S97 Hejira

John Bailey and the crew of the S97 HEJIRA are celebrating their best season ever. In 2017, with a full wardrobe of new UK Sailmakers sails, the 32-foot one design cruiser/racer has won all major regattas of the year in Western Australia.

The first victory was the S97 Metropolitan Championship sailed on the Swan River, comprising six races with one throwout, HEJIRA had five wins and dropped a second. In March, HEJIRA won the S97 State Championship on the Indian Ocean off Fremantle. Finally in April, HEJIRA completed the trifecta, winning the Royal Perth Yacht Club S97 Club Championship with races sailed over a six-month period.

Skipper, John Bailey, attributes his yacht’s success to great crew work and superior sails (not necessarily in that order). Here main and genoa are made with UK Sailmakers' Titanium construction system and the genoa has grey taffeta covering the part of the leech that overlaps the mast. 

S97 Hejira


The Sydney 43 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON sporting her Flying Jib, double-head rig. Set from the end of the sprit along with a regular jib, the Flying Jib makes the boat significantly faster when close reaching.

For modern race boats with fractional, non-overlapping headsails, jib reaching is a distinct weakness; in conditions too tight for a Code Zero. Boats with overlapping jib topsails have a significant advantage. The Flying Jib is a fix for this problem and even boats using overlapping headsails may benefit from this idea provided they have converted from a spinnaker pole to a sprit.

The Flying Jib derives its name from the clipper ships and in the right conditions it can really make your boat “fly.”

The photos in this article (courtesy Howard McMichael) show a Flying Jib in action on CHRISTOPER DRAGON, a Ker 43 also called a Sydney 43. The sail is set on the sprit using a furling unit and a masthead spinnaker halyard. The increase in performance comes from more than just the addition of sail area. With the sail set out in front of the boat, the center of effort of the boat’s sailplan has moved forward and this almost always makes a boat go faster.

The Flying Jib has a torque rope sewn into its luff so that it can be rolled with a direct line furler

The Flying Jib has a torque rope sewn into its luff so that it can be rolled with a direct line furler

Also, the Flying Jib adds a lot of luff length — the part of a sail that generates the forward force — but very little drag and heeling moment. Note how little of the sail is converging with the center line of the boat in photos below taken from the aft leeward quarter.

While sail testing is still going on, the results have been so positive that we decided to take it public right away.

On the first day it was tested, the winds were light (5-8 knots of true wind). We had set a new jib just to see how it fit and were about to go in when the owner suggested trying this rig. We left the first jib up and set the Flying Jib. We got into a stretch where the TWS was 7 to 7.5 knots and were amazed to be sailing at 8-8.25 knots with an AWA of 43 degrees. We had trouble believing what we were seeing on the instruments and also confirmed with each other that we were too close to consider using a Code Zero.

The Flying Jib is trimmed with spinnaker sheets deflected by twings or tweakers.

We went sail testing again a few days later (when these photos were taken) and we had significantly more wind (14-18 knots). During this testing, we furled and unfurled the Flying Jib a number of times and recorded the speed differential. Each time we unfurled it we added between 0.5 and 0.75 knots boat speed, which we quickly lost once the sail was furled again.

UK Sailmakers' takeaway from these sail tests is that the Flying Jib is going to be a must-have rig for distance races. On a boat with a retractable sprit, a bobstay will be a must to allow enough halyard tension.

We’re looking at other areas such as the use of this concept on boats with masthead rigs and overlapping headsails. It’s quite likely the triangular shape of the Flying Jib for those boats will change and it may even suggest a change to the shape of the existing reaching jib.

Other factors to consider are halyard stretch, halyard breakage, and sprit deflection. We’ll be sure to keep you posted with regular updates in our newsletters.

All photos by Howard McMichael.


The Reichel/Pugh Southern Cross 52 BANDIDO with Uni-Titanium sails made with 100% carbon fiber.

Carbon fiber is the highest performing yarn used in sailmaking today. As shown in the chart, carbon yarns are at the top of the list in three out of four ways to measure a yarn's performance. Carbon fiber’s resistance to stretch is three times greater that S-Glass yarn, which is three times more stretch resistant than polyester yarns.

The only category where any other yarn outperforms carbon is degradation from flexing, and it is a misconception that carbon breaks down faster than other yarns. Looking at the chart again, you’ll see that carbon and aramids (the generic name for Kevlar) are rated virtually the same for flex.

Carbon, like other yarns, becomes brittle when coated or impregnated with glue. When working with carbon, sailmakers have to be careful since carbon wicks glue more than other yarns. That’s why the carbon yarns in UK Sailmakers' Titanium®, X-Drive® and Tape-Drive® sails are used dry -- without glue.

