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Eyelets - small - 100/pack. Sail eyelets, nickel plated brass, 1.5 mm ID, 2.0 mm OD, 3.5 mm flange OD, 3.3 mm overall length, 3.0 mm under flange, 100/pack.

Clench using eyelet punch, ref. 090 . Look in the tools section.

Product code. 078

Availability: In stock

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Use one or more washers so that only a small amount of the eyelet length is turned over. A piece of steel plate makes a suitable anvil.

  • Product Description

Form a hole in the sail using a soldering iron with a fine point, or a wire heated in a gas flame, and use eyelet, ref 078-030, with one or more washers, ref. 079 , and eyelet punch, ref. 090 , to form attachments in the head, tack and luff of sails. Use items 080 , 081 and 091 to form stronger attachments in the clew.

Before using the eyelets, washers and punch in a sail it is important to experiment on a sample of sail material with reinforcement that matches the sail to be worked on. If too great a length of eyelet protrudes from the cloth the rim of the eyelet will split and not form well when it is turned over by the punch. To remedy this add more reinforcement or washers until the eyelet is nicely formed.

Item 078-030 is suitable for making attachments in heavily loaded areas of sails for 65 Class and smaller boats.

Available in bulk packs if required in larger quantities.

Also known as a thimble, hollow rivets, cringle, grommet, bush, anneau, patte, legel, grommer, kousje, kovs, brancarella, garrucho de cabo, olhal. Formerly coded 078-030.

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Sail cringle holes with eyelet

By modeller_masa January 31, 2021 in Masting, rigging and sails

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I have question I thought about cringle holes of sail.ßsegel).jpg  

I would like to use a rivet or eyelet to protect sail when it is under tension stress. These are rivets or eyelets I'm looking for.


A common eyelets is down to 0.90mm inner diameter and 2.50mm outer diameter, but...

The smallest eyelet I can purchase is 0.40mm inner diameter and 0.60mm outer diameter. 

I would say that this is not bad for small scale ships such as 1/24 modern boat. Will it work with 1/50 or higher scale ships? I'm in doubt. A hot needle may be enough to protect if I choose suitable sail fabric...

  • EricWilliamMarshall


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How about these "cringles"...


  • mtaylor , EricWilliamMarshall and modeller_masa

There are no bad or good model makers. There are only less or  more  experienced.

Tsernikoperama  -   Trechandiri Brachera   -  Bombarda Sabatiera   - Tserniki vessel rigged as Penna  -   NE Aegean Sea Tserniki  - Tserniki of Mykonos Island  - Tserniki of Mytilene Island  - Trechandiri-schooner rigging

12 minutes ago, Thanasis said: How about these "cringles".

I'll research about it soon! Thanks, Thanasis.


I got the data chart from ebay seller. The 0.4 x 0.6 PCB rivet has 0.9mm head diameter. If a ship model's scale is 1:64, it is 57.6mm or 2 1/4 inch cringle which is fairly feasible size. If there is 0.2 x 0.3 rivet, it may be the best size for any case. In addition, I may be able to tin the copper rivet to black color for realistic expression.

The price of tiny rivets is pretty high. (1000 pcs with punching tool is 150 Euros.) I'll keep it on my bucket list.


I don't think fabric, with the exception of silk-screen fabric and silk-span (in European understanding), is suitable for models below say 1/50 scale. In any case, on smaller-scale models eyelets can be simulated by piercing a small hole with a needle, applying a drop of white glue on both sides and then opening up the hole again. For metal cringles the PVA can be tinted grey and then you turn a sharp pencil in the hole to give the cringle a metallic sheen. For the sewn one, you tint the PVA beige or beige-grey to match the ropework you are using.

You can also make small hollow rivets yourself from thin-walled brass tube. However, you need a punch and a die, that you would have to turn up on a lathe yourself to suit the brass tube.

  • EricWilliamMarshall , Thanasis , modeller_masa and 1 other

panta rhei - Everything is in flux


Thanks for great tips, wefalck! I'll use 1mm rivets I ordered for other decoration parts.

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Home >> Build your Model >> Small Hardware >> Eyelets

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Brass Eyelets

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No32 Sail Eyelet Starter Kit (20mm)

£ 70.73 Incl. VAT £ 58.94 Excl. VAT

Quality British made 20mm eyelets & fitting tools.

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  • Reviews (2)

Kits comprise of a hole cutter, fitting tool and 50 solid brass eyelets*. Both eyelets and tools are made from quality materials and are designed to grip your material without compromise.

No 32 Sail Eyelets have an approximately 20mm diameter hole.

Typical uses include:

  • Sail repair
  • Leather work
  • Arts & crafts
  • Plus many more

*An eyelet consists of two parts: the eyelet “front” and a “washer” the material is tightly griped in a sandwich between them when fitted by the tool.

We make our eyelets from high quality solid brass NOT brass plated steel, therefore they don’t rust. They’re made to the original BS3102 standard and so are produced from suitably thick enough brass not to distort when put under strain and to not feel “flimsy” or lightweight.

2 reviews for No32 Sail Eyelet Starter Kit (20mm)

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Harley – 11th January 2024

A really good quality product. The eyelets are very robust feeling, and the company was very responsive to my questions.

Many eyelets I’ve used crease and split, but so far these have set perfectly every time.

