Scott Venes joins Evolution Sails on the Gold Coast

We are privileged to welcome Scott Venes to our team here at Evolution Sails Gold Coast. Scott will be taking on the role as Loft Manager here at our Brisbane Road loft, and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from a life time involvement in sailing, sail making and membrane production.

sailmaking hand sewing

Advice from a Sailmaker to a brand new cruising couple

Repair vs New

Make sure you have a good repair kit handy, and that you know what the stuff is in it and how to use it!  It doesn’t have to be pretty, we’ve seen some doozies that have done the job!  Sometimes though the sail is just too far gone, so sun bleached and rotten, that it will just tear again, right along your awesome repair job!  If you ever find yourself in the farthest corner of the earth with no sail loft of repute around, and your most important sail has just blown apart and there is just no way it can be stitched back together – its best to have a loft (preferably us of course) who has your measurements on file back in Australia – and all the information that is needed to push the go button on.  So while you’re still tied up in a comfortable port before you go, get your sails measured.  Make sure someone has them on file!  Doing this properly can be tricky to get right by yourself, so you need the advice or the expertise of a sailmaker.  Failing that, you can bring in your current sails for the loft to measure for you.  This way help is just an easy phone call away.

sail repairs gold coast

Hand sewing

sailmaking hand sewing

hand sewing 2

New Sail choice?

Cross Cut Dacron represents the best in a sail that is low in stretch whilst the ultimate in shape long term shape retention making it  a great choice for the Cruising Yachtsman.  We use Contenders Fibrecon std AP.  If you’re wanting a tri-radial sail, we have found in tropical conditions, cruising laminate tends to get mould in the laminate and the sail delaminates.  So for cruising in the more tropical areas, which we experience locally here Queensland and the Pacific, we have been using (and recommend) Dimension Polyants’ Pro-Radial.  Pro Radial addresses the want for a tri-radial sail, yet is built from woven Polyester fabrics, as opposed to a Laminate.  It has virtually no crimp, and certainly experiences no delamination.  Hydranet is a more expensive option and will last the longest out of the lot, but it is substantially more expensive, so we tend to stick to Pro Radial as it gives you best bang for your buck.  Also, not all UV strips are created equal.  What they use in the European sun, is not what we use in the tropics.  Consider upgrading to Weathermax to keep your sail protected better for longer.

Cruising Furling Genoa with UV strip

Furling Genoa: Dimension Pro-Radial – 393 9oz with Weathermax UV Strip

Not always Fair Weather Sailing

We can recommend things like slightly reducing your sail area which will hopefully address some weather helm if you’re fighting it, as well as the heaviness of your sail.  We can recommend different downwind sail choices.  Manufacturing a blue water ocean cruiser sail, is very different to how we’d make a Wednesday night round the cans racing sail.  We would upgrade to Dyneema (Spectra) webbing on the clew, head and tack for added strength in these big ocean going sails which will avoid your clew strapping ripping.  Triple sewing and Twin Ply areas between Leach Reefs to handle the high Head and Clew Loading are recommended.  Definitely have your sail checked over before you go to ensure you have enough reefs (or big enough reefs!) and reinforcing when the weather hits hard.  Have you practised reefing?  Have you got a good boombag?

Bad weather sail

Storm Jib


If a new sail has to be ordered, we’re happy to freight directly to your sailmaker in which ever part of the world you find yourself, who can then fit your existing luff hardware and battens to your new sails.  This substantially reduces the cost of the new sail as it does not include any luff hardware or battens, and it makes freighting more affordable as its a smaller parcel measuring under a meter rather than a 5m tube with breakable battens!  Estimated turn around time on a new sail is normally 3 to 4 weeks and a 50% deposit before starting manufacture of the sail is normal.  Remember all prices will exclude GST for exporting.


I hope this info helps give you a bit more insight into what we sailmakers can offer you before your journey even begins.  If nothing else, we’d love to have you come in and can set you up with a sail repair kit, and learn the basics on how to repair before you go!


Good luck and fair winds!

Written by Helen James

Evolution Sails

18th May 2018

evolution sails australia

racing sailboat

Yachting Australia QLD Youth Championships


Tom and Sophie Whitmore competed in the Yachting Australia Queensland Youth Championships as well as the Sabot State Titles in Yeppoon over the school holidays.

There are two divisions of Sabot Sailing, Senior which is over 12 years and Junior where both team members are under 12 years. Tom and Sophie compete in the Junior Division. All boats however race together on the course. After the first day’s racing they were first with two race wins. The second day there were 4 scheduled races but only two were able to be run as the waves got too dangerous for rescuing and retrieving boats. Tom and Sophie managed two more race wins! The last day started out fairly calm but the wind picked up as well as the waves by the
time racing began. Tom and Sophie were able to finish the regatta with 6 first places out of six races!

sailing competition

Sailing during calmer times!


custom white yacht sails

Caring for your Evolution sails


Sail maintenance is easy and takes little time. However, it can make a big difference in the life and overall performance of your sails. Even if your sails are 5 years old, a little maintenance can save you money down the track.

Caring for your Evolution Headsail

The majority of headsail damage can be attributed to using a headsail that is not suited to the conditions. When using a headsail, in particular a no. 1 light (the most susceptible to blowing out), always be aware of sudden gust that or a persistent wind speed change that will exceed the wind limit of that particular headsail. The best way to prevent damaging your headsail is by trimming correctly. If a gust comes through unexpectedly, ease the sheet to stop the sail from loading up too much. If the increase in wind is persistent, change to a heavier sail.