Successfully utilizing carbon in sailcloth
requires a balance of modulus (ability to

Fiber comparison chart

The Farr 40 AKELARRE with her carbon Titanium main and Uni-Titanium jib.

resist stretch), denier size (number of filaments in a yarn), and adhesive saturation (wet-out) of the filaments to optimize the advantages of the fiber. The higher the modulus number and the smaller the denier size, the more efficient the construction is regarding tensile strength and stretch resistance.  However, in real world sailing, flex and UV are the factors most critical to a sail's longevity. Although UV is not an issue with Carbon, flex of smaller filaments is a major problem. In practical use, the carbon fiber in sailcloth has slightly lower modulus, larger denier size, and less penetration of adhesive throughout, making this fiber a very reliable, durable yarn.

Carbon tapes on an X-Drive sail.

Therefore, the dry carbon yarns UK Sailmakers uses in Titanium, X-Drive and Tape-Drive sails allows us to make sails that hold their shape and deliver years of service. If you’re looking for high performance sails with the least amount of stretch that are light-weight and don't break down from UV light, have confidence that UK Sailmakers' sails made with carbon fiber are your best choice.


Catch up with the changes in the Racing Rules of Sailing by watching these free videos UK Sailmakers has been posting to its Facebook page. There are currently five videos, which are segments from seminars Butch Ulmer has given on the changes in the rules that took effect on January 1, 2017.  Many of these videos deal with the different sections of Rule 18, which is the Mark Room rule. Most protests result from situations at turning marks because that is where boats come together on the race course.

1. New Rule 18.3 

2. New Rule 18.2(d)

3. Tactical Considerations of Rule 18.3

4. Tricks for Taking a One-Turn Penalty Fastest

5. New Appendix T (Arbitration and Post Race Pentalty)

6. Preview of the UK Sailmakers Animated Rules Quiz Program

All these videos were posted previously on the UK Sailmakers Facebook page. To be notified of future posts, make sure to "like" our page. Click here to see the UK Facebook page and then click on the "like" button.


Future sailmakers proudly posing with their finished product.

Rocking the Boat is a non-profit educational program in the South Bronx that uses boat building as a way to improve the life skills of high school kids in the Bronx. Students work together to build wooden boats, learn to row and sail, restore local urban waterways, revitalize their community, all while creating better lives for themselves. As they say, "Kids don't just build boats, boats build kids." 

Students learning the art of sailmaking.

Here they are at UK Sailmakers New York, on City Island in the Bronx, with a sail they made for one of the program's 18-foot Connecticut River Drag Boats. Their boats are sailed on the Bronx River and in the waters around New York City. Along with learning how to build and sail boats, they have now learned how to make sails. For more information on Rocking the Boat, visit their website at: http://rockingtheboat.org


Overall winner on the medium course of the Southern Straits Race was Eldin Miller-Stead's BEATS PER MINUTE, shown above with her X-Drive No. 1 that is light enough for light and strong enough to carry until No. 3 conditions. Andrew Madding Photo.

The Southern Straits Annual Yacht Race run over Easter weekend by the West Vancouver Yacht Club is a distance race with three different courses in the Salish Sea between Vancouver Island and the mainland of the Canadian Province of British Columbia. UK Sailmakers customers had some note-worthy finishes on the race’s Long and Medium courses. Fourth overall and first in Class 2 on the 138-mile Long course was the CM1200 JACK RABBIT owned by Colin Nichols. Third overall and third in Class 1 was Stuart Dahlgren's Santa Cruz 70 WESTERLY, which sailed a great duel of a race with the venerable Santa Cruz 70 NEPTUNE's CAR. WESTERLY got ahead at the start and kept her lead for 17 hours and 12 minutes, which was her elapsed time for the 138-mile race. WESTERLY's mainsail is the biggest X-Drive sail made by UK Sailmakers to date.



On the 98-mile Medium distance course, Eldin Miller-Stead's Olson 30 BEATS PER MINUTE won Division 5 and corrected to First Overall. Third in Class 5 and 7th overall on the Medium course was Steve Blaine's Hanse 400E RUBATO. Congratulations to all our customers that competed in Southern Straits Race. 

BEATS PER MINUTE sails with X-Drive upwind headsails and Dacron main for the balance of economy and durability. Both the headsails are single-sided taffeta with carbon yarns. Her No. 1 genoa was made with an LP of 149% instead of the 155%. The reason to move to a smaller headsail was that the boat is often sailed below optimum crew weight and it easy to get over powered with the full-size No. 1. The smaller headsail, built in X-Drive, is light enough to be used as a No. 1 and strong enough to be used all the way to the No. 3 range. Eldin has found no speed loss at the bottom of the range and the sail is much quicker at what would traditionally be the top of the No. 1 range. Another boost the boat’s upwind performance was adding 3 to 4 inches of rake thanks to a suggestion from the guys at UK Sailmakers in Southern California where the Olson 30s race one-design. On the downwind side of things, BEAST PER MINUTE has migrated to a retractable bowsprit with a large A2. Changing to asymmetricals has proved very quick, especially in distance racing where it is more important to be able to stay in the pressure and get to shifts instead of simply squaring back and sailing at the mark.


