Hello World & a Happy Easter to You!

Well, that was a long time coming! Having been locked down here in Wales on and off since last October we were finally allowed to roam around the countryside on Saturday. A huge collective sigh of relief from all involved and England had their lockdown message changed to “Stay Local” on Monday too. It seems that we are, as a collective, heading in the right direction and with further easing on the horizon it might be about time to start getting excited about a condensed sailing season during the back half of the year…..if we can remember what to do with our thumbs!

Looking forward to that second half of 2021 we are booked to do quite a bit and so far have the IOM Nationals, DF65 Nationals and the fully booked DF95 Nationals in the diary. Hopefully I’ll get some time on the water beforehand so I’m not a complete disgrace when I get to the startline!

Soch Sails has been powering along during March with plenty to be getting on with. We had a delivery of 40 more DF rig kits yesterday thanks to our friends at RC Yachts which sees us with great stock levels of all DF65 and DF95 rig kits once again, I’ve even managed to update the shop so that you can purchase them too!

DF Rig kits…we’ve got a few!

Our Soch Sails IOM sails have been heading around the globe too, they are a very different production prospect to our DF sails and I am very much enjoying manufacturing them and the more I produce the more I am honing the production of them. Hopefully I can get out with them and throw myself into some competition before too long.

Soch Sails IOM A suit
Soch Sails IOM B suit

As well as the IOM sails we have been busy in March and have taken and fulfilled just over 100 orders for everything from an RC Laser rudder bush to full suites of DF65 and DF95 sails along with rigs bags, transmitter covers and everything else that we supply. These orders have been winging their way all over the world and in the main have been hitting the mark in reasonable time. We are still having some ongoing shipping issues with Sweden and Germany where customs checks seem to be quite thorough and seemingly time consuming. Whilst we are monitoring shipments to these locations once they leave us there is virtually nothing we can do to speed them along I’m afraid. Patience is key here and what should take a week or two might take four or five but I’m confident that in most cases shipments are arriving where they should……apart from one shipment that should have been going to Palma in Mallorca and seems to have gone via Minsk….in Belarus. It did eventually arrive where it should have!

We are shutting down production for the Easter break and will not now be posting anything until Tuesday 6th April. All our current orders are either in production or have been completed and will be shipped next week.

In the meantime the online shop will remain open 24/7 for you to take a look at.

In the meantime have a happy and healthy Easter and we’ll see you pondside before too long.

Busy Bees

Hi Folks, hope you’re all safe and well wherever you are in the world. After a reasonably quiet month in February we are now into March which is shaping up to be quite a busy month already. We have had lots of sails head out all over the world since we last wrote and we’ve a couple of boxes of RC Lasers heading off overseas currently as well as a few trade orders.

With the DF95 UK Nationals open for entry on Monday there are now 60 skippers registered for the event which promises to be three days of fun racing and social and it’ll sure be nice to catch up with everyone. We also have the DF65 Nationals at the front end of September at Poole and the RG65 Nationals at Keighley in the middle of the month….lots of sailing to be done.

Our IOM sails keep heading out the door to locations far and wide which is encouraging, we are hoping to get back to some sailing soon enough so we can get our tune on for the IOM race season here in the UK with the 2021 Nationals at Fleetwood in late August its a good thing to be aiming at. Hopefully we’ll get a couple of events in before then too.

Due to time pressures at work I’ve started producing the IOM sail blanks at home of an evening in the Soch Sails HQ, where it all began some years back. It’s nice to be at the table again in the treehouse, music on and a cup of tea on the go, very relaxing. This allows us to take the sails to the yard and finish them on HMS Treehouse and ship them out from there. I reckon there’s a video tour of both in the pipeline, but here’s a picture of how we are working now and yes, they are the worlds comfiest slippers….

The big boatyard is starting to think about the 2021 season too, it looks like there is a good chance that we’ll get almost a full season this year. I think we’ll miss Easter but sometime before Mayday we’ll be wheels up and tractors rolling which is a nice thought.

