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post #2 of Old 12-13-2003
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
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Sabre 30 Racing sails

Over the course of many boats, we''ve purchased sails from Melges, North, UK,, Sobstad, Doyle, and a local loft in Stamford, CT, Z sails. They''ve all held up pretty well and did what they were supposed to do in moving the boats. We''ve been happiest with the service provided by the local loft. The big guys seem to be selling product. You want one, tthey''ll sell it to you. It''s a good product, but unless you have their sailmaker in your fleet (and make sure its their sailmaker and not their sale-maker), you''re not likely to hear or see much of them, except (perhaps) in a sheet on sail adjustments or additional advertising flyers. The local guys also have a good product. They can see what the other guys are doing and do the same, or perrhaps tweak it to suit the way you sail. The local guy may know that the conditions in your pond tend towards drifterrs, so he''ll add extra roach- despite the backstay - so you sail faster. He may know the short, choppy waves you have to cut through, and so move the sail''s draft forward to provide more drive. Since he''s not doing a large volume - one-size-fits-all business, he knows the questions to ask, even if he doesn''t sail on your lake. Do you sail with the wife & kids, or are there six gorillas on the rail? He cuts the sails accordingly. Is your boat equipped for comfortable cruising or do you race with your tanks near empty and leave the cushions on the dock? Are you looking for sails tthat will blow away the competition, but have to be replaced next season, or ones that will perform well for a longer time? In our two most rrecent purchases, the one from tthe big loft had to go back for corrections - an 80-mile round-trip hassle. They offered to come out with us, but didn''t follow through. We''ve liked the sail and it has performd well for us. The local loft made a sail that fit the first time. It also performs well, and we are sttill gettting comments on how good itt looks, three years later. They are eager to come out with us - were eager even before we said we needed a new sail- and are nice guys who know what they are doing. We''re in the market again, and will probably go with them again. There ae probably similar outfits in your neck of the woods who would be worth your checking into.
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