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Old 18-10-2007, 11:08   #1
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October 17 - 'Sail's' Man of the Month

October 17 - Sails Man of the Month

Today I finally was able to nail down the arrangements for our
new sails. Those following us long-term will recall that our
genoa was destroyed in the storm preceding our wreck, and, during
the storm and the wreck period, the main was damaged enough to
require repair. The sail was old enough that it should have been
condemned, failing again during another storm on the way up the
East Coast.

Unfortunately, it wasn't condemned, as the insurance would have
covered part of the cost of a new sail. Fortunately, that recent
failure was a lateral tear from leech to luff, below the first
reef, and we've been able to continue with a single reef in the
main, and a donated, smaller, genoa, while we look for new sails.
We'd hoped to have it ready for delivery by the time of the
Annapolis Sail Boat Show.

Dealing with Hong Kong is frustrating at the very least, what
with the exactly half-day difference in time and the language
challenges.

Over the course of nearly 6 weeks, emails, interrupted by some
sort of difficulty with their mail server which eventually
required them to go to one of their private email addresses for
more reliability, flew back and forth. However, each time there
was a missed communication it cost between several days and more
than a week in each instance. Even the best of communications
took a full day for question and answer.

Those first missed communications had me, in desperation,
contacting local sail lofts to quote on our sails, as I'd assumed
that they simply weren't interested in our business (I have that
effect on people, sometimes.). However, I gave them one last shot
just as we had about decided on an Annapolis or Beaufort loft to
make our sails, and they responded with a copy of the quote which
they had, indeed, mailed several weeks before.

In frustration, I finally resorted to calling them directly over
our internet phone. We have been blessed, while on the hook in
Annapolis for the last three weeks, to have several good
connections from which to choose, most of which were good enough
to allow our voice communication over Vonage, our internet
telephone. As England and other places in Europe are free calls
as part of our basic plan, we took advantage of that as well,
with two guests from England calling home several times over the
course of our time in Annapolis. Hong Kong, where Lydia's twin
sister lives, is a trivial cost (under a dollar for an hour's
conversation), so I took to making those phone calls rather than
wait for the quite-possible missed communication.

Unfortunately for me, that meant late night calls (their AM
time), and a day between each communication which required a
response. However, we finally got it down to fine detail. The
owner of Lee Sails, Helen Fung, and I, got to be pretty good
buddies over the phone, culminating in a call from her last night
to nail down the last couple of tiny questions on the
construction of our sails.

Sometime in the next few weeks our new mainsail and genoa will be
built, and then shipped to one of the places we expect to stop on
our way south. Thanks to those who have offered to accept them;
we'll let you know if they're coming to you.

The reason we were in Annapolis was to go to the boat show. We
arrived early, in order to secure a spot in what was to become an
incredibly crowded anchorage. That condition was found everywhere
else around Annapolis as well, but we had a great place from
which to swing. In the case of the sail show (it's followed
immediately by the power show), it's the largest sailboat show in
the country.

Because it's held over the weekend of Columbus Day, there were 5
days of seminars and vendor displays, along with hundreds of
sailboats for sale. We weren't in the market for a sailboat, but
I very much wanted to attend many of the seminars. In addition,
the Seven Seas Cruising Association meeting was the same weekend.
This would be the first one to which we came by sailboat. And,
finally, there were several things we wanted to buy at the show,
knowing that there are usually good deals to be had as "Show
Special"s - always warming to my heart :{))

The seminars were extremely informative, and the Seven Seas
meeting was, as always, a great place to make new friends and
learn lots of stuff. And, of course, there's the Flea Market. I
picked up several great deals there, and have several new
cruising buddies that we'll remain in touch with as we go along.

As to the show itself, we got not only what we came for but more.
Lydia's mom has been aboard since September 1, and was joined by
her best buddy from England on October 1. Unfortunately for her,
as she was counting on doing lots of sailing, the show and our
usual litany of projects caused us to have no sailing days from
the time she arrived. Compounding matters, she threw out her back
several days ago, and just today was able to get off the boat to
make her way to her friends near Boston, thence to return home on
the 20th. Lydia's Mom mostly preferred to remain on the boat,
enjoying it and the scenery around our anchorage.

