The company was started by Jack Wong, an aeronautical engineer who was fanatical about sailing and sails. Sadly, Jack passed away in 2007 at the age of 76. Dean then took the helm of Potomac Sailmakers. Dean had worked for Jack for 7 years prior to this.
Dean’s passion for the marine industry dates back to high school, when he washed boats for a marine retailer in Alexandria. That was 1978. Dean got to know Jack Wong and Potomac Sailmakers and decided to learn the trade. Since its founding in 1972, the company has had an excellent reputation for high quality canvas and sail products and repairs.
The Covid pandemic nearly ended the business and the business closed for a period.
Reopening & New Management
New Management: In August 2021, after several months of closure, Nick took the helm and reopened the business in August 2021. Since then we have completed many projects including new Biminis and Dodgers, a large Porch Enclosure, new Cushions, and countless repairs on sails and canvas. We have also designed and delivered over 40 new Neil Pryde sails!
Nick’s focus is on managing the business, new sail design (along with Neil Pryde International) and sewing. He has been sailing since he was lad, has taught sailing, and raced 470’s. He even has a bit of ice boat sailing on his resume (brrr). He currently spends weekends (and some summer weeks) with his children sailing the Chesapeake.
Nick’s engineering and I.T. background helps keep this website purring and also helps keep our sewing machines humming. Since he has owned and maintained boats for over 30 years, he has a wealth of boat maintenance tips and tricks.
Jim joined the team the fall of 2021 and although officially retired from the U.S. Coast Guard, helps us by applying his already expert sewing and fabrication skills.
We are also looking for individuals to come on board with experience in sewing, sail and canvas repair. This is on our Careers page.
We are have started a refresh cycle to purchase some new sewing machines and retire some of the old ones. We also have started investing in automation kit for the patterning and design of new canvas projects. Our hope here is to reduce the time it takes to fabricate new canvas projects which will result in savings for our customers.
If you cannot find the answer on this website, use our contact us page to send us a note, give us a call (703) 750-2171 or stop by.