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Jonathan (verified owner) – 27th November 2022

Really good quality. A bit pricey but it is metal and it is expensive material nowadays… I needed the eyelet to consolidate a passby in a foam cardboard. Really good result without damaging the foam cardboard itself which I was worried about at the beginning.

If it is your first time assemble eyelets, please allow 2 eyelets for tests. It is really easy to assemble. I was expecting far more complicated and hard. Not at all the case. You only need a hammer at home on top of the eyelet kit itself.

Sadly I needed only 5 eyelets and it was sold only in full kit of 50 eyelets + the two metal parts to bring the eyelet together. Would be great to be able to rent the two metal parts and being able to buy at unit in order to reduce the product losses going to the bin and the headache to find an appropriate bin collector as it cannot be binned on normal bin at home. After contacting the company they told me I could send back the unused items and they will ensure correct disposal (which means they will be able to reuse for a new order and keep the £ change ). So I have kept the unused sets and will prefer to give to art school instead.

Ps: it come really well packed and really fast.

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eyelets for model yacht sails

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  • Bluenose Canadian Schooner

Making Sails for Model Ships

December 3, 2017

On my Model Shipways Bluenose build , I debated whether or not to make the sails.  Many (most?) ship models do not include full sails.  The Model Shipways kit was designed with sails, and includes the sail cloth as part of the kit.  The inclusion of sails was actually one of the factors that led me to select this kit for my second build.

With the booms and gaffs rigged and installed, I would basically be finished with the build if I omit the sails.  The remaining rigging is all attached to sails, so I’d leave it off if I didn’t include sails.  However, the sails really do add something to the model, especially for a schooner like this.

So, I decided to make sails.  I’ve never made sails before, so this will be a learning experience.  Here’s how I ended up doing it…

Choosing How Sails are Displayed

An important decision to make before you start is how you’ll be displaying sails.  There are three different ways you can go:

  • For Display

(I made those last two names up).

Furled sails are sails that are lowered.  Many modelers choose to do furled sails on their ships.  The advantage is that the sails don’t cover everything up and make a model look like a bunch of cloth.  When doing furled sails, you typically don’t make the full sail, instead making smaller version.  The sail is put in place, but is bunched up and tied to the appropriate boom or gaff.

Realistic sails try to show the sails rigged and set as they would be while the ship is actually at sea.  Ships adjusted their sails depending on the situation.  In most cases, some sails would be raised while others would be lowered.  Some sails might be set off to one side.  Realistic sails would try to show the ship in some kind of ‘real’ sailing state.

Making sails simply ‘for display’ is what I’m doing.  I’m making all the sails, and installing them all in their raised state.  I’m not going to set any sails off to the sides – everything is just going to be installed straight and even.  You’d probably never see a ship at sea actually set like this, but I think it works well for a model.

When to Make Sails

From what I can tell, the general practice is to make the sails  before rigging and installing the booms and gaffs.  Several of the sails need to be laced onto the booms and gaffs, and that is nearly impossible to do directly on the ship.

The standard process seems to be:

  • Build the booms and gaffs.
  • Make the sails based on the plans.
  • Attach sails to the booms and gaffs as appropriate.
  • Install and rig the booms and gaffs.
  • Add the additional rigging for each sail.

I’m not confident that all my booms and gaffs are 100% accurately sized, and I suspect that the dimensions of my sails might need to be adjusted to fit my particular ship.  So, I intentionally put off making sails until I had installed all the booms and gaffs.

Once I had everything installed on the ship, I could make templates for the sails that take into account both the plans and the size/shape of my actual build.

Of course, this means that I had a bunch of rigging for the booms and gaffs that would need to be un-done so the booms and gaffs could be removed.  That was fine with me, because I had avoided the use of glue when securing the rigging.  Everything was either tied off (easy to un-tie), or attached with a hook or shackle (easy to remove).

So, my process is:

  • Build the booms and gaffs .
  • Install and rig the booms and gaffs .
  • Make the sails based on the actual layout of my ship.
  • De-rig the booms and gaffs, and remove them from the ship.
  • Re-install the booms and gaffs, and their rigging.

For me, this approach (while more work) has several advantages:

  • Initially, I’m able to focus on getting the booms and gaffs properly installed and rigged, without the sails getting in the way.
  • I can start with sail templates based on the plans, and adjust as necessary to fit the exact size/shape of my ship.
  • Once sails are ready to install, I can quickly get them rigged without spending any time on the other rigging for the booms and gaffs, since those runs are already done and just need to be re-tied/attached.

Paper Templates

Making the actual sails starts with making paper templates.  Some of the sails were too big to use normal paper, so I picked up a roll of white craft paper.

For each sail, I took a piece of paper and laid it over the plans.  I marked the corners of the sail, then used a ruler to draw lines between the marks, giving me the outline of the sail.  Some sails have curves that I had to hand-draw.

Once the shape was laid out on the paper, I cut the paper to shape.


A paper template for the jib sail.

Next I positioned the paper template on the actual ship in the correct spot.  I took note of anything that didn’t fit just right, and adjusted the template as necessary.  Some sails needed to be made slightly smaller, while some had to be made slightly larger.

To help me visualize the sail, I also marked where the hems on the edges will go, along with any other key elements of the sail.  For the edge hems, I’ll be folding the fabric over and sewing it.  I’ll be shooting for a 1/16″ hem, so I used that size for the markings on the template.

