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Old 26-02-2014, 12:32   #31
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Re: Which Are the Best High-Production Sail Lofts ?

Here's "The Deal" when anyone asks the basic question of "Where should I get my sails from?":

1. Website lofts are usually, but not always, less expensive.

2. Local lofts are usually, but not always, more expensive, but for a good reason: the sail maker can come to your boat and measure and be there, literally, for you if you have questions or need adjustments (which NO online source is going to do for you).

3. It's ONLY LUCK when folks respond with good sail loft experiences, since not everyone reads this forum every day. So the recommendation for XYZ sails from one respondent might be available one day, but if you asked this same question last week or next week on this or any other boating forum, a different skipper would answer with a different loft with which he just had a good experience. That's simple reality. You could do a search on this forum for "new sails" and find hundreds of posts. Really. Give it a try and see.

Good luck. On this one, as far as a price YOU are willing to live with, you have to do your own homework, since there are dozens of different sail makers out there. Google searches are your friend.
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:23   #32
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Re: Which Are the Best High-Production Sail Lofts ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post

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





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.
I have to respectfully disagree. The sail making business is nothing like the PC business. (I'm not in either one and have no axe to grind.) Besides dinghies and windsurfers, sails are almost always a 'custom', one of a kind, and very labor intensive product.

rb
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Old 28-02-2014, 15:01   #33
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Re: Which Are the Best High-Production Sail Lofts ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post

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





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.

[/COLOR]
Agreed. It's certainly not rocket science and I've worked with hundreds of sailors who measured their own rigs and like their sails. I have one client who is up to 15 sails from us and most of our business is repeat and referral.

We use a video to explain the process as opposed to trying to explain it on the website. We don't make the videos and our forms public since we've invested a lot of time and effort in them. The only people that see them are customers.
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Old 04-03-2014, 00:31   #34
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Re: Which Are the Best High-Production Sail Lofts ?

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Originally Posted by Tbrad View Post
I've really had good luck with North sails. Very helpful and reasonable prices. Also prompt service.
Very happy with North Sails. Excellent service, and the sails are fantastic.


Onno
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:03   #35
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Re: Which Are the Best High-Production Sail Lofts ?

went thru this scenario when i bought my last mainsail. and decided local (Doyle) and no regrets. You develop a relationship worth more than a business transaction on paypal.
They are local, made adjustments, on their game...and part of the local sailing community.
Will order a new set from them in a year or two.
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:13   #36
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Re: Which Are the Best High-Production Sail Lofts ?

Buy local
I brought my 20 year old genoa to Doyle of Cape Cod
They insisted to come to the boat to check out the furler and genoa track before building the sail(70 miles)
This was for a cd25!
Find out where the materiel is coming from
They use mostly square weave that comes from Europe/Germany? They claim lasts twice as long as your Dacron sails
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:49   #37
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Re: Which Are the Best High-Production Sail Lofts ?

In response to the sail design comments. My wife and I both raced on a dedicated race boat (really just a 40 foot race dinghy and just as wet) owned by a loft owner. Even he had to fly a new sail and then make adjustments and he has 30 years of experience and reps one of the bigger, more popular sail makers through his loft. Granted he was much more particular about he accurately his sails trimmed but it's still a look into the complexities of sail design and construction. A program may give you the main dimensions and parameters needed to construct the sail but it all comes down to how it performs on the boat, I'm not implying that every cruiser needs sails that perform to the last tenth of a percent but it sure is nice when you unfurl your sail and it shapes properly and flies well with a minimum of fuss.
The main advantage of buying through a local loft is that if the sail isn't quite right a reputable loft will take it back and adjust it so it does. It doesn't have to be a completely independent, self produced loft either, many of the lofts attached to the major makers like Doyle, North, etc, etc will provide the same service when selling a sail to you. Just make sure to ask if they back their product to this level before ordering from them. Ask around to see if anyone locally has used them and what their experience was, it can save you a lot of hassle. Mail order lofts are handy, and cheaper but if you have an issue with the sail you will end up paying the shipping costs to send it back to them if it needs adjustment, so even if they offer the service free it will still cost you.
I've bought sails both ways and have had mixed results both ways, some good, some not, it pays to do a little homework up front and get a better read on whomever you decide to buy your sail through, whether through a local loft or mail order the results vary.
PS: I would never suggest a particular sail maker on a forum since the application, boat, owner, loft rep and original manufacturer can vary dramatically depending on your location, better to ask around in your neighborhood and talk to the different potential sailmakers to see who you feel comfortable with. In my neck of the woods their is a plethora of options so I'm lucky in that respect. Every one has their own take on applications.
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