Other than that we’ve started doing a bit of customer rig building for collection. I don’t think that we can reliably ship fully built rigs around the place. we’ll be adding the service to the shop before too long. Whilst it’s a bit of a drive to get to us we’ll make you a brew when you get here, fit the rig to your boat and have a sail if the tide is in! We are still pricing up our DF rig boxes at the moment and again, due to shipping they might be collection only. Another thought is to provide them in kit form with everything you’ll need apart from the outer skin but including handle, clips hooks, closures, feet, elastic and a set of drawings so that you can stick it together yourself. Watch this space….again!

The shop is open 24/7 to take your order, clicky here to take a look.

Anyhow, a few photos of some of our recent work below. Stay safe and we’ll catch you pondside soon all being well.

IOM Stuff

Hello again, hope you”re all still well. UK still locked down, days still short, weather extremely cold. Soch Sails still powering on through the gloom and heading towards the spring, when things will hopefully start to improve.

The front end of this month has been a little quiet after a super busy December and January, so we’ve taken the time to finally get our Soch Sails IOM sail offerings up online and have a bit of a general tidy up of the shop website.

You’ll see in the menu bar there is now an IOM Sails tab, click it and take a look at what we’ve been working on recently. You asked if we could back in 2017 and 2018 an d now just three years on we are ready to offer our Soch Sails IOM sails to the world. Hope you like them as much as we do. We’ve also added sail numbers, class insignia and national letters to the shop too.

To take a look at what we can now offer please follow the links below.

Soch Sails IOM sails info.

Soch Sails IOM sails on the shop.

Back in The Room

Signs of spring in the back garden at Soch Sails HQ, January 15th.

So it’s the 22nd January and we’re through our Christmas and New Year order book and have been fulfilling new orders at a rate of knots for the last week or so.

We thought we should just let you all know that we are still here and doing our thing as usual! Nothing amazing to report, still no sailing due to continued lockdown. We’ve had a busy start to 2021 and have manufactured almost 100 suits of sails up to this point which is pretty cool.

Our IOM sails continue to be developed and we’ve shipped a couple of suits out this month. I haven’t quite had chance to get a page up yet for them so if you need a suit in the meantime please just give us a shout via the usual channels and we’ll sort you out. Initial feedback from customers is that they look good!

Shipping times to all but European locations seems to have settled down a bit now we are through the Christmas rush. USA seems to be around 2 – 3 weeks, we did Japan in 7 days a week or two back and OZ and NZ seems to be similar to US locations. European orders are very much dependent on how your parcel flows through customs in the destination country. The Netherlands and France seem to be the slowest so far. As usual we will send you a tracking number for your overseas order when we fulfill the order, please keep an eye on it so that you can receive your order.

Other than that all is well here and we hope it is where you are too. Remember the shop is open 24/7 to take your orders and we’ll manufacture, package and ship them out to you in good time. Stay safe and healthy.

Merry Christmas!

Hello folks, once again I hope this update finds you safe and well. It’s been a busy month here at Soch Sails HQ since we last updated you on what’s going on. So, we’ve had a few orders to fulfill during this time, we’ve sent RC Lasers around the globe, we’ve sent DF65 and DF95 sails and accessories around the world and we’ve done a bit more work on our IOM sails, including a wee bit of two boat testing.

I guess we should get to Christmas and how that’s going to play out in terms of orders being shipped. UK orders can be placed any time up until this Friday and we’ll make sure that they make it to the Post Office before the Monday deadline for first class mail. We have now stopped shipping overseas orders until January 2021. We have already lost two or three parcels destined for European locations and will doubtless need to remake these orders which is frustrating. If we ship items overseas now they will probably not make it to destinations until after Christmas, that’s if they don’t get lost along the way.

It seems that with the Covid pandemic still in full swing everyone is using various shipping methods to get Christmas gifts delivered and it has overloaded the system. I was speaking with a driver yesterday who had 160 parcels to deliver on Sunday….I dread to think what the workload is over the next couple of weeks.

So we’ll plod through the remaining overseas orders over the Christmas period and get them shipped early in January when Brexit will no doubt be top of the agenda.

