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Meet my secret weapon!

What do you get when a master sailmaker and an earth junkie meet on a boat, over a Juki?

*Barry and Angela let the light in as pieces of a geodesic dome concept come to life. (*Note the french seams.)

Please meet Barry Spanier. My new best friend and the Lahaina Project’s secret weapon. Maui is known as the birthplace and windsurfing capital of the world and Barry Spanier has been there since beginning.

Barry has been inventing, optimizing, improving and innovating sail material and construction for decades. He is a master sailmaker and an exceptional human. I encourage you to get lost in a few more of his ideas for a better world at

*Spanier, sporting a vintage Maui Sails tee, building the first prototype for West Maui.

When I called Barry, he was in Emmeryville, California, with his wife Samantha on the Red Dog Yacht. It didn’t take long before Barry offered to help and we have spoken nearly every day since.

His thoughtful approach to supporting Lahaina residents is shaped by his intimate knowledge of the culture, deep relationships with community leadership and lots of love.

Barry’s generosity has allowed us to create an actionable plan to hire fire victims to help fabricate and install our shade solutions. His love for this community is powerful and I couldn’t be more grateful for his support.

A word from Barry about Sail to Shelter and The Lahaina Project.

As a forty-five-year resident of Maui with many connections to Lahaina from work with the sailing community, I was happy to be contacted by Angela and Sail to Shelter a few days after the tragic fires on Maui.

As a lifelong sailmaker involved with many levels of the sport, her obvious solution to the hidden issue of the end-of-life for fabrics that are designed for toughness and UV resistance jumped out to me. No shredding, burning, burying in landfills, just sorely needed long-term shade, in any form found useable.

She explained the willing participants and it was easy to agree to help with paths to people on the island who can help and to execute some ‘prototypes’ so potential utilizers will experience the value of these materials firsthand, all done with simple design and sewing.

Cutting on the dock, and sewing in the doghouse fit with the whole concept of putting these incredible, highly developed materials into useful life as a shelter for all in need.

I’m sure to have plenty of opportunities to help move this useful effort into reality and expect there will be logical success.


We are asking for your support today! Your cash donations will go directly to fabricating and hiring locals to install shade for the thousands of displaced West Maui residents. Donate here!

Our goal is to raise $50,000 in October so we can begin work November 1. Help us get people working and protected from the relentless Lahaina sun. More on that tomorrow.

Remember, all donations are tax deductible! Sail to Shelter is a registered 501(c)3!

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