Michele Stevens Sailloft Ltd.

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4th Generation Sailmaker
Makers of Mainsail for Famous Bluenose II

 

 

 

 

History in the Making

It’s like a dream come true for Michele Stevens, a fourth generation sail maker. Several days ago she learned that her Loft, Michele Stevens Sailloft of Second Peninsula was awarded the contract to construct a new main sail for the Bluenose II. Measuring 4150 square feet, it is acknowledged to be the largest working mainsail in the world today.

Bluenose II, the pride of a Town, a Province and a Nation, is now operated under the auspices of the Lunenburg Marine Museum Society. She travels with a crew of 18 and is a ‘symbol of Nova Scotia representing excellence in ship design, ship building and seamanship.”

Michele’s great Grandfather, Randolph Stevens, a sail maker, crewed as a sail trimmer on the Bluenose during the glory days of wooden ships and iron men. Under the guiding hands of Captain Angus Walters the famous ship earned her undisputed reputation as ‘Queen of the North Atlantic.

It is a great source of pride to Michele that her Grandfather Harold and Father, Robert Stevens, as well as other family members, worked to construct a gaff foresail, main gaff, fore gaff topsail for the Bluenose II in the late 1970’s. In recent years Michele made a number of custom items for the Ship including mast boots, windlass and zodiac covers, as well as a sun awning.

Although this Loft is no stranger to tall ship sails, constructing the main sail for Bluenose II will go down in history as one of the great moments for Michele and Michele Stevens Sailloft Ltd.

Experience the making of a sail by double-clicking the first photo below left, and use the arrows above the full size photos to navigate through the process. Each full size photo contains an explanatory caption below it.

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Bluenose Crew Bluenose II Main Sail panels Lun Community Center

Bluenose Crew Bluenose II Main Sail panels Lun Community Center

Graham Harnish grandkids Bluenose II Main Sail panels Lun Community Center

Graham Harnish grandkids Bluenose II Main Sail panels Lun Community Center

Michele Robert Brenda Laura Melanie Bluenose II Main Sail beginnings Lun Community Center

Michele Robert Brenda Laura Melanie Bluenose II Main Sail beginnings Lun Community Center

Michele and her Uncle, Randolph Stevens with mainsail panels at the Community Centre

Michele and her Uncle, Randolph Stevens with mainsail panels at the Community Centre

Wayne Walters Rick and Rannie at Lun Communiity Centre Bluenose II Main Sail beginnings

Wayne Walters Rick and Rannie at Lun Communiity Centre Bluenose II Main Sail beginnings

Working on Bluenose II Main Sail

Working on Bluenose II Main Sail

Bluenose II Main Sail - Mel putting in rope

Bluenose II Main Sail - Mel putting in rope

Bluenose II Main Sail Brenda sewing leech and Melanie helping

Bluenose II Main Sail Brenda sewing leech and Melanie helping

Bluenose II Main Sail Jane sewing seams and Mel helping

Bluenose II Main Sail Jane sewing seams and Mel helping

Bluenose II Main Sail Laura Brenda and Melanie flaking and moving sail around

Bluenose II Main Sail Laura Brenda and Melanie flaking and moving sail around

Bluenose II Main Sail Laura sewing seams and Brenda helping

Bluenose II Main Sail Laura sewing seams and Brenda helping

Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Bluenose II Main Sail 2005 Mel and Laura putting in pressed rings

Bluenose II Main Sail 2005 Mel and Laura putting in pressed rings

Bluenose II Main Sail Laura and Mel putting in pressed rings

Bluenose II Main Sail Laura and Mel putting in pressed rings

Bluenose II new Main Sail Brenda punching holes for pressed rings

Bluenose II new Main Sail Brenda punching holes for pressed rings

Brenda working on Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Brenda working on Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Melanie working on Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Melanie working on Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Corner hardware on Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Corner hardware on Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Royal handsewing on the Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Royal handsewing on the Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Royal's fine workmanship on the Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Royal's fine workmanship on the Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Royal and son  Jonathan apprentice benchwork Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Royal and son Jonathan apprentice benchwork Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Royal and Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Royal and Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Bluenose II Main Sail 2005 Corner Hardware

Bluenose II Main Sail 2005 Corner Hardware

Bluenose II Main Sail and Royal 2005

Bluenose II Main Sail and Royal 2005

Royal and Uncle Rannie Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Royal and Uncle Rannie Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Robert, Michele and Andrew in front of the newly made Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Robert, Michele and Andrew in front of the newly made Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Folding up the Bluenose II Main Sail to exit the loft 2005

Folding up the Bluenose II Main Sail to exit the loft 2005

Finishing touches to the Bluenose II Main Sail 2005 before exiting the loft through the window

Finishing touches to the Bluenose II Main Sail 2005 before exiting the loft through the window

Many hands preparing the Bluenose II Main Sail to exit the loft 2005

Many hands preparing the Bluenose II Main Sail to exit the loft 2005

Final preparation to Bluenose II Main Sail 2005 before lifing out the loft window

Final preparation to Bluenose II Main Sail 2005 before lifing out the loft window

Good bye to the Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Good bye to the Bluenose II Main Sail 2005

Many hands continuing to prepare the Bluenose II Main Sail to exit the loft 2005

Many hands continuing to prepare the Bluenose II Main Sail to exit the loft 2005

Many hands lifting the Bluenose II Main Sail out of the loft window 2005

Many hands lifting the Bluenose II Main Sail out of the loft window 2005

Many hands pushing the Bluenose II Main Sail out of the loft window 2005

Many hands pushing the Bluenose II Main Sail out of the loft window 2005

Bluenose II mainsail almost on truck

Bluenose II mainsail almost on truck

Bluenose II Mainsail on truck ready for shipment

Bluenose II Mainsail on truck ready for shipment

Stuffing the Bluenose II Main Sail into the back of Royal's truck for transporting the the ship in Halifax 2005

Stuffing the Bluenose II Main Sail into the back of Royal's truck for transporting the the ship in Halifax 2005

Bluenose II

Bluenose II

Bluenose II

Bluenose II

Bluenose II - 62

Bluenose II

 

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Michele Stevens Sailloft Ltd.
1602 Second Peninsula Road
Box 507, Lunenburg, NS Canada B0J 2C0
902-634-9338 phone
902-634-8665 fax
mstevens@tallships.ca

 

4th Generation Sailmaker
Makers of Mainsail for Famous Bluenose II

 

This page was last updated on March 31, 2009.
© 2000-2006 | Michele Stevens, The Sailloft | All Rights Reserved