Nylet Newsletter number 124. January 2021.

We would like to reassure our customers that we are still able to provide our long established (1958) mail order service. We would also like to take the opportunity to express our gratitude and thanks to all our customers. Stay safe and well.

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 90 years ago. We will 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 correct down to the smallest detail.
We are always very busy with sailmaking, cotton sails (of all types) and also modern suits in racing scrim 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, 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, 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".

On a personal note, a milestone - in 2016 I celebrated 50 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 110 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.

International One Metre YACHTS. The SPIRIT 3 continued to sell well. However our moulder Robin Whitmarsh of Kingston Mouldings retired in 2018 and all his moulds were acquired by another moulder. However, as of October '19 he suddenly went out of business so we are again looking for another GRP moulder. The THETIS IOM yacht is still available but stocks are diminishing.

SAILCLOTH TYPES (and see photos of 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 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 Ten Rater & 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 lighter weights have not been loomed, except in white. Colours are, as a consequence, really too heavy for model sail use although we do have a small quantity in red and also tan 4.25oz but this does not work well in tandem with its lighter white cousin standing at 3.5oz. Many of the industry's major manufacturers/suppliers have advised price increases across their ranges from the 1st January 2020. The increases range from 1.5% to 4%. This applies to a lesser degree to other materials but these increases inevitably will work through during 2020 and we have only applied modest lifts to items where we are reliant upon bought in products which attract 2020 price structures.
Laminated scrim material however is much used by the racing fraternity for sails of any size, the weight starts easily 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; probably around 80% of our racing sails today are requested in this material and it makes great sails. We automatically apply the correct weight for the suit in question. New stock of scrim material first arrived in 2015 and the weight is a little less than the previous batches, its 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. 'Heavier' weights are used for larger sails. Scrim is nil colour and so it is useful to apply coloured trim/corner patches to identify your sails on the water. If you are racing then seriously consider scrim, the material makes a beautiful sail which 'does what it says on the tin'. If you are handy with an airbrush then it can be artworked, just ask us for a cut of the material to be sent with your sails so you may experiment. Racing sails made with panels allows us to build in more shape and importantly put it where it matters.
Names of popular designs featuring of late for which we have been making sails are - Wee Nip, Dragon Force, and - yes - still the Victoria keeps featuring - it must be one of the most popular 'ready to sail' yachts.
For the cruising yacht, or classic yacht where a traditional appearance is important then white Dacron 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 years ago.
Mylar film is available in 50 microns thickness, a clear material which can be cheered up using coloured corner patches and trim. It is about the same weight as scrim but unfortunately film lacks the suppleness and is very prone to taking a crease. Having said that, for the yachtsman making his own sails then for any yacht around half a metre length and less it is a cheap material which can be made up at home easily, see our price list for this material, sold by the piece.
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 of original material. However, there will be no more of this material, it is from the final run loomed. There are modern options, a material that looks a little similar but the quality is not there and it has a soft feel (which the true V. Terylene did not have) but it will tear, therefore we are not using it until a 'stronger' version appears.
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.
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).
Our workshop relocation. In April '18 we relocated to Salisbury, our postal address & landline phone changed. Mobile number, email & website remains unchanged.
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 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 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.

NYLET ~ Fine products ~ Finely finished handmade sails ~Quality First ~ 89 years.
J.Parsons & Son ~ F.Parsons ~ Nylet. 1834-2021 ~ 5 generations ~ 187 years of manufacturing.
Silk Mercers, established in High Holborn, London 1772 ~ 249 years of working with fine cloths ~ 8 generations.

1620. Clockmakers, Goldsmiths. 401 years of Artisans. 401 years of tradition.


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Crossing the Atlantic. The Microtransat International Challenge.

The Microtransat Challenge is a transatlantic race of fully autonomous sailing boats. The race aims to stimulate the development of autonomous sailing boats through friendly competition.
2013 to 2019. Supporter of Robin Lovelock in his attempt on crossing the Atlantic with his yacht Snoopy. Yacht Snoopy is “powered” by Nylet sails for the next attempt to cross the Atlantic.
More about the challenge at— http://www.microtransat.org/index.php
Robin’s website with updates — http://www.gpss.force9.co.uk/rbdesign.htm