Making Your Own Stack Pack

stackpack_sailboat_sailriteIn our continuous effort to rid our boat of all the green, I have been on a sewing frenzy this summer. Little by little our boat is looking fresher, almost happier. First the cove stripe, then the dodger, a life sling bag, next was the bimini, and now the stack pack.

Our sail was originally set up with a Dutchman system and a sail cover, but the lines broke and we decided to just go with a stack pack and lazy jacks. We loved them on Chance, so figured they would work on Chancelot as well. You can have both systems, but they are redundant. The boom on Chancelot is slightly too tall for me to easily manage so having some system was mandatory. Attempting to flake the sail can be incredibly challenging when standing on your tippy toes and battling the crazy wake of the Hudson River.

New canvas can make a big difference in your sailboat's appearance
Sometimes I forget how far we’ve gotten this boat in just 15 months, then I look at pictures of the boat when we bought her. WOW. I completely forgot we used to have a bird poop covered staysail boom. Ah, memories.

To make the stack pack I followed Sailrite’s instructions. I didn’t end up buying their kit because I was making a few modifications to their recommendation and I already had a lot of the supplies on hand. The biggest modification was using awning tracks along the bottom to secure it to the boom. I also opted to add two 3 inch by 6 inch Phifertex drains along the bottom of each side and used grommets as attachment points for the lazy jacks. Now that I’ve figured out the easiest way to cut the holes for the grommets, installation was a breeze. Turns out hole cutters made for cutting bungs easily cut a clean hole through fabric as well. I picked up a set from Harbor Freight and it worked perfectly. Who knew?

Adding lettering to your stack pack makes it easy for other boats to identify you
Do you know how hard it is to sew an @ symbol?

Make your own Stack Pack with Sailrite's instructions

Once the stack pack was made, I decided to add our social media handle to each side. It always amazes me how many tourists take our picture as we sail by their Circle Line tour, we might as well make it easy for them to share the pictures with us! The letters are 10″ tall so people can we easily read it from across the Hudson River. I made a stencil using the same font as our logo by printing out the letters on regular printer paper and then cutting them out. It took forever, but I’m really happy with the end result. They are pretty legible even from sidewalk about 10 boat widths away.

10 inch lettering is easily legible from the marina sidewalk
No more wondering which boat is ours on the dock!

For the lazy jacks we went with 5/16 line with blocks installed on the mast and at the first split point. In true Sailing Chance fashion we choose bright pink lines. Chancelot has seriously been lacking in the pink department and we needed to fix that immediately. Replacing all our other fading and stiff lines has also added to the overall appearance but that is for another blog post!

I can’t wait to get the boat out and start seeing the pictures come flooding in. If you see us, be sure to tag us!


  1. Kelley, it all looks fabulous on Chancelot! Do you hire out and make things for others? I might need you when I get my boat! LOL!

  2. Wow! Looks great! As soon as I saw the photo I wondered if you used adhesive lettering or sewed them ( and, yes, I was thinking what a lot of work to sew an @). You go girl! Superb! Also, so smart to add the drains, I will be adding some whenever it is time to take off our cover for any reason. The slides are great upgrade from the buckles too. Very nice.

  3. So it’s been a few months….how often has someone found you via the handle on the stack pack and sent you a pic or shared on social media?