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Old 09-02-2011, 06:36   #16
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Originally Posted by Weyalan View Post
the majority of owners, the input of a knowledgeable industry professional (yes, with good listening skills) ought to predicate a better end result than any "point and click" sail purchasing website.


As you can see from reading my comments (quoted below), I completely agree, today.

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
So, what you are looking for is someone who can make sure your boat is properly measured (either doing it themselves or giving you very precise directions and forms for you to do it) and who will stand behind the sail afterward.
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Personally, I am waiting for someone to do this well on the Internet.


What I am saying, which is a bit off topic, is that the sail making industry is an industry in transition. Much of the actual sail making has been moved out of the lofts to centralized (offshore) sail factories, but the industry still clings to model of sail salesmen making house calls, which just make no sense (economic) for a 28' production boat wanting a standard 150 Dacron genoa. This is sort of like the PC business was before Dell. Neither specing nor measuring a 150 dacron jib is beyond any normally intelligent sailor with the help of a good website (which does not exist today). I am not an expert on sails, but do know enough about what the sail salesmen 'professionals' know and do to know it is not rocket science - the rocket science has been codified in the sail design software.

But that is all off topic. The OP sounds like he is a 'local' sailor (races/cruises in his home waters), I presume from his user name on lake norman. Blue Ridge Sailmakers looks like a nice friendly and experienced local loft.
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Old 09-02-2011, 13:03   #17
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Impossible to say - ask people in your area.

Doyle and North I know from elsewhere and the sails by them that I used or seen were all top notch.

Avoid bad lofts and poorly trained sailmakers. But there is probably no such thing as a bad brand in this industry.

barnie
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Old 09-02-2011, 13:12   #18
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Nothing beats a local entrepreneur whose business success or failure is based on local word of mouth. You betcha that you will get good service. I am certain they know they are competing against cookie cutter, near slave labor, mass production overseas sail lofts. Chances are, it's no big deal if they do a disservice to a customer, the people at the yacht club in Chesapeake Bay will not be talking to the people at yacht club in San Francisco Bay.

Local word of mouth gets around which keeps local entrepreneurs on their toes.
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Old 09-02-2011, 13:59   #19
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Got a new main and furling genoa for a beneteau 331 from Doyles in '07.... damn nice sails...
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Old 09-02-2011, 14:21   #20
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Try posting this question on the hunterowners.com forum. Probably more than a few 28.5 owners that have been through this. Might try calling Hunter to see if they have any in stock that they would love to unload. Still, hard to beat a local sailmaker for a boat you are racing.
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Old 09-02-2011, 14:43   #21
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Talk to martin at Sommerset sails in northern NY. 1-800-323-9464. Everything is built in-house and I found him knowledgeable and reasonably priced.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:24   #22
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What several of you are failing to grasp is that several dealers are using the same loft. The only difference in the sail itself is the logo. All the rest is how you are treated by the company who's logo is being represented. Lee Sails came out to my boat and did all the measuring (NO CHARGE) and only asked for a modest deposit when I placed the order.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:43   #23
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First suggestion, find a local loft for all the above reasons (especially if you're not really competent, that's the way you'll learn by asking them questions). Sounds as if you're really not sure what you need, so that's the first question: "what should I be looking for in a headsail when I'm doing this kind of sailing....? Secondly, you had a used sail that blew out, look for a good used sail instead of trying to get a cheap new sail. Bacon Sails, and other online companies, have a large inventory of sails, in all conditions. Remember: value does not always equal price.
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Old 10-02-2011, 13:08   #24
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It's simply not the case that all sails are being manufactured overseas. I recently had a sail built by Hood which was manufactured in Rhode Island. Because I was able to get an off-season deal, the sail cost less than a quote I got from another loft that was going to have the sail built in Hong Kong.
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Old 10-02-2011, 19:41   #25
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It's simply not the case that all sails are being manufactured overseas. .
No, of course not, but most sailors don't realize how rapidly 'locally made' sails are disappearing - decent article here: china sail factory
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Old 10-02-2011, 20:09   #26
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Definitely not the case with my Doyle sails.... unless they stock 331 sails in bulk... got mine in 4 weeks from order..
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Old 10-02-2011, 20:13   #27
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No, of course not, but most sailors don't realize how rapidly 'locally made' sails are disappearing - decent article here: china sail factory
When they have your boat in their computers you're quickly done. However, if your boat isn't in the database then you will need a good sailmaker to come and measure and check everything for you. I have seen some Lee Sails drama's; just forget that 3 or 4 measurements is enough.. think about details like chafing gear at spreader positions.. also at reef positions, headboard details, batten hardware, cunningham, roach etc. etc.

cheers,
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Old 25-02-2014, 23:15   #28
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Re: Which Are the Best High-Production Sail Lofts ?