The actual sails on the ship were made from strips of cloth, not one big piece.  To simulate this, I’ll just be sewing lines onto the cloth.  For some of the sails, I went ahead and marked these lines on the template since they need to be oriented correctly according to the plans.

The main and fore sails also have  reef bands , which run horizontally along the lower portion of the sail.  These were marked as well.

Preparing the Sail Cloth

Once I was satisfied with the template, I got out the sail cloth.  Model Shipways includes sail cloth with the kit.  This cloth is a medium weight cotton cloth in an off-white color.  The kit includes enough to make all the sails, assuming you get everything right on the first try.  I knew that wasn’t going to work, so I ordered two more packages of sail cloth from them.  It was relatively inexpensive – about $7 for each package of cloth.

Sails on a ship were rarely bright white.  I’ve seen that many modelers will dye their sail cloth to get a desired shade.  There are many tricks for this, like dipping the material in coffee.  I felt that the off-white color of the Model Shipways cloth was fine, so I didn’t dye my cloth.

If you’re wanting to use other sail cloth, look for something lightweight.  Almost all fabric is going to be too thick and out of scale, so just do the best you can.  I actually used some fabric from a local hobby store for a few ‘test runs’, and learned a few things.  Look for fabric with a tight knit, so the fabric doesn’t start to come apart as you cut it.  Also look for something without too much stretch, as stretchy fabric can distort the shape of the sails as you sew them.

Ideally, you want to wash, dry, and iron the sail cloth before you start.  Most fabric will shrink a little during this process, so you want this out of the way before you start cutting things to size.  Doing this will also release any wrinkles in the fabric.  (I was too excited to get started, and didn’t do this.)

Once you’ve got your fabric ready and your template sized, you’re ready to cut some fabric.

I used a fabric marker to do all the markings on the fabric.  I picked this up at a local hobby store in the sewing section for a couple dollars.  This marker uses special ink that disappears as it evaporates.  This means I can draw all over the fabric, and within a few hours the ink is gone.  I found this to give much better results than using a pencil and trying to erase markings.


The paper template is used to mark up the fabric being used for the sail.

A note on marking fabric…since I’m going to be folding over the edges of the sail to create hems, one side of the sail is going to look better than the other.  Often, you pick a ‘display side’ of the ship, and put ugly stuff (like the worse sail side) so it isn’t visible from the display side.  I found that with the way I was marking, folding, and sewing the cloth, I wanted the markings on the display side.  Making sure I marked the display side ensured that I as I worked I ended up with all the ugly stuff on the back.

First the outline of the sail is marked on the fabric.  Be sure to leave extra space on all sides outside of the sail.

A second outline is made 1/16″  outside of the first outline.  This is the hem that I want to end up with on the finished sail.

A third outline is made 1/2″  outside of the second outline.  This one doesn’t have to be perfect…this is just a guide for cutting the fabric.

You can also mark the reef lines and strips at this point if desired.  I typically didn’t mark the strips, since I was able to position those accurately using my sewing machine.


The fabric is trimmed, leaving excess material around the edges.

Once everything is marked, I cut the fabric along the outer-most outline.  I used a rotary cutter (like a pizza cutter), which gave much better results than scissors.

To make sails you have to do a lot of sewing.  I have no experience sewing.  Doing all this by hand with a needle and thread was not practical, so I bought a cheap little ‘hobby’ sewing machine.  That machine was junk, and broke within the first 20 minutes.  Since I’m hoping to keep this hobby going for a few decades, I decided to go ahead and invest in a real sewing machine.

At my local hobby store, the staff helped me select a good quality machine.  I got it for under $200.  The advantages of a real machine include:

  • It won’t jam.
  • Variable speeds.
  • Selectable stitch length and width (critical for trying to get the stitching remotely close to ‘scale’).
  • Many different computer-controlled stitch types, so you can do more than just a simple straight stitch.  This would end up making the reef bands much better.

It took me a few hours to get the hang of using the machine, but my skill level increased quickly.  While I certainly couldn’t sew a shirt or a pair of pants, by the second or third sail I was flying along like a pro.

Since you’ll be sewing, you’ll need thread.  There are three main considerations with the thread.

First is the color.  This is a matter of personal preference.  I’ve seen some models where the stitching on the sails was very high-contrast (dark brown thread on white cloth).  I’ve also seen some where the thread was the same color as the cloth.  I felt like the stitching shouldn’t stand out  too much , and I wanted to rely on the texture of the thread to define the lines rather than the color.  So, I went with a ‘natural’ color thread that ended up being really close to the color of the cloth.

The second consideration is the thread material.  A hobby store will likely have hundreds of different kinds of thread.  There are synthetic materials and natural materials.  I went with a cotton thread.  Why?  No really good reason except that all my rigging lines are cotton and the sail cloth is cotton, so it seemed like a good idea.

The final consideration is quantity.  I have no idea how to predict the amount of thread that will be needed (there may be some ‘trick’ to it that the pros know).  Initially I bought one spool of the thread.  That only made two sails.  When I went back to by more, they were out of that exact thread, so I had to order more online.  That caused a week delay in making sails.  Obviously you wan the thread to be the same on all the sails, so buy a lot of  the same thread up front.  Thread is cheap, and it is better to have some leftover than to run out.

Sewing the Edges

On to sewing.

