What’s been happening?

Once Ariel was in the water, I had a few other tasks to complete. I rewired a secondary bilge pump that had packed it in over the winter due to faulty connections, and I wired quick connectors for the masthead instrument. Additionally, the cabin needed to be cleaned and organized.

Unrelated to Ariel, I wrapped up a mainsail project for an Ericson 29 and bent on Ariel’s new staysail. The new staysail needs a longer pendant at the head to get the tack closer to the drum, but otherwise it looks great. Perhaps I’ll make a main Ariel over winter so she’ll have a new suit of sails for 2016.

Pictures of the Ericson mainsail construction:

The press is of my own design, but it works perfectly – and for a lot less money than one sold specifically for the purpose. I installed six Rutgerson Super Rings without issue.


This mainsail has three rows of reef points, so there are eight hefty patch assemblies, including the tack and clew.

IMG_7891 IMG_7901 IMG_7907 IMG_7951 IMG_7967 IMG_7972 IMG_7984


Ariel’s new staysail. I actually constructed this staysail last season, but for one reason or another never got it bent on. It is constructed of 8oz Dacron since it is our heavy-weather sail once Ariel is double reefed on the main. As you can see in the picture, the tack is too far away from the drum – not that it really matters, it’s purely aesthetic. (If Ariel were going to sea, I’d actually prefer the tack to be as high as it is so that the sail wouldn’t be as likely to catch water.) If I have the energy, I’ll bring the sail home and sew a longer pendant.



2 Responses to What’s been happening?

  1. Roland says:

    Hello David,

    First of all I have to say, that the stitching on the pictures of the Ericsson main sail is really perfect!

    I have see the picture of the hydraulic press you build for the pressings and want to build something similar myself.

    I have currently a simple 6 ton shop press, but it is not strong enough for the bigger press rings.

    I as can see you took a standard hollow hydraulic cylinder. Is it 20 tons or more? Below is a metal plate and you put a high strength screw through the middle? Is this screw a M12?Class 12.9? What is the thickness of the metal plate?

    If you could send me some more pictures and give me some tips I would really appreciate.

    Thank you in advance

    Best regards

    • David says:


      Thanks for stopping by – and thanks for the comments.

      The cylinder is a hollow 30-ton. The base that it rests on is 1″ steel. The bolt that goes through the center of the cylinder screws into the steel plate below and is of a small enough diameter to fit through the forming dies. A larger die would require a larger bolt and another hole in the steel. The system has worked for me, but I advise caution if you make one yourself. Do the research and ensure that you have an adequate safety factor. Make sure that it is something you can use safely. I offer my experience only for entertainment, not for education or instructive purposes. Where are you located?

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