Nylet 90 years of sailmaking, from 1932.
Newsletter number 130. Jan. 2024.

We would like to reassure our customers that we are still providing our long established (1958) mail order service. In these times we would also like to take the opportunity to express our gratitude and thanks to all our customers both returning and new. You may be assured that the only time we have closed (for any length of time) over the three 3 centuries was for the second World War!

Sailmaking. Having been Master Sailmakers making traditional full size sails in cotton cloths since 1932 we have that knowledge of how sails were made for working boats and yachts as well as Ocean Racers some 80 plus years ago. We are able to make model sails for you in cotton material employing correct methods of making that full size sails demanded. Whether we use tablings or false tablings when making you can be sure that your model sails will be perfectly made down to the smallest detail and indeed down to the detail that may be "hidden".
We are always very busy with sailmaking for cotton sails (of all types) and also modern suits in racing scrim, film or Dacron. Vic Smeed's classic 36 inch yacht "Starlet" which is available again as a plan maintains the demand for sails for that design and also the Star Baby and Wild Duck amongst many others. We also offer a full RIG kit with sails, mast tubing and fittings pack. A standard deck fittings pack is also available which suits both One Metre and 36 inch yachts (see price list). A growing part of our business is in making 'replacement' kit sails, such as the Victoria, Fairwind, Seawind, Northwind, Voyager 2 and Thunder Tiger yachts as well as sails for various other Chinese yachts. The original sails provided with these kits are usually made in ripstop spinnaker cloth (not at all ideal), and often incorrectly/poorly made, such as a badly shaped luff, or at worse with the warp running down the luff which is utterly hopeless rendering the leech unstable. Customers tell me they find a great improvement in performance by switching to Nylet scrim (or traditional Dacron) sails. We have almost 200 sail designs in our cutting book and on computer from which we can make sails, and of course, as always, we can make sails to special order from customers measurements - see also our "150 sails list". I would add here that we do not purchase "seconds" sailcloths, all our materials are A1 quality.

On a personal note, a milestone - in 2024 I celebrate 58 years of model sailmaking, and am pleased to say that I take great pleasure in my work, every sail I make is given equal attention to detail. It is also around 118 years of sailmaking experience when taken together with my late father, who taught me most of what I know. His early years were working for his father in the family firm and in the later 1920's made sails for his own dinghy (which he built) before he made sails commercially.

