The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

All About Sails

Trina Holt

IP 40
March 2nd, 2020

“The sound of a flogging sail is the sound of money to a sail maker.” These were the words, spoken with a grin, of a sailmaker. He said it with a laugh, but was obviously serious. I remembered those words for a long time. Prolonged flogging of sails is the kind of wear and tear that’s really, really hard on the bank account. OK, tension the leech line, but how much is too much? Using the wrong sails for the wind condition is another way to drain the kids’ inheritance, but what is the right sail? Is it OK to just partially furl in the mainsail when the wind picks up, or should you be putting up a storm sail? Reduce chafe. Okay. How? And when a sail does tear, how do you fix it? More importantly, how do you fix it when you’re the only boat on the sea for a thousand miles around?

Enter Carol Hasse. Carol has been a sail maker since 1978. She started Hasse & Co. Port Townsend Sails and went on to make a world-wide name for herself. Never heard of her? Just ask around. I mentioned her to a friend the other day who has 342,000 nautical miles under his belt (kind of a legend in his own right) and he blurted “Oh WOW!” when he heard she was putting on a one-day seminar: All About Sails with Carol Hasse. Carol’s skill and the quality of her offshore sails are world renown. Not only that, but she’s been teaching almost as long as she’s been sailing. Ask her anything. Another offshore cruiser who’d attended one of her seminars said that she “has so much knowledge about sail design! There was not a single question she couldn’t answer, and she shared lots of gems about sail configuration.”

If you’re wondering about sails for your boat, how to get the longest and most efficient life out of them, and then how to push them just that little bit further, be sure to attend Carol’s upcoming course in Victoria on March 14, 2020.

When: Saturday March 14, 2020. 0830h-1700h

Where: University of Victoria

Info and registration: BCA website


Here is what some folks had to say about their experiences learning from Carol:

To all the wonderful people at PT Sails:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for a most enjoyable weekend. I don’t think I have ever had so much fun and learned so much in such a short amount of time. It is so refreshing to see people with such a positive attitude and enthusiasm. I can hardly wait until spring to put the things that I have learned to use on my boat. In the meantime I will be starting on my ditty bag to practice what I have learned.

Mark Philipsek

Sandy, Utah

Dear Carol & Crew,

I don’t think Helen or I ever felt this good coming out of a seminar, ever. The rare combination of knowledge, generous hearts and passion for ancient craft that we met with over these few days was, well, overwhelming. What is it about people who love sailing and all things nautical that makes them so? I wonder. But there’s a definite connection between the two as clearly exemplified by Hasse & Co. Of course at the core of your wonderful loft is your vibrant spirit. A spirit that we found shared by the “gals”… Halie, Kelsey and Alison are gifted artisans as well as great teachers. We feel pretty lucky to have benefited from their passion and know-how. We are already promoting your sail repair class with fellow sailors.

Jean Baillargeon,

BCA member

Dear Carol & Co.,

Just a note of heartfelt thanks for a wonderful weekend and an inspiring seminar. As important as the skills learned were the superb organization of the course, and the atmosphere of enthusiastic sharing, encouragement and affirmation. I’m sure we all came away better people for our contact with you, and with a deeper understanding of the nature of excellence. You’ve probably never thought of it, but you are raising the level of civilization one student, one customer, one contact at a time, and hopefully each of us will be able to spread the effect in our own spheres. I for one, really appreciated the historical perspective you shared with us.

Ed Nygard

Dear Carol & Co.,

What an incredible weekend! We learned so much. I feel really empowered – sails aren’t mysterious anymore, I can fix one! And what things of beauty! Thank you for sharing your knowledge, your joy, and your love of sails and sailing with us.

Cynthia Golledge and Butch Bogan

So, have you registered yet? Seats are going fast! Make sure you don’t miss this opportunity.




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