Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sailrite Yachtsman Sewing Machine WORKING!

Back in May, I set up our heavy-duty sewing machine, a Sailrite Yachtsman, and to my dismay it wouldn't stitch properly.

I thought it might be a tension problem and when I went to turn the upper tension knob, it fell off. Didn't know there were so many little bits and pieces inside of there. Darn! I pushcd it back on and screwed it down tight but no joy.

I wish I had a photo. The needle would go down and then when it came back up, the thread was in kind of an upside-down V formation. Definitely seemed like a tension problem, and the upper tension dealy-bob did fall off... hmmmm....

I put it away and took out our little lightweight cheapo sewing machine that we bought from K-Mart last time we were in St. Thomas for $40. It sewed the net bags for our lures just fine.

Well, a couple of days ago when Bob was preparing the new hard dodger for its next step, I took out the Sailrite machine to have a closer look at it. We bought this from the sailboat Sourcis a few years ago, so it is a 2nd or 3rd hand machine. Unfortunately, they are back in the frozen north (Minnesota?) so I couldn't pop around for advice :)

I dug out the manual but it wasn't all that helpful with the tension problem. It did have an exploded diagram though and it looks like I didn't lose anything.

One strange thing was that after a couple of non-stitches, the thread was no longer through the needle... how could that possibly happen? I changed needles hoping that my problems would be solved... no such luck.

So, I had Bob come inside and sit next to me. I showed him the upper tension doo-hicky and the manual. Seems OK. We then looked to see about the needle and it turns out that I installed it backwards. In fact, I had threaded the needle from the WRONG SIDE! I had inserted the thread from right to left which is what I consider normal, but it goes from left to right! The last thread guide just above the needle had broken off before we bought the machine so that would have given me a hint (I hope!).

Guess what! Problem solved!!! YIPPEE, DO THE HAPPY DANCE!!!

I hope that if you have a problem with your sewing machine it is just a simple thing like threading the needle from the wrong side.

One common tip for these machines is to wrap the thread around the upper tension knob once (a double wrap) for more tension (it's even mentioned in the manual).

I should probably scan the manual & post it for other cruisers.

Happy sewing!