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johnnyandjebus 10-15-2009 07:27 PM

Lee sails any recent experience?
Hello all

I am in the market for a new main sail for my contessa 26 and have received a quote from Lee sails.
1000$ no full battens no loose foot and 2 reef points. My local loft has a great rep and I am sure that I would be happy with their results but the price difference is pushing 7-800$.

So has anyone ordered/received a main sail from Lee sails recently? If so what are your thoughts?
I recall looking closely at the sail Lee sails had on display at the January Toronto boat show last winter and my impression was that it was not a second rate sail. Weight of cloth was good, stitching finishing all good. I understand in the past sails coming out of China, at times(Lee sails included) had a reputation for being second rate in quality and finish is this still the case?

Any thoughts are welcome.


tommays 10-15-2009 07:57 PM

I would not do it unless there was a US rep to handle things as many of the other offshore sail-makers have a good US rep to ensure your happy

johnnyandjebus 10-15-2009 08:31 PM


Originally Posted by tommays (Post 532524)
I would not do it unless there was a US rep to handle things as many of the other offshore sail-makers have a good US rep to ensure your happy


I am from Canada, but your point is well taken. I have been in communication with the Canadian rep. He has sent me forms requesting detailed measurements of the boat/rigging as well as a detailed form to fill out the options I am looking for in my purchase. For what it is worth, I recall speaking to him last January and having a favorable impression of him.
With that said If I decide to go this route I will first have a conversation with him to get a handle on what kind if service I can expect from him as it relates to my purchase.


nightowle 10-16-2009 08:31 PM

depending on what kind of boat you have, and what you're looking for......check out Sail Warehouse in California. They sell Rolly Tasker sails that are made well in Thailand. I bought a stock sail for my O'Day last year and have been very happy with it.

WanderingStar 10-17-2009 10:28 AM

I also used Rolly Tasker about ten years ago. I was pretty happy with their performance, at about half the price of local sails. I love to shop locally, and buy what's made in the USA, but only if I can afford it.

sailmomo 11-10-2009 03:33 PM

Lee Sails -- poor sailcloth, dismal customer service
We have a Lee sails main, not quite 3 yrs old now, on our Mason 43. Bought it from the rep. in Vancouver, B.C. We're now anchored in Fiji, thousands of miles later. The workmanship is fine -- quite good actually. But the cloth is really bad. It began tearing after about 1600 miles or so. The tears are all vertical -- many are caused simply by the fact that the reefing lines touch the sail. We're not only getting tears only when we we reef, but also simply because the reefing lines touch the sail -- they rub through the cloth. Also, when we straighten kinks in the cloth, we need to be especially careful or else the cloth makes a little "pop" and we end up with a tiny hole. A few weeks ago we blew a 6'+ hole near the clew of the second reef while reefing routinely in 20 kts; the sail then flogged for a brief moment and suffered a second 5' tear in the leech near the head.

We've written Lee Sails, but never get a response. The rep. in Vancouver was quite responsive when we when we ordered our sail (invited us to his office -- his apartment really -- for a consultation) but since the sail was delivered they've never responded to us at all. And it's not like we only wrote to complain. The first time we tried to contact them about our sail we simply had a question about a sail slide.

Our sail, of course, is no longer under warranty. But given Lee Sails' refusal to respond to our correspondence, we wonder what their warranty is worth anyway.

sailmomo 01-04-2010 04:55 AM

Things have changed somewhat since I posted my critical comments regarding Lee Sails. The sail material is still crap--we replaced the 'new' Lee Sails with our 25 yr old main and were amazed at just how good the old main was in comparison. But in all fairness, we have finally gotten a response to our inquiries from Lee Sails in Hong Kong and they have been very fair and forthcoming. I will report on final results in a month or so.

bdietrich 01-04-2010 03:31 PM

I had a very good experience with Lee Sails
I bought a new mainsail from them about a year ago, having it delivered to St Thomas. I ordered it entirely through email, with lots of emails to make sure I specified every detail. They did everything as specified and I am very satisfied.

I paid by credit card, and my credit-card company added a 3% "foreign transaction" fee, and Lee added another 3% for paying by CC. Price still was far lower than any local quote.

My mainsail was a pretty simple job: no battens, no slides/cars, no reef points.

Of course the downside of long-distance ordering is that if anything DOES go wrong, fixing it is a hassle. Probably would have had any problems fixed locally. But there were no problems.

Bill Dietrich
bill_dietrich at
sailing vessel "Magnolia": 1973 Gulfstar 44 ketch motor-sailer

richardb123 08-11-2015 09:15 PM

Re: Lee sails any recent experience?
I know 4 people with Lee sails, and all are very happy. There is a tall ship near me with a full set of Lee sails and they are very happy as well.They do not manufacture their own fabric (no loft does), and they claim to use exactly the same fabric as other lofts. They use computer generated designs (like other lofts). They are not available to go out on your boat, and getting things adjusted after can more of a hassle. As far as I can tell, US sailmakers say unfounded, highly critical things about Lee because Lee offers a sail that is almost or possibly every bit as good as a mid priced loft, for a fraction of the cost.

richardb123 08-11-2015 09:24 PM

Re: Lee sails any recent experience?
I just confirmed that Lee buys their fabric from Challenge sail cloth - the same sail cloth used by many sailmakers. Challenge Sailcloth

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