Sails and Covers – Winter Washing, Servicing & Repairs

At this time of year we’re all prepping our boats for the winter, which includes removing all sails and covers – – take a look below at our list of things to check as you remove them. Not only does this let you know of anything needing immediate repair, but it warns you for any future issues that might need attention either during or after the next season.
We would also recommend having your sails and covers washed and serviced each winter, as it will increase the life of them and ensures they are checked over regularly by a sail or cover professional. It does make it easier if you’re already aware of what needs fixing and it’s good to tell us when you come in, as we can then discuss possible options and costs involved in any repairs.
When removing your sails for the winter we recommend checking the following as you flake the sail…
-Luff: look at the webbings, slides, batten boxes (if fully battened), headboard, liners, spectacles, reef cringles. Does anything look worn or broken? Are any slides damaged, broken or cracked? Maybe they need replacing. Is it worth having a professional take a look at a certain bit? Are the webbings starting to fray or in need of replacement?
-Leech: is the fabric starting to soften around the reef patches? How are the reef eyelets? Is there any chafing on the leech line and is the cleat still intact and attached correctly? Are the telltales there or is there some in need of replacement? If there is a UV strip, is it worn or ripped at all?
-Foot: any chafe or rubbing along the edge or on the UV? Are any patches needed or does the UV need replacing? Have the reef indicators come off? If there’s a foot line is it still intact or is it chafing at all? Is the cleat still fixed correctly?
-Battens: are any battens broken or missing? If so, ensure you bring the broken batten in to be replaced when you have your sail serviced. There’s no need to bring all the battens, but it is good to see the broken one!
If you notice anything unusual or in need of attention just let your sailmaker know when you take it in for servicing. That way nothing will get missed and if anything is a particular issue, it is highlighted and inspected by a professional. You can always give us a call if you want further advice, or why not pop a message to The Pod and see what others have done to solve their own sail or cover problems?!

NB. Did you know that some boat insurers will not cover the boat or it’s contents over the winter if the sails and covers are left on? It’s worth checking with your provider!

New Team Members

It’s a very exciting month here at Dolphin… Not only have we opened up our new Hamble loft and introduced you to our newest Hamble based team member, Oli, but we have also got three new members of staff joining us at our Essex lofts!

We are pleased to welcome…

Jenny, who will be based at the Harwich office, working in the admin department alongside Barry ?‍♀️

Ben, the new sailmaker at our Mersea loft. You may remember Ben from a few years ago too — welcome back?

And Ahmed who is joining our Structural Engineer team!

We are all very happy to have you join the Dolphin team and look forward to working with you!






RBODs at Burnham Week

Throwback to the last week of August and the end of a fantastic Burnham Week! We are pleased to see nearly the whole fleet has Dolphin sails and from what we’ve heard there was some great and close racing. Congratulations to all the winners and well done to everyone that took part – don’t forget to give us a call to talk about new sails for next year!

See the full report from Will Dallimore below:

Burnham Week 2019 will be remembered fondly for many reasons not least for the exceptionally good weather, the close racing, good courses and the healthy number of youngsters enjoying the unique formula that makes the RBOD fleet so special. There was way too much action to give a detailed report of each race but here are some highlights:-

