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Old 20-02-2016, 09:17   #31
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

for the average sailor, go with cheap.
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Old 20-02-2016, 09:38   #32
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Not sure if the OP is still here . . . . I can not talk about the other alternatives but I worked for North for a while . . . . and it is really not the right place to buy plain dacron cruising sails. You are paying a lot for the brand and you are paying a lot for their racing sails technology development, and you are paying a lot for the top notch racing sailors in their lofts and you are paying a lot for their sophisticated sail shape software development (including matching luff curve to your mast modulus) - none of which you need for a plain dacron cruising sail.

If you wanted a one design racing sail in a class which North has studied and optimized and has a tuning guide for - then yes, well work considering. But for the OP, no.

As to the question about offshore manufacturing - the sewing in sri lanka was in fact more careful and consistent than US sewing. The major problem with the ski lanka labor was they were too careful to follow process and direction and did not exercise any initiative when something obviously needed to be changed. There was a case where they were asked to 'make 4 sails just like this one' - and that one had pencil marks on it, and the 4 copies they made had identical pencil marks even though they were not needed
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Old 20-02-2016, 11:16   #33
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Differences in cloth quality and workmanship are huge. Expect big differences in how long the sail lasts. I cannot tell you which loft sells what, you must walk in and have a look. Search the net for explanations, samples and good loft tips.

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Old 20-02-2016, 11:16   #34
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

This is a very interesting discussion. Whether it applies to cars, tools, or sails - the principles are very similar.

About 10 years ago I needed to cut a 4.25" hole in the companionway bulkhead of my boat to mount a compass. I went to the Milwaukee tool store, and they had exactly what I needed. The hole saw was about $75, and the mandrel that it mounted to was about $40. With tax this hole was going to cost me nearly $125.

I thought this was insane, and said so to a friend. He said "have you ever heard of Harbor Freight Tools." That was the first time I had heard of them, and with that I went to their local store and bought an entire set of (lower quality) hole saws and a mandrel for $9.99. It cut the hole perfectly, and probably was worn out by that time.

If I were a plumber, or other professional who needs to cut 4.25" holes to run pipes regularly, and the failure of the saw is an expensive problem in terms of time (and money) lost, the Milwaukee is the hole saw of choice. For me, the Harbor Freight hole saw was perfect.

My point is that whether it is a hole saw or a sale, you have to consider the application. I bought a very pricey North main a few years ago for my previous boat, and while I don't own that boat I still have lots of trophies that it helped bring home. For a cruiser, I would think long life, minimal maintenance and repairs, and PRICE would be the primary consideration. If it means a lot to you to have the same logo on your sail as Oracle Team BMW - knock yourself out.
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Old 20-02-2016, 11:23   #35
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
2) And, secondly, my best advice is to call Mack Sails, in Stuart, FL
at 772-283-2306
Ask for Travis, and tell 'em I (John MacDougall) said to call!
Mack Sails Ė Sailmakers

Travis and his brother (Colin Mack) have been running Mack Sails now for decades, and their Dad ran Mack-Shaw Sails in Ft. Lauderdale in the 1960's and 70's...
+1 for a local sailmaker of good repute.

If you are further north (Great Lakes), look up Andy Soper at the Kingston Sail Loft. He's another well known sailmaker who has been making quality sails by hand for decades. Did you see that movie "Master and Commander"...he made the sails. He made all the sails for the three local brigantines (tall ships) (STV Pathfinder, TS Playfair, and SV St Lawrence II).

And his prices are more than reasonable for both new sails and repairs.

- Kingston Sail Loft
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Old 20-02-2016, 11:37   #36
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Why buy plain Dacron at a premium price, when you can buy high tech along with tri radial cut for about the same as the Chinese maker's price? Shop around and don't assume made in China is cheaper and just as good. Why settle?

We'd actuall planned on buying Chinese Dacron sails up until I learned I could buy DYS, tri radial and made in the UK for less.
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Old 20-02-2016, 11:43   #37
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

I love Harbor Freight, it is a godsend from a DIYer's point of view. I used to carry all Craftsman and Snap on tools. The price they asked for is so ridiculous. I have no choice but bite the bullet and pay. Now I am glad that we have HF. In the recent years, their products are getting better and better also. They have implemented a good measure of quality control to weed out bad products from China. Of course the Chinese Companies are keep improving their manufacture process. The end results are better for the consumers.

