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Old 22-02-2016, 07:57   #76
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Kestrahl View Post
Actually you can still buy cloth with a soft hand - Dimension Polyant FTO finish, and it can be computer cut and assembled without issue.

Regarding sails coming out of China, there are European owned and managed factories who build OEM sails for lofts all over the world big and small but do NOT sell direct to the pubic as in most cases each sail is computer designed by the sailmaker ordering the sail.

Then there are smaller Chinese owned and run lofts in HK making only simple cruising sails as they have done for years past. Its important to note the difference.

Sails from the cheap cruising manufacturers might have lasted 20 years, if you brought them 20 years ago, but the cheap cloth today is far below the quality it used to be.

A good friend of mine owns a repair loft here so we get to see it all.
Absolutely correct. Soft hand, even water repellent cotton canvas if you want. We did for an old(100 years plus) friendship style gaff sloop that a wealthy customer wanted restored to as close to historical conditions. You can even get sunblock dacron, different colors, and so forth. You got the money, sailmakers got the goods.
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Old 22-02-2016, 08:21   #77
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post

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.
We got a light air sail in NZ, and left shortly there after for polynesia (Gambier islands) and the head ripped clean off a couple days later. Yes we did hoist it to be sure it fit and looked ok but that's not the same as testing it in ocean waves.

We got a new main in Hawaii, and left a few days later for Sitka. 3m of vertical seam opened up a week into the passage. Again, yes we hoisted it in hawaii, but . . . . .

Both those were North Sails. The light air sail was an obvious design flaw (a streight stress riser where the head met the body of the sail) but they refused to warranty repair it at the next north loft we came to (because despite both having the north name they were at that time in separate shell companies). They did fix the MAin in San francisco under warranty. They told me that the thread size had been too small.
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Old 22-02-2016, 09:36   #78
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

For folks who want to save big bucks on sails, look at buying used ones. A lot of old dacron sails have years of life left. You can always take them to a loft and have them recut to fit your boat's rig. You can also buy really big sails and get two or three sails out of it. Seen this done on a Southern Cross where the owner got a used sail from an old Hudson 52' and had the sail recut to get a jib, main, and a staysail out of it. If you know someone with an industrial sewing machine, you could probably do a reasonable job yourself. So for about $100 bucks you can get the equivalent of $5000 bucks of sails. Go cheap, go now.

And yes, yes, they may be a bit worn, somewhat baggy, but in tradewind conditions, almost anything moves at hull speed regardless of what sails your using, even an old Crocker gaff rigged trader.
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Old 22-02-2016, 10:29   #79
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I bet you would be able to say this about sails from anywhere.

Maybe, but when he came down in price to essentially match others, the knowing all fabricating was done in house in the US etc. was worth it.
I will whenever possible go with a US Company. If I were Brit, I'm sure I'd try to keep my money there too.

I was so impressed with working with them over the phone, I intend to take my boat there and have them pull the mast, replace chainplates, rewire the mast, add some goodies and obviously replace standing rigging and some other work.
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Old 22-02-2016, 12:18   #80
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Joyful Noise,
I've never actually talked to Challenge, but this sounds like a semantics/marketing confusion?? (Both Challenge High Aspect and Challenge Marblehead cloths use "high tenacity yarns", is this the same as the "High Mass Fibre", you wrote of??)
If you get a hold of Travis at Mack Sails, he should be able to answer your question in short order...
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Originally Posted by Joyful Noise View Post
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.
Quote:
Challenge’s premium brands are called High Aspect and Marblehead, respectively.
These best styles are the only ones woven using Dupont and Allied’s high tenacity yarns, type 52 and 1W70 – both warp and fill – that are the finest offered for weaving quality sailcloth, and the quality is reflected in the price.




As for the actual differences in sailcloth?
Yes, if you read the links provided in post #2, you'll learn a LOT!
Post #2:
Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

Sail Cloth – Mack Sails

Good Old Boat - I've got the new sail blues article

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Originally Posted by Joyful Noise View Post
Do any of you know anything about the different challenge cloths
Here is just a sampling....
Quote:
Generally. there are four quality levels of woven “crosscut” sailcloth available to the sailmaker, including those custom woven for the really big lofts. The most popular producer of woven Dacron sailcloth, Bob Bainbridge’s Challenge Sailcloth, offers four “brands” of sailcloth that is used by most sailmakers, big and small. Their price reflects their quality.

For example, the popular cruising weight cloth, 8 oz. plus, in the least quality, Performance Cruise, is $9.78 per yard. The next level up is their High Modulus, which is $10.50 per yard.

This High Modulus style is the most popular for practically every sailmaker’s cruising sails.

