As the topic moves from sailing to economics, the economist-sailor must add a few notes. Groan universally...
Before roller furling
, boats had more sails. There was more work for sail makers. Racing
was different, more distance racing
requiring more sail choices. More work for sail makers. Hand designed and cut and sewn sails were more labor intensive. Production boats mean production sails. None of this is in and of itself bad. It is a change.
The process of making, using, and servicing sails has been radically changed over the last thirty years. It is much less labor intensive and less personal. Rationalization of the sail making business must follow.
On a positive note. Notice how busy the custom canvass work makers are. Custom work for custom clients, labor intensive, personal service