"Blending proven handwork and traditional sailmaking

methods with modern techniques of sail design and

construction to ensure good performance and lasting


        Design by Ballard Web Services LLC  




Following are some sails details from recently completed Tanbark Flicka 20 inventory.


Mainsail head
Jib head
Jib clew

We built a complete suit of offshore sails for Craig and Kay and their stunning Bristol Channel Cutter, Little Wing. Craig and Kay have been customers for years, including lots of canvas work and a super dodger by my wife Tricia, of Compass Rose Canvas. They put their sails to the test going down the coast, seeing 5 1/2 days of gales on passage to San Francisco. They hove to for thirty hours total with just their trysail up, all the while making progress to S.F. I hope to post some of their photos from underway as soon as I receive them.  

Quite by accident, Tricia and I had the great pleasure of meeting Larry Pardey before Craig and Kay left the norhtwest. Taleisin was busy resting in Port Madison, preparing to winter over at Craig and Kay's place. Our timing could not have been better since Larry was there one fall weekend. As we motored by their dock into the anchorage, Craig invited us over. I spent a couple of very enjoyable hours aboard Taleisin, mesmerized and in awe of Larry, proudly showing his cherished cruiser. Unfortunately, Lin was not there, so we were not able to meet. The following morning, Larry rowed over to our boat and again we spent a couple of nice hours together. Here is an email received from Craig & Kay on passage to San Francisco:


Hi Frank,

We are 25 miles off of Big Sur. The weather down here is fantastic. I can't say the same about our sail up North. From Neah Bay to Cape Mendocino we had 5 1/2 days of gales. We went 200 miles offshore to avoid a nasty reinforced high to no avail. We got hit with 35-45 gusting to 50 for the last two days of it. At first we started with two reefs and staysail and flew down wind. Then three reefs and staysail, then just staysail. But that became too much so we hove to with the trysail. After that, we realized how manageable the trysail is and used it the duration of the storm. It works wonders off the wind which I did not realize it could do. Eventually, we sailed it alone and the boat steered fine. When the wind picked up or the seas got to strange (we had 20 foot growlers at times with 10-15 foot consistently, and STEEP) we would head up into the wind, sheet the trysail flat and heave to. In two days we hove to three times totaling 30 hours. In that time we drifted 50 miles toward our destination. It was a wild ride. Needless to say, the sails are fantastic. We owe our life to the trysail. It fits neatly into its ready bag now being much more soft than when we started the trip. Tell Tricia the dodger faired perfectly. We took green water many times and it didn't budge. You guys are great. Thanks for dinner at Maggie's. Sorry I was so out of it. I was exhausted and exhilarated at the same time and it made me feel a bit strange.

I'll send pictures of the trysail in action once back on shore.

Hello to all,




On the flip side, our customers Dan and Alice have decided to return home to the northwest from Australia. They have been cruising the second time, for about 15 years, aboard their BCC. 



Storm orange storm sails for Tom and Dawn for their Hylas 44. Wanting to be the most visible to others under storm conditions, they chose this very bright fabric. These sails are being built to our Ultimate Offshore Standards. They put the storm sails to the test going south along the coast to San Francisco. After calling up their folks first, they called us to thank us for building Warm Rain such strong sails. They had a safe and "enjoyable" passage with storm sails flying. Check out their great web page via our links page. 


Warm RainWarm Rain

Just completed and delivered a new ACS with an ATN Sleeve for Glen and Jeannine. They have a Valiant 32 and are always finding ways to upgrade their pretty boat.



Three sails for Scott and family for their new Wauquiez 47 Pilot Saloon. Scott is a returning customer from Anchorage, Alaska for sails and dodger (my wife Tricia, of Compass Rose Canvas). Their new Eden received a mainsail with Zip Stack Sail cover, jib and a cruising chute (ACS). Scott has this wonderful habit of calling us while sailing to say what a great ride he and his family are having with Eden. The kids especially have a good time when "Big Blue", the ACS, is up.



With their complete inventory of Schattauer Sails, David and Candy of Endeavor, a beautiful 47' Dutch steel centerboard yawl, have been having the time of their lives cruising further and further south along the west of North and South Americia.   


Arghh matey!Heading for the waterAn osprey and Endeavor in Ensenada las Cocinas

Check out the blogsite of Richard and Betsy Spore.  They have been cruising their Valiant 32 for several years through Mexico and Central America. In addition to a full inventory of new Schattauer Sails, Qayaq also has a beautiful Compass Rose Dodger and other cockpit canvas. Check them out at www.qayaq.net.



Completed is a new 130% Genoa, mainsail and mainsail cover for Scott and his Gulf 32. The Gulf is a Bill Garden design, from the early 60's I believe, that was reproduced again in the early 80's. It is a great NW boat with the pilot house and the large windows. Our dad, Franz, often talked about the Gulf 32 because Bill Garden's design office used to be above the loft in the early 60's before Bill moved up to BC. They conversed frequently, being so close, especially when involved with mutual projects.