As I mentioned earlier we’ve had a busy month, lots of sails and accessories for DF yachts going out of the door to locations all over the world. It still baffles me that people would find and then choose us to make their sails and for that we are truly grateful and we sincerely hope that you enjoy the end result. To all our customers both new and repeat we would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a better New Year.

It looks like there is some light in the distance for a better sailing year than 2020. Several vaccines are being rolled out here in the UK and although the task of stabbing 60 million people in the arm is a huge one and will take some time I hope that by mid 2021 we’ll be back to something that resembles normality….whatever that might be. We should all be able to go sailing again, and maybe even have some social activity afterwards!

Our IOM sails have been coming along recently. We’ve spent some time building some nice new rigs to dangle the sails from, I have quite enjoyed doing this as it has been an after work project which has seen me back in the Soch Sails Skunkworks at Global HQ. Music cranked up nice and loud so you can’t hear the wind and rain, heater on, possibly a beer or two and away we go. We’ve been using PG tube along with a range of fittings from various locations and I’ve now made up four rigs with this recipe and they look good and perform very nicely.

One thing I have tried to do is keep things pretty simple, I like the aerofoil Sails Etc spreaders so I’ve used those but the rest of the rig is pretty simple stuff. It’s the drilling of holes in the right places that makes the job go well and we’ve had some great drill blocks from Sails Etc as well which make the alignment really easy.

Hopefully we can get some more sailing in over the next couple of months before we hit the racecourse seriously next year and we’ll know how to get the best out of what we are building.

If you want a suit of Soch Sails IOM sails then we’ll be launching them in the New Year with dedicated pages both on this website and also the shop site.

Of course the shop is open 24/7 to take your orders and anything received will be processed for shipping in the new year after Monday. Clicky here for the shop

In closing we wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas and a much better new year.

Here is a small selection of our recent work that have shipped out.

Little bags of goodness

Afternoon folks. Sitrep, Wales, locked down for another few days, England just begun a month long lockdown, USA knife edge election situation, most of Europe either locked down or soon to be. Soch Sails HQ, firing on all cylinders and continuing to ship Radio Yachting goodness all around the globe.

So, this is a short post with some useful info. A couple of months ago we started to supply DF rig kits once again and to be fair they’ve been flying out of the door. When we supply a kit we do a couple of things to make sure you get the best out of it.

First off we open it up and do a parts check to make sure that all the bits that should be there are in fact where they should be. So we know that when it leaves us everything is in the bag.

Then we add a little magic to make the job a little better and allow you to construct your rig to the same spec that we do which is, of course, completely class legal.

To do this we pop in a little bag of bits and some useful string. Since doing this we have had a number of phone calls and emails asking what in the world we’ve included in the bag. So, to avoid confusion check out the items below.

What’s in the bag of goodness?

OK, so in the bag we have a strip of double sided velcro, a ball, a couple of rig rings and some extra cordage, so what’s it all for. Cordage is simple, use it if you like, throw it in your toolbox if you don’t. It’s well over spec but works well for all DF related applications and we use it on all our own rigs.

Rig rings, you’ll get two with a DF65 A, B or C rig and three with an A plus or any DF95 rig kit. These are what we use to replace the kit supplied rings for topping lift, backstay and jib hanger. We’ve tried and tested them on our own rigs and they are welded, round rings that allow cord to flow through them easily without chafing.

Ball, simply to allow my fists of ham and fingers of butter to get hold of and place the backstay loop where it should be with ease. If I need it at 41 years old I’m sure it’ll make your lives easier too! See picture below for ball and rig ring use.

Ring, top right, ball, bottom middle.

Double sided velcro. So when you’ve taken the rig off the boat you’ll sometimes have let go of the jib boom and had it flap about the place becoming creased. Simple solution here, wrap the velcro round both booms and hey presto you have an easily manageable rig to pop into a rig bag, also works well when pulling the rig back out of the bag on a windy day. Pop the mast in the boat, then undo the velcro and attach the jib. See rig in picture for more detail!

