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Old 20-02-2016, 19:52   #46
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

I had my last set of sails made by a local Evolution loft and I was happy with the price, the fit, and with my choice to purchase locally. Nothing exotic but EXACTLY what I wanted. I'm not against anyone else spending their money as it suits them.
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Old 20-02-2016, 21:17   #47
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

No mention here of Sailrite kits. Kinda surprised. Self sufficient cruising sailors, plenty of talk on sewing machines but no stories, good or bad, on DIY sails.

My crew for my trip last week bragged on his Sailrite Genoa from a kit. He has worked with canvas and upholstery for years but this was his first new sail build.

Btw, he sews circles around me.
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Old 21-02-2016, 05:05   #48
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, broomhandle.
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Old 21-02-2016, 05:28   #49
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

One key question to ask, whether you're sailing in foreign waters or purchasing foreign sails, is what happens when something goes really wrong? How do you get it fixed or replaced? Who pays for the shipping? Who pays for you to hang out at a marina or on a mooring waiting for the work to be done? How do you reach consensus with a loft that there really is a major problem.

While it may sound unbelievable, you need to be prepared to walk away from a really bad job. This doesn't mean go with highest price but it does mean think through the worst case scenario no matter who you use.
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Old 21-02-2016, 07:10   #50
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by zstine View Post
I'm looking to replace my 15-20yr old cruising genny for my Tartan 41. Standard cross cut dacron, with price and durability in mind. We will be moving aboard next year and taking a year cruise in the Caribbean. I'm basically copying what I have, so I don't need a 'professional' to come measure my boat or go for a sail with me.

Comparing the 2 quotes below, I just can't see the value in the 'North' sail and am dumbfounded as to why I see so many boats with them and other similar cost lofts like Doyle. Please help me understand.

North quote $4,470 for NorDac 7.8oz. Can't find detailed specs on North's proprietary sail cloth.... they don't even report Denier.

Rolly Tasker quote $2,350 for Challenge 8.8oz High Mass Fiber Weave. This seems to be a high quality, high UV resistant cloth.

Both sails have similar appointments with telltales, chafe protection, etc... so, Why pay double??? Will the North cloth last 20 yrs to the Challenge cloths' 10yrs? really?
I put Rolly Tasker sails on my Tartan 41 7 years and many thousands of miles ago, and am very pleased with them. I wouldn't hesitate to reorder or recommend them. I used Dirk in Florida to order.
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Old 21-02-2016, 07:27   #51
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Heres anoter vote for Mack Sails. Got a new main and genoa last year. They were fantastic and understood exactly what I wanted. I suppose if I never went offshore or did much more than bay sailing I could have gone for mail order sails but I am very happy with what I got from Mack.

Also, if you need a rigger when you are in their part of Florida they are very good.
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Old 21-02-2016, 07:29   #52
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

I am pondering a new headsail. When speaking to a loft, I have the same question, "When you are making my sail can I visit it- in process?" This is one way of me making sure that the extra money I spend for a US made sail really results in a US made sail.

Not looking to get into a US vs. Far East sail loft argument. Just providing one way of making sure of where the sail is made. That said, most fabric comes from the Far East.


Sent from my iPhone- please forgive autocorrect errors.
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Old 21-02-2016, 10:43   #53
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Just providing one way of making sure of where the sail is made.
side comment, which is not really useful for the OP, but . . . . in the last AC it was decided in court that a sail is 'made' in the country where it is finished (corners and such), and not where the majority of the sail is made and the shape put into it (the sail 'blank' in sailmaker terminology).

That was for 3d thermo molded sails.

In dacron sails, I don't know if anyone makes blanks overseas and then finished them 'locally'. But it would be an interesting 'compromise' to get inexpensive labor for the big lower skill sewing work with local knowledge and customer contact for the finish work.
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Old 21-02-2016, 12:48   #54
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Does Anyone??? Well, i dunno about Marblehead, but I have switched to Hydranet, which is a bit dearer than Marblehead, even.