Three Farr 40s racing in Acapulco, Mexico: FRENCH KISS, NITEMARE and AKELARRE.

Congratulations to Antonio Luttmann and his family crew on FRENCH KISS for winning two of the three weekend races in the Farr 40 Class in Acapulco. FRENCH KISS is using a full inventory of UK Sailmakers Titanium upwind sails and S1 and S2 spinnakers built by UK Chicago. In the photo they are leading the fleet with NITEMARE in hot pursuit. Once upon a time these two boats were dueling it out at the top of the Farr 40 fleet in Chicago as ISKRA & NITEMARE with full UK inventories. Just behind NITEMARE is AKELARRE with her UK Titanium main and Uni-Titanium 1.5 Jib, both also built by UK Chicago.


GIDDY UP with her UK Sailmakers Titanium upwind sails.

GIDDY UP with her UK Sailmakers Titanium upwind sails.

Congratulations to the Rob Halvorsen and the crew of his Farr 395 GIDDY UP for winning the 2017 Siska Trophy, which is Western Australia’s top Offshore prize. The late Rolly Tasker rededicated the Siska Trophy in 1988, to be awarded annually to the most outstanding yacht in the Western Australian Offshore Yacht Racing Series and is awarded to the top scoring yacht in the Blue Water Championship on IRC.


Click the image to see the features of the Rules Quiz program.

Click the image to see the features of the Rules Quiz program.

UK Sailmakers' rules guru Butch always says that a good working knowledge of the rules will earn you places at major regattas. To help sailors learn the racing rules of sailing, which are not easily learned by reading the rule book, UK Sailmakers has created an animated program that makes the learning process easier. This video shows some of the tools and techniques for teaching the rules you'll find in our program, which sells for $55 at the UK Sailmakers online store: http://www.uksailmakers.com/store/


Dalton Tebo (left) and Ken Tebo

Dalton Tebo (left) and Ken Tebo

UK Sailmakers raised the bar for sailmaking and service when UK Sailmakers’ Sarasota was purchased by the father-son duo of Ken and Dalton Tebo. This acquisition has already breathed new life into the western Florida sailmaking community.

The purchase of the loft by the Tebos reflects their shared passion for the sport of sailing combined with their desire to provide superior quality sailmaking and service support to northern Florida. The senior Tebo, Ken, has spent his life sailing all over the eastern U.S. and the Caribbean participating in many of the area’s major races. Now, when he’s away from the loft, he sails recreationally for relaxation and fun.

A well-known area sailor, the younger Tebo, Dalton, is a different story. Born and raised in Florida, Dalton’s passion for sailing began at the young age of 10 when he immediately fell in love with the sport. And while Ken is cruising, Dalton still has racing in his blood. He races both nationally and internationally having competed in multiple St. Barths Cata-Cups and F18 World Championships, the Tybee 500,  Great Texas 300 and of course, the Florida 300! Oh, yes, at the age of 14 he also won the Sears Cup national junior sailing trophy. Dalton gained his sailmaking expertise working in lofts making, repairing, and evaluating sails and providing advice to help customers order the right sail for their particular sailing needs. Outside the loft, Dalton shares his enthusiasm for sailing by instructing and coaching through the Sarasota Youth Sailing Program and providing private sailing lessons to youth and adult sailors.

“Dalton and I are excited to be working together,” noted Ken Tebo. “We are not just selling sails; rather we’re bringing our customers the benefit of the sailing and sailmaking knowledge that we and our experienced loft staff share. At UK Sailmakers Sarasota we believe in building customer loyalty by providing a full-service loft, providing sound advice and guidance, and doing so in a professional atmosphere.”

“Our staff is great!’ added Dalton Tebo. “Because of their years of experience we can offer fabrication of new sails and repairs along with custom canvas work and expert rigging. We work to determine the best way to make the repair and, for custom canvas customers, we take the time to work with customers so we can fabricate pieces that exceed their expectations.”

Whether a day sailor, cruiser or racer, on lakes, the Intra-Coastal, Gulf or across oceans, UK Sarasota’s experienced staff is available to provide you with well designed, durable performance cruising and racing sails accompanied by superior service and support.

UK Sailmakers Sarasota can repair and service all makes of sails and can make arrangements to pick-up and deliver sails throughout North Florida—from Punta Gorda to Melbourne, Jacksonville to the Panhandle.