I've read several posts here and elsewhere about Peak Sails (Peak Sails North America - Peak Sails North America
). I thought it may be instructive to describe my first-hand experiences in factual, objective terms while leaving conclusions and opinion to the reader.
I wanted a mainsail and 110% hank-on jib for my Hinterhoeller HR28. No off-the-shelf sails (Catalina, Hunter, etc.) were close enough for me. I am a very casual cruiser, using the boat maybe 15-20 days per year so price was my primary purchase criteria. I had no reservation taking my own sail measurements (all the firms use the same basic form) and ordering over the internet with a credit card. I did not want/need the service (and price) a full service loft would provide.
I obtained quotes from several discount-overseas operations, trying to compare apples to apples by choosing each loft's Dacron cross-cut mid-grade ("Offshore", "Bluewater") or optioned-up sails rather than their base, OEM-grade sails. The following where my delivered quotes for the mainsail and 110% hank-on jib:
Rolly Tasker (direct) $870, mainsail only
Rolly Tasker (through National Sail Supply) $2,185
Precision Sails $2,017
Peak Sails $1,444 (promo: 15% off "Bluewater sail" pricing when buying 2 sails).
I chose Peak Sails' Bluewater sails from the quotes shown, less 15% promotional discount for buying 2 sails, plus $40 shipping to my home for $1,444 total billed in 4 monthly installments. After a few email and phone exchanges with Peakís rep (Chris Stevens), we had details settled and the first credit card installment secured the order on July 15. I was told to expect the sails in mid-August, around 30 days later.
By August 22, I still had received no sails, nor any communication. I emailed asking for a status update and received no reply. Over the next few days I tried their Tysons Corner VA phone perhaps 6 times and always received a recording asking me to leave a message, which I declined to doÖ by then I wanted our dealings in writing in case I had to lodge a credit card dispute.
On August 28 I wrote another email indicating my intention to lodge a credit card dispute if I did not hear from them in timely fashion. The monthly installments were posted on the 16th of each month, so I knew I had 2+ weeks until installment #3 was to be charged and I would not let it go that long.
That same day, August 28, I did hear back from Peak rep Deanna Freng who indicated the sails were scheduled to be shipped from the Far East in the next day or two for receipt in Colorado the first week of September, then re-sent to customers. I would receive a Fedex Tracking number for that shipment.
On September 12 I received the Fedex tracking number for the shipment from Dongguan China (China Sail Factory??) to Colorado. On September 17 I received the Fedex tracking number for my sails from Colorado to my east coast home. On September 23, I received both sails.
Below are some photos of the sail to illustrate (as best as can be shown in photos) the material and workmanship. Time will tell whether these sails hold up or not, but they are (finally) here.