Holiday Gifts and Toys (for sailors)

Ho ho ho!

Due to the fact that I’m older than a half a century, I don’t believe in Santa nor does he believe in sailors. Sometimes “the Secret” will drop things in your lap, sometimes you have to dig into it yourself. The holiday season is an opportunity to acquire “stuff” from a long list of things. And due to financial blah blah, you can’t go overboard (oh, I cracked a pun!)

1. I love sailing books. I ordered 3 from Amazon and I gave them to family to give me with a 10euro bookmark. (they cost 13 GBP. Add shipping and currency convergence and they came to 35euro, wtf!!) Anyway, one by Robin KnoxJohnston and  two by Bernard Moitessier. These two cats raced sailing around the world solo nonstop.  Bernard didn’t finish the race but kept going one and a half times around, approx 10 months! A wonderful addition to my library of hero’s.


2. I you have a sail boat, having a sewing machine… well, it’s rather useful for obvious and non-obvious reasons.

DSC00654IMG_1541Apparently the machine for sailors is a Sailrite. These babes go for $800 . But I’m in Greece and getting one would put me back over 1200euros which is twice the $$. Even if I found a cheep used one on ebay, 20kilos is a killer in shipping. Consulting my copy of This Old Boat, I opted for an old 1960 Japanese machine (= built like a tank). In the US you could probably find one for $10 at a yard sale. I paid 100euro (ouch) to an old Armenian sewing machine dude who sells and fixes new, antiques and used machines. I got an Imperial. It’s seen better days, I probably paid too much but now I’m in business! No bells and whistles on this baby, just robustness. All metal, walking foot, straight stitch, zig zag, takes a #20 needle and goes 4-5mm stitch length. Good enough for making awnings, canvas buckets, who knows, maybe even sails. I’ve been practicing with scrap garments……. man do I suck at this… but getting better. This thing runs like a bat out of hell. I’m  looking into modifying the foot control to slow it down!



DSC006603.  And the last shameful present to myself… a tablet. A 7 inch Samsung tabII. It goes for 150euros. My good buddy Perkules already has given me 2 old i-phones and somehow got it for free and just wanted to give it to me. I gave him a 50 out of principle. Still a steel a couldn’t refuse. All my computers are 10 years old so I guess I was due for an upgrade. Time will tell.

So what did Santa bring you??

Stay tuned (keep reading… ps galore)

Capt Pete

ps…. 2 years ago I bought the Navionics i-phone app for 20 bucks. Now it goes for 35euro. And if it’s for a tab you should get the HD version which costs 60 euro!!!!! What… The… Faaaaaa!

pss… here’s an Imperial in action! Very similar and nicer than mine

psss… who ever can spot my dingy in these picks gets a free winch cover made by ME (just don’t hold your breathe)

pssssssssss…. I haven’t been paid for two months…. I’m broke!

About Sailing Zoot Allures

A demoralized mechanical engineer/ bass player/ sound engineer/editor seeks Freedom
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11 Responses to Holiday Gifts and Toys (for sailors)

  1. Luis C. says:

    Happy New Year Capt. Pete.
    I really enjoy reading your blogs, and I’m glad that even though it’s winter we still have some sailing inspired reading material.
    Congrats on the sewing machine.
    Luis (Portuguese Guy) in Toronto


    • Happy New Year 2 U 2 Luis and thanks for the kind words… glad you’re enjoying this stuff even though it’s not really “sailing” material…. more sailing oriented/inspired as you say.
      Toronto…..Brrrrr! I hope the Mayor is warming things up?!


  2. Now that’s what I like – lots of goodies for a handfull of euros. That’s one robust looking sewing machine. Going in my bucket list.
    I need one winch, I repeat, one, that will cost me 4 times more than all that.
    Moitessier was a real sailor and he had what it takes to live life on his own terms, but then he fizzed out at 40. But he’s still a legend in my mind and nobody is perfect.


    • I don’t think he fizzed out. I think he just “flipped the bird” to the society which has us by the kahoonas. A visionary??
      Keep your eye balls peeled and I’m sure you’ll find a machine from an old aunt or something. They don’t make them like they used to. I’m sure I could of found something for free if I dug around more.


  3. Happy New Year!

    We got a sewing machine this year too. The Bride can’t wait to put it to work making some good stuff. We’ll have to compare notes on what we sew.

    I am with you, Moitessier gave a big FU to society. That’s one of the reasons he is on my heroes list. Wish I had that kind of courage.

    Fair winds,



    • Ah, the courage of our heroes… and the (somewhat) lack of ours!
      And compare notes we shall. This purchase has had a few heads turning. I gotta come up with something decent and soon.
      What machine did you guys get? Any previous experience? (I won’t hate you if you got a sailrite…lol)


      • LOL. We got a newer “heavy duty” machine. Can’t remember the name. Definitely not a sailrite. My Bride had her mother pick it out. She sews and we told her what we were looking for. I am guessing it was only around $300 but she says it will do sunbrella and like materials.

        My short list of sewing projects include sides for our bimini for when we are anchored in some light rain so we can still use the cockpit, possibly a mod to our helm cover since it’s too big since we added the folding wheel, screened companionway cover, some hatch covers to help keep the temps down on really sunny days, a breeze booster for the front hatch, repairs to the bimini and eventually adding flexible solar panels to the bimini. I know the bride wants to make a couple more sheet sets for our main birth.

        Some of this discussion inspired me to make an update to my blog. I am going to ad a heroes tab. Thanks


  4. Good ones. My short list is a “perfect bucket”, an anchor sail and at last a decent awning! I’m going to need a grommet die whachamacalit. But darn their expensive.


  5. Pingback: Triumph Gifts and Toys (for sailors) | Sailing Zoot Allures | Blog Art and sports

  6. The Imperial looks like a pretty robust machine. I’m sure my Sailrite is fantastic, but I bet older machines like you have work just as well, if not better, and the cost savings is not to be taken lightly.


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