When Mary and Don Yager first brought their sailboat to Semiahmoo marina in the late eighties, they were already boating experts. They had both grown up east of the Cascades and spent much of their time sailing on the lakes of Northern Idaho; Priest Lake, Lake Pend Oreille, and Lake Coeur D’Alene. With plenty of water and mountain wind all around them, there’s little wonder they fell in love with sailing. From there, it was only natural to turn their passion for sailing into a business, and so was born Yager Sails & Canvas.
We’ve got this!
Over the years, each of the Yagers developed their individual specialties. Don is designing and building the sails while Mary focuses on accessories; sail covers, sheet bags, tiller covers, and line bags. Mary also takes care of the accounting. The fact that Don does his own artwork makes his sail designs unique. The Yagers make every effort to deliver their sails to every customer’s exacting standards, but Don adds, “Note at the expense of safety or quality, we won’t compromise the integrity of the sail if design elements might be an issue.”
Sail business on both sides of the mountains
So back at Semiahmoo, the Yagers originally purchased a slip with the intention of using it as their west-of-the-mountains weekend getaway, but it wasn’t long before Yager Sail & Canvas developed a healthy Puget Sound business, supplying sails for customers like Bellingham’s San Juan Sailing and others.
It’s now been more than thirty years, and business is thriving, Internet sales have expanded, and custom work continues to flourish. Though Don still spends a great deal of time on the water, it’s usually on customer boats, training the new sail owner how to effectively use their new canvas. “It would be nice to get out on the water with our own boat this summer,” says Mary Yager. “That was the original idea.”
So whether you’re a sail or power boater from Semiahmoo making your way down to Sucia or Friday Harbor in the coming season, some of those beautiful sails you pass along the way could very well be the work of expert sail makers, and your neighbors; Mary & Don Yager. Don’t forget to wave.