So, while they enjoyed each other's company, Lydia and I enjoyed
the show and the Seven Seas meeting, along with a day spent with
one of my college chums, visiting from the Washington, DC area.
On the last day of the show, we desperately ran around to the
vendors from which I'd previously gathered information in
preparation for that day, racing against the clock to complete
our lists before the show closed.

Suffice to say that we got what we came for, but Lydia's mom
decided that she really needed to improve our cooking and
cleaning abilities, so we now have more of that gear than we
started with. All in all, a great show.

Annapolis was a great town to visit, and extremely well set up
for the hordes of boat-show-goers that took over the city. As
many chores as I had to do, I didn't get to tour - we'll have to
save that for next year.

So, I'll leave you with the thought that we'll have new sails and
some other gear in few weeks, and come back next time with more
on how we spent our time in Annapolis and heading south.



L8R

Skip

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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"You are never given a wish without also being given the power
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its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."
(Richard Bach, in The Reluctant Messiah)
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Old 18-10-2007, 13:03   #2
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Buy domestic

Skip, sorry to hear you are having trouble buying the sail offshore. Next time you might consider going to a domestic loft and telling them the price point you seek for your sail. They will generally match any "all up" price you get from an offshore source.

All the major US lofts have lofts in China and will build your sails there. This allows you to avoid the hassle of buying from an offshore sailmaker direct.

The US lofts have the advantage of volume when they produce sails offshore and your shipping cost is less and is very much simplified.

If there is a problem, you get the benefit of a local loft to support you. It is a win/win situation.

Our mainsail cover (7 foot by 23 foot with full length solid 1.5" round fiberglass battens) came from Mexico, it was not right the first time but perfect the second time around. Our local sailmaker in Detroit took care of everthing. Manufactured in the US it probably would have been twice the price and without the support of the local sailmaker it could have been a disaster.

A bit of advice, get to know a sailmaker in Annapolis, ask them to look at your boat, take measurements, and photos. If you have a problem when you are out cruising simply call this sailmaker and let them know what you need. They will take care of you.

No, I am not a sailmaker.
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Old 18-10-2007, 16:32   #3
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Local Lofts/Buy Domestic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
Skip, sorry to hear you are having trouble buying the sail offshore. Next time you might consider going to a domestic loft and telling them the price point you seek for your sail. They will generally match any "all up" price you get from an offshore source.

All the major US lofts have lofts in China and will build your sails there. This allows you to avoid the hassle of buying from an offshore sailmaker direct.

The US lofts have the advantage of volume when they produce sails offshore and your shipping cost is less and is very much simplified.

If there is a problem, you get the benefit of a local loft to support you. It is a win/win situation.

Our mainsail cover (7 foot by 23 foot with full length solid 1.5" round fiberglass battens) came from Mexico, it was not right the first time but perfect the second time around. Our local sailmaker in Detroit took care of everthing. Manufactured in the US it probably would have been twice the price and without the support of the local sailmaker it could have been a disaster.

A bit of advice, get to know a sailmaker in Annapolis, ask them to look at your boat, take measurements, and photos. If you have a problem when you are out cruising simply call this sailmaker and let them know what you need. They will take care of you.

No, I am not a sailmaker.

Hi, Joli, and thanks for the note.

We did, in fact, get close to several of the lofts in Annapolis. For the two best, and the one in Beaufort, who were right at 50% higher or more, we did offer the opportunity to price match. None could come close, and gracefully declined. Even the same loft's NE rep, with a booth at the show, couldn't come within 15%...

I'm well aware of the benefits to local lofts WRT support. However, with the same cloths (literally) and a very detailed and close look at construction methods, backed up by a sistership's experience with the same Hong Kong loft, we feel comfortable in making that decision. However, had it been close, we'd have gone with one of the local lofts, for sure, for all the reasons you enumerate.


We'll be sure to post about the experience when it happens. It's going on with strong track, and the nature of that will mean that we'll do our own installation of the battslides and lugs, anyway, which was part of the construction detail on the main, given the cost to replace battslides. Right now we're considering whether to use sewn tape or the bolt-on swivel ends for the intermediate slides.

Stay tuned :{))

L8R

Skip

Morgan 461 #2 Disaster link:
Morgan 461 Flying Pig
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at Web-Folio -- Your Portfolio on the Web !
Follow us at Flying Pig Log | Google Groups and/or
TheFlyingPigLog : Morgan 461 Hull #2, Flying Pig

There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its
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