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Carlson Design

In 2009 and 2010, Lake Geneva, Switzerland decided to upgrade to Carlson Design’s new industrial PT-72 plotter/cutter.  Around the lake, EuropSails (Carlson Customer since 1997), Voiles Gautier (Carlson Customer since 1992), and Fragniere Megroz (Carlson Customer since 1991) each decided to upgrade their tables to our new track, latest software, and most industrial hardware.

We spent a week in February 2010, installing EuropSails’ and Megroz’s new systems.

We start at EuropSails.  They have been using a Carlson Design plotter/cutter since 1997 and already have a 16 meter lofted vacuum table.

They built their own lofted 16 meter vacuum table
Plumbed Vacuum Blowers on Roof to reduce noise

We spend the first day removing their old track, switching their files to their new (networked) computer, and place new track and plotter on their existing lofted vacuum table.

Remove Old Cutter and Track
After removing old track, clear table and level as needed
Place new track. Use plotter to ensure both sides are parallel.
Control Cable, Power, and Pneumatics contained in side mounted Echain cable controller.

Once we upgraded their table to our new track system and PT-72 we were able to spend the rest of our time test cutting sails, training on software and maintenance, and even eating a little Gruyere!

EuropSails PT-72, 2010
EuropSails Team with new Carlson Plotter/Cutter
My Host and Co-Founder EuropSails – Nicholas Berthoud
We Toast a Successful Installation!

After upgrading EuropSails system, Nicholas drives us across the lake to Lausanne, where we visit Patrick Megroz’s loft for upgrade.  Patrick was the first sail loft in Switzerland to automate his sail plotting/cutting (with a Carlson) and one of the first in Europe.  Patrick’s loft is also interesting because he has 7 parrots.

1-of-7 Sail Loft Parrots. Don’t set your shiny tools out of reach!
Not your everyday loft

Fragniere Megroz has a custom 11 meter lofted table.  We spend the first day switching track and running new cabling.  Once setup we test cut several sails on paper, before switching to the real deal.  Confident the plotter/cutter is running faster and better than ever, we cut first main sail — video above – success!

Custom lofted 11 meter Vacuum Table
Simple control cable management run on one side.
Upgrade! 2010 PT-72 Plotter/Cutter.
Patrick Megroz gives 2 thumbs up!

After a successful transition to our new track and new plotter/cutter, we lay the almost 20 year old original Carlson Design SP-101 to rest.  From 1991 to 2010, except for blades and the occasional PC upgrade, this plotter/cutter required ZERO spare or replacement parts.  ZERO.

Retired Carlson Design SP-101 plotter/cutter

Onsite commissioning a success, Patrick Megroz takes us racing on his Bavaria 35.  Brrrr – its below freezing and raining but fantastic fun!  We power through for 4th place finish.

Fearless Captain, Patrick Megroz, Laughs at the cold.
Tom on lake Geneva 2010
Lake Geneva, Lausanne Switzerland

Big thanks to Patrick and Nicolas for their hospitality.  After a great trip, it’s time to head home.  If you are sailing on Lake Geneva – there’s a good possibility your sail was cut with a Carlson!

Headed Home!

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