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Old 07-09-2009, 03:48   #1
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New Sail Quality?

Hi all, Im about to purchase a new cruising chute for our yacht, we will be blue water cruising with her for at least a year.
The range of sail makers and quality of sails and price difference is vast.
We have looked at and sea trialed the Parasailor and sailed many times with different makes of sails but not that much experience when buying a new cruising chute. Any views please.



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Old 07-09-2009, 06:46   #2
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I have bought chutes from both FX sails and Rolly Tasker, they were not sophisticated racing sails but we cruised on them without problems and the build quality was good. The Rolly Tasker main I bought is the best made cruising sail I have ever owned.


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Old 07-09-2009, 09:23   #3
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Difference in price, theres a lot, and it has to do with a number of different areas.. As an owner of a Canvas and Sail shop, I'll give you my take on the subject.. When I order material for a sail, I pay top dollar, not only for the quality but because I'm ordering a small amount of yardage, compared to someone like "UK Sails" who orders it by the rail car. You also have a number of sailmakers selling in the US but the sails are made in China or Korea. and there's nothing wrong with that, the're just cheeper to build.
You will get more service with a small shop but sometimes the end product is all you're looking for and only what they offer.. Sails are cut different and those differences are another cost.. If you plan on sailing in a light wind area, as the sea of cortez, We would build a fuller sail.. but if your sailing area is San Francisco Bay, we would opt for a flatter sail.. You'll notice this on an older sail when its "Blown Out", it really works well in light air but over powers the boat when winds build..
For myself, I went to UK Sails and added custom work to it.. Because I sail a tall rig and the rig is a high aspect, I went with 4 reef points and for light winds I added full batton pockets..
The fact is, they can build a quality sail, add what I wanted, and do it all for less than what I could do it myself.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:07   #4
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Have a reaching chute with luff matching the dist top to strut. Works great. From Doyle.

Wish list:

- a slightly deeper asym to fly from a windward strut (to replace our spinnaker),
- a Code Zero like sail to build some apparent in light upwind conditions,

Generally - very happy with our asym, not quite so with the original symm.

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Old 08-09-2009, 13:26   #5
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The issue we see with cruising spinnakers is manageability. Too often they get flown once by a shorthanded crew (typically a couple), and then bagged, never to be flown again. Whatever you do make sure the sail is designed specifically for your boat. Do not accept a generic off the shelf sail. You frequently see spinnakers ("fits 44-48 foot boats") which are usually made with cheap cloth. One size does not fit all. You can easily perform your own measurements and work with someone outside your local area. Don't make the mistake of buying a 1.5 oz cloth if you hope to use the sail in really light air. Most cruisers just need help in light air. You don't need a cloth that can be flown in heavier breeze. If the working sails will drive you near hull speed it doesn't make sense to have a spin up anyway.

Cruising spinnakers are more effective broad or beam reaching as opposed to downwind. Get comfortable jibing the sail. If you need to you can simply use a good quality sock (recommend ATN) and snuff it and then redeploy it.

Find out exactly what cloth your sailmaker intends to use. All of the manufacturers - Bainbridge, Challenge, Contender, and Dimension Polyant, have descriptions of the cloth on their websites. I would be very wary of any cloth from a manufacturer other than the four listed. Each manufacturer has different grades of cloth. For a cruising spinnaker all of those manufacturers have excellent choices available.


Dave Benjamin
Owner - Island Planet Sails
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Old 09-09-2009, 21:03   #6
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I noticed that FX is doing 20% off sails ordered by the end of September. No experience with them, no connection etc. Our new to us boat has a slightly used Gennaker from North with sock, very nice. I shudder to think of the cost though, glad someone else had that thrill. We sail the Gennaker from Broad Reach to Close Reach. It is nice having a third hand on the boat when we use it, but I suspect the more we use it the easier it will be for just the two of us grey hairs.


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