Survival of the fittest. Capitalism at its best.
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Old 20-02-2016, 11:43   #38
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
.....................................Shop around and don't assume made in China is cheaper and just as good. Why settle?

We'd actually planned on buying Chinese Dacron sails up until I learned I could buy DYS, tri radial and made in the UK for less.
Just so. Good input, reflects Becky's points on page one. Doing one's own homework and research sure helps, doesn't it? Asking here is but a first step, 'cuz only YOU know what YOU need and want (two separate things BTW).

Happy hunting.
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Old 20-02-2016, 11:45   #39
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

I have been looking at replacing some 12 year old North sails and come down to RT and Mack. Travis has been very informative and is well respected. Both he and RT use Challenge cloth. Mack is about 50% higher than RT on a 3 sail package. I am also trying to learn the difference between Challenge High Mass Fibre Weaves(which claims a UV advantage which is important to me as I live and sail in the Caribbean) and Marblehead and High Aspect for my main genny and staysail. They never answer. Do any of you know anything about the different challenge cloths
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Old 20-02-2016, 13:17   #40
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Hi zstine
Needed a new Main sail for my boat,42 ft Ketch rigged 2 years ago.Got plenty of Quotes from all the big guys but ended up buying Lee ,made in Hong Kong,
Took 3 weeks,total price including shipping to Vancouver Island Can.$ 2100.00
It fits perfect and I am happy with it.Why spend more.
Cheers
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Old 20-02-2016, 17:23   #41
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Challenge Marblehead costs 50% more than HMF, so maybe that is your price difference with Mack. HMF and PC are economy dacon's compared - to Marblehead which is premium. higher quality polyester fibers are used, tighter weaving and a softer feel which relies less on the resin to keep the cloth together and prevent stretching.

Why spend more? If you value longevity - Many cases of cheap dacron sails lasting only 2 - 5 years in the last few years.
If you want your boat to sail well - Some of the sail shapes are appalling.
Would you buy a car from someone who doesn't drive?
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Old 20-02-2016, 17:35   #42
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Challenge Marblehead costs 50% more than HMF, so maybe that is your price difference with Mack. HMF and PC are economy dacon's compared - to Marblehead which is premium. higher quality polyester fibers are used, tighter weaving and a softer feel which relies less on the resin to keep the cloth together and prevent stretching.

Why spend more? If you value longevity - Many cases of cheap dacron sails lasting only 2 - 5 years in the last few years.
If you want your boat to sail well - Some of the sail shapes are appalling.
Would you buy a car from someone who doesn't drive?
Sounds like a bunch of bull manure. Our cheap sails lasted 20 years from constant year round use in all sorts of weather. Cheap sails will last a long time if you take care of them and do not flog them nor crush them, nor let the salt crystals build up. The only time to pay premium outside of racing, is when you need something that requires special cuttings. Then you go to Nathaniel Wilson, best sailmaker on planet earth.
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Old 20-02-2016, 17:48   #43
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

The sails on our boat are completely shot, main Dacron is around 20 years old and really pooched out. Got a quote from North and all the guy wanted to do was keep up-selling the laminated sails. He refused to tell me what Dacron they used or where they got them. Got a quote from Quantum and was a bit cheaper but he answered all my questions and was very detailed about the Dacron material. Getting them installed in a few months. There were a few threads here recommending a sailmaker in the PNW, I believe she frequents this site. If my boat was in Seattle I would look her up.
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Old 20-02-2016, 18:01   #44
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Whatever you do don't buy Banks sails. They used the wrong size luff tape on my roller furling main (smaller, the sail came out of the groove). The owner refused to acknowledge any responsibility. He said I needed to take the sail back to BVI from Miami for the repair. OUT $400.
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Old 20-02-2016, 18:27   #45
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

That would probably be Port Townsend Sails. Excellent service and quality.
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