Thoughtfully Designed. Handcrafted With Love.

The Original Vancouver Island Company
To Transform Sailcloth Into Bags.

Est. 2012

As featured in:

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“Low-quality materials, environmental degradation, and a lack of attention to detail…surround the opaque and mysterious mass-production goods industry.”

- Craftsmanship vs Conformity: The Advantages of Handmade Products over Mass-Produced

Our Mission

Have you ever found yourself in a store wandering through rows of lifeless, generic-looking bags that came off an assembly line?
Mass production cannot capture the nuance, the soul, and the story that defines each one-of-a-kind, handcrafted bag.
What if you could break free from the cookie-cutter aesthetic and embrace the full richness of bespoke goods?
Imagine yourself owning a handcrafted bag with every stitch and detail considered. These boutique creations are not only beautiful but also built to last.


The Faces That Launched a Thousand Bags: Nelly & Jens Heyduck

Hi, pleased to meet you!

We’re Nelly and Jens from Ahoy Bags.

When we first arrived here on the West Coast from Germany in 2009, we fell head over heels with the natural surroundings and felt deeply connected with the local marine community.

Together, we discovered that old sails are either confined to basements or end up in a landfill whenever a sail is beyond repair. Our friends in the sailing communities gave us their finest vintage sailcloths so we could breathe new life into them.

Since 2012, we’ve started a special design process that upcycles each piece of sailcloth into a beautiful bag. With over 20 years of combined design experience, our ideas harmonize into creations that make you smile and help keep our oceans blue.


Nelly Heyduck
Co-Owner and Founder
Role: Innovation and Design Language

Master’s Degree in Product Design from Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in Krefeld, Germany, Class of 2005.

Jens Heyduck
Co-Owner and Founder
Role: Heritage and Craftsmanship

Master program in Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany.
International Art Trade & Auctioneering, Lempertz, Cologne, Germany


“The nature of handmade goods means that there are fewer of them, so whatever you’re wearing…is as unique as you are.

- 11 Benefits of Buying Handcrafted Products

"“I absolutely love that each and every bag is unique and hand crafted! I love mine to bits and use it as my purse! I would love this to pass along to my sister on the east coast”

Brooke S.
Ahoy Bags customer

How we Transform Vintage Sailcloth
into Bags You Love



Our fine vintage sails get dropped off in a heap at a single collection point in Sidney, British Columbia.We’re happy to tell you that our sails come from our marine community friends and not transported from a yacht club afar. These efforts ensure that we know the people behind our materials and our environment remains green.



We wash the sails with pure rainwater preserving its weather charm and unique patina inherited from countless Pacific adventures.



We place templates around the sails and cut the body shape. We pre-cut our handles with matching stylish hues and consider yearly colour schemes and trends to make your bag even more unique. We then sew your bag with a 1960s industrial sewing machine using the thickest thread, so your bag gets extreme durability.



Upon completion, we allocate the bags to local markets, retail stores or online shops for you. We’ve included for you: a story about your bag’s unique characteristics, origin, and history. As you enjoy your new purchase, you’re now the mediator of history for your own rip-proof Vancouver Island sailcloth bag!

"“Absolutely ♥♥♥♥♥ your designs!”

Kent L.
Ahoy Bags customer

Our Achievement


Reduction in Landfill Waste

We've reduced the waste of our key industrial partners in the south island region.


Made with Upcycled Sails

We make bags with the only finest vintage sailcloth in Ucluelet, British Columbia.


Leftover in Offcut Waste

All that's left after having disassembled a sail.

“Handmade Items are Crafted in an Environment of Joy, Honor and Respect…Those same values somehow find their way into the very fiber of a handmade item”

- Why Handmade Matters


Environmental & Social Responsibility

We source from nearby and sell the bags to you and surrounding communities. This offsets our carbon transport emissions.

True & Honest Workmanship

We make Ahoy Bags on the floor which is hard on our bodies and time-consuming. Yet, we love scrutinizing every stitch and detail to meet your lifestyle demands.


Staying Local

We’ve eschewed expanding our production overseas. Ahoy Bags remains a Vancouver Island grassroots project.

Driven By Passion & Challenge

Ahoy Bags is our contribution to our children and the future of the planet.


Ahoy Bags Steps Up to Help Ukraine

- Westerly News

It’s not every day that we get a rare blue Darcon sail, so we held onto it not knowing when it needed upcycling.
When the 2022 Ukraine invasion happened, we started a limited run of large and medium sailbags, as it was the only piece of blue sail we had to create the colours of the Ukraine flag. We’re proud to say that all your donated proceeds went straight to local NGOs, to support humanitarian efforts and to the brave people of Ukraine. They are a great inspiration to us all which is why we all worked on these bags pro bono.


Industry Recognition:


Best Immigrant Entrepreneur
2021 Small Business BC Awards Nominees


Best Innovation
2021 Small Business BC Awards Nominees


Ecostar Finalist 2023

Your Ahoy Bag Is a Story Waiting to Be Told

“Your bags are great conversation-starters about your innovative creations”
Silvia J., Ahoy Bags customer

Are you ready to embark on this journey where we say goodbye to generic-looking assembly line bags?

Your Ahoy Bag isn't just a mere possession— it's an extension of your identity, a testament to your discerning taste, and a trusted travel companion whether you're at the office, the beach, the grocery store or a Pilates class.

Let's continue the conversation about the nautical charm of handmade craftsmanship and write a new chapter in the book of bags—one that's bold, timeless, and belongs to you!

Enter your email address below to get our community newsletter and learn more about our exciting initiatives:

✓ Receive the latest news about a production batch before it sells out
✓ Learn about our upcycling program and how to create your custom bag
✓ Get your personal guided tour of our design studio in the heart of Ucluelet
✓ Join sustainability workshops hosted by our local non-profit friends
✓ Discover our exterior design and furniture services for your home