Matt has been working for Rastay & Lapthorn Classic Sailmakers since April 2017. Over the last three years, he has demonstrated talent and commitment to the craft of sailmaking and has shown great aptitude for the technical skills required.
Matt’s QEST Apprenticeship supports his learning from master sailmaker, Gary Pragnell, who is coming up to retirement and looking to pass on his extremely rare skills. In Matthew he believes he has found the right candidate to continue his work. Over the next three years, Matthew’s training will be stepped up. He will be do more formal training with Gary, honing his needle and palm handsewing skills, integrating rings, leather, ropework and rattailing into the work. He will also focus on measuring boats and rigging for sails, gain deeper understanding of the lofting process, train with contemporary design software, and hone advanced measurement and design skills.
Most contemporary sailmaking sees sails cut by lasers and stitched by machine. Not only is this craft historically important, it is also contemporary, as there is strong demand for these skills today: for repair work and for new craft, built in classic styles.