Why? Well, it is because it will stand up to the rigors of cruising AND maintain its shape longer than any dacron weave.

SNIP
When having a new working jib made for my Seawind 1000 I called Mack and got a quote to have it built in Hydranet and Dacron. It was about twice as much for the Hydranet. In the phone conversation I was told Hydranet would last about twice as long as the Dacron, so in say five years I could buy a new Dacron sail and have better shape than a five year old Hydranet. I was also told a well known Seawind racer liked Hydranet because it would be a little faster, but for a cruiser like me Dacron was a better choice. I doubt Mack has a bigger markup on Dacron than Hydranet and would make more profit on the Dacron sail than the Hydranet one. In any case I went with the Dacron and am happy with it.

When I first bought the boat the PO had bought a screecher from Mack and did not like the way it was cut so he sent it back for recutting. It arrived maybe two weeks after I had moved onto the boat. I thought the screecher should be cut a little flatter and took videos I emailed to Mack and they agreed and I sent it back to be recut. Bottom line I am happy with Mack Sails.

On another note I have not seen mentioned in this thread, when ordering the jib I contacted a few other lofts. Mack said they did not need measurements as they had made sails for Seawinds before, but if I wanted I could sent them measurements. I went with their advice and did not send in measurements knowing from experience they would recut the sail if necessary. Turns out it was dead on. I would also point out there were three eyes to attach the jib sheet while my old sail only had one; something allowing a little better adjustment for sail shape.

I have to think dealing with a loft that has a history of making sails for the model of boat you have is a big plus. I have a little history with fboats and know Clavert has a history of making sails for them and if I was getting new sails for an fboat I would probably go with Calvert.

As others have said calling Mack is worth dropping a dime on.
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Old 21-02-2016, 13:12   #55
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Captain Eric 3,

Probably one reason no one wrote about it is that we are buying a lot bigger sails, now.

Jim sewed a spinnaker for his Yankee 30 in about 1980-81. He lofted the top of it in the hall of my house. He made it from spinnaker cloth seconds, sewed it on a Singer sewing machine he had bought from an old lady, used a conference room floor for fitting the luff tapes.

You need a large floor space to loft big sails. I can remember searching to find a grassy spot big enough to lay out a genoa and another time, the spinnaker, just for inspection. Not easy to find a clean enough spot in public open space.

I think if you have a sailing dinghy, it would be very practical to sew your own sails, not so much on an over 30 footer. Maybe different for a Seawind, which iirc is aboutr 30 ft., cats often have smaller sails than monos. I bet the loading is different to, because of not heeling.

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Old 21-02-2016, 13:46   #56
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
No mention here of Sailrite kits. Kinda surprised. Self sufficient cruising sailors, plenty of talk on sewing machines but no stories, good or bad, on DIY sails.

My crew for my trip last week bragged on his Sailrite Genoa from a kit. He has worked with canvas and upholstery for years but this was his first new sail build.

Btw, he sews circles around me.
That kinda goes to the core of the arguments stated and what the OP does not seem to appreciate or put value into. Building a sail is not easy in any way, it certainly takes skill and specialized tools. Designing a sail is a entirely other level of skill, esspecially for a specific purpose and vessel. A sew by numbers sailrite kit vs a custom main on a larger boat are certainly not the same. I helped build a small mizzen on our last boat a 36' ketch and built the staysail by myself. These were old timey traditional sails with all the handwork, hend sewn rings, leathering webbing etc. The mizzen which I only helped on was a work of art. The staysail came out good but when compared to the mizzen the differences were obvious, perfect stiching is well, perfect. These two very small sails were made only with the extreme generosity of a now retired sailmaker who let me tag along through the process and use the loft and all of its various tools. Even these small sails required "C-junk" the big machine to do the patches. Hand sewn rings still need a press with a arbor and dies. Even having all of that at your disposal there is still the design factor, having someone to make the plans lay it out, etc. Some one who can do that with out a computer is almost unheard of now.
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Old 21-02-2016, 18:56   #57
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

