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Old 22-04-2010, 20:17   #1
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Window in the New Foresail - Good Idea or Bad ?

I just ordered a new 150% genoa for my Pearson 26. I declined a window since I imagined that it could be a weak spot and the guy on the phone agreed. Also, I am planning on using a wire pendant to raise the sail up a bit since I was suffering from halyard wrap.

Which makes me think... should I have ordered a sail with a bigger luff to avoid halyard wrap? I measured the dimensions of the blown out sail to size my new genoa... would it have been possible to increase a dimension without messing up the sail shape, etc?
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Old 22-04-2010, 20:42   #2
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Generally measuring the old sail to cut a new sail isn't the best idea. New physical dimensions should have been taken from the boat. The last guy could have screwed up...

We got a new 150% last year. I wish I had a window...

I presume a furling unit,hence the halyard wrap issue. Causes of halyard wrap include the angle to the sheave at the top, luff tension and luff length. I definitely would not like a penant at the bottom. How much gap do you have in the current luff?

Here is a quick brief on measuring the sails.

Atlantic Sail Traders - Used sails, New sails, Sail Broker

I would definitely measure the luff length on the boat. i.e. attach a measuring tape to the upper unit (add a downhaul for peace of mind) haul it up and measure to the lower drum. Remeasure the I and J to be sure and if necessary do some measurements to your genny blocks/cars/tracks.
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Old 22-04-2010, 20:48   #3
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the guy on the phone agreed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
and the guy on the phone agreed.
if it's true that the lawyer who defends himself has a fool as a client, then it's doubly true that the sailor who measures his own sails....

Chances are that the guy on the phone really wasn't a qualified sailmaker, because no self-respecting sailmaker would EVER build a sail without measuring the boat personally. Never.

There are some significant problems here: 1. In most situations, installing a pennant will increase problems with halyard wrap; 2. Using a blown-out sail as the basis for determining the measurements of a new sail is pure foolishness; 3. There's no way someone on an internet forum could knowledgeably advise you whether or not to install a window based on the information given in the original post. One of the first thing we'd need to know is whether you plan to race the boat, daysail the boat, cruise the boat, et cetera. These are some of the first questions an actual sailmaker would ask.

Honestly, the few hundred bucks you're going to save by not working with a knowledgeable sailmaker is money that would have been well spent. An off-the-rack suit of sails will almost always perform as poorly as it looks. And in this economy, it's quite possible that you're about to pay as much for a generic sail as you would have paid for custom-built one.
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Old 22-04-2010, 21:10   #4
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Fair enough. The last genoa performed very well but it was severely damaged when the sail opened up during a windstorm when the boat was at the dock. It is not really blown out, just chafed beyond saving. My only complaint with the sail was the halyard wrap, which I thought could be solved with a pendant. And as for dimensions, perhaps I should have measured the rig instead of the sail. It's not too late, though. I doubt they have cut any canvas yet and I can give them improved dimensions if there is a better way to do it. But having a sailmaker come to my boat is simply not realistic for me, I'm afraid. I use the boat for coastal daysailing and summer cruising. "The guy on the phone" (a vendor of Rolly Tasker) advised me that measuring the old sail was a good way to do it. He doesn't really have an incentive to talk me out of having a window installed, but if you believe otherwise please explain. I never ordered a sail before.
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Old 22-04-2010, 21:30   #5
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First things first - Get on the phone and hold the order. I agree with Bash. The guy on the phone does not have a clue what he is doing. Also it is likely that your sail will eventually be made in Thailand at the Rolly Tasker loft there. The guy in the states is probably just a distributor and not a good one at that.

I considered Rolly Tasker but even dealing direct with the loft in Thailand I was not happy with their responsiveness or attention to my needs and order. I ended up going with a very good Quantum sail. A bit more expensive.

1 - Read the measuring page I referred you to. Take the measurements. Compare to your current sail. Ask lots of questions - why, why, why...
2 - Talk to the vendor rep again. If he can't explain any of your questions go elsewhere.
3 - Your Pearson is a common enough boat that if your dimensions are off they should say something. In fact I would ask him what the standard I, J and Luff measurements are for your boat with your furling unit before you gave him your dimensions. If he is clueless or can't get the answer then he is clueless and I wouldn't be sending him my hard earned money.

Has he talked about sail material, sail weight, construction?

I understand getting the sailmaker to the boat is not always feasible so feel free to thresh it all out here. Lots of smart folks here.

As far as a window goes, we do lots of club races and I'd like a window. If you have a very crowded harbor that you sail in and out of rather than motor you might appreciate a window.

Window placement is very important and the sailmaker better know what he is up to. I've seen a window so low here that all the skipper can see is the water as the boat is heeled over.

