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The list of websites and blogs that we check in on continues to grow. I spent some time this morning updating that section of our website’s Research Page. You will see that I have not only added a number of links but have broken the blogs section down into three categories: those who are planning to cruise (like us), those who are already out there and those who have moved on to new adventures. If you have some time on a rainy, or in our case snowy day, check them out. There is some great stuff hidden in those links!

As mentioned earlier, last night’s Seamanship class took place at the Kingston Sail Loft. The main subject was on ropework (knots and splices). Fortunately Rebecca and I had done our homework and thus we both found that section to be a snap. If only chartwork was that easy!

The cover photo, which highlights some beautiful sail detail, comes to us from Russ Manheimer, owner of the website, Hove to off Swan Point. Mr. Manheimer is the father of Dave Manheimer, our first sailing instructor.

While at the loft, I had a chance to ask Andy, the sailmaker, what he would carry on the boat in a sail repair kit. His recommendation was sticky sail repair tape and dental floss. 🙂 He said that in his opinion there was limited use in carrying pieces of sail cloth for on-the-water repairs. As promised though here are several “lists” of sail repair kit contents that I had saved. The first two I think I obtained from a post on one of the sailing forums. The third came from a website I stumbled across.


Emergency Sail Repair / Sewing Kits:

Kit 1:

  • 120 yards of the basting tape (3/8″). The basting tape is available in the USA from Sailrite
  • UV resistant polyester thread of various weights,
  • a sailmaker’s palm,
  • pliers and vicegrips (needlenose) for pulling needles through several layers of cloth (less risky than using the palm, IMHO),
  • beeswax,
  • a variety of sailmakers and leatherworking needles,
  • 3 pairs of sharp scissors (one for leather, two for everything else),
  • a dozen #6 (7/8″) and #9 (1-1/4″) brass rings with liners for sewing in eyes for the sail slides to go on,
  • bronze rings (2″ 2.5″, 3″) for cringles/tack/clew, thin brass for custom liners,
  • roundeye thimbles for the jacklines,
  • polyester 3 strand rope for jacklines,
  • 30 yards of adhesive backed sail repair tape,
  • several weights of whipping twine,
  • sewing awl twine,
  • waxed flat and bobbin twine,
  • natural marlin and several sizes of synthetic marlin,
  • 100 #4 (1/2″) plain grommets,
  • approx 5 sq yards of 4 oz chrome-tanned leather for reinforcements and chafe guard,
  • similar quantity of 7 oz Latigo leather for heavier chafe guard on mast hoops, spars, etc,
  • several different widths of webbing,
  • grommet setting tools,
  • a portable industrial sewing machine w/zigzag stitch
  • The things I don’t have yet that I would like to get include extra sailcloth in 9 oz and 11 oz weights, leech line, extra boltrope and luffwire.

Kit 2:

  • Sailors palm
  • leatherman
  • scissors
  • couple hundred sq ft of 7oz sail cloth from an old genoa
  • 100m waxed cotton sail thread
  • assorted needles
  • 300m paracord
  • 2 sided carpet tape
  • various whipping twines

Kit 3:

  • Curved and straight needles of different diameters.
  • Stainless-steel scissors for cutting thread and sailcloth.
  • Whip-end dip. The brush in the lid can also be used to dab the dip onto small holes and tears to prevent the threads from running.
  • Luff and leech tapes for repairing the edges of the sails, which are subject to chafe and high loads.
  • Pieces of sailcloth of the same type and weight as all working sails carried on board.
  • Sailmaker’s palm for pushing needles through several layers of cloth.
  • A small sailcloth bag, which you could make yourself to practice stitching skills—not essential, but useful for keeping scraps of sailcloth clean.
  • Sailmaker’s waxed twine. Useful for repairs on high-load areas, such as the luff and leech; can also be used for whipping ropes.
  • Plastic watertight screw-top container to store all the components of the repair kit.
  • Dacron thread for stitching patches onto sails and reinforcing sail-repair tape.
  • Nylon spinnaker cloth in every color that is used in your spinnaker.
  • Adhesive sail tape for small holes and tears (always tape both sides of a repair).
  • Piece of candle to wax Dacron thread to make it easier to pull through sailcloth.


  1. Sailrite is right here in Annapolis; they already have a large quantity of our $$$$. Could make for a nice field trip when you get on the Chesapeake. They are just a dinghy ride from the Annapolis mooring field. And Doyle Sails is next door too.

