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View Poll Results: Are you willing to pay more for a boat with new sail?
I'm willing to pay more for a boat with a brand new sail 11 30.56%
New sail is nice, but I'm not willing to pay more for a boat with one 9 25.00%
I'm just fine with an old sail as long as it is functional 3 8.33%
I would rather pay less for the boat and deal with the sail myself later 13 36.11%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 20-07-2021, 11:40   #1
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Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

Hi all,
I'm trying to collect some information how much importance and value is placed on having new sails or in excellent condition vs older, but still usable ones. Obviously everyone wants everything to be in the best possible condition, but most of us are buying used boats and we have to make compromises.
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Old 20-07-2021, 11:46   #2
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

New sails can run thousands of dollars. How important is that to you?
Good used sails can serve a cruiser/daysailor a decade, or one season or less for a racer. Which are you?
Basically, sail condition is just one of the systems (engine, rigging, cooling, heating waste, etc.) that a good survey will cover and that you have to determine the importance of relative to price.
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Old 20-07-2021, 11:54   #3
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

As I shop for a boat, it is important to me that the sails are usable, so I can actually sail her while attending to higher priority repairs and upgrades. It is definitely not critical to me that the sails be in awesome condition.

Are you asking because you are preparing to sell, and want to get a feel for whether the sale price could be raised enough to cover the cost of new sails?
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Old 20-07-2021, 11:58   #4
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

Our boat had older sails. Ok condition, no rips or serious wear, but they were soft. They were fine for the first few seasons of getting to know the boat. But when we finally sprang for new sails... oh boy. Better pointing, smoother flow across them, much more controllable, and wider range. Especially the genoa; the old genoa would flutter like a scared spinster aunt above a certain windspeed, but the new one could still be controlled and have good shape at higher windspeed.

If you enjoy sailing, newer sails make a noticeable difference.
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Old 20-07-2021, 12:50   #5
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

JoeRobertJr - yes, that is correct, i'm considering selling our boat. The sail is usable (as determined by surveyor, dealer representative and myself while sailing). I took it down for inspection so that the loft can see if any repairs need to be done (probably sacrificial sunbrella may need to be replaced (this is in mast furling) and tell-tales added (they come off due to furling/unfurling process over the years).
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Old 21-07-2021, 06:28   #6
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

Personally, sail condition is just a small factor in the offer I make. I bought a boat with a 25 year old main and bought a used main for $600 and got 2 seasons out of it, including taking 3rd place in the Annapolis Bermuda race. A cheap new sail would be a waste of your money. You might get your money back for a good new sail, but I doubt it.
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Old 21-07-2021, 07:14   #7
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

I was looking at Precision Sails and their mid-tier sails. So not the fancy tri-radial cut or the cheapest 300, but in the middle and with a number of upgrades to components and materials.

Well, it looks like most are not willing to pay more for a boat with new sails and old, but useable is just fine by many.
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Old 21-07-2021, 13:56   #8
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

I bought the vessel I have now at deep discount because “things” had not been updated on a vessel that was 8 years old, the sails were one of them. I bought a new set for 6500us$, when I compared sail estimates for a 45ft vessel the Dacron cruising level priced from 6500 to well over 20k so if you are a first time buyer. Know that needing new sails in the first couple of years will set you back, so be ready to bargain because it is not insignificant.
What is the size are you are shopping for? The condition of a sail is not always obvious and not every surveyor or prospective owner knows what they are looking at in the first time buying market of 20-30 something size vessels. So if you are a first time buyer be aware. If you have no understanding of the actual history of the sail you may want to take it easy on those sails you deemed acceptable on the vessel you just bought, and be accepting of circumstances should your sail or sails fail you in an unpredicted weather condition that caught you and your company off guard, it is rarely easy to strike a torn sail into a roller furler or an in mast system. They make a hell of a lot of racket.
the condition of the sails are important to me. I am day cruiser mostly, no racing, mainly because I do not like the “I must beet you at all costs” mentality. I am also a fan of a vessel that comes with a back-up set of working sails, it shows me the previous owner did not ride the old set to failure.
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Old 21-07-2021, 14:04   #9
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

Sails are like tires on a vehicle, awesome if they are brand new, great if they are good, ok if they are fair and useable and understandable if they are in need of replacement. But pretty bad if there are none.

Sails do not last forever....just like tires.
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Old 21-07-2021, 14:08   #10
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

For a used boat, in average to above average condition, I think serviceable sails are adequate. Springing for new sails will be a loss for the Seller and big bonus for the Buyer. If the existing sails can be nipped and tucked without looking like a quilt then have a good loft touch them up a bit before listing the boat.

If your existing sails are really tired then there are used sail vendors where you can get a good buy on used sails in decent condition. Try Sail Warehouse. Depending on what you find, this might be a worthwhile expense.

By contrast if a boat is presented as being in bristol condition then I would expect that to apply to the sails too.
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Old 21-07-2021, 14:18   #11
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

I look at sails on a boat similar to a roof in considering a house purchase. What is the age and estimated life left? What is the cost of replacement? Calculate a simple amortized value. This assumes that these are sails I would fly.

Sails, while expensive, are the easiest thing to change on a boat. A whole lot easier to change out than an engine, or a cored deck. I'd pay a bit more for newer sails, but old worn sails would not deter me -- all else being equal. But if they are absolutely atrocious then I might wonder about the overall care of the boat in other areas.
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Old 21-07-2021, 21:49   #12
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

I had a horrible experience buying a new main and jib for my Cape Dory Typhoon from PRECISION SAILS . I would never do business with them again. Their customer service was basically non-existent and the management were rude. Save yourself the aggravation and spend your money somewhere else. Steer clear of PRECISION SAILS.

Bull Island Ken
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Old 21-07-2021, 23:54   #13
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

Hi Ken, can you share some details about what specifically went wrong with your order? Was the issue with the product, process or after-sale support?
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Old 22-07-2021, 03:37   #14
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullislandken View Post
I had a horrible experience buying a new main and jib for my Cape Dory Typhoon from PRECISION SAILS . I would never do business with them again. Their customer service was basically non-existent and the management were rude. Save yourself the aggravation and spend your money somewhere else. Steer clear of PRECISION SAILS.



Bull Island Ken


Iíve not found that to be the case at all. I provided very good measurements and photos they provided a proposed design, we discussed the design and any possible changes, once agreed to the design the sail was built. No issues at all.
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Old 22-07-2021, 21:09   #15
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Re: Importance of sail condition during boat purchase

Thanks everyone for participating. I've taken the sail to a local reputable loft for inspection. They noted that the sail cloth itself was in very decent condition and it only needed some minor work - small luff tuck to remove minor stretching, new clew cover and some extra stitching on the webbing. Should take them about a week (they are pretty busy) and cost a fraction of the new sail. It just felt wrong to dispose of sail that was said to be in good condition and only needing minor work.

I also washed it while it was off the mast.
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