foot for reinforcement.
Here’s how it looked with the grommet.
I ran out of white nylon thread that evening and had to use
I got a lot better by time I got to the last
one. I gave all the seams a
coating of “Weldbond” to protect them.
I was originally going to use the rope shown to
attach it to the spars, but ended up using plastic ties.
Ready to sail
Stay tuned for pictures of it sailing.