We completed a offshore mainsail and 100% Yankee for Heart of Gold, a big 53' plus, Bruce Roberts Steel Cutter.  The mainsail had an Antal luff track system with three full top battens and 2 lower, longer battens. The jib was fit to an Furlex 400S furling system. We will be making a storm trysail soon.



VIndsang, a absolutely beautiful  Alajuela 38 Cutter, received a new 100% Yankee fit to a new Schaefer Furling system. We made the original sails for Vindsang and her new owners wanted a little more horsepower up front so we made them a new yankee which was almost twice as big as the original jib. Vindsang has been a very lucky boat. She has always received exeptional care over her lifetime. She is gorgeous.



We made a new 110% Yankee and staysail for a Cal 2-46 that is receiving a big makeover. Sam is planning some long distance cruising and is totally going over the boat.  We will be making her a new mainsail with a Strong Track, a luff track system, and storm sails this spring. Our test sail with the new Yankee and staysail was wonderful. We found a dry afternoon in December 2004 with a light breeze and had a great sail!



David and Barbara wanted to protect their beautiful new Fantasi 44 so we built them a bow to stern, just over the lifeline Silver Sunbrella boat cover. Zoe is a brand new, stunning example of European craftsmanship. They will live aboard so they wanted to be able to see out from under the cover and the light silver color will provide lots of light underneath, even with our dreary, gray winter days around the Pacific Northwest.


Fantasi 44Fantasi 44Fantasi 44

We completed a set of sails and sail covers for Tom & Myra Hudson's Sparkman and Stephens yawl, QuerenciaQuerencia just underwent a beautiful restoration of remarkable proportions and is virtually a brand new boat.  Querencia is a sistership to Carleton Mitchell's legendary FinisterreFinisterre was a Class C, CCA centerboard design which still has an unbeaten record of winning three Bermuda races in a row. We made Querencia a new main, mizzen, genoa and mizzen staysail using narrow panel Dacron to give the boat an authentic period look.



We made a 118% jib for Brian Flanders' Ericson 38.  Brian bought this boat on the hard without sailing it and has done a total restoration on it over the last 10 years. Finally, he got it back in its element in May 2004. We delivered a Leisure Furl main for him 2003 prior to the boat hitting the water.


Ericson 38Ericson 38

We did some canvas work for Dolly, a beautiful, bright, cold-molded John Guzzwell creation. She is now owned by Hiroko, who takes magnificent care of her and was looking for some summer canvas to keep some of the UV off of all the varnish!


We made two sails for the converted lifeboat, SeashellSeashell was known to us first circa 1964/65. Franz made the original set of sails at this time for the Mendel family. Kurt was the varnish and paint man around Seattle at that time. Now Susan and Jeff own the boat and she is in excellent condition, awaiting her new suit of sails after 40 years!

Seashell at her launching in 1964/65. Axel and Frank are the two young men in the middle!

Seashell and friends



We delivered a new mainsail for White Shadow, a Colvin Gazelle rigged as a cutter. We felt very honored that they picked us to make this sail since John and Debbie have had the boat for 10-years, but are just getting around to putting some sails on board. We recut an older headsail for them that they got used. We recut the foot, raising the tack and clew up for visibility and to get the sheet lead correct.



We completed a tanbark main and staysail and sail covers for Luka, a Hans Christian 38 Cutter. John and Ruth have had the boat since new and finally the original sails are giving up the ghost. We went for a test sail and the boat really liked the powerful main with full top batten.

See Traditional Sails for more information about "tanbark" sails.



Gyspy Rose, another Alajuela 38 Cutter, got a new winter cover. She was originally owned by the local Alajuella dealer and she had very little use so again, she is in exceptional condition. The new owners want to carry on with a beautiful boat so they had us build a full cover to help protect their investment. We used Linen Sunbrella with Top Gun and leather reinforcements.


Gypsy RoseGypsy Rose

News Flash!!! Bluebird hits the water!!! Bluebird gets her new wings!!! Bluebird of Thorne was launched in the spring of 2006. As evidenced by the first photo, the luck of the sea was with Bluebird on her auspicious re-launching day. Take a look at the second crane photo, the crane operator and the standing wave created by Bluebird. It does not get any more nerve racking and exciting than this!!! Fortunately, everything turned out just fine for all. Please click on the photos to see a few more recent shots.



Jeff has been rebuilding Bluebird for the last 10 years.  Bluebird is a very well known Arthur Robb/Lord Riverdale steel, twin bilge keel design that has seen lots of blue water sailing in her life and is looking forward to many more miles.