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Old 16-09-2019, 11:53   #1
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Sailmaker

I need a new full battened main. Choices are Quantum, North, local loft. I want to support local, but don't want to get a bad sail, either. Anyone have experience with a similar decision and how did it turn out?

Thank you,
Ben
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Old 16-09-2019, 13:25   #2
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Re: Sailmaker

Hello, Ben,

Since we've been cruising, we have used only local lofts. Jim has avoided North and other lofts who are more concerned with racing sails, and how he phrases it is that they want to sell you what they want to sell, whereas the local guys want you to come back, happy, and therefore will work with you to determine what will work best in your usage. This has happened over and over, now, in NZ and in Australia, and we have never had an unsatisfactory sail made.

Before the advent of the computer cutting for sail cloth, we did have one head sail made, in northern Calif., that came out with a characteristic hook in the leech, but that kind of flaw if pretty much a thing of the past, these days.

Shop around, and go with the combination of working with you and expense that is acceptable to your own good self.

Ann
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Old 16-09-2019, 13:45   #3
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Re: Sailmaker

Ann,

Thank you very much for your reply. I will stay local, which was my inclination. I have a ton of respect for the two of you and value your opinions.

Thanks again,
Ben
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Old 16-09-2019, 13:47   #4
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Re: Sailmaker

I purchased a new fully battened main and a genoa from Mack Sails in FL. Very happy with the results and prices were competitive with made in China sails. Bought my first new sail from Mack 40 years ago.
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Old 16-09-2019, 13:56   #5
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Re: Sailmaker

I second Mack Sails. We went through Nance & Underwood in Fort Lauderdale, local loft, for our Kaufman 47 mainsail. I do prefer to buy local, rather than offshore.
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Old 17-09-2019, 06:49   #6
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Re: Sailmaker

Iíve bought three sails from Mack Sails, but they are sort of local to me.
However if I were staying in one place, and knew the local guy did quality work, Iíd pay a little more, cause the one you had shipped to you isnít going to come to the boat to make sure itís right.
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Old 17-09-2019, 07:08   #7
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Re: Sailmaker

I am going to order a new mainsail today. I have no one really "local" and it is meaningless for me anyway as I will be leaving. I sent out RFQs to the bargain places plus a couple of the national type lofts. In the end since I wanted some extras they all ended up about the same. In the end I'm getting from UK because the price was just a little more for what I wanted, they have lofts "around" in case, they answered my questions best, where going to make in the US loft, and they were the OEM supplier for my boat so had the OEM patterns plus that sail has lasted. Having the OEM pattern and measurements was a big plus.
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Old 17-09-2019, 07:14   #8
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Re: Sailmaker

You know it is all great in theory when folks recommend "the local guy".. that makes sense of course (in the same way it makes sense to buy books from the local bookstore and not from Amazon ;-) .. but if one is actually cruising, that "local guy" might be inexistent, hard to find or an unknown variable... then either way you are stuck with taking your own measurements and sending them to the sailmaker of your choice.. and in that case it is hard to justify paying the extra $$$ for the fellow man sitting in Europe/North America/etc and not just order them from some far east (pun intended) location...

On that note.. if someone has a recommendation for a good "local guy" in Greece, hopefully in the Dodecanese region, I shall be grateful for the tip
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Old 17-09-2019, 07:17   #9
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Re: Sailmaker

Wherever you buy, try to determine if the sails will actually be made there.
Some places may make some sails, but many are actually Chinese made and resold with a mark up of course.
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Old 17-09-2019, 08:30   #10
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Re: Sailmaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Wherever you buy, try to determine if the sails will actually be made there.
Some places may make some sails, but many are actually Chinese made and resold with a mark up of course.
Actually the sailmaker ( if they are a sailmaker ) will not just be reselling the sail with a markup, they will be designing the sail, and providing the manufacturer with all the data to make the sail to the same standard as if had made it himself. And would not use a company that actively advertises online retailing mail order. Some of the retail fast east lofts even try and fool you into thinking they are OEM makers for big brands. Currently most OEM sails are made in Philippines, South Africa and Sri-Lanka. UK makes at their own facility in Hong Kong ( not mainland ). There was a big OEM producer ( not retail ) in China run by westerners but it went bankrupt about a year ago.
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Old 17-09-2019, 08:50   #11
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Re: Sailmaker

To tell the truth, far as I'm concerned I think the "local guy" is a place to sail work done. But not a place to get a sail designed and made.
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Old 17-09-2019, 08:56   #12
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Re: Sailmaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by bensolomon View Post
I need a new full battened main. Choices are Quantum, North, local loft. I want to support local, but don't want to get a bad sail, either. Anyone have experience with a similar decision and how did it turn out?

Thank you,
Ben
on Quantum. We have several of their sails. Good cut, good service, nice people.
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Old 17-09-2019, 12:49   #13
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Re: Sailmaker

Our most recent work with a sailmaker, it was one who had been recommended to us by a friend in the area. He came to the boat and did all the measuring, and spent, in all, about a half day, what with the measuring and talking with Jim and me about how we sail, where we wanted the reef points. We have a fractional rig boat, and he concurred with Jim that we wanted the first reef a little deeper because we didn't want to tack runners when reefed, but leave them set, and tack or gybe like a "normal" boat. Our particular sailmaker, since we're not moving far afield any more, is this guy, he's a racer, as well, and very easy to deal with. It's been said before, but the one who comes to the boat and does the measuring is then responsible for the sail fitting. We once saw a sail delivered, a mainsail, that didn't fit. So, mistakes do happen, and rather it be their "fault" than ours for a small measuring mistake.

I'm told, the sailmakers all have access to computer driven cutting now, and a local small shop what he can sell you is service, and he can make you whatever you want. When we wanted to go with a third reef, we had to add a sheave to the boom, but the third reef has been useful--I like having it. This is not always true, I suppose, but we've always had good service from the small guys, and reasonable fees for fixing "it", if something was not as we wanted it.

Ann
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Old 17-09-2019, 20:33   #14
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Re: Sailmaker

Recently purchased a main and Genoa from Quantum sails in Annapolis, MD. Worked with David Flynn. Very happy with results.

I priced the sails out with another maker and found they had very different specs for the Admiral 38’ Cat we own. Sails ended up being smaller on paper.

Quantum was the original manufacturer for this boat built in 2006 in South Africa. David had the specs and pricing to me quickly. While a David is a well respected racing sail coach and consultant he worked with me to find a time of year that was best for discounted price and did not try to over sell me as we are cruisers not racers. Installed with his help and advice as we both worked in the Annapolis sun in August to install them. He is hands on, as was I, Dammit.
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Old 17-09-2019, 20:46   #15
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Re: Sailmaker

We have 2 sails on order from Quantum. Being made in Taiwan. But you should know: If you order cruising sails, your sails will likely be made offshore somewhere. The local sailmaker then finishes them, adds reinforcement, etc. We have a recent genoa, from UK, that we are very happy with, and it was made in China. It's a fact of life...
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