We searched far and wide for a plan set for a simple windscoop, and we came up short. Terry at Yacht Valhalla had an interesting design for a squall proof windscoop, but honestly it looked a little complicated for our first sewing project. Between Lin and Larry Pardey’s vague description in The Self-Sufficient Sailor and the photos of commercial windscoops we found on the internet, we figured we could come up with something decent.
Materials: Sail cloth (or similar) & 5′ of shock cord, heavy duty thread
Step 1: Get caught out in a blow and rip your 35 year old mainsail in half
Step 2: Draw outline of one half of the windscoop on said mainsail. Dimensions of one panel are 48″ x 54″ x 30″.
a) use a flexible batten to draw a curved arc for the 54″ side. This will be the back of the scoop.
Step 3: Cut out first panel in the dimension described above
Step 4: Lay first cut panel over remainder of sailcloth, and trace a duplicate
Step 5: Cut the second panel, identical to the first
Step 6: Sew the two panels together, along the 54″ side
You are now presented with a triangle, roughly 58′ along the bottom (what we’ll call the foot), and 48″ along each of the vertical sides. Due to the arc on the sewn on the inside seam, you should have a concave shape that will fill more fully with air.
Step 7: Fold the bottom few inches of the foot up and capture the shock cord within the fold
Step 8: Sew this seam shut to permanently capture the shock cord
2) This layout also put the original foot boltrope on the vertical sides of the windscoop. This gave us a finished, durable edge
Our first attempt at the windscoop was on our own sewing machine, but it proved too arduous a task. So we called our local fabric shop and sewing experts at Selvedge Studio, and for a nominal charge we used their machine for a half hour. The tack and clew areas, reinforced with 4 layers of dacron each, required hand stitching with a sail palm and heavy duty needle…another opportunity to hone our skills!
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