    • Great. That’s all I need is another EASY way to spend money:)

      Seriously though, that does sound like a cool place to check out. Thanks for the heads up.


      • Annapolis is something special for sailors, no question.

        As for the kit….

        The self-stick tape is great and nearly permanent on chutes. For attaching tell tales. 2 rolls.

        I would take some cloth (a few square feet), but I agree it isn’t likely.

        Needles and waxed thread I use a lot. 12 largish needles, several spools of thread whipping thread, and a palm. Reattaching slides, worn seams, whipping rope ends, sewn eyes, dodger repairs (a big wave can take out seams – I know), and more other repairs than I can remember. The biggest repair I ever made was ~ 20′ of spinnaker tear (8′ and 12′) while sailing! It was a light wind day – kind of pleasant, sitting on the tramp, sewing.

        Webbing, both for sail reinforcements (1″) and to attach slides (1/2″).

        Yarn for tell tales.

        Needles and thread for clothing mends, too.

        If you have never used a palm I would suggest making something this winter. A canvas bucket is a traditional 1st project, and if you don’t have one, they are very handy. While moving, it is the only practical way to get water from the ocean (a plastic bucket will either break or rip your arm off), and they make good tool buckets too. I believe sewing with a palm is a much more useful skill than splicing; a knot will often serve, where only stitches can repair a sail or canvas. Unfortunately, speed only comes with practice.

  2. I had a great time paging through the other blogs that you linked!

  3. You’re going to need a Gatemouth bag to put all that in…. as my husband would refer to them: The Ultimate Man-bag.

  4. Apparently RLW from thinks we need a bit more than sail repair tape and dental floss. 🙂

    I think he may be right!

  5. Mike,

    These lists are missing the best item, “The Speedy Stitcher”. SailRite carries it or you can order on-line from a bunch of places. Get spare needles since they are peculiar to this device, but I can tell you from direct experience that after your hands are worn, bloody and tired from using a palm to push through a reinforced area of sail, you will love “The Speedy Stitcher”.

    Note, it IS misnamed though, cause it’s NOT “Speedy”, but it works, especially for a tempy repair.

    Fair Winds,

  6. Cool! Looks great – of course you will want to make sure it has a nice place to live, free from the effects of salt water.


  7. Hi Mike,

    I noticed that your blog includes an old entry about sail repair kits. I thought that you might be interested in learning more about our emergency repair adhesive that bonds all type of sailcloth no matter if it rains or shines, creating a long lasting flexible and structural bond.

    For the last two years, we have developed a new generation adhesive that has been tested and improved thanks to our collaboration with Volvo Ocean Race teams, who pushed the product to the limit under the most difficult conditions.

    We are producing a lot of content focused on “How to repair” different type of sails and would like to share this content through your blog.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Kind regards,

  8. Hey Mike, just saw your Emergency Sail Repair repost. The kits made for a good chuckle. 120 yards of basting tape. Seamstick (or double-sided tape), as it’s more commonly known, comes in 50 yard rolls; the 30 extra yards from the 3rd roll go into an insect abatement kit. Kit 1 leans old school lacking only in a book of favorite sea shanties. Won’t say much about kit 2, except stretchy paracord has no place on sails and that if you need 200 sq-ft of sailcloth you didn’t start with the right sails. Kit 3 is better suited to a home crafting than “Emergency Sail Repairs”!

    As a sailmaker, I propose Kit 4:
    -43 iron on patches: if the sail is suffering you might as well make it rad!
    -High heeled shoes / feather boas: someone onboard may be able to tease a little life from the sail.
    -1 kilometer of duct tape (because it’s duct tape!)
    -Chewing gum and paperclips: also good in the rigging, engine, and hull repair kits
    -2 bushels of Egyptian cotton: good for spinning/weaving into patches to fix irregular shapes
    -1 palm tree -Duality as a spare mast and if the cotton runs out, harvest pandanis leaves to weave sails like an ancient traditionalist!
    -Rum -arrrrrr!
    -GoPro and Youtube account – to make (canvas) buckets of money showing off salty prowess

    • You didn’t specify the quantity of rum. A barrel? Two? Don’t hold back on the important details. :p

      Our sailmaker friend in Grenada said to just put a sticky patch on a tear and to bring the sail to a loft when we made it to shore. I admit that we have sewn some repairs though, by machine, hand and awl.

      Have you written a post with a legit list?

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