The main reason for the high price of North Sails over other sails made overseas is Advertising. North, Doyle, and other major sailmaking groups, have large advertising budgets to promote the brand. Magazine ads, boat shows, salesmen, royalties, they all add up. North Sails have central manufacturing in Sri Lanka. Most big name sailmakers use overseas manufacturing.
This in no way means the sails are not good. We have a Florida loft for those demanding American made sails as well as two overseas manufacturers.
For each order, we specify what sail material, (most are American made materials either stocked in the overseas loft or shipped there for certain orders) The sail designer than supplies a "cut sheet" to the chosen manufacturer. This lists dimensions, all the construction details, each piece of hardware, and the files for cutting/plotting are attached. Theoretically, when sails are made from the cut sheets, they will look very much the same regardless of the manufacturer. The most important part of this process is the sail design and chosen material.
I hate to say it but, in many cases, the sails made overseas are better built than a lot of US built sails. The overseas lofts have the latest in high tech (High cost) machines and can afford to put in many more hours of labor. This shows in the finishing and other construction details. Things like extra stitching, heavier thread, more reinforcements, chaff protection, and higher levels of handwork, make almost no increase on the sail prices.
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Old 21-02-2016, 19:01   #58
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Captain Eric 3,

Probably one reason no one wrote about it is that we are buying a lot bigger sails, now.

Jim sewed a spinnaker for his Yankee 30 in about 1980-81. He lofted the top of it in the hall of my house. He made it from spinnaker cloth seconds, sewed it on a Singer sewing machine he had bought from an old lady, used a conference room floor for fitting the luff tapes.

You need a large floor space to loft big sails. I can remember searching to find a grassy spot big enough to lay out a genoa and another time, the spinnaker, just for inspection. Not easy to find a clean enough spot in public open space.

I think if you have a sailing dinghy, it would be very practical to sew your own sails, not so much on an over 30 footer. Maybe different for a Seawind, which iirc is aboutr 30 ft., cats often have smaller sails than monos. I bet the loading is different to, because of not heeling.

Ann

Thanks for the reply Ann.

BTW, I got the nickname "Cap" as a toddler because I had an engineers cap that I refused to take off. I hear I also walked around singing " I been worchin' on da railroad" until they taught me another song.
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Old 21-02-2016, 19:17   #59
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Ostinato View Post
One key question to ask, whether you're sailing in foreign waters or purchasing foreign sails, is what happens when something goes really wrong? How do you get it fixed or replaced? Who pays for the shipping? Who pays for you to hang out at a marina or on a mooring waiting for the work to be done? How do you reach consensus with a loft that there really is a major problem.

While it may sound unbelievable, you need to be prepared to walk away from a really bad job. This doesn't mean go with highest price but it does mean think through the worst case scenario no matter who you use.
The seoncd paragraph makes some sense. Although if anyone did their homework, how could they get in that position?

The first paragraph kinda boggled my mind. If you sail locally, you're not far away.

But if you're like most of the folks here who are cruising around and moving, why is this any different than buying a GPS, water heater, winch, line or anything else boat related?

Indeed, I doubt anyone ever buys a sail and then sails away over the horizon. They raise it, test it and don't leave until they're satisfied.

If stuff happens to it down the line, they either repair it, or have it repaired wherever they may be. Why would anyone send a sail back by mail or FedEx if they're halfway around the world? They'd get local help, wouldn't they? Or fix it themselves.

It's no different than buying an "internet sail" in which case if it isn't any good, you're actually worse off, aren't you?

What were you trying to say in this post?
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Old 21-02-2016, 22:17   #60
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Cruisingscotts

Probably not the same as custom, but the Sailrite sail is likely as good a design as all of the "production" sails coming out of the factories in China.
I expect most, if not all, of the sails built offshore are cut to virtually identical CAD specs. With a good sail making book, a tough machine like Sailrite's, the time and desire, one could make a better sail with their kit than many of those coming out of the factories.
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