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Old 07-07-2019, 12:06   #1
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Great Circle Sails Review

I would like to provide my experience buying sails from Great Circle sails for fellow cruisers.

I ordered a rolling furling genoa and a mainsail with 5 battens and two reef points for a Manta 38 catamaran.

Please be aware that measurement of the sails is the responsibility of the buyer. Forms are provided that are reasonably understandable.

Great Circle Sails states in their ad in Cruising Compass.

"Awesome Quality"
“Awesome Service"
“Awesome Prices"

The quality of the sails appears to be good. An independent Florida loft stated the mainsail appeared to have good quality construction. The sails were made by Craig Millar Sail loft in South Africa.

Unfortunately, the service, in my opinion, left a lot to be desired. Communication between business, the loft and the customer are a real problem. The sails took 5 months from submission of measurements to delivery. The delay was eventually explained by lack of communication between the loft and business. Information provided with the measurements was either not provided to the loft or ignored. No explanation was provided

Price as quoted was about 3/4 what I was quoted by other lofts, so that promise matched my expectations
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Old 13-07-2019, 09:40   #2
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Re: Great Circle Sails Review

This doesn’t seem to be posted on the forum. What am I doing wrong?
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Old 11-05-2021, 09:35   #3
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Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

Anyone else have a problem with getting their sails from Brian Hancock’s company, GreatCircle sails? (greatcirclesails.com)

I ordered sails October of 2019. He gave me an unbeatable price for a carbon fiber/aramid string sail. A 140% Genoa form my Baltic 51. Literally less than half price of the quotes from major lofts. I called a few of his provided references and they were all happy with the sails he provided. Brian is a famous sailor and writes articles for major sailing publications. I gave him a substantial deposit for half the value of a sail. I measured my boat using his instructions. I later added to the order an additional sail, a freestanding staysail. Covid hit and delayed things. That was understandable. He delivered to me a Selden furler for the staysail in the interim. Turns out 2 other sailmakers thinks that it is undersized for a heavy weather staysail.

However, he subsequently disappeared. Didn’t respond to emails, texts, FB messenger or phone calls. He then months later reappears and blames the contract loft he uses. He tried to reassure me that he will get the sails made. Meanwhile, I had referred a friend to him who needed a mainsail. My friend got a cruising laminate roller furling main which although delayed, arrived last summer, 2020. It’s well made with excellent workmanship.

Brian then disappeared again in terms of communication. We had become friends on Facebook. I was able to figure out which loft Brian was using, and contacted them early fall of 2020 to see if they were producing sails. They did not respond initially, but late November the loft reached out to me stating that Brian never gave them the deposit money. They stated that they had started the sails for multiple customers for Brian on credit. They asked me if I had heard from Brian because he was no longer communicating with them. I have no way of verifying this, but someone else reached out to me with the same experience that I have had. They paid for half the cost and never got the sails, and Brian stopped communicating with them.


The contract loft agreed to construct the sails for only the balance due which is more than reasonable. I’m out the shipping which was supposed to be included and the expense of hiring a customs broker. I tried one more time to reach out to Brian. I let him know the loft had contacted me and was willing to complete the sails. I asked him to send me the anti torsion line he had told me was in his possession for my staysail. I asked him to refund the deposit less the cost of the furler and anti torsion line. I would forward that to the loft. I never heard back from Brian. He then unfriended me on facebook.


I received pictures of the sails in construction and forwarded the balance to the contract loft. The sails did arrive and I had them checked by a major loft in the NY metro area. They are fine. Thanks to Craig Millar who finished the sails.

I post this to see if anyone else has had the same experience. Someone else has started legal action against him in Massachusetts.
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Old 11-05-2021, 09:44   #4
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Re: Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

Yes, I had also problems with Great Circle Sails, but I was lucky enough to have transferred the money directly to the sailloft. In my case it was Craig Millar Sails in South Africa.

After contacting Craig, we sorted things out and I have my sails now. When in contact with Craig, he told me they're still in the process to clean up the mess left behind by Brian Hancock.

Craig is a good guy and he's trying to help.
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Old 11-05-2021, 09:46   #5
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Re: Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joh.Ghurt View Post
Yes, I had also problems with Great Circle Sails, but I was lucky enough to have transferred the money directly to the sailloft. In my case it was Craig Millar Sails in South Africa.

After contacting Craig, we sorted things out and I have my sails now. When in contact with Craig, he told me they're still in the process to clean up the mess left behind by Brian Hancock.

