Hi Sailor 1842,
If you owned a J-24 or some other one design racer
, you'd have an abundance of good slightly used sails to choose from that would fit your boat without modification. Some might only have a regatta
or two of use on them. But you have a cruising boat and it's an older one at that, probably with a fairly low aspect sailplan.
When you need cruising sails, you need to know that most cruisers don't get rid of good cruising sails. I've been in the sailmaking industry for some time, and if I had a dollar for every time I met someone who had bought a used sail and then ended up with having to pay for modifications, new suncover, luff tape replacement, new slides, etc., my boat would be paid off. In many cases people buying
used sails will spend 80-90% of the cost of a new sail by the time the loft is done with the work. And since most lofts make more money
doing a major service project
than selling a new sail, few will discourage you.
Another problem is you have a ketch, which means that your sail plan is divided. In other words, your mainmast is shorter than the mast
on a similar sized sloop
. That means most used sails will be off smaller and lighter boats.
May I gently suggest that you are forgetting that sails are your engine
and that a good set of properly fitted cruising sails is essential?
The good news is that usually ketches are not that expensive to buy sails for. A main for my boat is about 40% less money
than a main for a similar sized contemporary racer cruiser
What kind of old ketch did you buy?