Sailworks shifts production to medical face shields

March 27, 2020 | Windsurfing
Sailworks: the windsurfing sail manufacturer is producing medical face shields to help mitigate the shortage of personal protective equipment in its local healthcare community | Photo: Sailworks

The shields are on at Sailworks.

The windsurfing company from Hood River, Oregon, has re-tasked its sail loft and staff to start making medical face shields.

Sailworks aims to help mitigate the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in its local healthcare community, as the novel coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak spreads across the United States.

The shields are made from 7-millimeter monofilm and feature a foam headband and adjustable elastic strap.

They're extremely lightweight - just 1.1 ounces - and the lenses are cut using an Autometrix cutting table.

"Cutting monofilm sailcloth is one of our specialties," the company stated.

Sailworks spent a week stocking up materials and setting up the ten-step cutting and production line.

Sailworks: supporting the local healthcare community with custom-made medical face shields | Photo: Sailworks

A Personal Protective Equipment Manufacturing Machine

The windsurfing sail manufacturer is now producing between 400 and 500 face shields per day.

Sailworks teamed up with the Hood River County Health Department, and Hand Made Brigade 50 (HMB 50), a non-profit health and public safety organization.

"It's a bit staggering that our healthcare supply chain is so shallow, but we are stoked that we are able to help our community," adds Sailworks.

Oregon state parks have been shut down, and many beaches closed to the public.

Sailworks was founded by Bruce Peterson, Bruce Wylie, Mark Thornburrow, and Yatusada Seto in 1989.

Peterson still keeps an updated database of the original sail designs, alongside tweaks and improvements to the geometric attributes that have proven to be effective throughout the decades.

The design process at Sailworks is s been digitally automated with CAD/CAM technology since 1993.

  • Dutch environmental activist and windsurfer Merijn Tinga, also known as the "Plastic Soup Surfer," has made an audacious journey from Oslo to London, braving the North Sea's currents and winds, to call attention to the pervasive problem of plastic pollution.