• Jenkins Sails

One Design

Since its inception in the 1970’s, Jenkins Sails has focused on making fast one design sails using the best sailcloth available from Dimension Polyant and Contender Sailcloth.  We developed our own computer software to create a sail shape that is fair vertically as well as fore and aft.  This insures that our sails are both smooth and fast.  Working with some of the top sailors in the Star Class, we have developed Star sails that have performed well at the highest level.

After winning the 2004 European Championship, Mark Mansfield from Ireland wrote:

“We were using a jib from an American company called Jenkins and I think that helped us a lot.  We’ve been testing their sail. We used it in the first half of the Worlds last year when we were lying fourth. We used it then in lighter winds and we used it again in this regatta and that helped us for sure.”
Jenkins Sails has also developed very competitive sails for the Penguin Class, the Comet Class, and 210 Class.  For Junior, High School and Collegiate Sailing programs, our 420 and FJ sails are built with the same attention to detail we apply to all our one design sails.  We feel strongly that it is false economy to use cheap sailcloth in our fleet sails.  We build our FJ and 420 sails out of top of the line sailcloth for durability and so the sails maintain their shape.


Classic Sails

Jenkins Sails specializes in making the fastest sails in the Chesapeake Bay Sailing Log Canoe Fleet. These classic sailing canoes challenge the sail maker to find precisely the right combination which will perform in the light conditions often found on the Chesapeake, and also be durable enough to withstand the occasional capsize.  John Jenkins is a regular crew member on Log Canoe #16, Island Lark, so he has first hand knowledge of what it takes to make a fast and durable log canoe sail.  

All of our log canoe sails are made with high quality Dimension Polyant sailcloth.

The working sails are radial cut using 253 Square Weave Fabric, and the staysails are made from Formulon Nylon.

Each canoe is different in boat length, mast height, and sail area. Therefore, each sail is a 100% custom product which must optimize speed both upwind and off the wind. 

Jenkins Sails also specializes in classic boat sails. Our flagship Patience, a Crosby Cat boat built in 1897, regularly cruises the Northern portion of the Chesapeake Bay. In 2008 we built the sails for the Katherine M. Edwards, a Log Bugeye built by Sydney Dickson in St. Michaels, Maryland, using techniques dating back to the turn of the 19th century.


Custom Cruising
and Racing Sails

At Jenkins Sails, we apply the same attention to detail in our cruising sails as we do in our racing sails.  Rather than rely solely on sail plans, we prefer to visit the boat to take our own measurements, and note any special considerations well before we start cutting sailcloth.  We use only the best quality sailcloth to insure each sail will provide its owner with many years of service. For the Cruiser/Racer we can discuss a wide range of possibilities from cross cut or radial Dacron racing sails, radial laminate sails, or molded laminate sails.

We are confident we can determine the best sail to suit your needs.


Our cruising and racing spinnakers are made out of top-of-the-line Dimension Formulon nylon or Airex nylon.  We offer both symmetrical and asymmetrical options.

About Us

John Jenkins

John Jenkins
Sail Designer

Email: johnjenkinssails.com

John Jenkins is obsessive about detail, quality and service!
For more than 40 years John Jenkins has been designing and building sails for all types of boats from ultra-competitive one design dinghy’s to blue water racer cruisers and everything in between. All of these sails, thousands of them in total, have one thing in common; they have been personally designed by John with an attention to detail that can’t be found at any other loft. 

For many years John Jenkins, as manager of the Naval Academy Sail Loft, developed sail designs  for the wide range of boats used by the Naval Academy Sailing Program.  Jenkins Sails was started to develop sails for elite Star programs and the competitive Log Canoe Fleet on the Chesapeake. Now Jenkins Sails are available to you.

Hayley Jenkins

Hayley Jenkins
One Design/Fleet Sales

Email: hayleyjenkinssails.com

Hayley Jenkins’ experience as a college sailor.
Hayley attended the College of Charleston where she was a member of the nationally ranked varsity sailing team.  Like her father John, she has extensive experience in racing one design classes, and shares his passion for the sport.

Bob Jones

Bob Jones

Email: bobjenkinssails.com

Bob Jones’ interest in classic boats. 
Bob has over 50 years of sailing experience in one design racing classes, including the Star Class.  He has cruised and raced on the Chesapeake Bay for most of his lifetime.  He is currently a crew member on the log canoe Island Bird, and sails a classic Crosby catboat named Patience.

Ty Jones

Ty Jones
Business Manager

Email: tyjenkinssails.com

Ty Jones’ experience as a sailor.
Ty has grown up on the Chesapeake Bay, often accompanying John and Bob to various regattas.  He has extensive experience handling power and sailboats of all sizes.  He also brings 15 years experience in business management and accounting to Jenkins Sails.

