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post #1 of 20 Old 11-19-2013 Thread Starter
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Used sail testing

I may be in the market for better sails soon. I can't afford new sails, so am looking at the used market. I gather that used sails are sold based on, basically, how crispy they are. The seller really has no idea if the thing is blown out, or not. Would there be any way to get some idea if a sail has lost it's shape w/o putting it on a boat and sailing? Maybe, string it up horizontally on land so each corner has the same tension as on the boat, then look at the depth of draft? Maybe simulate wind pressure by filling with water?

Bristol 27
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post #2 of 20 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

I don't think you can really know until you fly the sail on a boat.

I've primarily bought used sails locally with a 5 day return policy so that I'd have a chance to try them out. That is my preferred way to do it. Sadly the one place with a selection of used sails in Seattle is no longer selling sails, and is likely to go out of business completely in the near future (they've lost their lease). That leaves Craigslist as my primary option.

I've bought two used spinnakers online because I think they are easier to evaluate based on fabric condition. Both were a known shape (they were both North Sails Direct cruising gennakers) which kept me from having to guess how they'd fly.

I'm very hesitant on purchasing used Dacron sails from across the country because of the difficulty in evaluating them and the costs of shipping sails. There are a couple of sails that I've been interested in at Bacon's, but there is $100 in shipping if they don't fly properly. Given that Bacon's pricing doesn't seem that great anyway it's taken them out of the running for me.

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post #3 of 20 Old 11-19-2013
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Used sail testing

I would stay away from used sails. They were given up for a reason. Crunchiness or cleanliness has almost no bearing on shape. It's a better value to save up for a new online sail.

I only ever bought a used sail once and it was in "excellent" condition. It didn't last a season and I cut it up to make duffel bags. I know of blown out 30 YO sails listed by the broker as "excellent". I buy used cars and boats but not used sails.

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post #4 of 20 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

Alex, it sounds like you need to make a trip down to Costa Mesa, CA. Much closer than Annapolis.

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post #5 of 20 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

That is about like me suggesting that you go sail shopping at a used loft in Florida. Costa Mesa is a 20 hour drive one way from Seattle.

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post #6 of 20 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

The sail consignment store we had here allowed you to try a used sail to check it for fit etc.. you had a week to bring it back for refund. Sadly it's no longer in business..

Ron

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post #7 of 20 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

Barquito, unless you just want sails for putzing around, or you get extremely lucky and find a bargain (better luck in Vegas) you might be better off searching for a good price on a less expensive sail and just figuring out a way to pay for them.

There might be some decent used sails to fit you, IF you have a popular model, and IF they are salvaged by a breaker from last year's big storm salvage. Might. But unless you can go check them out, shipping and returns (if it wasn't right) can push the budget into new sail territory very easily.

Filling with water ain't gonna happen unless you've got a little boat in a sunny place, because no one wants that big ugly wet sail to have to dry out after you've done that. Ignoring anything else.

If the resin is gone and the fabric isn't stiff, odds are it is already losing shape. And then that's assuming it is really the right cut for your boat. But if you tend to be lucky, and you don't mind investing lots of time...
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

Any ideas on unloading the never new 150 off a 40 c&c to my knoweladge never flown the owner replaced it with kevlar when he took delivery of the boat I got it for work done several 5 years ago its been flaked and stowed dry since day one

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post #9 of 20 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

$100.00 shipping!?!?!?!?

Now THERE'S a rip, indeed!
ast year I bought a 150 Genny and it shipped from PNW to the Chessie for a mere $25 +/-. Bacon;s prices are outrageous for what they show in inventory. www search on Craigslist or e-bay will get you the same for far less. Sure! You take a chance but ya can always request an inspection period and pay the freight back to the seller if he agrees.
A new main for my 27 cost upwards and onwards from $600. For pottering around on the Bay or pleasure sailing near anywhere, I'd gladly pay 1/5 of that for a decent sail. Gonna race or go offshore?? Spend the bux!

just my $.02

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'80 Watkins 27
North East, MD
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

$100 round trip (if I don't like the sail and need to return it). That is a guess, not based on me getting a quote from them.

It looks like my estimate isn't far off. FedEx quote for shipping from 21401 to 98115 for a 35lb package is $52.

I've looked quite a bit on eBay. It is a lot more time consuming to search (since there is no standard schema for them to categorize used sails) and many of the sellers are no cheaper than Bacon Sails.

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Last edited by Alex W; 11-19-2013 at 08:19 PM.
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