PRODUCTION

We invite you into the heart of Haarstick Sailmakers.
These are detailed pictures and descriptions of the steps we take to build our sails. Please click on the thumbnail picture to view a larger picture and read more about this step in the process.
 

IMPACT FLUTTER TEST PROGRAM

Impact Flutter Wheel
 

Prior to receiving the upwind cloth that we have ordered, we receive a cloth sample for our testing program. To pass our acceptance standards, each cloth sample is cut into eight individual strips. Four strips are cut at 0, 10, 30 and 45 degrees off the primary threadline and each strip is tested on our Instrom testing machine (shown below). The graphs of load versus elongation are drawn by the Instron machine, and data from these graphs are entered into our cloth database. Four more strips at the same angles are cut and placed on our IMPACT FLUTTER TESTER, and spun at high speed into the edge of the test bed.
 

INSTRON CLOTH LOAD TESTER

Instron Cloth Load Tester
 

After this severe and destructive Impact Flutter test, these samples are tested on the Instron, and a second set of graphs are drawn. The data from this Impact test are also entered into our database. The data base program compares this data to prior tests of the same type of cloth and accepts or rejects the sample. On the average, our test program rejects from 30% to 70% of the upwind fabrics we purchase. This testing program is unique to Haarstick Sailmakers, and is not duplicated by the cloth manufacturers.
 

GERBER 90 CUTTER

Gerber 90 Cutter
 

In the fall of 1973, we invented the process of duplicating sails to an accuracy unheard of in the sailmaking industry (we even received a patent).

This process was made possible by our adapting the world¡¯s first computer cutting machine, the Gerber System 90 cutter, to the cutting of sail panels. The incredible accuracy of this machine, combined with its bristle table and powerful vacuum hold system, allowed us to cut sail panels up to 20 layers at a time with accuracy of less than 8/1000th of an inch variation between cut panels! This level of accuracy was an order of magnitude better than hand cutting. This machine was the first use of computer cutting equipment in the sailmaking industry, an exclusive Haarstick innovation for many years thereafter. We cut the world wide production of Laser sails for over 10 years, and dramatically changed sailmaking worldwide!

This machine was definitely not a ¡°plug and play¡± device. Much of the engineering and software development necessary to make this Gerber the reliable, accurate, and durable machine that it has proven to be over all these years was brilliantly preformed in the first year of production by Jack Lynch, partner and co-owner of the Annapolis Loft. In 1985, after cutting over 250,000 sails in the Chesapeake facility, Haarstick Sailmakers moved the Gerber to our Clinton Ave. loft in Rochester , NY , and in 1997 to its present site at our new loft at Hudson Ave. In 2006, we upgraded to the newer Gerber 91 cutter, which has run flawlessly since.
 

PERFECTLY CUT PANELS ARE REMOVED FROM GERBER 90 TABLE

Perfectly Cut Panels
 

Our proprietary CAD program for upwind sails was developed in house. It accurately calculates the exact dimensions for every panel in the sail, nests them on the sailcloth, and sets up the ¡°tool path¡± for the Gerber cutter blade to follow. The Gerber cutting surface is made from closely packed bristles. The cutting blade drops into the bristle surface, allowing us to cut from 1 layer of ? oz Nylon, to 10 layers of 8 oz Dacron, as well as any laminate sailcloth. The cloth is held in place by a vacuum pressure of 3 pounds per square foot throughout the table surface, higher in the cutting area. This holds the cloth firmly on the table without distortion as the blade passes through. Precise blade placement and NO fabric distortion while cutting are the unique features of our Gerber cutter, and both are absolutely necessary to cut panels to an unmatched accuracy of 8/1000 of an inch!
 

SEAM TAPE IS APPLIED TO THE CUT EDGE OF THE PANEL

Sail Seaming
 

Seam tape is applied to the edge of the panel precisely as cut. NO HAND FAIRING of the edges to ¡°cleanse them¡±. Our cutter panels don¡¯t require hand smoothing or correcting
 

EACH SEAM IS CAREFULLY ASSEMBLED PRIOR TO SEWING

Sail Assembly
 

Extreme care is taken in this critical seam assembly step. It takes skill and practice to make a perfect seam assembly.
 

EVERY ASSEMBLED SEAM IS INSPECTED BEFORE SEWING

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Assembled Seam Inspection
 

When panels are cut to an accuracy of 8/1000¡±, the seam assembly must match this accuracy. Only perfectly smooth seams get beyond this step! If it is not perfect, the seam is taken apart and re-assembled.
 

Seam Sewing

Sewing Machines Are Sunk Into
 

Our extended arm machines are set into the loft floor. This makes it possible to seam large sails with ease.
 