Challenge’s premium brands are called High Aspect and Marblehead, respectively.
These best styles are the only ones woven using Dupont and Allied’s high tenacity yarns, type 52 and 1W70 – both warp and fill – that are the finest offered for weaving quality sailcloth, and the quality is reflected in the price.
High Aspect is $14.15 per yard, and Marblehead is $15.01. This is the price sailmakers pay. The yarns for these best cloths are then very tightly woven on specialized looms with emphasis on high crimp (slow, strong looms that super pack the heavier fill yarns against the warps yarns in the weaving process). High Aspect Dacron has heavier fill yarns that locate in the load direction of most mainsails and skinny jibs. Marblehead style is more balanced (fill and warp yarns of a more even denier) and is absolute best for properly designed Dacron headsails and is particularly well suited to Mack Sails’ miter-cut roller reefing genoa. These fabrics are the finest most tightly woven fabrics in the world and rely on the quality of yarn and weave, rather than impregnated resins, to maintain integrity. Also, a big feature of these quality yarns chosen for the best cloth is their ability to shrink in the finishing process. This further tightens the cloth, locking the yarns together for better shape holding over time. The cheaper, more resinated loosely woven cloth breaks down rapidly allowing sails to become overly full with their draft migrating aft quickly. This is why we only stock and only use High Aspect Dacron and Marblehead Dacron for every one of our sails. Unfortunately, many sailmakers “bait and switch” as it’s difficult for the average sailor to tell the difference. We keep samples of all the styles and are happy to point out the subtle signs of difference between the common and the excellent.
Besides the shape problems of using common cloth is one of physical longevity. Practically all cloth has heavier fill yarns – the ones that are parallel to the leech in the way most sails are cut. These fill yarns are totally encapsulated by the warp yarns that are woven over-and-under them – which means these smaller warp yarns are the ones that take the full brunt of ultra violet and flexing. These are the two biggest enemies of sail life. The high quality yarns used in our cloth withstand UV much better and are far superior at flexing. Almost all sailors have seen the leech sections of their sails break apart long before the rest of the sail fails – and this is why. This is also why we use the best cloth to resist this problem, and why we also two ply the leeches of all out sails.




Also, not debating US, EU, Asia, etc....but, sorry Snore, in reality there is still plenty of sail cloth that is USA made...
Have a look at the links provided in post #2...





And, A64...your observations are like many...
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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I was so impressed with working with them [Mack Sails] over the phone, I intend to take my boat there and have them pull the mast, replace chainplates, rewire the mast, add some goodies and obviously replace standing rigging and some other work.
Like I wrote earlier, even though I (and family) have done business with them for many, many, years....I'm still impressed every time I call / ask a dumb question / etc...
It just goes to show 'ya, there still ARE some small businesses that are run right!

When you listen to politicians and the media tell us how "bad" things are in the world, dealing with Mack Sails gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling!



I hope this helps.

Fair winds.

John
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Old 22-02-2016, 21:45   #81
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
First, you might want to re-read post 57 above. Dave Calvert, a honest-to-gawd sailmaker, has made several telling points about far eastern source sails. Seems that they can indeed be well made... but not at the very bottom of the price structure. Good sailcloth costs a lot no matter who stitches it up.

But in reference to "kit" sails made at home, well, having done some amateur sailmaking long before kits were available, the real issues are those of space, and of having a machine with a big enough throat to handle a lot of bulk, often poorly managed due to lack of above mentioned space.

Small sails, and somewhat larger ones made of nylon can be handled, but bigger ones, say a few hundred sq ft, are a bugger; without a loft floor and a pit-mounted machine they are awfully hard to handle. My own experience, for a 30 foot S&S, were a 3/4 oz kite and a 10 oz storm jib. One was big, but very light and tractable material. The other was stiff and intractable, but quite small. I won a lot of races flying the kite, and had all too many voyaging miles with the storm jib... both successful. I have not been tempted to make sails for the succeeding 36 and 46 foot boats that I have owned!

Jim

Jim, I'm not to surprised that you would be one that tried his hand and succeeded at making a sail or 2.

One of the attractions of sailing, for me, is the never ending demand of my individual time and effort in order to keep my boat in a sail away condition. A never finished list of projects.

I am toying with the idea of building myself a new Yankee. I have high hopes and low expectations.
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Old 22-02-2016, 23:41   #82
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
Jim, I'm not to surprised that you would be one that tried his hand and succeeded at making a sail or 2.

One of the attractions of sailing, for me, is the never ending demand of my individual time and effort in order to keep my boat in a sail away condition. A never finished list of projects.

I am toying with the idea of building myself a new Yankee. I have high hopes and low expectations.
Cap, the driving force for those sails was semi-poverty,induced by a loosing hand in the divorce game! I just could not afford to buy a spinnaker at the time; quotes were running from 1250 to 1500 bucks (this was in ~1980), and by buying the spinnaker cloth seconds (from Sailrite) my total outlay, including the sewing machine was about 300. I was stoked When it actually worked... a very satisfying project.

So, if you have time and frustration tolerance, good luck! You will learn a lotno matter how the sail turns out!

Jim
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Old 23-02-2016, 16:09   #83
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Re: Sails, Why Pay Double? What am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Mirage Gecko View Post
English is my first language but sometimes I do not fully understand what people say or write so to clarify are saying if you have not known a sailmaker for years or decades you are not a good sailor.
Really?
That is not what I said. Read it again.

Paul
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