SV Perpetua

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About SV Perpetua

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  • Location
    SE Asia
  • Interests
    Long ocean passages on less traveled routes. Japan and the Aleutians look good.

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  1. I'm a fit and active Englishman, early fifties, based in South East Asia. Looking to crew for either local voyages around Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the South China Sea or for deliveries and long passages. I am available for up to two months at a time. I'm getting back into sailing after the usual work and family commitments, and working towards the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean cert. Happy to help prep a boat and to sort out recalcitrant engines, repair sails, fix electrical and pc nav systems, and to setup a windvane to self-steer correctly! I learned to sail on dingies and a variety of 28', 32', 34', 42', and 60' yachts. If you need crew to get across the Indian Ocean and through the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea I am British military trained and can assist with security. The YM course requires celestial nav. Since I need practice I will bring a sextant, tables, and an enthusiasm for middle watch. Non-smoker. Not a bad cook provided you like pasta. Likes: Drama free sailing. A reliable approach, Black Adder's wit, and a good book. Dislikes: Accidental discharges. Contact: Jim via PM or email
  2. SV Perpetua

    Heavy duty sewing machine

    In reply to the OP, the standard for industrial sewing machines is Juki. (Note, I didn't say "Gold Standard." Those machines are only known to the secret society of denim lovers; Bernina, Union Special, et al.) In a previous life I designed, prototyped, and manufactured clothing. I love industrial sewing machines! They are one of mankind's finest inventions. The mechanisms are remarkably robust and incredibly precise. One can expect a ten to twenty year operating life from a well maintained machine that is used every day. A forty year old machine that has been maintained (generally, that means kept lubricated) and used in a domestic setting will quite easily last another forty years. How many other hand machines do we have these days that can do the same? Using industrial sewing machines for a living brings their fine design and engineering into focus. In every setting, my experience of the Juki machines was that they were more accurate, easier to use, required less adjustment and less maintenance, and they were longer lasting than the Chinese copies of the same design. If buying a used Juki machine, which is a very good option, do note that there is a tangible difference between a genuine Juki and one which had been "refurbished" with cheap Chinese parts. Try to find a machine which hasn't been used in a factory and if possible, buy a machine which hasn't been rebuilt. For prototyping heavy-weight textiles I used a Juki walking foot machine (DU-1181). It was impressive. Very smooth. And it would stitch backwards in exactly the same way that it stitched forwards. This was a feat the Chinese machines struggled with. If you have ever made many sewing projects, you'll know how useful this is. I'm no expert with sewing sails but I am sure a walking foot Juki will comfortably sew multiple layers of Dacron. Our projects involved sewing eight layers of Cordura 1000D where two overlapped seams met. The OP asks of the Singer 401a, otherwise known as the "Slant-o-matic." Um. I'll not make any jokes. Old sewing machines like the Singer can make excellent stitches. The biggest question is, where to get spare parts from? I understand that in the USA, Singer sewing machines are widely available. Nonetheless, getting parts for 1950's models may be getting difficult now. You might want to check in advance of buying one. The designs used by Juki, and copied mercilessly by the Chinese, mean that Juki parts and copy parts are available throughout the world. If you haven't used an industrial sewing machine before, you might consider the following: - Industrial sewing machines weigh around 35kg and they are bolted to a table which weighs another 10kg to 15kg. - There are two types of motor; a clutch motor which takes the form of a noisy, power-hungry, "always-on" cylinder that hangs underneath the table (it feeds power via a belt to the sewing machine above.) You'll want shore power to run one. Then there are "servo motors" which use modern high strength magnets in a high efficiency, lightweight electric motor. These motors only use power which stitching is underway. They usually have infinitely adjustable speeds which are digitally set at a control box, or in more modern machines within the machine head itself (see Juki DDL-9000 series). - If you plan to sew at home, a less expensive clutch motor is perfect. For use at sea, I would consider a servo motor. From a user perspective, IMHO there is only a small difference between each motor type since, with a little experience, it is easy to adapt to the characteristics of either motor. For beginners, a servo motor is probably easier to use (although it's a marginal difference after a day or two of practise.) - If you're planning to sew on a boat, there's something you need to know. Industrial sewing machines use an oil filled sump that is mounted underneath the machine. It is not sealed and it will spill oil if the machine is not level. Furthermore, standard industrial machines use foot controls for speed, and knee controls for the foot lift. This design leaves both hands free to handle the textile. This is why the Sailrite machines are popular onboard since they don't use the sump/oil pan (they rely on manual lubrication,) and they use hand controls. (A note for millionaires; the latest Juki 9000 series machines use no oil, or minimal oil. They employ sealed bearings. They are also computer controlled and relatively speaking, expensive.) - If you use any sewing machine onboard, do spray all of the metal parts with corrosion inhibitor. I use ACF-50, a aerospace derived inhibitor made by Lear. I understand that XCP Rust-Blocker and Tech-Cote ACS (Anti Corrosion Spray) TC200 are excellent. - Use the best quality needles you can get your hands on (such as Schmetz or Organ). Do NOT skimp. Quality needles make a big difference stitching heavyweight fabrics; they last longer, they make better quality stitches, and they feel different. - Only use high quality thread from a named manufacturer like Coats or Gore. It feeds better and lasts (much) longer than no-name brand thread. The best machine to choose will be one that does the stitch pattern you need. Unlike lightweight domestic machines, industrial sewing machines generally specialise in one type of stitch. For cushions and canvas work, that would be a "lockstitch." These types of machines are easy to find; see Juki DDL-8700, DDL-8100 (export model), DDL-5550 and 5500 (older). These machines come equipped for lightweight, medium weight or heavy weight thread. It's easy to tell which is which; for example, the Juki DDL-8700H is the heavyweight option. Frankly, a medium weight machine with high quality thread will manage most jobs you throw at it (I found one can slightly exceed the maximum thread weight proved one uses top quality thread). For sails, a zig-zag stitch is required. I would look for a second-hand Juki LZ-391, LZ-2281 or a similar model from Brother, Mitsubishi, or a Singer 20U83. I haven't sewed sails. You will need to check the maximum stitch width you require, and check the machine will do it. Perhaps a more experienced Anarchist could comment? Unless you are sewing every day, you do not need the latest model or electronic stitch control boxes. IMHO, a new Juki LZ-2280 would be massive over-kill. A simple, totally mechanical machine is ideal. In many ways, the older machines are better in this respect. These days I keep a DDL-8700 lock-stitch machine. Through Craigslist and other classified ads I believe these $1000 Juki's can be found for around $250-$400. The non-sewist may be surprised to learn that these machines sew at 5,000 stitches per minute (that's around ninety-stitches per second.) Mind your fingers. I hope that's a reasonable intro to "non-marine" sewing machines. Ask away, if you have questions.