After some years in the sun it was finally time for a replacement of the lazy bag. like many things boating, I was amazed about the prices for replacements and a decent quality bag would set us back at least 600 Euro plus shipping and duties. somehow I felt that this was a justified cost and we started looking at other options. We also felt that the original sail bag had a few downsides that we would like to adjust. For one we would like to have a little more space to be able to fold the sail quicker into the bag. Secondly we did not like that the very front part of the sail was still exposed to the sun as the sailbag did not completely reach the mast. Lastly, the rain still penetrated the sail bag through the zipper, which may not be a big deal but could have been avoided through better design.
After some shopping around we found out that our current lazy bag was probably made out of Sunbrella material and we think that this is also the best way to go. However what we only noticed later is that there are various different types and strengths of materials. We opted for the thickets material which was noticeably heavier and stronger than the original sail bag. we purchased 9 meters at US$ 30/meter. Apart from some thread this was pretty much the only expense for materials.
the much harder part was to copy the original sailbag and incorporate our enhancement ideas. Luckily we have a very talented tailor working with us who was of immense help to this project.
the best way forward was to remove the original sailbag and completely dismantle it to its core parts. then it was easier to copy these individual parts. we also decided that we wanted an additional 10 centimeters of hight so as to have more room for the sail. and we decided to continue the bag around the mast, much like we have seen on several mono haul boats before.
the sewing took much longer than anticipated and required a heavy duty machine, but like in all thing boating it always takes more time than estimated.
we decided to recycle a few things of the original sailbag as they were still in good condition and we would not find a better alternative. these were the fibre rods holding the sail bag and furthermore the reinforced plastic batches and aluminum rings connecting the sailbag to the lazy jacks.
the nice thing doing things from scratch is that you can do them correctly and to the quality expected and desired by yourself. With this in mind we used nylon thread for all our sewing and double and triple stitched just about everything.
as you can see from the pictures the result turned out better than what we could have hoped for and it will surely give us several years of good sail protection. the added benefits also turned out just as we had hoped.
Well. here are some of the pictures of the final product. Pricing wise it was certainly a considerable savings as we spent less than $300 on materials vs. about $800 for a original replacement, but the hours put into it and the required experience and sewing machine required may not make this a suitable project for everyone.