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Speaker Series To Shine Spotlight On Sail Making

The Door County Maritime Museum's Speaker Series resumes Thursday night with a program presented by Charlie Klein, owner of Dorsal LLC.

Dorsal is one of the more obscure businesses in Sturgeon Bay and yet the sail making and repair facility is ideally situated in the loft space in the Great Lakes Yacht Services boatyard adjacent to the Michigan Street Bridge. For years the loft space was pivotal in the construction of many yachts at Palmer Johnson, but now is also a canvas and upholstery shop.

Klein has a passion for sailing as he and his wife Susan Gigot-Klein and son Tristan have lived aboard sailboats and cruised some 13,000 miles on several boats they have designed and built. Much of the sailing has taken place on the East Coast between Maine and the southern Bahamas. They settled in Sturgeon Bay, where Klein opened his business 10 years ago.

Klein promises a diverse program with particular emphasis on how technology has made its way into sail making and design.

"I'll talk about computer controlled cutting machinery, virtual templating and patterning using digitizing equipment and 3D modeling software," says Klein, emphasizing technology's role in a small shop environment. But he also has some other projects underway that he's willing to share with the audience.

This is the first of three programs scheduled for the first Thursday of the month January through March.

George Houde, one of the producers of the History Channel series "Great Lake Warriors" which spotlighted John Selvick's tug fleet, appears Feb. 7 to talk about the development and making of the television series; and the final program is scheduled for March 7 with the U.S. Coast Guard's presentation on the new "Rescue 21" emergency communication system. 

All of the programs begin at 7 p.m. at the Sturgeon Bay museum. They are free of charge and open to the public with donations appreciated. Call 920-743-5958 or visit for more information.


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