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reiner 08-05-2011 04:09

Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
A good friend of mine got a quote for his mainsail here in Australia and another quote in China. The sail from China is pretty much half price to what we pay here. His rigging needs doing too.
What are the thoughts on buying in China?
I know they have been building boats long enough so in general it can't be to bad or is it?
Thanks
Reiner

akio.kanemoto 08-05-2011 04:20

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by reiner (Post 682342)
A good friend of mine got a quote for his mainsail here in Australia and another quote in China. The sail from China is pretty much half price to what we pay here. His rigging needs doing too.
What are the thoughts on buying in China?
I know they have been building boats long enough so in general it can't be to bad or is it?
Thanks
Reiner

Can't comment about China, but I got a quote here in Sydney for a new main and just like most things over here, it was hideously expensive. Anything you can buy from overseas, DO IT, it's bound to be cheaper (and probably better too)!

(I got my new main from Mauri Pro Sailing - Sailboat Hardware, Sailing Gear and Sailboat Equipment - Made in the US for about half the price of an Aussie made one, and only $80 shipping - flat rate)

SabreKai 09-05-2011 10:32

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
I've only ever ordered a sail from offshore once. Lee Sails. The sail was very well made, delivered on time and performed as expected.

Rigging on the other hand, I'd be leery of, as the quality of Chinese stainless steel is suspect at the best of times. Unless they are willing to prove the quality of the materials with documentation, I'd never be totally at ease with it.

Sabre

jim767 09-05-2011 11:07

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
I would echo the concerns over quality control for Chinese made items.
Until last year I visited mainland China numerous times a year and bought many electronic gadgets and the such. Many times the exterior of the unit would look identical to the genuine article but on closer examination I found the internal components to be little more than junk.

Many Chinese items are high quality but it is definitely a buyer beware market.

S/V Alchemy 09-05-2011 14:12

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
There is a history of decent sails made in China to order, but there is also a history of crappy metallurgy, as anyone looking for a durable hand tool could testify. Caveat emptor.

Blue Stocking 09-05-2011 14:15

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy (Post 683244)
There is a history of decent sails made in China to order, but there is also a history of crappy metallurgy, as anyone looking for a durable hand tool could testify. Caveat emptor.

One would think they would have perfected sail-making by now.
They have been doing it for 8 thousand years. :whistling:

Mark Johnson 09-05-2011 14:43

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
15 years ago I got our Neil Pride "blue water" sails that were sewn in Hong Kong, but finishing touches were done in the US. Only the parts done in the US were less than perfect! These are the toughest sails I have ever seen, and they are still in REALLY good shape. Now that they are technically China, I don't really know... but I'd trust them again for sails.

For rigging, hardware, SS shackles, chain, etc... NOT ON YOUR LIFE. I have seen too much of this sort of thing, that I didn't like, "made in China". The problem here, is quality control... Mark

bstreep 09-05-2011 16:41

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Johnson (Post 683269)
15 years ago I got our Neil Pride "blue water" sails that were sewn in Hong Kong, but finishing touches were done in the US. Only the parts done in the US were less than perfect! These are the toughest sails I have ever seen, and they are still in REALLY good shape. Now that they are technically China, I don't really know... but I'd trust them again for sails.

For rigging, hardware, SS shackles, chain, etc... NOT ON YOUR LIFE. I have seen too much of this sort of thing, that I didn't like, "made in China". The problem here, is quality control... Mark

I second this.

markpierce 09-05-2011 17:22

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
My boat's sails are from Lee Sails in Hong Kong.

Lee Sails: Sailmaker to the world

https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...g?t=1304986932

Dragon Lady 09-05-2011 18:09

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
I would say go for it with the sails but be very careful with the rigging.
If a sail rips it's a pain, but not the end of the world, if your rigging fails it could be the end of you.

sailingaway221 09-05-2011 18:21

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
One of my friends replaced his main and headsail... 4000 usd vs the quoted from the local sailmaker for 8000. That was over a year ago... he still says they are like new... no problems.

tager 09-05-2011 18:27

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
I have heard one china mainsail horrorstory. I don't remember the URL or the specifics but the sail was basically unusable. The company offered nothing to make it right.

smurphny 09-05-2011 18:51

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
If you buy sails made by American workers it allows those folks to live in the USA. More expensive....YES. If you buy from China, it takes the work away from those who would like to live in here the USA and gives it to people in China who work for pennies. You can act just like a large corporation. Keep buying from cheap countries until ALL our artisans and craftsmen are gone.

sww914 09-05-2011 19:08

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
I read an article in a sailing rag a few months ago about sailmaking. Most of the sails from the big companies are made in China. You pay a US company thinking you're getting a made in the US product and it turns out that it's made somewhere else anyway. You don't know unless you know.