Caring for your Evolution Mainsail

Mainsails are used in all conditions, therefore, it’s essential to treat them carefully to maximize their lifespan. The most important thing to avoid is flogging. Keep the sheets trimmed hard enough to settle the sail and prevent hard flogging of the leech at all times.

Caring for your Evolution Spinnaker

Nylon is able to absorb large loads without breaking due to its elasticity. However, spinnaker material is also quite light, therefore, it can easily fail from catching on objects and use in too much wind. A frequent cause of failure in spinnakers is tearing on sharp objects. This often happens on sets or takedowns and can be minimized by taping up sharp objects. Spinnakers blowing out while refilling after a collapse is possible the most common and hardest cause of failure to prevent.


Mildew is a universal problem that the majority of boat owners have. If the mildew is relatively new it is quite easy to remove, however, if it has spread to the fibers, there is little to no chance. Preventing mildew is the best way to combat it. A few ways to avoid mildew are to:

  • Do not put away damp or salty sails (salt retains moisture)
  • Exposure to sunlight will help but too much causes U.V breakdown.
  • Store in a dry location.
  • Ensure sails are aired regularly, especially after rain. This may mean unrolling the headsail at the mooring for an hour or two.
  • If the boat is to be idle for more than a month, remove the sail from the rig.

Don’t flog it to death

The best way to sustain the cloth integrity and shape of your sails is to reduce the time they are allowed to flap in the breeze. Flogging and leech flutter lead to the rapid degradation of cloth and every measure should be taken to prevent such occurrences. Some ways to avoid flogging and maximize life of your sails are to:

  • Never motor into the wind, especially at full throttle when hoisting your main.
  • If you are powering up with the main up, keep it trimmed.
  • In heavy wind, reduce sail area enough so you don’t need to flog the main.

Keep it in the limits

Arguably the fastest way to ruin a sail is to use it in winds that exceed the recommended wind range. To avoid destroying your sails, always remain within the wind limits recommend by your Evolution sailmaker.

Reduce chaffing  

Chafe is another enemy of sails. The more a sail rubs against any part of the boat or spars, the sooner it will weaken to failure. A few ways to avoid chafe are to:

  • not let running backstays rub against the leeward side of the mainsail
  • Never drag sails over non-skid decks, around shrouds, along the dock or pavement.
  • Use leather to cover any part of your rig that constantly rubs on sails like the tip of spreaders.

Always remember to check the front of the mast, because genoas pull across it every time you tack.

U.V protection

U.V rays are one of the most important things to protect your sail from due to the fact it will cause your cloth to breakdown. The most effective ways to slow the rate of breakdown is to keep your sails out of the sun when they are not in use. Furling headsails should always have U.V stickyback or vinyl on the leech and foot when it is rolled up and if you flake your main on the boom, always cover it up. The best way to void U.V damage is to fold and store your sails in their sailbags out of the sun.


sailing race

25th Anniversary of Evolution Sails Race


On the last weekend in may, evolution sails proudly sponsored their 25th Annual Two-Handed race at Hollywell. Both mono and multihulls took part in this year’s race seeing an increased fleet of 26 boats on the water. Ranging from an offshore adams 12 drawing over 7ft under her, to a cute little egan 6m half that size, to a pickle fork trimaran about that size in width alone, it was a varied fleet – not to mention the colourful spectator craft in tow!

The reason for a boosted fleet this year was primarily to celebrate local sailmaker rob white’s retirement in june, and thank him for his commitment to the sport and our local Marine industry for the past 30 years. Rob established rob white sailmakers on the Gold Coast in 1987 and started this race back in 1992, the same year he brought Graham Sherring onboard as his 18 year old sailmaking apprentice. From Rob White sailmakers to quantum, to evolution sails, the business has evolved and grown and seen many syc Sailors come through its doors, as well as two generations of SYC kids being mentored by rob while doing a sailmaking apprentice or holiday working stint. Thanks to its local customer support, this year rob and graham are celebrating 10 years of partnership in the business together as well as rob’s farewell! As a celebration of these milestones, Rob and Graham invited all past, present and future customers to join in the race, and their families for the festivities after.

Graham ran the briefing and the race course on the day, sending the boats off with a stunning downwind start heading for Couran Cove. Slingshot (Leech 650) and Turbulence (Adams 12) led off the start, with still crazy (Blazer 23), re-tuned (Leech 750) Shorty (Egan 6) and beer ballast (magic 25) in close quarters. Re-tuned, who was re-constructed from a leech 650 last year to a bigger rig with more sail area, overtook them at Ephraim Island. New boat owners and new members of the club being the small family from Couran Point, had their first ever downwind start on their newly acquired ocean racer chaser (1/4 Tonner) bought off John Paltridge. After struggling to get the kite up, they did the family proud and thoroughly enjoyed the race. Turbulence, Drawing 2.4M, saw 0.3M under their keel only briefly, just enough to brace their beers in hand. Thanks to the well planned date and course considered around the tide – they got around the high tide course with ease.

The wind died by the time the leaders had crossed the finish line and the majority of the fleet were stuck in the deep hole finishing up their beverages. By the time they got back to the pontoon it was time for a few refreshments and so the party started. Results were: 1 St, Turbulence (Steven Czapp and evolution sails sailmaker Caedric Reader); 2nd Shorty (Jack and Steve Sherring); 3Rd returned (Peter Pritchard & Chris Percy).

A big thank you from evolution sails to all the past winners and old friends who came to support whitey at his retirement party, he was well chuffed. Including Bruce Callahan who was the first winner along with his son mark, who actually brought along the original trophy he won all those years back!