The first step is to sew the hems on the edges.  I start with the longest edge first, then do the opposite edge, continuing on until all edges are sewn.  The cloth is folded over at the first outline (the line that defines the actual edge of the sail) and pinned into place.  The 1/16″ line that indicates the edge of the hem should be inside the sail.  Since the cloth was cut 1/2″ past that line (on that third outline), there is some extra material here that makes pinning easier.  I’ll cut that off later.


The edges are folded over to create a hem and pinned in place.


The hem is sewn on the edge.

The cloth then goes into the machine and gets stitched up.  I used the machine’s reverse feature to double-stitch the first couple stitches to secure the thread, then just ran a straight stitch down the edge, staying between the edge of the sail and the 1/16″ hem marking.  I used a small stitch length so things weren’t  too out of scale.


My machine lets me set the position of the needle, allowing me to get really close to the edge.

Once the stitch was complete, the extra thread was clipped off.  I used a pair of sharp scissors to carefully cut off the extra cloth along the 1/16″ hem line.


A completed edge hem, about 1/16″ wide.

This was repeated for each edge.


Two edges meet in a corner.

Adding ‘Strips’

To simulate the strips of material, some modelers simply draw lines on the cloth.  I decided to run a stitch for each strip instead.  It is more work, but it goes pretty fast


The ‘strips’ of sail sail cloth are simulated with stitches.  Each sail has a unique strip layout shown on the plans.

The width of the strips is indicated on the plans, as well as the layout of the strips.  It turned out that the width of the strips matched with space between the needle on my sewing machine and the edge of the ‘foot’.  So I didn’t need to mark the strips on the fabric – I just positioned the fabric under the foot and ran the material through the machine.

Reef Bands and Points

The large lower sails (main sail and fore sail) have  reef bands .  These are horizontal bands across the sails.  My sewing machine has a setting that creates a stitch that looks like a ladder (or railroad tracks?).  I adjusted the stitch length and width to get the desired size, then ran this stitch across the sail to create the reef bands.

I ran this right  over the strip lines.  This is easier than doing the reef bands first and trying to start/stop the strip lines at the bands, and you can’t really tell the difference.


Reef bands were sewn in using a different stitch pattern on my machine.

At each point where a strip line crosses the reef band, there is a short rope that goes through the sail.  These ropes were used to secure the sail when it was lowered and bundled up.  I cut a bunch of 1″ long pieces of 0.008″ tan rigging line and punched them through at the appropriate spots.  I used a small bit of fabric glue on each side to keep these ropes flat against the sail instead of sticking out.

Corner Attachment Points

The sails typically have rigging lines attached to the corners of the sails.  This means you need something in each corner to attach a rigging line to.  From my research, it looks like most sails had a rope that ran around the outside edge of the sail, and that rope would form an eye at the sail corners to create the attachment points.

I decided not to add this rope.  I wasn’t confident I could make it look good, and I thought the tan line would stand out too much.

So, I simply sewed brass rings (made from wire) into each corner.  This was done manually with a needle and thread.


Anchor points in the corners were made from brass wire and sewn in.

Finishing Up

Once everything is sewn and I’m happy with the results, there are a few final steps.

I do a final pass to trim anything that looks bad (edges of hems, loose threads, etc.).

After all my disappearing fabric markings have evaporated and disappeared, I iron the sail to flatten it out and remove any remaining wrinkles.

Finally, I use some fabric glue along any exposed fabric edges (like the hems) to keep them from fraying.  I also use a little fabric glue on the ends of stitches to ensure they don’t come loose.

Then the sail is ready to install!


A few completed sails on the ship.

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Eye screws, also known as eye bolts or ring bolts, were common fasteners on sailing ships. They had a threaded shank with a loop or eye at one end, serving as attachment points for ropes and rigging. They secured lines to deck fittings, masts, and beams, allowing for adjustable connections and efficient operation of the rigging system. Eye screws were versatile and essential components, ensuring the proper functioning and handling of sails and equipment on board. Wooden Model Ship Fittings Eye Screws come in a range of sizes and shapes.

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COTTON SAILS - 92 years NYLET. The Oldest Established International Master Sailmakers. Fine Products ~ Quality First. 92 years. Finest Heritage 'vintage' style cotton sails explored in detail. 1932 ~ 92 years of sailmaking (including full size sails until 1966) ~ 2 generations and 107 years of experience ~ Quality First. Innovation alongside Tradition. We strive for perfection. The Very Finest Cotton Sails made by special Commission for Private Collectors and Museums. Makers of Model Sails to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Long established World-wide Mail Order Service.

The oldest established professional model sailmakers in the world ~ the only professional makers of the very finest cotton sails replicating our "1930's" style ~ perfect cut and finish ~ "Quality First." Full size sailmakers and model sailmakers since 1932. This year Frank Parsons celebrates 58 years of model sailmaking. Comprehensive sailmaking service, world-wide.

Using technological advances in materials coupled with innovation, expertise, and tradition, over 400 years to bring you the very finest model sails.

Some photos of Nylet 'vintage' style cotton sails, and see photos, click on link 'Sail Gallery', also 'Moonbeam'.

Place your order or enquire . . .

