Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 14
Here are a few more thoughts for you to fold into the mix...
I too bought a (simple) sail from National Sail Supply, who is just a guy that places orders with a loft in Thailand, the Rolly Tasker loft that used to operate in Australia. Cruisers who visit the Thai loft have been very impressed (much CAD, much handwork done nicely), but the snag with any ''overseas rep'' is that you need to be sure of what you want and/or must depend on the rep to outline all the choices, coach you on the value of each, and double coach you on the measurements (which will *always* be yours and not theirs, should the sail later fail to fit nicely). Dirk may be a nice guy, but he didn''t register on my "I''m impressed" meter when it came to helping me spec a sail. Intentionally, I was ordering a mizzen staysail - pretty simple stuff - but I''d be wary of specing out a main e.g., no matter how talented the loft might be. Having the rep in your local area can make this a LOT more appealing.
I think I''m in love with Nordac. This is the proprietary dacron cloth that North uses in their ''normal'' sails (for a premium price, of course). We recently ordered a suit of sails from Cruising Direct (Newport, RI - www.cruisingdirect.com) because a) the coaching on options, tradeoffs, etc. was quite good, and b) they are made in North lofts using North CAD software & specs, and can be serviced, if there''s a problem, in a North loft (which we have in our town). Once again, measuring must be done accurately but I''m certainly pleased with the shape & appearance (and...thankfully...the fit), plus I got Nordac cloth for a rock bottom price.
I support the advice on using a local loft, or at the very least considering one. Especially if you plan to be located in one spot for some years while sailing your boat. Over time, you will acquire a modest education about sails and sail making...and you''ll find far more service than I think is true for most folks. But of course, there is a price to be paid, too.