The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 29, 2013

Another tall order for Erie sailmaker

By Ron Leonardi
Associated Press

— From his Erie workshop overlooking Presque Isle Bay, sailmaker Dave Bierig crafts some of the finest sails seen on tall ships.

Bierig, 70, owner of Bierig Sailmakers, has worked at his two-story, 5,000-square foot shop in the Niagara Point subdivision since 1965.

For nearly 50 years, he has crafted sails for tall ships, sailboats, yachts and classic yachts from a building that once was his family's boathouse and that's accessible only by a winding, rutted, gravel road.

As a result, Bierig is known nationally by scores of sailors and ship captains.

"That's part of what makes it interesting,'' said Bierig, a North East resident. "You have people that you've worked for all over the country and you might not hear from them in 20 years. Then they need a new sail and they call. I answer the phone and I remember them. Everybody is happy with that arrangement.''

His latest job is to make a full set of sails for the tall ship Hindu, which was in Erie earlier this month.