See photos of a moonbeam rigged with nylet vintage style cotton sails, sewn fully seamed, tabled & detailed., some 118 years of combined experience - 2 generations. nylet 'vintage' model sails created in quality cotton cloth for exhibition/static & museum models & private collectors, working yachts, fishing vessels, cutters, schooners, yawls and barges, class racing yachts, and for classic pond yachts (star, alexander, bassett lowke, etc). all our cotton sails are hand cut and beautifully sewn and finished as required to customers order. specialists in museum quality sails with all detail replicated (as required) which found on 18th & 19th century full size royal navy sails. at nylet we don't just 'make' sails, we create sails, we breathe life into the sailcloth in order that they might be shaped by the wind. working with fine cloths & allied materials since 1772. makers of model sails to the national maritime museum cornwall..

The finest model sails created individually to the customers specific requirements, with expertise handed down over eight generations, and our selection of 80 year old threads and specialist line used for hand stitching work, all combine to bring our customers a unique experience when they purchase our hand cut Heritage & Vintage cotton sails. 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 plus years ago and make model sails in cotton material employing correct methods/techniques of making that full size sails also demand. We use tablings or false tablings (cut on the warp) when making you can be sure that your model sails will not only be correct down to the smallest detail but importantly behave in right manner. Everything is custom made as you require. For guide prices please see section F8 & F9 of our price list . Speials can cost more. Often our customers will send a photo of their yacht, this is helpful but photos need to be accompanied by sail dimensions (fleshed out with any specific detail required). Without providing us with sail sizes/plan we are obviously unable to quote you. Also useful to know if the sails are for display only. How to make paper templates for making (often required), click on 'help' on top toolbar. Having manufactured full size sails in cotton (and jute) for barges and working vessels as well as pleasure yachts and ocean racers from 1932 until 1965, we appreciate how sails were actually cut and finished and can replicate this on model sails to give them an authenticity peculiar to Nylet; importantly full size sailmaking practise is employed in the construction of our model sails. Each racing 'class' suit of cotton sails now carry our makers mark, an authentic 'facsimile' of my late father's makers stamp (from the 1940's and 50's). Sails made for display models and other sails carry a discreet mark sewn inside the mains'l foot tabling. Our 'Vintage' sails can be made in natural finish cotton, or dyed cotton, with or without bolt ropes applied to the edges, all as requested by the customer. We can add more detail where the parallel seams are picked out (a line of stitching being run down) to indicate where the separate pieces of canvas were stitched together along the selvedges. We can sew these "seams" in a choice of coloured thread, or in white, as you may wish. In days past cotton and jute sailcloth was marked in the weave by a blue thread an inch from the selvedge edge (I sewed thousands of yards of the cloth before the 1980's), the cloth being loomed 18 inches and 2 foot wide as well as a yard width at various times. Vintage style cotton sails have been made by us for many years, indeed, my father started making full size sails and model sails in cotton, in the 1930's, long before synthetic materials were even thought of. We employ techniques and sewing methods that we have used since the 1930's to give our sails a period feel and hopefully a finish that will compliment your model. We also employ correct sailmaking techniques as used on full size sails, i.e. luffs receive false tablings in exactly the same way as large sails must to enable the sail to set correctly. All work on sails are carried out sewn port side uppermost as are full size sails and have been thus for probably 800 years and more. Detail such as reefing points can be sewn/added. We work with care to create finely finished sails that you may be proud of. We have undertaken model sail work for museums, such as The National Maritime Museum Cornwall, and many private collectors in the UK and overseas. If the model is solely for display then please tell us. Prices. Please see sections F8 and F9 in our price list for both specific named yacht sails and also some guide prices (priced from). Generally prices of small suits of sails start at around one hundred and thirty GBp. We will be very pleased to quote you on submission of a sail plan or dimensioned drawing; see the file labelled templates how to.

A note on the weave of cloth. The threads used to make any cloth are termed the weft and the warp. If you look up warp in the dictionary it gives threads stretched lengthwise in loom to be crossed by the weft. Look up more sailmaking terms, click on useful terms via the drop down list. Making your own sails? Then perhaps our B20 'how to' Sailmaking booklet will help you, as a pdf file its in full colour, see section A in the price list. Hopefully the foregoing will give you an insight into the care and attention we give our work, and the service and finishes we offer. Should you require advice or further assistance or information then please ask. 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. That is also over one hundred years of sailmaking experience when taken together with my late father, who taught me most of what I know. It might actually be over 111 years if I reckon his early years working for his father and making sails for his own dinghy (which he built) in the mid 1920's before he made sails commercially. We often refer to older sailmaking books and in particular a book of my fathers by Terence North (dated 1938) has particularly useful information and also having notes on the back page written in by my late Father; as these may be interest I append those in a small file (go to top links, see Info pages/help/photos) and click on sailmaking terms. Another book by Robert Kipping (1898) is handy to refer to, it has more technical notes on weights of sailcloth use for certain sizes of sails, hardly applicable to model sails but interesting all the same.

  A brief note on our early cotton model sails made in the 1930's . My father's Brighton firm manufactured model sails in cotton material, as well as full size sails, from the early 1930's onward. Some of the first model sails to be manufacturered (before the War) were sewn by my mother who was a skilled sewing machinist in her own right. Richard Howard's boat & yacht musuem in Pangbourne has some of our sails rigged on models on display and dating from the war years and up to the mid 1970's; sadly Richard has passed away and his collection has now been dispersed. My grandfather sailed and raced his yachts off Brighton beach (Sussex) one hundred and twenty plus years ago; his favourite yacht was "WISP" a 33 foot Isle of Wight built lugger (she carried 385 sq feet of sail). In the 1920's my father built his own dinghy naming her WISP (after his father's yacht) and making the sails for her. Another of his hobbies was making marine models. In the 1980's I produced a Nylet plan for a chine built 36 inch yacht, also naming her WISP.

