The AK Sail Bags Story
I am a passionate sailor and co-owner of Ruffian 23 Bandit (IRL3333) and our family Beneteau 36.7 Boomerang (IRL1367) and race twice a week in Dun Laoghaire during the summer sailing season. It has often struck me what a waste is is for old sails to be confined to sheds, garages, attics and skips when they are replaced by new racing sails.
In August 2016 while still working full time I bought a Singer sewing machine in Lidl in Skibbereen while on an annual holiday in Schull, west Cork. I bought it with the intention of creating some bags for my own use. I started with ‘The Washbag’ and then made a handbag and a small bag to take valuable and essentials on board when racing; a wallet, keys, phone, fleece, watch, cap, sunglasses etc... and called it ‘The Sail Buddy’
Since then I have made a number of bags and have given them as presents to family and friends. As well as using sails from Bandit, I also have made bags with sails from Boomerang our family Beneteau 36.7(IRL1367), and from Prospect – a Beneteau 31.7(IRL1565), as well as from dinghy and squib sails. Following retirement in July 2018 I decided I would have time to do a bit more than dabble in bag making and the result is AK Sail Bags.
All my bags are designed and handcrafted by me. The starting point is to deconstruct the sails, taking all usable materials off them for up-cycling into my bags. Nothing gets wasted – bolt ropes, leech lines, foot lines, cringles, as well as the sail itself. The only materials not up-cycled are the straps, zips, spinny tape, thread and zip pulls. Some of the zips are up-cycled from old bags or clothing, and some of the zip pulls are made of leech and foot lines. The coloured parts of the handbags are mainly up-cycled from sail bags, holdalls, jackets, etc…