97fxdwg 09-05-2011 19:10

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by smurphny (Post 683461)
If you buy sails made by American workers it allows those folks to live in the USA. More expensive....YES. If you buy from China, it takes the work away from those who would like to live in here the USA and gives it to people in China who work for pennies. You can act just like a large corporation. Keep buying from cheap countries until ALL our artisans and craftsmen are gone.

You're right of course, but what is a cruiser on a very limited income, or even no income, supposed to do? Buy American and eat mac and cheese for 2 years, or buy Chinese, and sail? Tough decision in reality, easy to deal with in theory. Reality bites, but there it is.

S/V Alchemy 09-05-2011 19:29

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue Stocking (Post 683248)
One would think they would have perfected sail-making by now.
They have been doing it for 8 thousand years. :whistling:

Were I junk-rigged, I'd agree. But recall they invented gunpowder, too, but only in the West did the science of it evolve into the gunboat diplomacy of the 19th century.

smurphny 09-05-2011 20:01

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sww914 (Post 683472)
I read an article in a sailing rag a few months ago about sailmaking. Most of the sails from the big companies are made in China. You pay a US company thinking you're getting a made in the US product and it turns out that it's made somewhere else anyway. You don't know unless you know.

There are lots of sails made in China, Brazil, Thailand, etc. The main I got w/ my boat was made in Brazil and is very well made. Even the sailcloth used here is probably made in some sweathouse in China. It's almost impossible to avoid globalism. Just making the point that our craftsmen have been sold out and maybe people should think about more than just how cheap they can get stuff.

bewitched 10-05-2011 01:11

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
I've lived in and around china for the last 15 years. Their sails are good. All my @ails are Chinese made. In fact most sails you will see will be China made as most of the main sail lofts around the world will have the sail built in China and then shipped.

I personally wouldn't touch any rigging made in China unless it the fabrication was managed by an international and noteworthy company.

bewitched 10-05-2011 01:19

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by smurphny (Post 683461)
If you buy sails made by American workers it allows those folks to live in the USA. More expensive....YES. If you buy from China, it takes the work away from those who would like to live in here the USA and gives it to people in China who work for pennies. You can act just like a large corporation. Keep buying from cheap countries until ALL our artisans and craftsmen are gone.

So you're saying the OP (an Australian) should buy American made sails?

Steve Pope 10-05-2011 03:14

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
Far East sails, Lee sails, have a proven track record from long before the current good / bad Chinese product boom. as long as you give them all the correct measurements you will get an excellent cruising sail, if they have any doubts about the info received they will come back to you to confirm what you sent them is correct.

SabreKai 11-05-2011 09:30

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by smurphny (Post 683461)
If you buy sails made by American workers it allows those folks to live in the USA. More expensive....YES. If you buy from China, it takes the work away from those who would like to live in here the USA and gives it to people in China who work for pennies. You can act just like a large corporation. Keep buying from cheap countries until ALL our artisans and craftsmen are gone.

I agree with you. However, as has been mentioned, most sails sold in the US by US makers are made in China and shipped to the US for sale as new at a highly inflated price. You are asking the peons to help keep other peons at work for a while longer as the big boys figure out new ways to ship the work overseas anyway so they can pocket even more money. The game is rigged, there is no way out, so look out for yourself. Its cruel but true. Until the people demand an end to outsourcing of jobs and production, the people will always be stuck with this choice.

