laminate sailcloth

We’ll recommend the cloth which best matches the panel layout. For example, a low aspect-ratio sail has very different stress patterns to one with a relatively longer luff.

When the luff/foot ratio exceeds 3:1, we recommend the use of high-tenacity fabrics designed specifically for minimal stretch in sails with high leech loads. Other types of commonly-used cloth cost less, which may explain why some quotations are lower than ours. But for a stable, long-lasting shape, you won’t get away with cutting corners or using inferior fabrics. That’s why we always suggest comparing quotations on a like-for-like basis.

And if there’s anything you don’t understand about the spec we suggest , please ask. We’ll be happy to explain exactly why we’ve made a particular recommendation.



Being born to a GK24 and Yachting World Dayboat national champion, I was always destined for the sea, and my sailing education started young. Virtually all family time was spent on the water from an early age; whether it was exploring Poole Harbour in my fathers Dayboat, Channel crossings in our family yacht, or learning to race in my very own optimist dinghy.

Sailing multiple times a week, going to open meetings at the weekends and national championships in the holidays became the norm, and before I knew it I was the proud owner of my very own Optimist National squad jacket. As I outgrew the Oppy it was traded in for a Mirror, followed by a 420. If there was ever a doubt, blasting around the Poole Harbour in a force 5 with the spinnaker up my crew dangling from the trapeze wire and the confirmed things – I was hooked!

Yacht racing was the next natural step; Cowes Week, Cork Week, Round the island, Match racing championships and RORC races along with local club racing became regular must-do events. The comradery of being part of a team, all pulling together to get every possible ounce out of a boat was gripping.

When University came along I couldn’t contemplate moving away from the sea, so off to Plymouth I went. There I found a vibrant local sailing scene and bought myself a laser to join in. Along with the university’s fireflys, j80s and Beneteau 40.7 boats, there was plenty to keep me busy. During this time I was asked to help deliver an 80-foot yacht from the Canaries to the Caribbean and lept at the chance.

Post university I initially worked at the RNLI, and although I thoroughly enjoyed my time working for this deserving charity, the lure of combining my sailing brain and my working life could not be ignored. In 2012 I made the switch and joined the team at Kemp Sails. The move felt completely natural, and before I knew it I had learnt all the processes of sail manufacture, blending my existing sailing knowledge with the team and helping to develop new designs for sails.

In recent years I have mostly been racing my GP14 dinghy, taking part in the competitive racing circuit and far and wide (including a trip to Barbados in 2016!!). Designing and building my own Kemp sails for the boat was an obvious choice, and one that has been deeply rewarding in race results.



The story goes that in a ‘Lion King’ style introduction, after leaving maternity hospital Mr and Mrs Peters brought their son down to the shore instead of going home, and pointed him at the sea, and at and their boat bobbing on it. The seed of a future in yachting was sown in that moment…

There followed a childhood where 3 point fixes were understood before I knew what trigonometry was, and trimming a boat became as natural as breathing. A very early memory of dolphins accompanying our entry to Scilly at dusk will probably stick with me forever now, and acts as a measure for every time I meet another pod!

As I got older, I discovered racing, and after a Mirror and then an Osprey (being tall limits the number of dinghies one can helm, and still have a crew to blame!), I then honed my skills crewing in yachts instead. In this, I was lucky to be involved with many teams (from Sonatas to a Swan 45), with some sailing to a very high standard indeed: the feeling of winning races in places like St Tropez or Antigua became intoxicating.

After University, I eventually managed to fund my own pocket cruiser, and we sailed her extensively and successfully over many years of Corinthian racing through the noughties. This was alongside the Grand Prix events I competed in, and also the increasing number of delivery trips up and down (and to and from) the Mediterranean, as well as back and forth across the Atlantic which vastly increased my sea miles. In this way, I got to see plenty of weather and even swam in a ‘superpod’ of dolphins during the very quiet 2005 Fastnet (a close run for the Scilly experience all those years before!).

During this time, I had been earning my living in the highly competitive, and niche, UK electronics manufacturing sector. However, I eventually submitted to the inevitability of a career in sailing, when Rob Kemp invited me to work with him in 2006: in a drive to greater efficiency, the use of modern manufacturing methods is now being adopted at Kemp Sails to control costs and keep prices as competitive as possible.