There we have it, all questions answered. Remember, if you need a new DF rig to build during lockdown here in the UK we can supply it, along with some shiny new sails to put on it too!

The shop is always open www.sochsails.online

Lockdown Mk 2

Lots to get through this time, firstly here in Wales we have been put into another full on lockdown for the next 17 days. No matter, I can’t work from home so I’ll be in the workshop fulfilling orders as they come in and shipping them out as usual. As the rest of the world isn’t locked down I don’t anticipate any crazy hold ups in shipping times.

So, on to other stuff. We’ve been busy once again since our last post, I’ve even been sailing with my IOM again, which means I’ve sailed this class more than any other this year. Sounds great but I’ve only sailed it twice! This time I took a trip over to Yorkshire and spent a very pleasant day atop Ilkley Moor (with a hat) and placed a very solid second spot.

We’ve been making lots of sails too, this week for instance we’ve completed an order for 60 suits of DF sails, 120 deck patch sets, 10 transmitter bags, 20 rig bags and 30 some sticker sets. We’ve also shipped 40 rig bags out to a customer in Sweden as well as keeping up to date with our day to day orders as they come in.

30 (ish) DF65 sails

There has been some restocking of the shop again as items ran low, one item that we’ve been missing for some time has been the RC Laser bow bumper, but we now have a limited quantity in a range of colours. Get them quick though as they are selling fast. I think that sees us fully stocked with everything from a full on RC Laser package to a bottom rudder bush. We’ve also been working on a reliable stainless screw pack to replace all the hardware on your boat and give it a refresh, nearly there with it, launching soon.

Something else that will be launching soon will be our range of IOM sails, it’s been a two year project so far and I’m happy that we have some good, well thought out shapes for our sails. I’ve been trailing Soch Sails IOM sails for some time and I’ve had lots of encouragement from people who know what they are on about. However, IOM stuff is somewhat different to DF stuff with a myriad of variables and I’m keen to know what differences these variables make. So I’ve decided that I need a two boat testing program over the winter months and to facilitate this I’ve got myself a matching IOM to my own, so now I’ve got double Visions which will allow me to do some more research. Updates incoming I should imagine as Vision No1 is currently in dry dock having a bit of a refit.

Double Vision !
IOM No1 suit

Other than that lot we’ve been kept busy by you guys out there who have continued to support our little business in these strange times, and for that I can’t thank you enough and I hope that you continue to do so.

A quick heads up on sticker sets, we have two drawers that keep our stock and it’s time to turn it over, so over the next few weeks we’ll be listing what’s in the drawers, there are plenty of full sticker sets that are good to go and there are also a number of sets that have been mis cut, creased or have bits missing. One thing that they all have is some healthy discount. When I get to it next week they will appear in the clearance section of the shop. A good time to mix and match those colour schemes folks 👍🏻

I also have a couple of suits of sails that were made to order and not required, they will appear in the clearance section too, from memory there’s a 95 B suit, a 65 A and A plus suit, more healthy discount will be applied!

I’m sure there is heaps of news I’ve missed but I’ll update you again soon. If you need anything DF racing yacht related or anything for your RC Laser then pop over to the shop and take a look at what we’ve got for you.

Lockdown blues

So we should be just back from a weekend of DF95 racing at Fleetwood but the event got canned before we even got near the start line, hey ho. We should have been looking forward to the annual Clive Hand race st Lincoln this coming weekend but that’s been canned too…hey ho.

Both events would have been fun but the reality is that difficult decisions were made by organising clubs and I think they are probably pretty sensible to have cancelled.

So we’ve been busy in the workshop getting through a mountain of orders instead. It’s not racing but it’s a great way to pass the time. We’ve been shipping lots of sails and accessories worldwide over the last month as well as building a few more DF rigs for customers to collect from us.

Shipping times seem to be pretty much the same as they were a month ago.

We’ve had another shipment of RC Laser goodies arrive to keep us stocked up. The only thing we currently don’t have is mast pots, no idea why I didn’t order any but we’ll remedy the situation quickly.

