The Voyage of the Swan
Tulip Morrow of PT Sails 
hand works a ring
A nearly lost art
A hand-seized hank
(photo by dm)
Megan Hudson worming the luff rope on the drifter
More hand work 
(photo by dm)
Megan Hudson sewing in the graphic inlay on our drifter
The drifter with the 
Swan inlay complete
The Swan
Sails are the true engine of a sailboat. But, like boatbuilders, most sailmakers build for that same majority of buyers (see Why a Pacific Seacraft 34?) whose sailing is mostly coastwise, on weekends and in light air. Vessels that ply the oceans for extended periods need different fare.
Voyaging sails must stand up to the sun, wind, salt and chafe of being set constantly for days, weeks, and sometimes months, often in the tropics. Well made sails, incorporating traditional methods, will do this, for years.
Very few sailmakers build sails like these. Like true ocean voyaging sailboats, the market is limited, and many buyers are overwhelmed by the barrage of ads and hype from the large production lofts and end up with a suit of sails that will let them down on a distant sea, where there are no sailmakers to perform repairs.
My first suit of true cruising sails was made by Sail Services, but they are no longer in business.* After literally months of searching, we stumbled on a reference to Carol Hasse in Hal Roth’s How to Sail Around the World. With luck, we found Carol and her loft, Port Townsend Sails, on the internet. One look at her site, (, and we knew we had found our sailmaker.
Cruising Sails
Why? Visit their site and you will get in depth answers, plus loads of information, but here’s the short list.
  1. 1. Excellent fit and set.
  2. 2. Uncompromising structural integrity.
  3. 3. Durability.
  4. 4. Maintainability.
In our case, this included,
  1. 1. Premium Dacron (finest woven polyester) cloth.
  2. 2. Extra wide triple-stitched seams.
  3. 3. Hanks hand-seized through hand-sewn luff rings.
  4. 4. Tack pendants to keep the foot off the pulpits/lifelines.
  5. 5. Hand-worked rings and thimbles.
  6. 6. Stout reinforcing patches at corners and stress areas.
  7. 7. Thick hand-sewn leather chafing gear at all corners,
  8. reef tacks and clews.
  9. 8. Reinforcing webbing straps/strainers at corners.
  10. 9. Slides seized with nylon webbing.
  11. 10. External Dacron bolt ropes rattailed and hand-sewn.
This list provides only a glimpse into the quality of these sails. You really need to see them to appreciate these works of art.
Carol and her crew builds highest quality sails for both modern and traditional rigs. They also repair, retrofit, re-cut and upgrade sails for offshore voyaging.
*Sail Services was started by Barry Spanier and Paul Mitchell. Barry is now at MauiSails. Emiliano Marino, who apprenticed at Sail Services, started his own loft in Costa Rica and wrote The Sailmaker’s Apprentice, which describes the art of traditional sailmaking of the highest quality, a must read for anyone who wants to know the difference. Not surprisingly, Emiliano has since moved to Washington where he occasionally helps out at Port Townsend Sails when the workload backs up. Small world.
  1.  Pictures below by Halie Duke except as noted.
©PT Sails/Neil Rabinowitz ©PT Sails/Neil Rabinowitz Carol Hasse
(Click to enlarge) Start Outfitting Contact Voyages Why a Pacific Seacraft 34? Sails Name Purchase More on Swan’s Sails
The Swan design is by Dean Swan of Swan Design, Australia. Swan Design specializes in website design, motion graphics and digital screen media development. 
Visit his website.
It is really amazing!