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  #1  
Old 12-30-2002
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New sails

I am having some ammount of problems trying to decide on new sails. There are some very good sailmakers where I live and it is quite obvious I need new sails. (Just bare poles right now) I am finishing a very major refit and hate to put the old cloth on her. I want to know if there is an opinion on new sails out there from someone not trying to sell them to me. Has anyone had good experience with the large sailmakers like Neil Pryde? Should I spend the money for hand sewn sails from a local loft? How do I choose the loft, or is it acceptable to have different sails made by differnt lofts? I have a 1934 wooden cutter and need new working sails.
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2002
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New sails

I dont know too much about new new sails, but have heard nothing but good things about the places that recondition your old sails. If you like the way the old canvas felt when it was new, you may want to look into one of the places that does that. Then agian, if you want to change the sailplan, nevermind ;-)


-- James
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2002
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New sails

Funny, I have heard little good about reconditioning lofts including some angry comments from folks who have tried reconditioning. Once polyester has had exposure to ultra violet it begins to break down structurally. Once it has gone through repetative stretching it looses stength and resistance to stretch. Once stitching has had cycles of stretch and retraction it looses elasticity and begins to creep. In other words no matter you do to an old sail it is still an old sail. Once its designed shape is gone and there''s little that can be done to reliably bring it back.

Jeff
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Old 01-06-2003
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New sails

Call Dirk at National Sail Supply in Florida! I have purchased quite a few new sails from him. He sells Rolly Tasker sails and the build quality is superb not to mention that he was about 60% less than my local sail makers using the same specs.....

Hale Kai 36
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Old 01-06-2003
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New sails

Have to agree with Jeff H: old polyester may still look ok, but once it''s stretched out of shape you might be able to use aluminum siding to better effect aerodynamically. We went with UK for our most recent jib, (tape drive) but found them not overly responsive or convenient. After getting a number of quotes from both big & smaller outfits, we went with a local loft for a new main. We found the personalized service and careful questionning of our needs quite refreshing. UK has since opened a more convenient loft, so we''ll check them again when the time comes. Spinnakers and storm sails next.
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Old 01-06-2003
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New sails

Sailnet''s qoute to me was cheaper than the local boys comparing apples and apples.
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Old 01-07-2003
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New sails

I agree with HaleKai36! I too have bought sails from Dirk at National Sail Supply in Florida. He will get you Rolly Tasker sails produced in the Far East. He was easy to work with and I got the sail in about a month. I''ve had it for 2 years now and it has held up very well in a variety of conditions (I have a genoa).

This winter my sails are being maintained by a local (reputable) sail loft where I have my boat hauled out. They also told me the construction of the sail was very good.

The genoa I got from National Sail Supply cost me about $1,500. I only needed to provide them with dimensions. The same sail from North Sails would have cost about $4,500.

Good luck.

Matt
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Old 01-08-2003
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New sails

I would first explore the offerings of your local sail maker. The local sail maker can actually visit your boat, take measurements and after they''ve been made he/she can go sailing with you if you happen to encounter any problems.

I have heard and read so many negative comments from people that have bought sails from offshore lofts (read Sails East) to save a few bucks and then experience a lot of frustration when they don''t work or fit their boat for some reason. The sail makers fact sheet that came with your boat is not always correct so if you only use this as a guide you could have problems. If you end up sending a sail back for modification you may be waiting 6-8 weeks, that is if youíre lucky.

I think you can hardly go wrong with a Airforce, UK, Doyle or North. Over the past three years I''ve replaced all of my sails with ones manufactured by North, they werenít the cheapest bidder but, I felt that they offered the best design, construction and technical features. North has a lot of experience building racing sails which does hurt, even if you only plan to cruise. When you''re 50 miles offshore and you blow out a main, your first thought is probably not going to be "I''m sure glad I saved a few bucks on those sails". Thatís my story and I''m sticking to it!
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Old 01-08-2003
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New sails

doyle bermuda seems quite a bit less money than any other doyle loft.
eric
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Old 01-09-2003
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New sails

Iru:

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.

Jack
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