Make Your Own Telltails
I admit it, this is sailing nerdiness at its extreme. When I was a teenager I was a sailmaker at Spencer sails in Huntington New York. That was almost 40 years ago! I used to make the telltales when I worked there. It was always fun bringing pockets full out to customer's boats and giving them away like bringing cake or wine to a visit.
I'm no longer a sailmaker, but over the years I have fine-tuned the design. As winter sets in, I always like to make a nice big batch just to keep myself occupied. I thought some of you might be interested to see how I do it.
I used to use wool, then Teflon coated wool, but now I'm using acrylic yarn. This particular batch was motivated by new sails that were very black, and don't show up my (or North's) traditional telltale colors. I found some fluorescent acrylic orange and green on eBay.com and bought a skien of each. Acrylic is nice because it melts, but doesn't do as well wet as wool.
The other things you need are a 1" hole Cutter ($30), and some acrylic draft tape with adhesive backing.
First I cut the telltale dots by banging them out with the cutter from the draft stripe. I usually do a batch of 100. It just takes a few minutes to do many.
Using a sailmaker's needle threaded with the yarn I pierced 40 or 50 of the dots at once and collect them all on the yarn
I then pull one dot at a time into the end area where I use a hot knife, (or you could use a pair of scissors) to cut the lengths at 6 1/2 inches
I do that for all the tales on that batch.
Then I tie a knot ON THE PAPER SIDE. This anchors the yarn with a knot under the dot which has proven over the years to be very durable, and wont hang up on itself.
I like to hotknife the very end to lock in the knot
This makes the yarn emerge from the top side of the dot in the middle and is very resistant to sticking to the sail to show flow. This was especially true on the windsurf sails I use this technique on.
Pull the yarn through the dot to tighten it on the knot.
I find that if I use several in a row, it is easy to visually see the flow attach or stall so I like lots of them on my sails!
It took me 1.5 hours to make 50 green and 50 red. Now what do I do the rest of the Winter! 10F here tonight. brrrrrr.
Ad by Google
The information on this web site has not been checked for accuracy. It is for entertainment purposes only and should be independently verified before using for any other reason. There are five sources. 1) Documents and manuals from a variety of sources. These have not been checked for accuracy and in many cases have not even been read by anyone associated with L-36.com. I have no idea of they are useful or accurate, I leave that to the reader. 2) Articles others have written and submitted. If you have questions on these, please contact the author. 3) Articles that represent my personal opinions. These are intended to promote thought and for entertainment. These are not intended to be fact, they are my opinions. 4) Small programs that generate result presented on a web page. Like any computer program, these may and in some cases do have errors. Almost all of these also make simplifying assumptions so they are not totally accurate even if there are no errors. Please verify all results. 5) Weather information is from numerious of sources and is presented automatically. It is not checked for accuracy either by anyone at L-36.com or by the source which is typically the US Government. See the NOAA web site for their disclaimer. Finally, tide and current data on this site is from 2007 and 2008 data bases, which may contain even older data. Changes in harbors due to building or dredging change tides and currents and for that reason many of the locations presented are no longer supported by newer data bases. For example, there is very little tidal current data in newer data bases so current data is likely wrong to some extent. This data is NOT FOR NAVIGATION. See the XTide disclaimer for details. In addition, tide and current are influenced by storms, river flow, and other factors beyond the ability of any predictive program.