You should also expect a dimensioned drawing of your sail before any cloth is cut. This is your agreement with the sailmaker that this is what you both agree should be made. If it is wrong, based on your measurements, they won't be too friendly about recutting and fixing it.
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Old 23-04-2010, 05:53   #6
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Thanks, guys. I will put the sail on hold and check the maximum luff length on my furler. Should the new sail luff exactly match the maximum luff length, or be a little shorter? If it is off by a fraction of an inch from my old sail measurement, should I change the order by that amount? Can I assume the leech and foot from the old sail are correct? Or is there a set ratio I can look up somewhere?

Yes I know about the sail material and weight but what questions should I be asking about construction? The sail cloth is 6.4 oz Dacron, I ordered it with luff foam and with the orange UV strip on the starboard side.

I don't race my boat nor is my harbor very crowded, but maybe the window would be nice anyway? Are there any real downsides to having a window installed, assuming it is placed well?

I will write again when I have more info... thanks.
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Old 23-04-2010, 07:15   #7
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Qantum 3M are made in Malaysia. Whats the difference to Thailand?
We now have a new Rolly Tasker sail and we were lucky to be able to ride a motor bike – 2 of us aboard WITH our old mainsail to his loft and they stretched it out on the floor. We had Mike Tasker, a designer and forewoman maker.
Canna tell you about the girls hand stitching the cringles, the reinforcements and all the stress bits?
I can also tell you I didn’t see any with windows. Nic wants one with a mirror. I can’t work that out?
If you ever want a sensational sail the Rolly Tasker is the place. Maybe you have to be there in person, maybe you need those measurements exact… but the workmanship… umm workwomanship is excellent!

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Old 23-04-2010, 10:26   #8
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Unfortunately it was too late to change the dimensions, they already cut the canvas. Next time I will do things differently, but I am still relatively confident that the dimensions I provided will be appropriate. To his credit, the vendor checked my numbers with the Pearson 26 and Harken specs before had them start the work and everything matched up well.

Wish me luck in getting a good fit, and thanks for the learning experience!
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Old 23-04-2010, 10:54   #9
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I found that the window was always the weak spot on my H-16 jib.
Never on a genoa do I would.
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Old 23-04-2010, 21:17   #10
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Bash, you're too cruel. There are plenty of good sail makers who work with distant customers and simply can't send someone a thousand miles and back again to personally measure a foresail. What the loft SHOULD be able to do, is look up the stock sail measurements for thousands of boats from their own database and records, compare that to what the customer claims, and at that point say to the customer "Are you sure?" or "That matches what we have." No big deal.

Spent plenty of time on a P26 and never had a headsail wrap, with the original rig and sail dimensions. And that's a damn popular boat, any loft that can't find the correct measurements for it, ain't a loft. (Whether the boat still has the original rig dimesions, is something else again of course.)

It only takes a steel measuring tape to confirm the numbers.
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Old 24-04-2010, 07:49   #11
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We build sails for customers around the world. We send them a measurement worksheet so they can accurately measure the rig. We would never base the design for a new sail on an old one for the following reasons:
1. It may have stretched (Dacron) or shrunk (Mylar).
2. It may not have been built correctly in the first place.
3. It may not even have been built for the boat, perhaps a castoff from a similar size vessel.

Other comments:
Dealing direct with an overseas loft is a tricky thing for a consumer. For one thing you generally have to pay by wire transfer so you have no recourse if something isn't right. When you pay with a credit card you can get charges reversed if the vendor has not delivered what you ordered.

Lots of handwork and finishing details are fine and good. Labor is cheap in Asia. You have to watch out for lofts that use seconds as opposed to first quality cloth though. That is a common occurrence with lofts that deal direct with consumers. Sailmakers in US and Europe won't tolerate it so those lofts are not used so much by the industry.
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Old 24-04-2010, 20:19   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Qantum 3M are made in Malaysia. Whats the difference to Thailand?
We now have a new Rolly Tasker sail and we were lucky to be able to ride a motor bike – 2 of us aboard WITH our old mainsail to his loft and they stretched it out on the floor. We had Mike Tasker, a designer and forewoman maker.
Canna tell you about the girls hand stitching the cringles, the reinforcements and all the stress bits?
I can also tell you I didn’t see any with windows. Nic wants one with a mirror. I can’t work that out?
If you ever want a sensational sail the Rolly Tasker is the place. Maybe you have to be there in person, maybe you need those measurements exact… but the workmanship… umm workwomanship is excellent!
Hi Mark - I maybe caught Mike on a bad week. Our main and old genny were Rolly Tasker. I called and spoke to Mike twice but there was no follow up, the quote actually never came. I called him several times in the week with no call backs. Like I said everyone has a bad week. The finished product is always good.

There is a Quantum loft at the Changi sailing club - In fact it opened the month I needed the genny I liked the idea of having the measurer available to fix any issues and he sailed with the boat after install to help us "tweak" sail trim.

The problem is anytime we win a race Brad credits his great sail not my great sailing abilities.
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