For many years I have supplemented my living with teaching yachting to the RYA syllabus, as well as with Clipper Ventures delivering their training up and down the Western Approaches: I still skipper a 40ft yacht at events such as Cowes week and Round The Island race. The sense of shared purpose (and the ‘witty repartee’) remains as exciting as ever, even if the challenges are different: as much of my commercial work remains with novices these days, the trophies are very much rarer…

My wife and I now own an MG C27 which we are slowly readying for joining in some local ‘fun’ racing. She was originally bought and prepared for a cruise around the UK over the summer of 2017 – see for the whole trip, during which we met a great many more dolphins too! 

I firmly believe that UK manufacturing, and the skills of my colleagues, are amongst the best in the world: it is, therefore, a privilege to be able to offer products which are borne of such formidable experience and knowledge as my peers and I bring to bear.



Managing Director

“I started sailing when I was 4 sat in the bottom of a dinghy on the river Thames- and that’s a long time ago now!

A move from Hampton to Poole by my father’s work commitments turned out to be a life-defining moment for me. My parents joined our local sailing club, Poole YC and that was the inspiration for a life dedicated to all things to do with the water.

My first boat was a rather old Gull dinghy that my father had lying around in the garden after some serious TLC it was ready for its first sailing outing in years. Back then the whole learning to the sailing thing was rather a seat of the pants, no formal training, just a book with a few pictures and off we went. I can still clearly remember the sound of falling pots and pans as we hit the side of a moored yacht as I and my crew had not quite mastered the turning around thing!

After this rather traumatic start and some more practice, I was ready to trade in the trusty Gull for a Mirror which I then learned how to sail properly and to race. This was followed by a whole series of different dinghies and yachts.

Since my first boat, the aforementioned Mirror, I have pretty much sailed and raced anything that floats, including Windsurfers, International Moths, Micro-Tonners, Mini-Tonners. Competed in Quarter and Half-Ton Cups, plus a host of offshore events.

I spent several years travelling all over the globe with a match racing team, but now that my kids have developed a rather addictive dinghy racing habit our beloved Jeanneau Sunfast 32 (which we also raced locally) has gone.  The match racing has taken a back seat and I am now chief taxi service, maintenance guy and all-round ‘facilitator’ for my son and daughter. Currently, my son races in his Laser and my daughter also races hers and is now at Uni so also team racing alongside her Laser and Offshore events.

Most weekends are now spent travelling to various events in and around the UK and now Europe, the A34, the road to everywhere! – is a common route for us on a Friday night. If you see one the Kemp vans at an event – do come and say Hi!

Currently, I sail a Laser, it’s quick simple boat to rig, painful as hell to race properly but great fun. Alastair my cousin and our loft manager also race one so there is some regular loft banter the following day after racing depending on who beat who, made even better if my kids beat us both!

In my spare time I am heavily involved in the Poole YC junior training program, helping to coach the next generation of sailors and assisting my wife Juliette with her role as South Area Topper Class  Training Rep. I get to spend a lot of time in a rib, coach some great kids who will be the sailors of the future and, as in the picture below, have a great time on the water, both working in an industry I love and having fun at the same time, who said work was dull!”

Consistent and Dependable

Consistent and Dependable

As a cottage industry there will always be somebody offering a ‘low cost alternative’ which can sound attractive…. but normally these offers mean they don’t have the level of infrastructure or machinery that is required to do the job correctly, and sadly it often turns out to be  a more costly or dissatisfying experience in the long run

Kemp Sails’ prices are usually keen, but most importantly our service is consistent and dependable …. chances are, we may well exceed your expectations!

Very Strong Ethos of Quality

Very Strong Ethos of Quality

Kemp Sails have a very strong ethos of quality and fairness for our customers, we have gone to some quite extreme lengths on occasions to ensure that our customers get the quality of service and product that they expected and deserved.

Many of our staff have been Sailmaking or in the Marine Industry for many years, and they are always happy to talk and answer questions, whether it be about a Drascombe or a Discovery, a Sigma or a Swan.

British since 1985

British since 1985

Kemp Sails are essentially a family firm and we are proud of the fact that we have been a British manufacturing business since 1985.

In 2012, Kemp Sails was chosen as an Industry Champion in Vince Cable’s Department for Business “Make it in Great Britain” campaign.

As a UK manufacturing company, we are also proud to be providing quality employment to over twenty staff, and to to be adding to the strength of the UK economy.