We use the finest materials, equipment, and tools to bring you the best quality sails. We use sewing machines that are renowned for their durability and fine running. Our newest acquisition (in 2019) to our bank of specialist tools is a fine pair of Heritage scissors, replicating the type of shears that my 4th great grandfather would doubtless have used in his work as a Silk Mercer from his shop firstly in Bond Street and then in High Holborn, London in the last quarter of the 1700s and being manufactured by the same makers. The makers state - "Wilkinsons classic iteration of the EXO, made of 100% surgical-grade stainless steel with a striking matte finish, state-of-the-art investment-cast handles, industrial grade precision ground blades and a CNC machined screw, or bolt, all assembled by their master scissors craftsmen in Sheffield, using techniques and skills developed over 257 years". They are simply beautiful to use, have an edge as sharp as a sword, and are a delight to the eye. Manufactured by Whiteley's and who were founded in 1760 and incorporating the firm of Thomas Wilkinson & Son in 1875. Now the last industrial scissor-makers left in the UK and the oldest scissorsmiths in the western world, Whiteley's is a leading producer of industrial and professional scissors and shears.

In my family we can draw on expertise handed down over eight generations, and our selection of 80 year old threads and line used for hand stitching and detail work all combine to bring our customers a unique experience when they purchase our hand cut Heritage & Vintage cotton sails.

Frank Parsons.

This is just one of some 35 pages on our website. 

Some customer comments regarding our cotton sails - Just received my glorious suit! Magnificent! The tablings..... marvellous!!!... the stitching lines, the overall shape, every detail, all very beautiful indeed! I can't tell you how delighted I am. You must understand, the wind has always held a magical place in my heart and the thin membrane with which we apply our feeble human attempts to have it do our way over an equally mysterious sea..... alchemy indeed. I hold this suit in my hands and it all comes alive again. It occurred to me as I relished your suit the day later that one of the things I really appreciated, was that in your masterly execution, despite many years of hard learned science, though perhaps exactly because of them, you approached the design not with a mindless machine but more the inquiring instrument. You took onboard where I'd too easily lined the impossible and wasn't having any of it, discovering a way to play your sound, practical requirements for the well-made, proper sail whilst accommodating the draw perfectly. The narrow tablings, the nicely snug but slidable foot sleeves, even seeing to better sized eyelets where they would best serve tacks and clews. Thank you for your brilliant work, I raise a glass to you Sir. Roger, USA. Sails just arrived, WOW. Mike, West Country. Here is a photograph of my newly rigged Star yacht, ready for its first voyage in nearly 60 years. Many thanks for the beautiful new sails, I'm delighted with them. Philip, Bristol. Sails have arrived safely. But what a superb job, my old girl will be the best dressed yacht at any of our VMYG meetings. Wonderful work of the very highest standard as always from you, I cannot thank you enough. With all good wishes. Richard Howard, Norfolk. . . . to say thank you for the beautiful suit of Heritage cotton sails which you made for Wren. She was re-launched on the boating pond on Saturday and sailed beautifully even in the light winds. The locals proclaimed, At last, a proper yacht!. This was her shakedown and the sails take a beautiful shape. Nick, Norfolk. The (cotton) sails arrived safely, they're beautiful. Bob, Surrey. Hello Frank, the cotton sails arrived yesterday without any damages. They are much better than I even expected, really extraordinary, perfect!!! Again (as your last sails) you made me happy. I will send you pictures from the maiden voyage. Klaus, Germany The sails arrived as promised and I am over the moon with the end result, they are fantastic. Michael, Buckinghamshire. Hi Frank, sails just arrived, they are stunning! Thanks. Ron, Nottinghamshire. Good afternoon Frank, the sails arrived this morning. They are excellent! Nick, Lincolnshire. Absolutely magnificent (cotton) sails! Everyone seeing Columbia and her sails are very impressed with the quality of your workmanship and I cannot thank you enough; the boat sails far better than expected. Bernard, Suffolk. The sails are brilliant. Thanks very much for a great personal service. I will be recommending you to others. Yorkshire. The suit of sails arrived today in fine order, showing the touch of a professional hand in their cut and sewing. I am delighted to have these made by you, my sincere thanks. Co Meath. Ireland. Looking forwards to receiving the (Mascotte) sails, your workmanship always gives me pleasure. Bill from Plymouth. Your workmanship and accuracy are superb and one could not wish for better at this small scale. The bolt rope stitching is particularly impressive, as is the accuracy of the parallel stitching. All in all, simply excellent; although I have said this before, it has been a great pleasure to do business with you and to have had the opportunity to work with you to acheive the desired result. I have the greatest respect for your workmanship. I will not hesitate to use your services again and would recommend your company to anyone. Frank from York. Sails arrived this morning, as promised; they are a work of art - the real thing! Whatever else people say about the barge, they will say "who made her sails?" Mike. Cambridgeshire. Many thanks for the sails, they fitted perfectly and really improved the look of the yacht. Thanks for a great job and all the help. Chris, Wiltshire. Thank you for the sails, they are a lovely suit, your craftsmanship really shows. I have hung them up for the present, I have a few more little jobs on the lugger before I lift them on the masts. Nigel, Bromsgrove. The sails arrived safely and I spent yesterday afternoon fitting them to the Bassett Lowke yacht. The sails are superb and the yacht looks fabulous; thank you very much. Mike from Hertfordshire. Sails received with thanks. You are a true craftsman. John, Glasgow. Thank you very much for the beautiful set of (cotton) sails, they are marvellous. Richard, Norfolk. Thank you, I am very pleased with the quality, fit, and your thoughtfulness. Plymouth. Yesterday I opened a tube with wonderful new sails for my Colin Archer; great job, better than I could expect, you do great work! Bernt. Norway. Thanks again for the super 6M sails which now complete the yacht. Mike, Somerset. Your sails looked great, the guys were mighty pleased. Chris, Hampshire. The sails for my Moonbeam are great! Peter, Dorset. My Moonbeam sails arrived safely this morning. They are superb and well worth the wait - thank you so much. Andy. Benfleet, Essex. Moonbeam sails received in good order. They look beautiful, many thanks. Malcolm, Cheshire. Sails received, super job. Many thanks. Nick, Cornwall. Sails safely arrived. Thank you so much, they look great. Tim, Northampton. Hello Frank. Just to let you know my sails arrived today, I am thrilled with them is an understatement, the stitching is superb & the patience required must have been enormous. Thank you again for your wonderful friendly service + your skills. Paul, Devon. The sails arrived and are wonderful - many thanks for all your help! Alex, London. I received the sails yesterday and am very pleased with them, rest assured the workmanship has not gone unnoticed by me, I have got the main and staysail up and it really looks the part. Michael, Mddx. The cotton sails you made for my Moonbeam are a work of art! I am delighted, thank you. Elwin, Lincs. The sails safely arrived and look just great. Very professional service from Nylet. George, Hampshire. Hi Frank, thanks for your email AND the BEAUTIFUL SAILS which arrived today. What fantastic work. Amazing. Well worth the wait! I'm so grateful to you, and I'll be coming back for more! I've fitted the sails to the spars. Fantastic. My goodness you are a skilled and talented man. I saw the shape you'd made before fitting and understood why you did so, but only when rigged did it all make sense. Amazing. And those tiny brass eyelets... I took the yacht back round to my sister this morning. What a thing of beauty, was the unanimous cry. Forgot to get a picture for you in all the excitement... watch this space. Jasper. Buckinghamshire. Hi Frank, (cotton) sails have arrived, they are perfect, you did a lovely job, will send you a pic when on the boat. Julian, Scotland. Some few years ago I had a phone call from the wife of a customer. All her working life she had been a seamstress and dressmaker. She told me that on seeing my (cotton) sails she told her husband, do you know what you are looking at here? You will never, ever, see anything like this again, not as long as you live. Her husband brought me back down to earth saying, "Your workmanship hasn't gone unnoticed by me." A Yorkshireman, he was sparing with his praise! Sails (for Katie) arrived today - they look great, much appreciated. Andy, Lancs. Dear Frank, The sails arrived safely on time, as promised, superb quality and workmanship, as ever, Noel. (Louis Heloise sail suit) Every letter, email and phone call from our customers is very much appreciated; we can't possibly post every single one on our website but I thank everyone for their kindness in writing to us and for their appeciative comments. Frank Parsons.