CLOSE UP OF THE LONG ARM ADLER 166 SEWING MACHINE

Adler 166 Sewing Machine
 

This heavy-duty Adler 166 was modified in Switzerland . An extended throat and a heavy-duty belt puller behind the pressure foot help our sailmakers create a smooth, even stitch on large sails. The motor is also special, as it provides a large, even torque at any speed. This greatly improves the stitch quality when it is necessary to slow down, or change directions in large sails, or in the heavy patch areas. All the accessories, back puller and footplate are raised and lowered with compressed air. This is one of the best sewing machines money can buy.
 

A SMOOTH LUFF CURVE WITHOUT HAND FAIRING!!

Absolutely No Hand Fairing!
 

A luff curve this smooth after panel assembly is only possible if the panels are precisely defined, and cut! ONLY the incredible accuracy of our CAD program AND our Gerber cutter can result in a luff curve as smooth as this one, with no hand fairing!! (Nonsuch masts have lots of bend)
 

A SMOOTH LEECH!

Absolutely No Hand Fairing!
 

At this point the Batten pockets are laid on and sewn. Reinforcements will also go under the batten pockets to help distribute the load and weight of the battens. This will also protect the sail at a severe wearing location.
 

CORNER AND REEF REINFORCEMENTS

Corner Patch Being Applied To Sail
 

Our proprietary Design Program calculates the size, shape and the total assembled thickness (in ounces of cloth) for each reinforcement patch. Our constructions will not fail in service! All patches are glued to the sail to ensure a smooth patch after sewing.
 

CORNERS, REEFS, BATTEN POCKETS AND REEF STRAPS AFTER SEWING

Sewn Corners, Reefs and Batten Pockets After Layout
 

Careful construction, and craftsmanship are necessary to produce smooth, precisely sewn corners, pockets, reefs and tie point straps.
 

LEECH IS READY FOR TABLING

Perfectly Fair Leech Ready For Tabling
 

We use folded tapes for most of our leeches instead of folding the sail. This is a stronger construction.
 

LEECH TABLINGS ARE APPLIED TO SAIL

All Leech Tabling Is Hand Apllied And Checked For Smoothness Before Being Sewn
 

The leech tape is glued to the sail with seam assembly tape prior to sewing. This extra step assures a smooth, evenly applied tabling when sewn.
 

SEWING THE LEECH TABLING

Sewing The Leech Tabling
 

The leech line is feed under the tabling as it is sewn down. On very large sails, we will pre feed the leech line and glue both sides of the tabling to the sail. Having a big machine set into the floor makes this job go smoothly.
 

LUFF TAPE IS TENSIONED

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All Luff Tape Is Tensioned According To The "Cutsheet" Specs
 

Our Design Program calculates the size, the weight of the luff tape, and how much tension is required when the tape is assembled to the sail. With the luff area of the sail pinned down flat on the floor, a block and tackle connected to a tension gauge stretches the luff tape to the required tension as specified on the ¡°cut sheet¡±. Each sail has this cutsheet in a clear film folder attached to the sail as it progresses through the construction process. All details of the construction, and the individual order information, such as numbers, draft stripes, color, etc. are with the sail at all times.
 

LUFF TAPE IS GLUED IN PLACE WITH SEAM STICK TAPE

Super Seam Stick Holds The Luff Tape To The Sail So It Stays Precisely Tensioned
 

The luff tape is carefully glued to the sail with assembly tape with the correct tension applied. Similar to the leech tabling, it is sewn only after this precise assembly.
 

HANDWORK- INSTALLING THE CORNER RINGS

Installing The Rivets On An Aluminum Headboard
 

Once again, our program calculates the size and type of ring required in each corner, and prints this information on the cutsheet for handwork. There is no guesswork deciding what size ring to use.
 

THE FINISHED RING

The Finished Ring Is A Perfectly Pressed Heavy Duty Rutgerson Ring
 

The corner rings are set in the sail with a hydraulic press.
 

HANDWORK DETAILS AT THE HEAD

The Finished Headboard w/ Ballbearing Blocks For The Leech LIne
 

Some mains require the leechline to be adjusted at the tack instead of, or in addition to the clew. In these cases we run the line through Harken cheek blocks and down the luff inside a cloth tube to the tack. At each reef the line also has cleats for adjustment while reefed.
 

FINAL INSPECTION

We Check Every Luff To Make Sure It Is Fair
 

Every sail we make is hung up for final inspection. We have a list of 11 inspection criteria required for final approval. Smoothness, and quality stitching are always at the top of this list.
 

FINAL INSPECTION

We Check The Body Of The Sail For Seam Smoothness
 

Every sail we make is hung up for final inspection. We have a list of 11 inspection criteria required for final approval. Smoothness, and quality stitching are always at the top of this list.
 

FINAL INSPECTION

We Check Every Leech To Make Sure It Is Smooth
 

Every sail we make is hung up for final inspection. We have a list of 11 inspection criteria required for final approval. Smoothness, and quality stitching are always at the top of this list.
 

Nonsuch 30 Mainsail


 

Here is a Nonsuch 30 Mainsail, the finished product out on the water.
 

You Tube Video of Sail Being Made


 


 

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