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Old 14-10-2009, 18:54   #1
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North Sails: Your Opinion, Please . . .

Hi all! We just came back from the boat show">Annapolis boat show, and we had a surprise. We had seven quotes from sail makers for a full suite of sails for our ketch. Hard to believe, but North Sails came in quite competitively, and we really liked our salesman, co-owner of the Annapolis loft. He was one of very few makers who offered to come the 2 1/2 hours from their lofts to measure and possibly come back to aid in hardware placement. North Sails hardware looks first rate, and their sails look really well designed, with their own tough sail cloth. What do you all think? Thanks, Chris and Marisa
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Old 14-10-2009, 18:59   #2
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Who was the salesman?

You might want to get some quotes from the offshore sailmakers before pulling the trigger.
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Old 14-10-2009, 19:18   #3
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Quantum Sails is just as good as North, at about the same price. But Quantum's delivery date was a lot sooner for me.
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Old 14-10-2009, 19:58   #4
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Your mileage may vary...
About 5 years ago, I took my trampolines to the North Sails loft in Seattle for repair.
They took a look at them spread out on the floor and said, "$300."
A week later when I came in to pick them up, the price was nearly $550 !
Their excuse? "It took a little more time than we expected."
Not only was the price almost double, the stitching had lots of skipped stitches, the tension wasn't all that great, and the repair only lasted a couple of years. This in the rainy, no UV Pacific Northwest.

Never again, at least this loft....

Steve B.
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Since that repair, I've invested in my own sewing machine and have repaired my sails and trampolines with better results.
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Old 14-10-2009, 20:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedoo View Post
Who was the salesman?
Will Keyworth. Other quotes were: Quantum, Mack, JSI, UK...
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Old 14-10-2009, 21:19   #6
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Sometimes you are paying for more than the sails. My North guy will come out for a sail if I ask him to. One of the issues with buying sails off shore is what if they do not fit properly or the stitching comes out. I try to use a local loft as much as possible. I alway get good service if the sails need to go in.
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Old 14-10-2009, 21:32   #7
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North's dacron fabric (Nordac) is not very good. It is a somewhat antiquated product. Superior fabrics are available from Dimension-Polyant, and Bainbridge, regardless of who actually builds the sail for you.

http://www.dimension-polyant.com/en/Wovens_2_1.php

http://www.sailcloth.com/
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Old 14-10-2009, 21:54   #8
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Caelestis, Could you tell me what you are specifically referring to when you say that Nordac is "not very good"? I'd like to compare apples to apples... Thanks, Chris
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Old 14-10-2009, 23:15   #9
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I have seen great looking sails from North, Quantum, Neil Pryde, Doyle among others. The best sail for your boat will likely come from a loft that will send out a knowledgeble person to your boat to carefully measure and understand what exactly you are planning to do with it.
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Old 15-10-2009, 00:31   #10
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I've always been happy with Norths having used various lofts but three years back the quote for a 120% genoa was too high from UK or Germany so I got same sail same material from Turkey - 60% discount on other prices!

Yes - North Sails Turkey.

JOHN
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Old 15-10-2009, 01:14   #11
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You must understand that all these lofts are franchises so North vs Quantum etc. doesn't work well.

One name that I miss in the list is Elvstrom-Sobstad. May be some never heard of that and others think it's too expensive, but they actually beat even Doyle for a new set of sails for Jedi (ordered in off-season) and I am really happy with them. The previous sails were from Sobstad too, before Elvstrom assimilated them.

Chris, I would go for North because of the decent price and the willingness to come over and the nice guy. All important.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 15-10-2009, 14:08   #12
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Thank you all for your posts! I'll keep you informed as we go along...now where is my check book? Better yet, where is Nick's check book?
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Old 15-10-2009, 14:27   #13
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Are the North sails going to be made in the Annapolis loft? Or are they going to be made offshore. I had heard that North had consolidated their manufacturing and that the local lofts didn't make the sails anymore.
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Old 15-10-2009, 15:05   #14
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More then likely the sails will be built at an offshore North loft. Nothing wrong with that since Norths stands behind the product. All sailmakers have offshore lofts and will often build sails there. If they are slow they may build in house to keep their own people working. Doyle built our very nice #3 over the winter in the US.

As an example of a problem: UK built a new lazy trough for us. They totally missed the mark (to small) and ended up having to build another one. This was built by their loft in Mexico. The key is they stood behind the product.

We bought new North sails made in Sri Lanka for the kids Thistle earlier this year. The won the Jr Travelers series, 2nd at Bay Week and while in Annapolis last weekend they sailed the Oyster Regatta and finished 4th out of 28 and were the only kid team racing as near as I could tell.

So yea, North builds a good product and they will stand behind the product. Kind of like buying and IBM mainframe, not much risk.

If you have a sailmaker coming out to measure and help you out that is worth a ton.

Cheers,

Joli
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Old 15-10-2009, 15:14   #15
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North Sails is North Sails is North Sails

Particular lofts may differ but should anything go wrong you can count on their 100% reliable client service and your warranty rights.

The best way to go is always when you see a sails that you do like - ask who made it, then go to that particular loft and order.

b.
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