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Old 10-01-2010, 12:45   #1
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Purchase New Sail Online?

Has any one had order sail on-line before? how safe it is? I intend to order a sail (330 sqr ft) on-line from Fareast sail (own by Wolfbay Group), they quote me good price including air freight, and they required 50 % deposit and I intend to pay with Visa. I live in Canada and we have to pay Fed and Provincial Taxes, But I don't know if I have to pay import duty or not. Please give me you opinions and advice, Thank you.
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Old 10-01-2010, 14:05   #2
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I imported a sail from the Far East into Canada and what saved me the duty was that it was ordered via a US company...National Sails in Florida and they said it was made of US materials...and part of the US/Canadian trade agreement.
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Old 10-01-2010, 19:12   #3
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4-5 years ago I replaced my main...went with Quantum, great sail but was expensive, left me tight for purchase of jib...went with mail order from Air Force sails...fit was perfect and quality
better than I hoped for...maybe someone out there who has purchased from Far East can comment ....
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Old 10-01-2010, 21:05   #4
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new main on-line

Potting aside the whole issue of whether you actually receive the sail you've paid for is perhaps the bigger issue; does it fit the way you want it to? If you go on-line to buy a sail, and it "kinda" fits but has a wrinkle or two where you don't want them to be...or has the reef points where they don't line-up with your boom hardware...what do you do?
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Old 10-01-2010, 22:36   #5
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every sail I've ever had built began with a sailmaker coming to my boat and taking measurements. and every time I've had a sail delivered it's had to go back to the sailmaker for minor tweaks and fixes.

you're going to live with this sail for what, ten years? best to get one that's built right to begin with.
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Old 11-01-2010, 15:14   #6
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Thanks for suggestions, Yes I know the risky part of it what to do when the sail looks no good or does not fit at all.
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Old 11-01-2010, 19:14   #7
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If you know the sailmaker and they know your boat. Why not.

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Old 12-01-2010, 03:34   #8
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Hi - we bought a new main from Lee sails in Hong Kong two years ago, online.

The measuring felt painful and risky but actually they were great and batted emails and pix to and fro till we were all satisfied. I had the old measurements from the previous sail (gowans in the UK) for some of it, and of course the old sail.

They were clear they did it their way so eg additional reinforcements etc required some pushing. They also do their reefing cringles slightly differently from our ideal.

The sail itself has been fantastic, and we're very happy with its fit, cut and quality. The sail cover/stak-a-pak was wrong and they replaced it free of charge and it's now good.

We could have bought two from them for the quotes we got in France and the UK, I'm sorry to say.

Yes we paid import duty etc on its arrival in France. If you are planning to be somewhere tax friendly, particularly for Chinese imports, then you could order it sent there. It's hard to put something as big as a mainsail into your personal baggage.

YMMV but we found it a pretty good experience despite initial trepidation.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:06   #9
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As others have said, buying a sail without input from the sailmaker is not something we want to do. We tend to have the sails back to the sailamaker every other year to be reviewed (stitching, tears, wear...)

We looked at pricing for a #3 and the delta from local to offshore was ~ 10%. Why bother...
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Old 12-01-2010, 16:18   #10
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That's one other aspect.

Having worked at a loft I grew to understand that there is more to the sail than meets the eye. Same as I like to use the sextant now and then, I like to walk into the loft and talk to my sail maker about all the little details that count to me. Well, call it 'participating in the sailing culture' rather than just consuming its products.

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Old 12-01-2010, 16:25   #11
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If your boat is not a one-off design, and you know what you want/expect from your sail(s), it is quite doable. I ordered (by phone and on-line correspondence) replacement sails (main and genoa) from Neil Pryde sails a little over a year ago and have been extremely happy with every aspect of it. The sails were made somewhere in SE Asia and DHL'ed to me in Florida.

While doing so, you may want to see when the sailmaker has discounted rates, etc - Fall is typically when they reduce the rates as well as boat shows, etc...

Fair winds!

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Old 12-01-2010, 18:02   #12
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Roaring girl mention of Lee sail, I think they might have sales agent (not sail maker) here in Vancouver, so I am going to call them. I am replacing the over 20 years old working jib hanked type. I may be should shorten the luff for about 5 inches from the old measurement, as better shorter then too long that have to re-cut. At least I can reach the sales agent if the sail does not fit.
In my area usually light to moderate wind (5 to 15 kt) but some times we get blasted by over 25 kn wind, I am not sure should I order the sail clothe of 7.3 oz or 8.3 oz, the jib is about 320 sqr ft. My main was made of 8.3 oz and it was very heavy to remove or put it back in into the boom. Any suggestion the weight of the clothe?
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Old 12-01-2010, 19:47   #13
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Mail order sails

I have bought two new sails online over the last 3 years. The genoa from Fareast Sails was $600-$800 less than any quote from local lofts. It fits excellently, is very well made, and the only quibble I have is with the cheapo leech line they put in, which I've replaced. Mind you I had a sleepless night or two after measuring up and sending the measurements in. They were very good communicators.

THe mainsail from Rolly Tasker is again very well made and fits perfectly but they made a couple of dumb mistakes. Only one hole in the headboard instead of two, one for the shackle and one for headboard car. And they set the grommets for sail slides too close to the tack reef cringles, which annoyed me because i had given them very explicit instructions and measurements. Bought through National Sail Supply in Fl, who were not helpful when I complained - passed me back to the loft in Thailand who said I'd have to get it back to them at my expense for the repairs. But it's a vast improvement over the old sail and again was $700 cheaper than the next cheapest local quote. That was the difference between having a new sail and not having one. Even allowing for a couple of hundred bucks for repairs, it's still a bargain.

Next time I may go to Lee who have a loft nearby. I would rather support a local loft, but in these times you have to watch the pennies.

Bottom line - luck of the draw.
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Old 13-01-2010, 15:22   #14
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Seems that both the for and aganist on-line sail ordering have had to send back the sails for rework. So it seems it just comes down to price.
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Old 14-01-2010, 10:12   #15
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Re: Cloth weight

Menardo - your headsail is about the same area as mine and your sailing conditions sound fairly similar. I had my genoa cut smaller (130%) and higher in the clew than the original 150% sail - no loss of performance except in real light winds, and that's what engines and spinnakers are for. Cloth weight is 7oz. Seems about right, though it is a heavy sail. Hanked sails are in my past, thankfully!
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