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New York Today

Model-boat sailing returns to central park.

I tried operating a boat on Conservatory Water, the pond famous for model boating. It’s harder than it looks.

James Barron

By James Barron

Good morning. It’s Wednesday. We’ll look at the return of model boating in Central Park for the first time since the pandemic. We’ll also get details of the penalty that Donald Trump was ordered to pay for breaking the gag order in his criminal trial .

A woman and two boys watch model boats on Central Park’s Conservatory Water.

And then I crashed the boat.

It wasn’t my fault. Really, it wasn’t. A puff of wind came out of nowhere and drove the boat into the stone wall I had been steering it toward. Gently. Smoothly.

The vessel I was captaining was not a cruiser with an engine whirring below deck — it had no engine at all. Mine was a miniature sailboat on the model boat pond in Central Park, the setting famous from E.B. White’s story “Stuart Little.”

Model boats are being rented on the pond for the first time since 2019, the last full year before the coronavirus hit. The concessionaire is new: Rocking the Boat, a nonprofit from the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. The organization also teaches teenagers how to build full-size boats for rowing and sailing and how to pilot them on Long Island Sound.

Jasmine Benitez, who is managing Rocking the Boat’s operation at the boathouse east of the pond, said that the transition from the Sound to the diminutive world of the model boat lake (officially, Conservatory Water) had not been difficult. “The physics is exactly the same as on a big boat,” she said.

Physics? Yes, physics, said Sue Donoghue, the parks commissioner, adding that Rocking the Boat’s workshops introduce “the importance of STEM in a fun way,” referring to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Teams from Rocking the Boat assemble the three-and-a-half-foot-long model vessels from components. The group plans to conduct workshops to teach people how to build their own.

Adam Green, the founder and executive director of Rocking the Boat, said that the operation in Central Park was a departure for the group — its first venture in Manhattan. Rocking the Boat is charging Manhattan prices, $15 for 30 minutes of sailing. The price was $13 in 2019, he said, adding, “We thought it was obvious that everything is more expensive now.”