Blog & Events & Links

Star jib Weight
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Last year the star class voted to increase the minimum weight for Star jibs to an unfinished fabric weight of 4.4 oz per sailmakers yard (28"x36") . This raised alot of questions about what was legal and what was not legal.The rule was ultimately suspended and Brian Cramer the head of the technical commitee sent the following email asking for input from sailmakers : "The Star Class members voted last year for heavier jib cloth weight minimums but due to a wording "snafu" the initiative was delayed. The Fleet that proposed the original rule change is requesting your input into where you think the new minimum cloth weight for jib construction should be set. I remind you that at the present time the rule in force is: 12.1 Sails - Allow polyester woven material not lighter than 3.7 ounces per sailmaker's yard ." I sent the following email to brian and I feel it explains the situation: Hi Brian Contender style 3.8 polykote , which is currently used in many star jibs, is actually 190 grams per meter square (as specified in their catalog) or 4.44 oz. per sailmakers yard ( the multiplier is 0.02335) , so you could conceivably change the rule without changing the sail. I feel the authors of this resolution are confusing fabric style numbers with actual fabric weight. An example is Contender 3.6 polykote , which is use in many star mains. You might assume it doesn’t conform to the 3.7 oz class rule, but it is actually 180 grams per square meter or 4.2 oz per sailmakers yard as specified in their catalog. Probably the next step up would be 200 grams per square meter or 4.67 oz /sailmakers yard which would include Contender 4.46 polykote and Dimension 205 SQ HTP. Unfortunately there are not too many fabrics to choose from in this weight, with most of the development going into the 180 and 190 fabrics. There are other variables, besides cloth weight when you are looking for durability. I personally use fabrics with a large ripstop thread when I want durability. You might consider consulting with the cloth manufactures, most notably Contender and Dimension Polyant, and develop a list of approved fabrics for Star jibs. There aren’t that many to choose from and any new fabric that came on the market could be added with approval from the technical committee. Just a thought Best regards and good luck at Bacardi John

Jenkins Sails One Design Results
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In the last two weeks Jenkins Sails One Design has performed well in two regattas on the Chesapeake. At the Penguin Internationals , held at Severn Sailing Association, Alan Campbell and Hayley Jenkins finished fifth ,winning the forth race. The fleet at the internationals had many past penguin champions and was very competitive. This was Alan and Hayley’s first time in the boat this year.

The following week at the Comet Internationals , held at the Tred Avon Yacht Club, Hayley crewed for Emily DuPont , from St Michaels Md. . This was Emily’ and Hayleys first time in the boat this year and they finished third in the regatta just ahead of Larry Sutter from long Island NY. , who was also using a Jenkins jib. . The regatta had seventeen boats with many former Comet champions.

Elf Classic Yacht Race
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We are proud to be a sponsor of the Elf Classic Yacht race from Annapolis to St Michaels Md . Please join us for this wonderful event. Classic_Race.pdf

Jenkins Sails Blog
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When measuring a boat for a genoa jib , there are several factors you have to take into consideration .The angle the jib comes off the headstay is important, so boats with a wide shroud base require genoa jibs that  are flatter and sheet further aft. Boats with a narrow shroud base can have fuller genoa jibs that can be sheeted further forward.

Clew height is another consideration.  As a rule of thumb I like to have the clew 2 feet above the deck or lifeline height. Sometimes the sheeting point on the boat or the length of the track that the jib car rides on  has to be taken in account when you figure clew height. Reaching headsails have a higher clew so you can get more leech tension when the sail is eased. This is also good for more visibility and a high clew reacher sets well with a double head rig.

Jenkins Sails Blog
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Using I, P J and E  , the sailmaker is able to  determine the size of the sails for your boat.


  Genoa jibs are described as a percentage of the J measurement. A 150% genoa jib  has an LPG that is 150% of J. LPG is the measurement from the clew of the sail to a point perpendicular to the luff. To find the sail area you multiply LPG times the Luff  length and divide by 2.


 Mainsail Luff length shouldn’t be greater then the P measurement when fully stretched, and the foot length shouldn’t exceed the E measurement when fully stretched.  Given a P and E measurement the largest main you can make for that boat will have a 90 degree tack angle. The area of the main is calculated by multiplying P time E and dividing by 2.


 Symetrical spinnakers have an SL or luff length equal to .95 times the square root of  I squared plus J squared. This number usually comes out close to the I measurement of the boat. The  SMW  or spinnaker width is 180% of the J measurement.  Th calculate the area of a spinnaker multiply the sl times the SMW

Jenkins Sails Blog
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   Jenkins Sails Blog Entry by John Jenkins

I plan to use this events page to also  write a blog  describing different aspects of sailmaking and sail design which I hope our customers will interesting and informative. On our quote page we ask for The I, P, E, and J measurements from your boat. 

I  is the fore triangle height measured from the deck to the  top of the jib halyard sheave.

J is the fore triangle base measured from the front of the mast to the head stay intersection.

P is the mainsail luff length measured from the top of the boom to the  bottom of the black band at the top of the mast or the full hoist position of the mainsail.

E is the mainsail foot length measured from the back side of the mast  to the inside edge of the black band at the end of the boom or the max mainsail foot length.

These are the basic measurement we use to determine the size of your sails. Of course  before we make a sail we have other measurement we make to ensure a proper fit.


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