Dave Ullman started his first sail loft in the spring of 1968 in Corona del Mar, CA. He rented a garage and a sewing machine and started making small-boat sails for local one design boats such as Lido 14s and Sabots.
He has been sailmaking since he was 13 years old and working at various sail lofts and in 1968, at 21 years old, he decided it was time to set up on his own. Within 6 months, he relocated to a small loft where he continued to make sails on his own for four years. The majority of his business in the early years was still local small one design classes. After four years on his own, he started to take on seamstresses and assistants and the business grew from there.In 1979 the loft started to get into big boat sails, right in the middle of his top years in the 470 class. By 1981, he was fully established as a big boat sailmaker after one of his boats finished first in class in the 1981 Transpac; winning two races to Mexico on a Santa Cruz 50; and in his 1st Admiral’s Cup project, the boat was the top US boat to compete.
The group first started to expand into franchises when Dave was approached by good friends he knew from his sailing career and who wanted to get into the business. One was from Texas while the other was an Olympic Gold medalist in the 470 class from Brazil. The longest existing franchise lofts besides the original Newport Beach loft are both located on the West Coast in California, the San Diego loft and the Ventura loft.
The Ullman Sails logo came about through a quiet evening with friends. The colours and letters were chosen to represent the United States, as well as Dave’s last name. In the reality of the morning it was agreed that the logo was actually quite good and is still the logo we recognise today.