It's naive to think even for a moment, that all things are equal, because two lofts are using the same material. In fact some of the less scrupulous lofts cut costs by using factory seconds.

Design quality is important. A cheap sail will often have been designed by someone who is just plugging in defaults and really knows nothing about sail design or sailing for that matter. One Asian loft I visited personally that sells direct to consumers as opposed to producing for the industry had a "sail designer" who had never been aboard a boat and really had no idea what he was doing. Many of the measurement forms I've seen used don't collect enough information for a real sail designer to work with.

You don't need a sailmaker to do the measuring if you can follow instructions and use a tape measure. Our customers use the same worksheet that we use for boats we're able to measure in person. An instructional video and us on the other end of the phone when needed gets them through the process just fine.

As for the sail itself, there are many details that separate crap sails from great sails. Size (measured in percentage of luff) and type (block versus radial) of corner patches is a big consideration. Are the edges of the sail folded and sewn or are there proper tapes installed. How are those tapes sewn? How are the leech and foot lines installed? One loft that people often buy from thinking they're getting a great deal uses undersized leech and foot lines. I've seen 2 or 3mm line used when they should have used 6mm minimum. Cheap plastic clamcleats are not going to last, especially in high UV areas. Yet I've seen sails touted to be "bluewater cruising sails" with them. Oh, and if you want those leech and footline adjustments to actually hold, you'll want Spectra or Vectran line used. Polyester is stretchy and will require more frequent adjustment. Not so much an issue for the afternoon daysail, but a hassle for cruisers.
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Old 26-02-2014, 10:31   #29
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Re: Which Are the Best High-Production Sail Lofts ?

I agree with most of the comments made here, even the local lofts send their actual sail construction out to a large production shop, it's just the economics of the business. Most are using their existing lofts to do repairs and adjust new sails if needed and sometimes building sails if the schedule allows.
The last sail I bought was one of the major makers who has a loft locally, the sail was made somewhere else, but when we flew it and the sail was not spot on the local loft I bought it through took it back, made the changes to it and had it back to me in a matter of days. Their guy also came aboard and flew the sail with me to make sure the changes were correct, which they were. It might not seem that important to most people but you could see and feel the difference a few small tweaks made to the performance. Over the long haul that kind of custom service makes for a much more satisfying experience.
I also ended up having them tweak some of my other sails which I could just not seem to get to "fly right" no matter how much I adjusted my trim, apparently they were never quite right in the first place. The difference was instantly obvious. Of course before you go to that course of action it pays to make sure the rig is properly set up, on that boat I had returned the rig to it's proper set up before I ever bought a new sail.
Moral of the story? Don't worry about where the sail is being made, just make sure the local loft/rep has the ability to adjust the sail if needed so you get a satisfactory experience in the end, otherwise your new sail will just piss you off every time you fly it.
It's just a nice experience to fly a sail that trims really well and doesn't drive you nuts, kind of a zen thing.
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Old 26-02-2014, 12:29   #30
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Re: Which Are the Best High-Production Sail Lofts ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Agreed, North has a very poor sales culture. They don't listen well to their customers.
.
North Seattle didn't even send me the quotes I requested and didn't seem talkative on the phone.

So if they are all doing the same thing, having a local rep, then moving production to factories next door in china why doesn't everyone buy doyle?

After the rep gives you personal service, they cut the cloth in Massachusetts and sew it at your local loft. Mine will be sewn in Seattle. And the prices are in line with all the other big lofts.

Why is anyone buying from north? Or hood or whoever. If you stress the importance or personal service, who's going to give you better service after it's made than the people who made it, if you need adjustments?
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