Sabre

knottygurl 11-05-2011 10:11

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
I too am looking for new sails, I contacted a china sail maker, they could not deal with me so they put me to there local dealer, which then gave me a quote and in a round about way I got a email from a dealer 2 hours away from me.
The head office is in salem MA and I am now dealing with a canadian office that has basically hinted thet the sails come from china, are assembled in Ottawa and then shipped to me. savings hmm not really but they are a US company, with Canadian assemblers, fabricated by china.
The company is Doyal sails and I assume they have been around a while.
so it really dosent matter where you buy them, it just depends how many people touch them which depicts the final price.

If any has a true china sail maker that is not pooled into the big whigs I would be greatfull for an email addy

davefromoregon 11-05-2011 10:17

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bewitched (Post 683621)
So you're saying the OP (an Australian) should buy American made sails?

Absolutely :). He should buy American sails, boats, beer, beef, cars, what have you.

Steve Pope 11-05-2011 14:14

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
They don't make 4xxxx in america!!

Mark Johnson 11-05-2011 14:51

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by smurphny (Post 683461)
If you buy sails made by American workers it allows those folks to live in the USA. More expensive....YES. If you buy from China, it takes the work away from those who would like to live in here the USA and gives it to people in China who work for pennies. You can act just like a large corporation. Keep buying from cheap countries until ALL our artisans and craftsmen are gone.

I bought Neil Pride sails because they had FAR better "features" than the 4 other brands I got quotes from. My sails were actually the more expensive quote of the 4, and I didn't really know that they were "sewn" in Hong Kong, until some time later, as I was dealing with the US rep, and her well equipped Neil Pride sail loft.

Neither she, nor her 4 other US employees would have jobs, if we didn't buy their Hong Kong sewn products. (And, I seriously doubt that the talented person who sewed my sails in Hong Kong, only made pennies!)

I will gladly pay more for better quality, but will not intentionally buy a lesser quality for the sake of buying from the US either. The unfortunate truth is, that 90% + of what's available these days, (retail), seems to come from China. In the case of most of it... crap!

It is a shame that there isn't a "Wally World" that gets its products according to the country that makes it best, rather than the one who makes it cheapest! I KNOW the folks I hang out with would prefer that. QUALITY!

M.

Dame.n.Jess 11-05-2011 15:27

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
As a non Australian Living and refitting a boat in Australia I have been shocked at the rubbish that is sold here. the old saying of you get what you pay for does not apply here as the standard business model is buy cheap junk and mark it up to some of the worlds most expensive retail prices (often double/triple any other 1st world country). When you accept this and try to pay more in order to get quality it cant be found in this country, you need to import it.

So in this instance I try to buy everything I can from offshore (not necessarily china, often New Zealand) as its not worth the time of effort dealing with Australian businesses.

I REALLY hope this changes or Australia wont last as a viable retail economy.

mikereed100 11-05-2011 16:16

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
I have several sails made in Thailand by Rolly Tasker. Good quality stuff made with American cloth. Keep in mind that Tasker and Lee are sail "builders" not sail "makers". If you want input on what a good sail would be for your specific boat this is where a local sail "maker" earns his keep. Often the sail maker will then outsource to the sail builder.
I also bought some 14mm wire from RT in Phuket, presumably Chinese. I had to return it as it would not fit my Hi-Mod ends and one of the strands was chingered for the entire length of the wire; a manufacturing error that made it onto the spool. I paid a little more for replacement wire from David at East Marine but it was quality stuff, made in USA. There are a lot of stainless fittings available in Thailand and Malaysia that are made in Thailand and reportedly good quality stuff. I have a lot of this in my running rigging and so far no issues.

Mike

smurphny 12-05-2011 04:25

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SabreKai (Post 684495)
Until the people demand an end to outsourcing of jobs and production, the people will always be stuck with this choice.

Sabre

Indeed. We should view the "outsourcers" as traitors, pure and simple. They have demonstrated that they have no loyalty to their countrymen and no sense of ethics. If left to the end-game of these people, all North American workers will soon be working under the same sweat shop conditions as those in China and India. There will be only two classes: the super rich and the serfs.

boatman61 12-05-2011 04:33

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by smurphny (Post 685000)
Indeed. We should view the "outsourcers" as traitors, pure and simple. They have demonstrated that they have no loyalty to their countrymen and no sense of ethics. If left to the end-game of these people, all North American workers will soon be working under the same sweat shop conditions as those in China and India. There will be only two classes: the super rich and the serfs.