Other than the non sailing thing life is good and we seem to be on top of everything currently. As ever the shop is open 247 for you to place an order and remember, if you don’t see it and you want it just drop us a line and if we can make it happen we surely will.

Here’s some recent stuff.

News Update

Went sailing….not here but went sailing!

We are hurtling towards mid September already and we’ve been super busy over the last month. I managed a day out at Fleetwood with the IOM, it was good to catch up with some people and we managed 16 races in, what was at times, some nice breeze. I was pleased with my day and finished 4th. I’ve also been out with our local club this morning which was fun with the RC Laser and again it was good to catch up.

Speaking of the RC Laser we’ve had a run on boats and spares recently which has left us missing a few items. We’ll be placing a new order with our supplier this week so should be stocked back up once again in a short while. We’ve sent a couple of new boats out too over the last week, proving that the one design concept is still popular, below is a picture of the latest boat to leave the workshop.

RC Laser racer pack ready for dispatch.

Accessories have been very popular too but we are managing to keep up with demand on these as we aim to keep some stock of all our rig bags, transmitter covers, keel bags etc

As well as getting boats ready and shipping out DF accessory orders we’ve also built some sails and shipped them out too. We’ve also been asked recently to build some rigs and bend some sails onto them too. I suppose it’s something we should have been offering for some time, however there is a downside, once built I’m unhappy to put them in to post, they just won’t get to you in the condition that we’d like. So yes, we’ll build you some sails and get them rigged for you but you’ll need to come to Abersoch and collect them. I’m also pleased as it has allowed me to find a use for my old S&S boat, it’s now the rig build boat having been retired last year when I dropped it out of the back of the car and cracked the transom.

S&S back in use !
New Soch Sails & DF95 rigs ready for collection.

Shipping is still a tricky business but the reality is that in the main stuff is arriving at destinations it is however taking a little longer than expected in some cases. When we fulfill an international order we send you the tracking detail and it’s up to you to keep an eye on it. I’d love to keep an eye on it for you but we’re regularly shipping over 60 international orders a month and I just don’t have the time. We have received a few shipments back to our door recently where people have been carded but have not responded or collected the shipment. This is a pain, both for you and for us. Please keep an eye on your tracking!

Other than that all seems well, the big boatyard is quieter now, there aren’t half as many people in the village as there were a few weeks ago and life is once again a little slower. Thanks again for choosing Soch Sails to power your DF Racing yacht, the shop is always open for you to browse. If there’s something you’d like to see us make but it isn’t in the shop then please shout up and we’ll see what we can do for you. Please see pictures of some of our recent sails below.

Soch Sails DF95 A suit
Soch Sails DF65 B suit
Soch Sails DF95 A&B suits
Soch Sails DF65 A plus, A & B suits

Day Off

Workshop closed and phone not answered today. I’ve worked hard recently and am having a day off to spend some time with the fam.

Recent orders will be looked at tomorrow, 3rd September.

I’ve also restocked some items on the shop that were showing as out of stock. Most things are now available once again and the items that aren’t will be ordered from our supplier over the next few days and should be in stock soon.

In other news I’ve been sailing! I took a day trip to Fleetwood on Saturday for “Not the one metre Nationals”. 13 skippers, odd breeze but a whole bucketful of fun. It was great to be back on the water again and it was lovely to catch up with friends I’ve not seen for nearly a year. Having not sailed for 7 months I was stoked to finish the day in 4th spot behind a bunch of Fleetwood regulars.

More Fleetwood action at the end of this month when we are holding “Not the 95 Nationals” with 28 skippers for both days it’ll be another fun weekend of racing.

Just a quick note on shipping times, UK is usually a couple of days. Europe can be 2-4 weeks, USA can be similar but sometimes a little longer to West Coast locations. AUS & NZ can be 10 days plus. It also seems that there are very few scans taking place along the journey so there may be a scan into customs at the destination country but then there may be nothing else until it arrives at the local sorting office. Time wise this could be a week or two where it looks like nothing is happening.

Cheers for now.