Loft Recommendation: Doyle vs. Cruising Direct vs. Sails East vs. Lee... - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 12-03-2007
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Loft Recommendation: Doyle vs. Cruising Direct vs. Sails East vs. Lee...

Need to replace the #1 for my Pearson 30 and am looking at quotes from a number of lofts, including Doyle (local), Cruising Direct (there's a local North loft, but not certain they process Cruising Direct orders), Sails East and Lee.

I'm very comfortable with the Doyle guys, and while they happen to be the most expensive, they also seem the most service-oriented. Cruising Direct's quote saves me a couple of boat bucks, but I get the impression they are North's budget line -- am I correct? I have also read here that they are also very service oriented. Sails East and Lee save me as well, but I feel like I'm taking a bit of a risk to save a little. (...and of course, if I'm not happy but managed to save a little money, I'll be reminding myself that I "cheaped out" everytime I'm on the water...). Sails East wants to charge me extra to triple stitch... seems like I might be disappointed if I don't.

So does anyone have any advice here -- rhetorical, I know to suggest I do anything other than go with a local loft that I'm comfortable with, even though they're most expensive? Any personal experiences with Cruising Direct?

Also looking at a used sail at one of the major brokers -- sight unseen in "like new" condition for less than half price of new... tempting. Used sail was made by Schurr -- not familiar with them. It's also a little heavy at 7.5oz. (The Doyle sail I'm looking at is 5.7oz.).

Thoughts/recommendations? BTW, sailing in LI Sound, predominantly cruising with some racing. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-03-2007
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No personal experience with Cruising Direct.

Might also want to check with FX sails here on Sailnet.

Triple stitching is cheap insurance for durability. If you're getting a roller furling headsail, then you might want to make sure that you get a suncover stitched to it. The Tedlar UV films aren't as good or as protective as a sacrificial Sunbrella strip.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2007
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Try getting a quote from Sobstad (sp). When I was shopping for a new headsail last year I got quotes for all sails from them. They were very reasonably priced and offered far more as standard on their sails that everyone else wanted to up-charge for.
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Old 12-03-2007
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With a local loft, if they are worth their salt, you should get a sail that fits what you need (or at least what you think you need). They should thoroughly measure on your boat, discuss what you want, and why, and give you a product, with service, that's worth the extra bucks. When dealing with a local loft, it isn't so much the brand of sail, as it is the people who run the loft. I put a new Doyle StackPak and a headsail on my boat. The Doyle folks in Texas were great to work with, did all the work, and I'm quite pleased with the sail. The headsail was purchased through the Annapolis loft and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. Both sails were actually made in Barbados and I have no questions about their construction. But the differences between the Texas loft and Annapolis is like night and day. So if you 're comfortable with the people at the loft, I think you come out ahead going local.
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Old 12-03-2007
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FX Sails here on sailnet quotes:
MAINSAILS
Inshore Cross-cut Mainsail $944.00
Inshore Tri-Radial Mainsail $1644.00
Offshore Cross-cut Mainsail $1161.00
Offshore Tri-Radial Mainsail $1954.00
Pentex Club Racing Mainsail $2037.00

Inshore Tri-radial main sounds like what you are looking for. Features of THAT sail are:
Standard Price: $1644.00 Standard Features:
  • 3-Year Warranty
  • Premium Stitching
  • Aluminum Headboard
  • Cunningham
  • Draft Stripes
  • Leech Line with Clamcleat
  • Webbed on Leech Telltales
  • Premium Fiberglass Battens
  • Sail Ties & Sail Bag
Cloth: Dimension Polyant DC55 Low Stretch Polyester Cruising Laminate
SailArea: 221 sq. ft.

Price goes up to $1872 with a Pearson logo...sail numbers and 2 sets of reef points.
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Old 12-03-2007
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CL,

I just purchased a 150 Genoa and a new performance main for my Catalina 30 - Tall Rig from Crusing Direct. I called Crusing Direct to order my sails and they were helpfull. The main difference between NS and Crusing Direct is that NS will come to your boat and measure for the sails. CD has forms and instructions for jibs, genoas, and mains and it is up to you to get the measurements right. It made me a bit nervous, but I took my time and used a metal tape measure and got it right. I'm very happy with my sails, they took six weeks and I saved quite a bit of money. CD did mess up my main and forgot to put my sail numbers on, but I'm taking them to the NS loft in Costa Mesa, Ca. and they will be appied for no charge. I'm really happy with the loose footed main as my previous main was a bolt rope attached to the boom.