We were delighted to have ARIEL back in action having been admirably maintained  in race ready condition all season by Phil Plumtree. Team Warren, fresh from Formula 1 & Formula E, took on ARIEL for the week and introduced the stunned fleet to Formula RBOD when they burst off the grid and sailed exceptionally well to take 3rd and 1st in races 1 and 2. We were delighted to see Fiona and others enjoy their first sailing experience on the Crouch and hope to see much more of this team in the future. An anecdote from ARIEL concerns one of the less race-experienced crew asking just 5 minutes into the race what time the finish will be. The Warren brothers worked as a well oiled team with younger giving instructions to elder – ‘do what I tell you and don’t take your eyes of the telltales, so a few mins into the first race he was doing as instructed and wanted to know how they were doing, didn’t want to tell him we were leading!’
Going into race 3, ARIEL and RED JACKET, leading contenders for the Bank Holiday weekend series, were exceptionally eager and found themselves OCS allowing MANDARIN to pounce on her favourite Straker Cup and the series.
AQUAMARINE continues to deliver and is always in contention for the podium places when not on the mud. We don’t like to single out individuals but mention must be made of a crew member who, rumour has it, lures boats aground with dubious lead-line calls (a modern day RBOD siren?), immediately drops his shorts to push off and then poses on the foredeck in his pants for the remainder of the race. This pattern is repeated even when on loan to other boats as ARIEL discovered – “No bottom” was the call followed immediately by “were aground!”, but Tally Ho, the shorts were off in a flash and Aquapants man burst into action.
We were delighted to see ONYX helmed (very well) by Gary Sims midweek with Mike enjoying more time back on the boat and seeing ONYX win the Bert Clark Memorial Trophy. On returning to the boat for Saturday’s race, Roger became aware of Gary’s aversion to modern gadgets as he untaped the tiller extension from the tiller.
ONYX’s groupies were in good voice from their camouflaged duck hunting kayak as Barty and Anna supported the boys before beating a rapid retreat to base when the Prosecco ran out.
A particularly memorable feature of this week was the number of youngsters enjoying the cut and thrust of RBOD racing. GANNET was in good hands with Lily, Jack P, Vincent and Helen getting the boat going well despite a near sinking during a vicious gust on Wednesday’s race after which they had to bale out using their cool box having given up with the bucket with a hole. Rory and the team had a great day on Thursday with a second place – come back soon!
The Hobdays were a strong presence with all 5 family members scattered around the fleet at various stages of the week. BLUE JACKET had an excellent day on Tuesday leading from start to finish to take the Cyril Sweet trophy. It was good to see early morning exercise being taken on the paddle boards in preparation for the racing.
The young Dallimores were in action mid week with James, Clare & Sarah getting MANDARIN going well to finish second in the mid-week series. Clare, Sarah, Billie Q and Alex collectively gave the fleet a taste of Girl Power on Friday and Saturday and RED JACKET’s blushes were only saved by 40 odd years of experience as Steve cleverly wriggled through on the last leg of each race. As an example of two worlds meeting, here is a snippet of conversation between the girls on MANDARIN during a tense inshore leg ….. Crew to Helm ” Clare, that boat behind – they keep throwing something over the side”. Evidently this 29er sailor had not seen a lead line in action before – strange that!
If there was a pointing trophy PHALAROPE would have little competition as the Pinky Blinder can sail at speed virtually into the wind. An unfortunate navigational error in race 1 allowed AQUASHARK through at the finish line as PHALAROPE elected to gybe and finish south of the committee boat on her own private line
After years of dominating this blog, BERYL strangely provided little material other than some topless appearances by the owner which were unfortunately captured by the official BW photographer. Speaking of which, Roger Mant took some great pictures which can be seen here
Thanks as always to Sylv and the team of helpers that once again produced a very successful RBOD BBQ which raised substantial funds for the restoration of SIMONETTA.
Well done to all competitors for making it such a great week and Congratulations to RED JACKET for winning the week but, watch out, the next generation are getting closer….!
Comment from Class Captain Steve:-
Burnham Week was blessed with amazing weather this year with lots of sunshine and sea breeze enhanced winds giving us a lot of windward starts.
I’ve had great feedback from many saying how much they enjoyed the courses and the later starts, giving more recovery time from the night before as well as no postponements waiting for wind.
The RBOD racing was very close with the lead changing many times giving everyone a chance on the podium.I was delighted to see so many young people joining the fleet adding new vitality and competition to the class. I overheard the Dallimore girls saying “ let’s keep MANDARIN and Dad can get another one “. It has to be said they sailed brilliantly and on several occasions, after doing all the hard work, they should have won but sometimes in racing there are cruel twists of fate near the end. Better luck next time girls !
At the RBOD and Elite class dinner, Will Dallimore announced our goal to repeat the success of the RBOD 80th anniversary, (when all RBODs were on the water ), in 2 years time for our 90th anniversary!
This is already gathering enthusiasm and I’ve heard from more than a few they intend to return for our 90th as well as from people like Charlie Pitcher who says his sons James and Freddie want to do it with him !
The RBOD class continues to attract a great group of Club members and friends and is definitely the best and most fun class on the river !
Steve ( Class Captain)

New Dolphin Loft Opens in Hamble


We know we’ve kept you waiting a while and as you may have seen on our social media last week we introduced our newest Hamble based team member… Well, we are now happy to announce that we opened our BRAND NEW Hamble loft on the 1st October 2019! Based in Hamble Point Marina the new Hamble loft will be doing on site servicing and repairs, as well as quoting for new sails, covers and tensile awnings. If you have an enquiry, pop by and say hello — the new signage will be going up shortly and we can’t wait to welcome you to our newest Dolphin premises!!


Kismet Wins!

We were delighted to hear that Kismet won her first day of racing at the Régates Royales de Cannes! Good to see the brand new Dolphin Sails Whoompa was put to good use and it clearly delivered results as they won on corrected time.

Photos thanks to Eric Dervaux and Regates Royales de Cannes.



We LOVE getting feedback from our customers! Not only does it help us develop our products, but when the customer is pleased, just like the one below, it gives the Dolphin team a great feeling!

“We have given the new Yankee a real workout now. A bit more than 6,000nm offshore with four gales, two in the southern Atlantic with more than 50kts apparent on the wind gauge downwind. The Yankee was up and pulling for the entire passage even serving admirably as a storm jib when it flattened nicely at 30% or so. My kudos to you and your team for your recommendations for design parameters and fabric. It still holds its shape perfectly.”


