window installation

Thread starter #1
I have a barely used 10 yr old class legal recreational sail. I'm not planning on any serious racing (I don't even know of any other 'fish in the area) but I do plan to set my sail low even when sailing for fun. $386 for a new racing sale is not an option, and my old sail has plenty of life left -- but I'd like a window in it. I can't find any local sail makers. I've done similar sewing, sooo . . . is it crazy to think about installing one myself?? Anyone else out there done this or have any links to resources for the window material, recommended thickness, etc??


I've seen plenty of bad jobs installing windows in sails (not just sunfish), even from sailmakers. If I were U, I'd look at offloading your rec sail on ebay and getting a real race sail or a knock-off from (I got mine for $225 incl shiping). You can't race legally with it, but it is a lot cheaper than a north race sail for playing around.
I've put windows in 5-6 sails for our club's boats. It is really not that hard to do. You DO NOT want to cut the sail before you sew on the window!

The window material is clear vinyl. 20 or 30 guage is good.

To install, cut the vinyl to size and position it on the sail. Mark the location with a washout pencil. Pull the vinyl up and place double stick tape on the inside of the marks. Stick the vinyl down and sew it. Now carefully cut the sail out inside the stitching line with sharp scissors. The sail will not fray.
Thread starter #4
Thanks Foxy. For me sailboat ownership is partially an excuse to tinker, and learn new skills. Although I appreciate honest warnings, I also don't subscribe to the view that certain skills (like sailmaking) are above and beyond the normal human's ability. Yes, I know experience is needed to do a job well, but I'd rather "ruin" a sail that I'm not all that happy with anyway, and come away with a better understanding of what's involved for the next time I pay a real artisan to do the job!
If I give it a go, I'll let you know how my sail turns out. If I'm not too embarrassed, I might even post a picture :D !

Check old posts about window dimensions. I posted the current measurements from my North race sail back in April with the location measurements also. Go for it and good luck.