Should that not read... "There ARE only 2 Classes..."

smurphny 12-05-2011 04:37

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Johnson (Post 684721)
I bought Neil Pride sails because they had FAR better "features" than the 4 other brands I got quotes from. My sails were actually the more expensive quote of the 4, and I didn't really know that they were "sewn" in Hong Kong, until some time later, as I was dealing with the US rep, and her well equipped Neil Pride sail loft.

Neither she, nor her 4 other US employees would have jobs, if we didn't buy their Hong Kong sewn products. (And, I seriously doubt that the talented person who sewed my sails in Hong Kong, only made pennies!)

I will gladly pay more for better quality, but will not intentionally buy a lesser quality for the sake of buying from the US either. The unfortunate truth is, that 90% + of what's available these days, (retail), seems to come from China. In the case of most of it... crap!

It is a shame that there isn't a "Wally World" that gets its products according to the country that makes it best, rather than the one who makes it cheapest! I KNOW the folks I hang out with would prefer that. QUALITY!

M.

GM may have figured this out. They perpetrated absolute garbage upon the American car buyer for decades (think Chevy Vega). Unfortunately, they got bailed out with our tax dollars. Quality at the right price will always find buyers but given two equal products, I would rather pay a local guy to sew up a sail than a foreigner even if it costs a little more.
Nobody wants to get screwed, paying an exorbitant price. We are losing all our artisans. That is not good. Not everyone wants to or is cut out to sit in a cubicle shuffling papers, staring at a computer screen all day.

reiner 12-05-2011 14:58

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
Here in Australia some of the big companies are complaining that people bypass the shops and import to much gear from overseas, manly China. They argue that no GSt is paid and they can't compete.
I bought two solar regulators in china for $28 landed in my letterbox( 2 off them). The same regulators cost here $54 each. I saved $80 . The retailers here are to greedy and have coursed people to shop around. The markup on stuff here in Australia is shocking. I own a small business building camper trailers and I know how hard it is trying to build a good product at the right price and stay alive but some of the big businesses are just going overboard and they will come undone in the long run. It's not only that people are sick and tired of it, they are running out of money too. everybody seems to be in on the big kill at the moment including the government.
I try to support the local industry and try to spend my money here in Australia but not if somebody is having a go at me and sells me Chinese stuff with a 500% markup.
My Mate is buying his sails in China at half the cost. But he wis buying his rigging here in Oz hopefully getting a better quality.
Thanks for all the replies.
Thanks
Reiner

blgklr 12-05-2011 18:58

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
Once upon a time I was employed by Hershey, then they closed the factory and moved the equipment to a new plant in Mexico. In Mexico they pay the workers $60 per week. Prices for product stayed the same. Now I won't touch a HERSHEY product. Milton must be rolling in his grave at what has become of his company. It's not about workers it's about shareholders and a lot of US sails are made in China but the customer is not aware of that.

reiner 12-05-2011 19:06

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blgklr (Post 685499)
Once upon a time I was employed by Hershey, then they closed the factory and moved the equipment to a new plant in Mexico. In Mexico they pay the workers $60 per week. Prices for product stayed the same. Now I won't touch a HERSHEY product. Milton must be rolling in his grave at what has become of his company. It's not about workers it's about shareholders and a lot of US sails are made in China but the customer is not aware of that.

The problem I am having with the way they do business is the dishonesty.
Fair would be if you had a choice and they said ok you can buy this product made in china for $200 or this product made here for $400. But that is not how it works and specially here in Australia a lot of small manufacturers go broke.
We are loosing having a choice and one day we pay top dollars for badly made products with no options.....scary.

capnorv 12-05-2011 19:23

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
Back in the 90's I bought a Lee mainsail, I got what I paid for...luckily it was a boat that sailed poorly in the first place, a Reinell 22 lol. In 2005 we bought a new Genoa, which still shines. I will never use another loft if I can help it. The Loft I recommend is Carol Hasse's, Hasse Sails in Port Townsend Washington, definitely a class act! The owner even brought it 100 miles to the boat and hanked it on herself, and I can't imagine any of their sails being stiched across the ocean.

Bash 12-05-2011 19:40

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
I've had two sets of UK sails, both of which were made in Hong Kong, delivered with new boats. One set was awful, the other was fine.