SAILCLOTH TYPES (and see photos of 100 plus sails on our site). We keep good stocks of white Dacron sailcloth 3.5oz weight. Dacron has changed little since we first used the British made version of that cloth, Terylene, in 1966. These closely woven high quality sailcloths maintain a balance between loomed threads and resin bonding. Dacron sailcloth makes up well and produces long lasting good looking sails for the classic yacht, or simply for a general suit for most weathers and are particularly stable for heavier conditions. It has the capability to hold a good shape, and is well suited for any size sail up to and including A-class sails. Unfortunately with the advent of exotics such as Kevlar & Mylar there has been a marked decline in the requirement for Dacron as a sailcloth for full size sails and therefore the very light weights we once used have not been loomed. Colours are, as a consequence often too heavy a weight for model sail use although we do have a small quantity in tan 4.2oz this does not work well in tandem with its lighter white cousin standing at 3.5oz. You can be assured that all our materials are A1 quality, we do not purchase "seconds" materials.
Laminated scrim material is a good choice for the racing fraternity for sails of any size, the weight starts at less than half that of Dacron (and our lightweight scrim even lighter) and this weight to strength ratio gives a superior performance, and particularly also in lighter conditions. Scrim is a relatively tough yet supple material and its lighter weight makes it an ideal material for racing yacht sails of any type and size, it makes great sails. Scrim's strength to weight ratio is an improvement and it has a somewhat 'supple' feel and is ideal for sails in the 770mm, 36 inch and One Metre to Marblehead size. It is nil colour and so its useful to apply coloured trim/corner patches to identify your sails on the water; this is also the case if you choose white Dacron. If you are racing then seriously consider scrim, the material makes a beautiful sail which 'does what it says on the tin'. We at present are having difficulty, in common with other model sailmakers, trying to source further stock of scrim; it is unfortunately not being loomed and seems there is little hope of it being so in the foreseeable future. However the alternative is satin film and this is available in 50 micron gauge. Racing sails made with panels allows us to build in more shape and importantly place it where it matters.
Names of some popular designs always featuring for which we have been making sails are - Wee Nip, Fairwind, and yes - still the Victoria keeps featuring - it must be one of the most popular 'ready to sail' yachts. New on the block are plans by Sarik Hobbies for "Eventide" and we make sails for that design in traditional white Dacron.
For the cruising yacht, or classic yacht where a traditional appearance is important then white Dacron always looks the part. We also make 'Heritage' classic Dacron sails for the 50's and 60's yacht, with all detail sewn, in fact everything being sewn precisely as we did 50 plus years ago.
Film is available in 50 microns thickness, a material which can be cheered up using coloured corner patches and trim. It is about the same weight as scrim but unfortunately it lacks the suppleness and is prone to taking a crease.
Varnished Terylene is very little seen today but for the later classic vane yacht then this would quite possibly have been the material to have been used originally; it was almost exclusively employed by the sailmaker Jones from Birkenhead in the 50's. We still have a small quantity remaining.
Sail Rig kits including mast & boom tubing and fittings are available for the Starlet and Wild Duck as well as the International One Metre yachts. For other yachts please ask for quote but do look in our "150 sails" listing first.
We are always very busy with work on cotton sails, of all types, in natural finish cotton cloth, and if required the material can be dyed. Our cotton sails are made in much the same way whether they are for sailing use or for display only, they will do a job of work as well as looking neat, one might say 'Ship shape and Bristol Fashion'. All class yacht cotton sails receive our makers stamp (in the corner of the mains'l) and is based upon my fathers mark/stamp he used after the war until 1965. Otherwise a discreet name is sewn into the foot tabling of a mains'l.
A customer informed me that Peter Stollery sailed with a suit of our sails for some 12 years and finishing in first place more times than he could remember.
In September '14 a new range of PJ sail winches came on stream; unit W01 suits 36 inch & IOM yachts; unit W02 suits M-class, 6M & Ten Rater size yachts; prices from around £100.
Restoration work
keeps my colleague very busy with up to a dozen yachts, of various types, at any one moment awaiting his expert attention (and most requiring our cotton sails).
NEWS FROM 1979! Lets go back in time for a little bit of nostalgia. An article written by Chris Bowler on the Nylet Ten Rater Scimitar appeared in the May 2013 edition of MARINE MODELLING and it is reproduced here (on this site) by kind permission of the author and Marine Modelling. Chris was a customer of ours back in the 1970's and he phoned us about a Scimitar that they had recently refurbished and which had originally been built as the basis of an article in Model Boats in 1979 (see the full story via the drop down list).
Wishing you every success with your sailing.
Frank Parsons.

Bob Underwood.
My very dear friend Bob Underwood sadly passed away on the 7th of September 2019. Bob was a well known figure in the sphere of model yachting and many model yachtsmen over decades will have bought hulls made by him. His GRP mouldings were of the very highest standard, nay indeed, works of art, simply perfection. He had also moulded full size yacht hulls quite apart from other work. Bob lived in the pretty stone town of Bradford-upon-Avon and I savour memories of visiting him and swapping stories over a cup of tea and a slice of cake in his sitting room and being shown projects in his garden shed. Bob was also keenly interested in, and built, steam locomotives, a common interest quite apart from the obvious one being model yachting. He took a keen interest in flying too and he had many tales to tell about that! Bob was an absolute gentleman, of the old school, and will be greatly missed.
His funeral was on the 24th Sept 2019. Rest in peace old friend.

NYLET ~ Fine products ~ Finely finished handmade sails in A1 quality sailcloths ~ Quality First ~ 92 years.
J.Parsons & Son ~ F.Parsons ~ Nylet. 1832 ~ 5 generations ~ 192 years of manufacturing.
Silk Mercers, established in High Holborn, London 1772 ~ 252 years of working with fine cloths ~ 8 generations.

1620. Clockmakers, Goldsmiths. 404 years of Artisans and tradition.

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