Green said that he was counting on model boats to boost the name recognition of Rocking the Boat and to bring in revenue for the organization’s programs. Starting today, Rocking the Boat will rent sailboats on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Next month, it will add Thursdays and Saturdays to the schedule, and in July, the operation will expand to five days a week, from Wednesday to Sunday. The rentals are separate from races organized by the Central Park Model Yacht Club on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

People can also bring their own boats during Rocking the Boat hours, but they need a $15 permit from the city’s parks department.

Green, 50, grew up on the Upper West Side and said that, when he was a child, he climbed all over the Alice in Wonderland statue just north of the pond. But he did not pay much attention to what was going on in the boathouse that Rocking the Boat is now using by Conservatory Water.

“As a New Yorker,” he said, “you never think about something like this existing here.”

The boathouse was built in the 1950s. Conservatory Water, one of the man-made wonders that Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted created, dates to the 19th century. Despite its age, the pond is not littered with (model) shipwrecks — it is not terribly deep. But boats can capsize.

I did not want that to happen when Benitez handed me the remote-control device used to control the miniature sailboat that she and Myah Recinos had placed in the water. The device looked something like an Xbox controller.

“I’m more of a PlayStation girl myself,” said Recinos, a Rocking the Boat veteran who is renting the boats and, as she put it, “helping people get them going.” People like me.

I had also read that the winds on the model boat basin are typically 3 to 6 knots, but at that moment there was not even a whisper. “Patience is key to dealing with these boats,” Recinos counseled. “When the wind dies out, you have to be patient.”

So I waited, and after a minute or two, a breeze carried the boat out. I maneuvered the controls. The boat zipped along nicely. I worked the remote control to turn the boat to head back.

Bad idea. At least the stern had what Recinos called a “nose,” a rubbery cone designed to absorb the shock of a slow-speed mishap.

“You cannot control the wind,” Recinos told me later. “You thought you were doing really bad when I didn’t think you were. I remember you crashing into the wall, and I was like, That’s pretty much bound to happen at some point.

Expect a cloudy day with temperatures in the high 60s. At night, the clouds will linger, and temperatures will drop to the low 50s.


In effect until tomorrow, Holy Thursday (Orthodox).

The latest New York news

Arrests at Columbia : Police officers in riot gear arrested protesters occupying a building at Columbia University. The school said that the building had been “vandalized and blockaded,” leaving officials “no choice” but to call in the police for the second time in less than two weeks.

Abuse lawsuits: About 150 people filed lawsuits against New York City agencies, saying that they had endured abuse while in the city’s custody as minors in juvenile detention centers and on Rikers Island.

More scrutiny of judges? : A criminal justice group that led the fight against Gov. Kathy Hochul’s first choice to lead the state’s highest court last year is pressing for closer scrutiny of judges.

Sentenced for funding terrorism : A 44-year-old woman was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Tuesday for funding terrorism by using cryptocurrency. Prosecutors said that she had sent funds to Bitcoin wallets controlled by a terrorist training group operating in Syria.

Tied for the most Tony nominations: The semi-autobiographical Alicia Keys musical “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Stereophonic,” a play about a group of musicians struggling to record an album, each got 13 Tony nominations .

For Trump, a $9,000 fine for violating a gag order

The judge in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial held the former president in contempt and fined him $9,000 for violating a gag order with his social media posts.

Judge Juan Merchan also warned Trump of “incarceratory punishment” if he were to flout the gag order from now on — meaning jail.

For Trump, $9,000 is not much money. Merchan said so himself, in an eight-page decision. The penalties for repeatedly violating the gag order “unfortunately will not achieve the desired result” when the person penalized can easily afford the fine, Merchan said.

The judge ordered Trump to remove nine “offending posts” from his Truth Social account and his campaign website. In doing so, Merchan rejected claims by Trump’s lawyers that the former president had simply reposted messages written by others. Merchan called the idea that such reposts do not count as violations of the gag order “counterintuitive and indeed absurd.”

The jury heard from Keith Davidson, the lawyer who represented two women who claimed to have had sex with Trump: Stormy Daniels, a porn actress, and Karen McDougal, a Playboy model. Davidson’s testimony has pulled back the curtain on the negotiations for the hush-money payments made to both women ahead of the 2016 presidential election.


Passing it on

Dear Diary:

Whenever I finish reading a magazine and it is in clean condition, I face a dilemma: Recycle it or leave it on a park bench or subway seat for someone else to enjoy?

By leaving it somewhere, I could be doing a public service. Or I could just be making trash for someone else to clean up.

One day not long ago, the question was answered for me as I watched.

I was sprinting to make a transfer at Columbus Circle when the magazine I had been reading flew out of my coat pocket and fell to the ground. Wanting to make my train, I decided not to stop to pick it up.

As the doors closed, I watched sheepishly while people streamed past my litter.

But just before the train pulled out, I saw a woman stop and examine the cover. Then she bent down, picked up the magazine and slipped it into her bag.

— Ryan Kailath

Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Send submissions here and read more Metropolitan Diary here .

Glad we could get together here. See you tomorrow. — J.B.

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee . You can find all our puzzles here .

Francis Mateo, Rachel Gomes and Ed Shanahan contributed to New York Today. You can reach the team at [email protected] .

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox.

James Barron writes the New York Today newsletter, a morning roundup of what’s happening in the city. More about James Barron


  1. Brass Ring & Eyelet Installation in a Sail (Traditional Style)

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