As far as I'm concerned, Chinese sails are a roll of the dice. That said, I once bought a UK main that they wanted to build in their Hong Kong loft, and I insisted it be built in Sweden. When the sail arrived, the spreader patches didn't match up with the spreaders.

I haven't dealt with UK since then, preferring to have my sails built here in my own country. The two made-in-the-USA sails I've had built since my divorce with UK have been perfect.

smurphny 12-05-2011 20:38

Re: Sails and Rigging made in China.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bewitched (Post 683621)
So you're saying the OP (an Australian) should buy American made sails?

Just suggesting it may benefit your local sailmaker and economy to employ him/her rather than a sweatshop operator in China. China is undercutting almost everyone by paying very low wages to what amounts to slave labor and unfair government currency manipulation. There must be many first rate sailmakers in OZ who need the business and can't afford to work for a dollar a day.

Suniday 12-05-2011 22:22

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
Having both Genco and Neil Pryde sails, there is little observable difference in the amount of sowing and sail tape needed for repairs. The Genco website indicates that they manufacture their sails in Toronto, and at least some of Neil Pryde sails are made in US. The Neil Pryde sail I use comes from Hong Kong, and I have had no notable issues with it. Supporting your local sail-makers who make a good product is preferable when it is possible.

There are corporations here in the US who operate under the guidelines smurphy describes, and I have found that the best way to address this is to exemplify your personal preference when you spend your money.

Icarus 15-05-2011 20:10

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
I bought Lee sails for all my yachts in Honk Kong..the price is about halve of Aussi prices, service is fast. Quality is excellent, you can pick what brand of cloth you want...I payed 1000 AUD 2 years ago for a conventional cut mainsail, 8oz, battens and sailcover included. so why would I buy a sail in OZ for 3500$. They use a computer to cut cut and design the sail..The trouble is that a lot of services in Australia are gone trendy...
Happy sailing!

sisiutl 15-05-2011 22:23

I just received my main sail supplied by Island Planet Sails and manufactured by China Sail Factory. It is an excellent sail and I am very pleased with both the sail and the expertise of Dave from IPS.

islandplanet 16-05-2011 11:52

Re: Sails and Rigging Made in China
 
Thank you for your kind words Bob. It's been a great pleasure working with you over the past several years and what's amounted to 64,000 or so miles on Sisiutl. I love having sails on boats like yours because it really validates what we do.

Some thoughts for those thinking about ordering direct from an overseas loft rather than from a sailmaker who contracts with a good loft they can trust their reputation to:

Did you know that many of the lofts that deal direct with consumers are in essence forced to because their standards aren't high enough to attract business from reputable sailmakers in the US and Europe? I've been in some of those lofts and looked inside the cardboard rolls that the sailcloth comes on and seen the little red stamped word "Seconds". That's correct. A lot of the cloth sourced to achieve the low prices is second quality and sold in some cases for pennies on the dollar.

Great sails require top notch design, excellent material and hardware, and of course properly construction methodology. I've looked at the measurement sheets supplied by some of these lofts that deal direct and in most cases, they aren't even collecting the details needed to assure proper sheeting angle for a headsail. Even though our designer has been at it for 35 years, he cannot guarantee a sail will sheet properly without knowing how the tracks are situated. That's why we have our customers take measurements to the fore and aft ends of the track from deck/forestay intersection and from aloft. Those combined with a few sheers measurements taken down to the waterline insure the sail will fit the boat properly.

If you are purchasing anything over the internet you should be able to pay with a credit card or paypal. I know some of the lofts that deal direct require a wire transfer. This leaves the consumer with zero recourse if there is a problem like the sail not fitting. If you can't use your Visa/MC, that should be a huge red warning flag.

Arguing about globalization is pointless IMHO. There have been benefits to both east and west. For instance, do you know that GM sells more cars in China than they do in the US? And while there may still be some sweatshop in China, particularly in the garment industry and counterfeit goods market, the CSF loft is virtually indistinguishable from a production loft in the US or Europe. Workers have excellent working conditions and opportunity for advancement. They get a couple of 10 or 12 day breaks a year plus other shorter holiday periods. All in all, I think they may get more days off than some American workers.


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