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Old 14-02-2010, 05:40   #1
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pirate Any Feedback on these Sailmakers?

I'm looking for a set of cruising sails and like everything nowadays cost is a major factor.
I posted sail plans to five different companies and these two returned with the most favourable quotes:

Lee Sails: Sailmaker to the world
&
Hlmff Sailmakers link: ķ緫

Has anyone had any sails from these companies or are there any other reasonable reputable sailmakers you'd reccomend?
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Old 16-02-2010, 18:29   #2
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About Lee Sails

I had a main made 2 years ago, the sail is great . I am happy with the shape; it has good attention to the details, an example the aluminum head board with leather chaffing protection. The price was much lower than the sail makers in my area. There price was lower than the sail makers it talked to at the boat show. I dont race. I wanted a good strong cruising sail built to last.
A few years before I bought a #2 jib from a very well known local sail maker. The price was high. It was not ready when they said it would be and I was leaving on a two month cruse, so I did not get it to the end of the season. It was a good sail but not worth the money, and I dont care about having there label on it.
Lee Sails were easy to deal with. I dealt with the loft in New York. I gave them all the information and details of what I wanted, and I added some photos. The owner of the loft called with a few questions and was very nice; he included new lines for my lazy jacks at no charge. Shipping was included; I placed my order at the begging of March. The sail arrived when they side it would. The battens were extra but I placed the order with them and the price was very low, 1/3 of the price I would have paid from Defender. They came right from the factory.
I would order my next sail from them again.
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Old 16-02-2010, 18:58   #3
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I've had two sails from Lee Sails in the past - one was a main that was a shocker - sent it back a few times for a recut and was never happy with it - They refused to come out to the boat so I could explain the problem.

The other was a genoa that was OK - I still use it as my primary cruising headsail. It's not great upwind, it's not great off the wind, but it's OK for cruising

I don't use them any more purely because of my bad experience, but their sails are usually OK - not great, but OK.

It is probably worth noting that they are a Hong Kong company and their sail loft is just over the border, yet there are very few boats in Hong Kong that you see with Lee Sails. Those that do are seen on boats which are.... umm ...how do I put this politely.... less concerned about sail shape
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Old 16-02-2010, 19:02   #4
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I ordered an asymmetric spinnaker from Lee Sails (Toronto). I didn't actually plan on buying the sail this year, but their price was so much better than any of the other quotes- by $1000 in fact. I personally can't speak as to quality, but they have a decent reputation. Combined with the price point, that was enough for me.
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Old 16-02-2010, 19:08   #5
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Geminidawn - your the guy with the warram in the Philppines aren't you?

Have you tried:
Hyde sails - Philippines (no personal experience but good rep)
Rolly Tasker - Thailand (no personal experience but good rep)
UK Halsey - Hong Kong - (who I use - they will be more expensive than Lee Sails)
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Old 17-02-2010, 07:43   #6
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Thank you to all on the feedback with regards to Lee Sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by bewitched View Post
Geminidawn - your the guy with the warram in the Philppines aren't you?

Have you tried:
Hyde sails - Philippines (no personal experience but good rep)
Yes and thanks for that, I know Hyde sails from my windsurfing days but I never knew their "sail loft" was in Cebu. I have just sent them a sail plan for a quote, I'll have to wait and see what kind of response I get. At least if they're making the sails next door to where the boat is being built there is less of a chance of any costly errors.
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Old 18-02-2010, 12:02   #7
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Geminidawn,

Usually those low prices are achieved by using substandard cloth. Manufacturers like Challenge, Contender, Dimension Polyant, and Challenge all perform quality control testing on their products. Runs of material that fail the testing are sold to sailmakers at steep discounts.

Sounds like you are in the PI. Hyde has had a loft in Cebu for several years. They are one of our our production lofts and they do a good job. For more detailed insight about some of these lofts you're considering feel free to drop me a pm or email.
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Old 18-02-2010, 12:11   #8
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Geminidawn,

Usually those low prices are achieved by using substandard cloth. Manufacturers like Challenge, Contender, Dimension Polyant, and Challenge all perform quality control testing on their products. Runs of material that fail the testing are sold to sailmakers at steep discounts.
The old adage "Anything that sounds too good to be true, usually is". Glad I posted this thread.
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Old 18-02-2010, 14:31   #9
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Lee Sails has been around forever and do very good work. I recently had a mainsail built by Far East Sails (www.fareastsails.com) in HK. They did a beautiful job, used Contender 6.4 oz cruising Dacron, all hand leathered, triple stitched, 3 reefs, custom specified roach, full length top batten, custom specified slide positions, etc. about 200 square feet and a total cost with air freight shipping of 750.00. I had the sail 4 weeks after I ordered it. Many of the so called US sail lofts actually have their sails made offshore anyway. I don't believe any of the major sailcloth manufacturers sell material that does not pass their quality assurance testing!


Good luck (Love Connemara!)
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Old 18-02-2010, 17:12   #10
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I don't believe any of the major sailcloth manufacturers sell material that does not pass their quality assurance testing!


Good luck (Love Connemara!)
I own a loft - Island Planet Sails, a company I started five years ago, so I think I may know a bit about this subject.

All four major sail cloth manufacturers sell their seconds and other rejects. In fact some of them send me listings of what's available. Much of it gets bought up by certain lofts in Asia that sell direct to consumers. Lofts that build solely for the sailmaking industry do not use seconds. If they did they would be out of business.
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Old 18-02-2010, 17:32   #11
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Buffery, hype and hyperbole.
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Old 19-02-2010, 08:45   #12
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Thanks Florida Writer but I did get a quote from Far East Sails and they sent me an e-mail offering me every discount in the book, by the time you cut the crap, did the math included their "very generous discounts of 40-50%" and converted the currency they were twice the price of Lee Sails and just as costly as buying from the top sailmakers in Europe.

To add weight to Island Planets argument I looked into purchasing the material alone and employing local skills to construct the sails. To my suprise the purchase price of the same material from the company that made it, was the same as the purchase price of the complete sails from China. I figured they must be making savings somewhere to make it worth their while.

I think I'm gonna go with Hyde, they gave me a fair price, slightly more than Lee Sails but I do know their quality and although finance is always a factor, the cheapest only option is something I don't want to be paying for at a later date when the riggin's whistling to the winds of a tempest.
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Old 19-02-2010, 09:05   #13
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Gemini,

I don't know how Far East Sails and lee Sails works in Ireland, but in the US both companies handle sales through independent reps. I found the pricing very different among several different reps quoting the same specs for both companies. In any case, I'm sure you will get a great suit of sails from Hyde.

Regarding the pricing of material you got equalling the finished cost of sails, large lofts such as Lee or Far East, or Hyde for that matter buy tens of thousands of yards of material and have negotiated very faverable quantity price breaks which accounts for the difference in price. Also I would assume that the manufacturer was selling to you at a retail price level, not a wholesale price level. Regardless, the pricing you were given at a mill is not a fair substantiation of the rediculous claim made that the major sailcloth mills sell quality rejects.

Cheers,
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Old 26-02-2010, 00:26   #14
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I don't have any personal experience with them yet, but long time long distance cruisers here at our marina swear by them. The Rep in Portland, Oregon is very good they say.

Regards,

Thomas
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Old 26-02-2010, 05:10   #15
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Buffery, hype and hyperbole.
Jeez, just because you're a writer doesn't mean you can make up words. I mean "Buffery"? C'mon! BTW, I wouldn't take IslandPlanet up on his bet if I were you...I might apologize though...
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