Join Date: Nov 2000
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How do you tell if sails are good?
A local sailmaker gave me some great advice when I bought my latest boat, a 1983 C&C. Basically, the sails I got with the boat were old, blown out, or rather floppy.
He told me to plan for sails in the second season I had the boat, not immediately. Sail the boat for a year with whatever it has, unless the sail actually disintegrates when you bend it on. His advice was to figure out if a) I liked the boat and b) what I wanted to do with it.
At the end of last summer, we worked out a plan that was of course quite different than I would have anticipated at the start of the summer. ( I loved the boat, and got more into racing than I ever expected, so we crafted the new sails accordingly).
If you want to be sure about the sails, take them to a reputable sail loft and have them evaluated. Some will do this for little or no charge; you are after all a potential customer some day.
During the survey of my boat, both the surveyor and the broker thought my sails looked great and I would be well off with them for a while. This was wrong, we actually raced the boat with a blown out 150 genoa as it rained chunks of Mylar down on our heads.
Anyway, if the sails are a big item of concern either have them surveyed seperately or take them to a loft.