I dont know that I totally agree on this point.
I did a lot of research
Estrella's new suit of sails
. While I met a lot of people who owned Hasse/Quantum/North sails
etc. tell me the quality of the chinese sailmakers was sub par and that they wouldnt last etc. etc. I never found one dissatisfied customer of Lee Sails. I found one that had measurement problems but if you do your own measuring wrong I bet Carol Hasse will also give you the wrong shaped sail.
That said, I got to inspect a Carol Hasse full batten main that had just gone through one circumnavigation
as Nancy Early's mainsail
. She was selling it because the fabric
was blown out. The craftsmanship was fine but the material didnt outlast it. The sail was only a few years old but had been around the world.
The Lee Sails I inspected had thicker leather chafe protection and more of it, also the same number of stiitching rows applied in the same fashion.
At that same swap meet I met a fellow selling a brand new unused Lee genoa
he had for 10 years. I thought maybe i would find my first dissastisfied customer and asked him why he was selling it.
Turned out he built his own boat, and for the price
he was able to afford twice the number of sails from Lee. He bought 7 sails. He then sailed his boat to New Zealand
and back over the course of 10 years and never had occasion to use that sail. He went on to say he was very happy with the other 6 sails he used and would buy from Lee again.
I got great service
from my Lee rep and my sails are excecllent. For the price of half a Hasse mainsail
I got all three sails on Estrella. If the challenge dacron that they are made out of (which is the same stuff many of the US lofts use) wont last a circumnavigation
then I would rather be at the Seattle
swap meet selling a blown out Lee sail that I paid 1/4 the price for than a Carol Hasse sail for which I paid an arm and a leg.
If you are in the UK looking for good quality and prices check china
. If you are looking to find a way to spend pounds for dollars in the US see any Port Townsend business (Brion Toss, Carol Hasse, Artful Dodger
just my .02