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What The Best Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine For Sailor Must Have

A boat calls for a lot of canvas items. This material can be used to make covers, sails, seatings, dodgers, and also a decoration for the interior. Unfortunately, not a single new boat has these items with them. If you buy the boat from someone else, it might have them but sometimes the items need to be replaced. So either way, if you own a boat, you need a sailmaker that you can trust or a competent sewing machine and a source of the canvas.

So if you choose the second way, you need a sewing machine with you. This goes without saying that the one you need must be durable, easy to use, and most importantly, powerful enough to sew through the canvas, strappings, and other thick and heavy-weight materials.

For those who are looking for a machine like that, here are some must-have features to help you land the best sewing machine for sewing accessories for a boat.

Here are the best heavy duty sewing machine reviews AUCkCxS.gif to give you a clear idea of the options you have. Check it out.

Be Portable

You need a machine that can be taken with you when you sail, so portability is the first thing to consider when buying a heavy duty sewing machine. Such a machine should also come with a durable case to protect it from damages that may happen. Many brands offer wooden cases with reinforcement to shield the machine from collision or impact.


You need a machine that can be taken with you when you sail

A Competent Foot Control

Most heavy-duty sewing machines are made out of iron and run on electricity so safety is something you should consider. The machine will probably get near water sooner or later so if the foot control can be fully grounded, it is best.

Sometimes the machine will be high from the ground so look for a machine that has a cord that is at least 6 feet so that in most cases, you can reach the floor.

A Posi-Pin Clutch

A slipping clutch is an issue that most sailors will face when using a sewing machine on a boat. To solve this problem, a posi-pin clutch proves to be a better option than the regular friction clutch.

With a posi-pin clutch, to engage or disengage the drive, they place a pin in the balance wheel. This mechanism is easy to handle and promises to transfer 100% of power to the needle. When you need to wind the bobbin, you can pull the pin out and put it back in when you are done.

A Large Balance Wheel

A large balance wheel ensures precise stitching and gives you more control over how the machine sews. An oversized balance wheel is arguably one of the most important features of a sewing machine for sailors. The ideal one should have double the power of a regular balance wheel. Some even allow manual operation if you need it.

A High Foot Lift

These machines often deal with thick fabric so a foot lift of at least 5/16” is advisable. The most common is the 3/8”, which allows you to put almost anything underneath it.

A Walking Foot

Whenever you need to sew anything heavy-weight, a walking foot is your best friend. It has another set of feed dogs on top to balance out the force.

If the machine has a built-in walking foot, that is great. However, if it does not, you can always buy one separately. Even if your machine has one, I recommend buying one too as sometimes, when the one that goes with your machine does not work, the one you buy will.

The best heavy duty sewing machine with proper adjustments might be suitable to sew canvas for boats. Just make sure you change the settings accordingly.

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Long Needle Bar Stroke

The stroke length determines whether the machine can sew thick fabrics or not. The larger the stroke length, the more competent the machine. The one you want to but must have at least a 34mm length. Some even allow sewing perfect zigzag stitches with a walking foot.


The larger the stroke length, the more competent the machine

Scarfed Gib Hook

Gib hook is the part that goes around the bobbin case. Whenever the fabric is jammed, the needle and the hook might collide and the consequences can sometimes be severe. The thread and the needle might be broken and the machine might be out of order.

A scarfed gib hook acts as a solution in these situations so remember to look for one because jamming does not happen much but when it does, you have your machine covered.

A Detailed User Manual And Instruction

It comes without saying that you need a machine with a user manual that you can count on when you need it. You are not an expert at sewing or at fixing the machine, at least not yet. So when the machine runs into a problem, you need all the help you can get.

Some machines even have instruction videos so that users can clearly see what to do in different situations. With a manual like that at hand and regular maintenance, you may not have to visit the mechanic often.


A machine with this much requirement will not come cheap so you need to protect your investment with a good warranty policy. Before you buy the machine, make sure that you have all the support from the manufacturers when something unexpected happens.

A sewing machine for sailors should be durable, competent, and dependable. So when you consider buying one, consult this list and see if the one you intend to buy ticks all the boxes. If it does, that might be the one you are looking for. If it does not, keep searching.

Looking for 27428160247_8a101fac25_o.gif Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine to help you with daily sewing tasks? Consider Brother and Singer sewing machines.

There are some entry-level sewing machines that be used to sew canvas but adjustments are required. They can be temporary substitutes when you need them. Choosing the best low cost sewing machine for heavy fabrics can be an option for people with a tight budget. But always make sure the machine has enough basic sewing stitches and functions!

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Kind of an odd post for this forum, as it isn't even an option with the JTV guitars. Nylon string and steel string guitars are almost two completely different instruments as far as their application goes. Unless you want to play classical guitar or other limited genres where nylon strings are prevalent, you'll want to learn how to play with steel strings.

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A very subjective question. I learned on both at the same time, as I was learning both old classical and 

contemporary electric guitars at the same time. I wanted to have that versatility.


With a Variax I can do both at the same time,... Segovia one minute, Led Zeppelin the next.



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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/22/2020 at 5:48 PM, psarkissian said:

A very subjective question. I learned on both at the same time, as I was learning both old classical and 

contemporary electric guitars at the same time. I wanted to have that versatility.


With a Variax I can do both at the same time,... Segovia one minute, Led Zeppelin the next.



Hey Psarkissian.


Wondering how I can get a nylon string acoustic on my JTV '59? Would be great if we could get the old Acoustic variax sounds into workbench HD.


Sounds like you have it on your Variax..?



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Might be able to get close in Workbench HD, create one with long sustain,

then run it thru an EQ for a warmer softer tone.


Making it a preset model in the guitar with its memory space,... don't know. Putting one in

Workbench HD to build with, maybe, maybe more do'able.


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