Good luck

Scott - Namaste - Catalina 30 Tall Rig
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Old 12-04-2007
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Quote:
Need to replace the #1 for my Pearson 30 and am looking at quotes from a number of lofts, including Doyle (local), Cruising Direct (there's a local North loft, but not certain they process Cruising Direct orders), Sails East and Lee.

I'm very comfortable with the Doyle guys, and while they happen to be the most expensive, they also seem the most service-oriented. Cruising Direct's quote saves me a couple of boat bucks, but I get the impression they are North's budget line -- am I correct? I have also read here that they are also very service oriented. Sails East and Lee save me as well, but I feel like I'm taking a bit of a risk to save a little. (...and of course, if I'm not happy but managed to save a little money, I'll be reminding myself that I "cheaped out" everytime I'm on the water...). Sails East wants to charge me extra to triple stitch... seems like I might be disappointed if I don't.

So does anyone have any advice here -- rhetorical, I know to suggest I do anything other than go with a local loft that I'm comfortable with, even though they're most expensive? Any personal experiences with Cruising Direct?

Also looking at a used sail at one of the major brokers -- sight unseen in "like new" condition for less than half price of new... tempting. Used sail was made by Schurr -- not familiar with them. It's also a little heavy at 7.5oz. (The Doyle sail I'm looking at is 5.7oz.).

Thoughts/recommendations? BTW, sailing in LI Sound, predominantly cruising with some racing. Thanks in advance.
I don't think there's any difference between Lee and Cruising Direct as far as quality goes. Lee has been around since the earth cooled. I've never heard any complaints. I think Crusiing Direct is a North spin-off or acquisition. They are made in the Orient, as are Lee and I wouldn't be surprised if they were coming out of the same factory.

Never heard of Sails East. As far as the used one goes...probably fine for a backup or spare, but I wouldn't buy it for performance. I don't think that people trade in their sails until they're pretty well blown out .
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Old 12-04-2007
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Always best to support your local tradesman (sail lofts are fun to visit anyway).
I can comment on two of the Asian sails from personal experience.

Lee: My boat came with a brand new Lee working jib, which was expertly crafted, with chafe protection, leather. Perfect cut. If I had bought this sail new I would be very pleased.

Cruising Direct (a.k.a. North China): When I used to be poor(er) and I had a 25' boat, shopping at home depot for shackles and rigging, CD lured me in with their low pricing. My first sail was a CD storm jib, which was well made and worked nicely the several times I used it. The next sail I bought was a 105% jib. This sail was very disappointing. It was cut poorly, and caused a huge pocket to form well aft of the clew, and generally never flew well. I lost about 10 degrees pointing ability compared with an old worn out mylar jib I used prior. So would I buy CD again? No, the value isn't there and it undercuts the local lofts, which I believe are a valuable resource.

Last edited by sailboy21; 12-04-2007 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 12-04-2007
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I recent went through a lot of quotes and ended up at North Sails here in Seattle. The price was only a couple hundred more than FX or CD and the options for cloth/etc were better. I'll let you know how it goes, but they came out and measured my boat already.
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Old 12-04-2007
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Haven't seen mention of Quantum Sails, but read about someone who was very satisfied with them. I am surprised to hear Doyle ranked highly (expensive) they make OEM's for the MacGregors. There is a Quantum just under an hours drive from me but Northsails is less than 15 minutes and more local so I don't mind towing my boat over to them for measuring. They sound like they provide good service. At any rate local lofts have local sailing conditions knowledge and can recommend a more suitable sail for the area so I vote local.

Sailingdog wrote:
"If you're getting a roller furling headsail, then you might want to make sure that you get a suncover stitched to it."

I am currently researching a Schaefer Snapfurl CF-700 to avoid doing just that and also for the ability to easily switch headsails from jib to genoa. One simply hauls down one sail and hoists the other, so I can haul down either sail and bag it rather than put a UV strip on and leave it on the furler.
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