OFO No: 


What is a Sailmaker? 

A Sailmaker’s main job is to make sails for the sailing industry.  

These days, sailing has become extremely high-tech so that means sail making has had to keep up with the times. Sail design & sail making involves high tech machinery and skill.  

Their job can be divided into 4 categories:

  • Sail making
  • Sail design
  • Sail construction
  • Sail machining 

What does a Sailmaker do? 

  • Sail making

This involved using 3D computer modelling and learning about structural properties of sail cloth materials.

  • Sail design

You will use CAD design software to make 3D moulds of your design. You will be working on the latest design techniques and product technology to produce sails that win and cruising sails that last.

  • Sail construction

This job involves hands-on machining the sails from entry-level to supervisory. It’s the first step in a complicated steps to making superb sails. You will experiment with latest fibres and lamination systems to produce first class sails.

  • Sail machining

This job requires absolute precision (needs to be perfect). You will be required to work with complex patterns and templates to produces a repeatable sail shape. You will also be responsible for the stitching. Knowledge of materials and yarns will be very important. You will need to work with extreme accuracy.

Are you . . . ?

  • passionate about sailing?
  • good with your hands?
  • willing to work hard?
  • creative?
  • a person who can think and ‘see’ in 3D?
  • an eye for detail?
  • a person who takes pride in their work?

How do I become a Sailmaker?

There are various ways of getting into sail making:

  • Sail Machining (NQF 3-4)
  • Sail Maker (NQF 4-6)
  • Cad Technician (NQF 5-6)
  • Sail Designer (NQF 7-9)



Sailmaking on page 15


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Upholsterer or Boatbuilder

Is becoming a Sailmaker right career choice for me?

See below for more info.