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post #1 of 30 Old 08-11-2008 Thread Starter
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Contemplating new sails

I'm gathering quotes to replace the factory sails on our recently aquired 1991 C36. I've gotten 3 quotes plus checked the prices on a stock sail from FX. From high to low the lofts were:

UK Halsey (Double the cost of FX)
North ($2K more than FX)
Ullman ($1.5K more than FX factoring in additional C36IA discount)
FX

Ullman is the closest loft to where we keep our boat and therefore the most convienient for service and repairs. UK and North have lofts in Naptown, 4 hours from the boat and about 1.5 hours from my home.

The local loft has also provided a quote to replace the headstay and install a new Harken Furler. The others have quoted the furler but their uninstalled price was about the same as the local lofts quote which in addtion to install included a new headstay. All the quotes are for Dacron, cross cut cruising sails.

I think I'm coming to a decsion between the local Ullman loft and FX, but would love to hear the thoughts of the Sailnet community.

PalmettoSailor
s/v Palmetto Moon
1991 Catalina 36
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post #2 of 30 Old 08-11-2008
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I just bought a UK tape drive silver main. It was about double FX's price in Dac, Fx's Carbon race triradial was about 25% less. About 1200 vs 2000 vs $2500 for my 190'ish # main. North ranged from $2000 for a dac to over 4G for a high end race sail.

SO far used the new sail twice. much improvement in power etc over the 22 yr old Dac main. The local loft is about 1 hr north. They came and measured for every thing, as I will be in the market for a 155 genoa. We also have a new sailcover made now that the new sail is in. Good thing we semi planed for it, as the sail is a bit bigger, and the old cover does not quite fit! Could be that we went from a minor roach with ~170# of sail, to a top double full batten with max roach at about 195# of sail area.

I also have a newer soft norlam 110 from north and a geniker. That loft is about 45 min south.

You may want to look at Ullmans CAL sails, a lamnate priced locally here in Seattle the same as there dac sails. ABout $1500 for my rig for either sail.

Marty

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post #3 of 30 Old 08-11-2008
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Just went through this process

Midlifesailor,

I just went through this process. Got quotes from all the biggies and FX. FX and CD direct were the least costly, whereas Doyle was most costly for similar materials and construction. FX sails were 30 to 40% less, CD about 10% less than the lowest "local" shops.

The problem wiht FX or CD Direct is that you have to accurately measure the dimensions and specify what you want. If you're incorrect, your kind of stuck.
with
FX did have boat/sail dimension templates in their software, but that assumes that no mods were made to the rigging dimensions. If you know that is true, than you can safely bet that the stock dimensions would fit. If you are a 2nd or 3rd owner of your boat, that may not be the case. If you know exactly what you want and are confident making measurements of your current rig or the stock dimensions in their software, than FX or CD Direct would be OK choices.

I ultimately went with Hood Sails over the other guys because I spent a lot of time on the phone with the sales guy AND he came out an measured the rig. If the sail doesn't fit, it's their problem. They were also the cheapest of the Big Four (Doyle, North, Quantum, and Hood) and are local.

My recommendation is to find a shop that will come out and measure your boat. Even if your paying a few hundred more for this option, over the life of the sail (7 to 15 years), the added cost is nothing for this peace of mind and a sail that fits and performs on your rig.

DrB
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post #4 of 30 Old 08-11-2008
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I'd recommend going with Ullman, especially if they will send someone to measure your rig properly.. As DrB said, with FX you are responsible for measuring the rig, and if it don't fit...guess who pays to get it fixed.

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post #5 of 30 Old 08-11-2008
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Something to point out, Cruising direct is per say no longer in business. The web site forwards you to Welcome to NORTH SAILS Direct...! You also do not have the luxury of figuring out the pricing online, you have do do an email to, wait 48'ish hrs for a reply. The NICE thing I see, is now one can order 3DL, soft norlam style upper end sails vs just 2nd gen ago dac sails.

But as mentioned, "YOU" have to measure or go with the std size's to get your sails. If you want to max out ratings etc, as I did, or max the size for performance, then it would be best to have the rep come out and measure. Well worth it in my opinion.

Marty

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post #6 of 30 Old 08-11-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. An interesting point is the fact that the quote I got from North was through the "NorthDirect" website, but the prices quoted included them doing the measuring. I'm not sure how or why that happened or if I could save some by doing the measuring myself.

The owner of the Ullman loft will not only come measure, but will go out with us to help with car placement, sail trim pointers and suggestions for rigging improvements. I'm strongly leaning towards going that route unless someone can provide a definitive reason not to. I feel these days the cloth used will be fairly similar as will the contruction techniques for this grade of sail. Over the longer term having the loft right next to the boat is a huge benefit. Also, I got a call back from Ullman reminding me he could offer another 5% of if I could wait for spring delivery. At this point in the season, I'll probably take the off season pricing.

PalmettoSailor
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1991 Catalina 36
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post #7 of 30 Old 08-11-2008
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The gut is usually correct! I would also agree that the cloths these days, especially dacron, is so similar, you might as well pick the service you want, and pay accordingly.

Again, if your Ullman loft does not have the CAL or Custom Axel Laminates. See if they can get them or look at the San Diego site for some info. A good way to get a non dac sail, where granted the first couple of years the two clothes will be equal in performance, the next few the CAL will do better, both per literature will die about the same time if you will. Price wise, they were the same for my rig. Yours being 36' vs my 30' might make some difference. In the end for me, it was one of those, I felt the extra for the TDS was worth it for the bouy racing I do. I did get a UK quote for Dac, it was about 1900 IIRC.

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post #8 of 30 Old 08-11-2008
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Might be worth trying Art at Kelly-Hanson sails, Kelly-Hanson Sails | Premium Quality Cruising & Storm Sails. Got a great price on a new main. Don't know much about them but they have been around.
Don

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post #9 of 30 Old 08-11-2008
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I've bought 5 sails in 2 years. From one of the "big guys" above.

This is what I learned.
1) If you can get someone to measure your boat.. That's a VERY good thing. It's NOT that easy.

2) Haggle a bit. Talk about discounts. (Time of year is a BIG deal to these guys...so if you have room in your schedule that can mean significant discounts...)

3) If the sailmaker has had experience making sails for that boat /model/rig before that is a VERY good thing. Some of the sails I bought had to go back a few times for adjustments because it was a custom boat/rig that the maker had never seen before. Wheras... on my Sabre 34 they nailed the cut the first time and the sails are fantastic. I really think experience making THAT sail matters.

Good Luck!

Craig

-C2
1987 Sabre 34 "Saoirse"
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post #10 of 30 Old 08-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvpamenter View Post
Might be worth trying Kelly-Hanson sails. Got a great price on a new main. Don't know much about them but they have been around.
You might want to check out their Better Business Bureau rating on the BBB website before you do this. Put in their zip code (80107) on the main BBB website and it will take you to the Colorado BBB where you can search on Kelly-Hanson.

You'll see that the BBB gives them an F.

One of the sails I bought was advertised as having a (sewn on) UV Cover, which was missing. Their eastern sales rep dropped by and looked at it and then told me they would replace it. That was 2 months ago. So I complained about this (and other problems) to the Colorado Attorney General. The CO AG forwards consumer complaints to the Denver Area Better Business Bureau who tries to get the parties to negotiate a resolution. When the BBB contacted them Kelly's response was to tell me to go talk to his lawyer...

you might also want to google them.

Last edited by drbeer; 08-15-2008 at 05:30 PM.
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