Craig is a good guy.
Craig certainly did right by me. He completed the sails without half of the fee. I hope he was able to at least break even.
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Old 11-05-2021, 10:13   #6
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Re: Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joh.Ghurt View Post
Yes, I had also problems with Great Circle Sails, but I was lucky enough to have transferred the money directly to the sailloft. In my case it was Craig Millar Sails in South Africa.

After contacting Craig, we sorted things out and I have my sails now. When in contact with Craig, he told me they're still in the process to clean up the mess left behind by Brian Hancock.

Craig is a good guy and he's trying to help.
Please how much you pay and how much area is m2.
i need soon mainsail and are roll genoa and roll gennaker
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Old 11-05-2021, 10:16   #7
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Re: Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

Quote:
Originally Posted by more View Post
Please how much you pay and how much area is m2.
i need soon mainsail and are roll genoa and roll gennaker
I would contact Craig Millar in South Africa directly. https://cmsails.co.za/
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Old 11-05-2021, 10:29   #8
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Re: Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

Quote:
Originally Posted by more View Post
Please how much you pay and how much area is m2.
i need soon mainsail and are roll genoa and roll gennaker
More, just write to all the saillofts you trust a request for a budgetary offer. Ignore those that don't reply and go from there. It took me a Sunday afternoon to get this going.

What I quickly learn that you get so many different types of sailcloth and options that the offer become hard to compare. This is why it's a good idea to include Rolly Tasker and Precision Sails as base-line the offers. Their offer will help you get an idea what's common. Just better use a gmail-address as they tend to spam you for ages with special offers and drive a hard sell.

Also please include Craig Millar, to give him a chance for the simple reason that he produced good sails for me and tried to resolve the mess others left him in.
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Old 11-05-2021, 10:40   #9
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Re: Great Circle Sails Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by bliss11_11 View Post
This doesn’t seem to be posted on the forum. What am I doing wrong?
I posted my own review of Brian Hancock's Great Circle Sails. It wasn't a pleasant experience.
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3405185
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Old 11-05-2021, 11:49   #10
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Re: Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joh.Ghurt View Post
More, just write to all the saillofts you trust a request for a budgetary offer. Ignore those that don't reply and go from there. It took me a Sunday afternoon to get this going.

What I quickly learn that you get so many different types of sailcloth and options that the offer become hard to compare. This is why it's a good idea to include Rolly Tasker and Precision Sails as base-line the offers. Their offer will help you get an idea what's common. Just better use a gmail-address as they tend to spam you for ages with special offers and drive a hard sell.

Also please include Craig Millar, to give him a chance for the simple reason that he produced good sails for me and tried to resolve the mess others left him in.
for as here northsails is base and good sail my main northsails is now 17 year old, genova i change 2 in 17 year. i pay cruise dacron light genova 900€-1500€
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Old 11-05-2021, 11:50   #11
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Re: Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

Quote:
Originally Posted by more View Post
for as here northsails is base and good sail my main northsails is now 17 year old, genova i change 2 in 17 year. i pay cruise dacron light genova 900€-1500€
I had ordered very high tech carbon fiber membrane sails.$$$$$$$$
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Old 11-05-2021, 12:10   #12
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Re: Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnackman View Post
I had ordered very high tech carbon fiber membrane sails.$$$$$$$$
No thank you. i sail 7-12 knots if I need faster I bay Nautitech 40-46 if need faster outremer or balance cat.
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Old 11-05-2021, 12:23   #13
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Re: Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnackman View Post
He gave me an unbeatable price for a carbon fiber/aramid string sail. A 140% Genoa form my Baltic 51. Literally less than half price of the quotes from major lofts.

In hindsight, maybe that was a sign of trouble?


Sweet boats, those Baltics! I had a 38DP and loved it.
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Old 11-05-2021, 12:33   #14
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Re: Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

Quote:
Originally Posted by jt11791 View Post
In hindsight, maybe that was a sign of trouble?


Sweet boats, those Baltics! I had a 38DP and loved it.
I don't think that was the issue at all. There is huge mark up on the price of sails. Great Circle Sails overhead is essentially a cell phone and a website. I did plenty of due diligence prior. Had not Covid happened, this might not have happened at all. But no excuse for the lack of communication and not sending the deposit to the loft.
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Old 11-05-2021, 20:35   #15
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Re: Great circle sails- Stolen Deposit

I ordered a pair of sails from him in 2019, the sails were delivered just before covid hit, but without the battens. I still don't have the battens (for a full-batten main). He said he had some trouble shipping them, would look for a local-to-me source. But still no battens. I eventually broke down and made my own temporary ones from wood. Family medical issues mean that I haven't tried sailing with the main, though the jib is really nice. I eventually discovered that the loft was CMsails/Craig Millar, who has been very supportive.
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