Sail Test on Kismet

Three members of our sails team, Matthew, Gareth and Glen, went out on the water this week to test the new ‘Whompa’ sail that we have recently designed and produced for the Fife 48′, Kismet. Owned by ex Oyster Yachts owner, Richard Matthews, Kismet is a familiar sight on the east coast waters during the regatta season. This year she will also be heading out to Cannes for the 2019 Panerai Regatta Royale at the end of September. As a previous competitor in the Panerai Classics, Mr Matthews was keen to maximise the performance of the sails on Kismet, so worked closely with our design team to create the most effective solution and sail. We will also be making a soft topsail for her, having taken measurements and sizing whilst out sailing on Wednesday, so stay tuned for more photos to come!



We wish team Kismet the best of luck in Cannes and look forward to hearing all about it on their return…

Job Vacancy

Office and Administrative Assistant


Dolphin are one of the foremost sail, cover and awning suppliers in the UK.

With offices in Harwich, West Mersea, Southampton and Palma Majorca, we serve a wide sailing community both locally and internationally. We have an established customer base which includes many of the industries blue ribbon brands for custom and semi-custom yacht builders. We are proud to be able report that we export around half of our output.

Key responsibilities:
  • We seek an assistant administrator, to help deal with our clients both nationally and internationally
  • Dealing with customer enquiries in an efficient and timely manner both face to face, via the telephone and through email.  We require the successful candidate to have good skills numerically and the potential exists to be involved in the accounting side of the business in the future
  • Creating orders, invoices and collecting payments
  • Logging and tracking orders via Filemaker and excel. Use of Microsoft word is also essential
  • Packing and despatching orders and liaising with the production team
  • A primary initial point of contact for sales calls via telephone and visits in person to the office
  • Booking flights + accommodation for work trips away
  • As part of the Office Administration team you will play a leading role in co-ordinating the logistics of moving items between the various Dolphin offices and be responsible for recording the booking in and out of the customers sails or covers
Candidates will have:

We’re looking for a friendly and helpful individual who has strong time management and organisational skills with the ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines. With a keen eye for detail and accurate data entry skills, you will have experience within a customer service role and have the ability to manage customer enquiries.

We’d like you to have excellent interpersonal and communication skills and be able to work as part of a team to ensure the successful delivery of a sale. You should have strong administration skills, be able to use your own initiative and have experience of data processing.

  • Use of computer programmes such as Excel and Word are essential
  • Marine and boat based experience desirable

A good remuneration for the right candidate based on skills and experience.

See for details on how to apply.

Job Vacancy

CAD and Sales Structural Engineer

Dolphin is seeking a CAD and Sales Structural Engineer to join the team in our Harwich office, as we forge the future of the manufacture and construction of tensile membrane structures. We are dedicated to partnering with our clients, making their design concepts a reality and continuing to advance fabric architecture. We operate in both marine and land-based environments and have clients that include the largest sailing yacht in the world.


Reporting to the Director of Operations, this position will be responsible for the designing of tensile membrane structures, steel structures and for preparing detailed and accurate drawings for use in fabric workshop, steel fabrication and site installation. The role will collaborate closely with the production managers to convert design drawings into shop drawings incorporating specific requirements.

 Key responsibilities:

The position will encompass a sales responsibility: selling our tensile products into the land-based arena. As well as the below:

  • Prepare detailed steel fabrication, assembly and component drawings
  • Perform dimensional checks on all drawings, and in collaboration with the project engineer and production management, evaluate constructability, issues of tolerance and any other issues which may affect fabrication or installation
  • Prepare bill of material (BOM) for material procurement in cooperation with production management
  • Perform all project work in accordance with project deadlines
  • Make recommendations on how to improve or reduce costs of components utilised in the project
  • Assist the project engineer and production management in identifying those repeat technical items or solutions which could be performed more efficiently

To achieve success, candidates should demonstrate the following core competencies:

  • attention to detail
  • efficient organisational skills
  • problem-solving
  • interpersonal skills
  • written and verbal communication
  • teamwork
  • professionalism
Candidates will have:
  • Experience with various types of software, including tensile membrane softwares such as NDN – Solidworks and AutoCAD preferred
  • Rhino experience and knowledge will be useful
  • 10 years’ experience with architectural/structural steel design, with an understanding of structural theory and connection types
  • Rendering capabilities are a plus
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, particularly Word and Excel
  • Knowledge of national and local codes as they relate to connection design, detailing practices, steel member dimensions/properties and the ability to incorporate these into product designs

Estimated to be between £30-35k, dependent on experience and skill base.

See for details on how to apply.

Fab Feedback!

It’s always nice getting positive feedback from our customers. This one was recently posted on the Oyster Yachts Owner’s Page:

“I wanted to share a positive experience with you all. We decided to replace our bimini and sprayhood and to change the color from Blue to Beige. We keep Tango in the Northeast US.

I contacted Dolphin Sails to see if they still had the templates from the original order and they did. They also recommended using the WeatherMax material.

I was a bit concerned about them making it all and getting it shipped to the US. What would we do if it didn’t fit right? We received the two items about a week ago and put them on…

Perfect fit on both accounts and the material and color was just what we wanted. I would recommend Dolphin to do any canvass work in the future.”