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islands50 03-14-2010 11:23 AM

New mainsail
I could use some advice on buying a new mainsail for my 30 foot sloop. I do coastal cruising. Looking for a heavier cruising sail rather than racing. What do you know about these sailmakers I am looking at. North sails $1400 for a 7 oz. $1700 for nsp premium dacron. Bacon sails $1600. FX sails 7.3 oz. $1500. Scott 6.5 oz. National sail supply 6.5 oz. $1200.

erikdj 03-14-2010 12:06 PM

Hi islands,

About two years ago I was faced with a similar decision on my 28 foot. I decided to go with a smaller local sail shop. Their prices were about middle of the road between North (most expensive) and Doyle (least expensive). I did a lot of checking into the shop I went with.. reputation.. references.. satisfaction.. service, etc. Two years later I can't tell you how unbelievably happy I am that I went with a local shop. Here's why: customer service.

I subsequently bought a new head sail and had my three other headsails adapted for my new roller furler. He's also built a new sail cover for my main sail. Any time I have a question or need a small change, I have someone to turn to that I can get to quickly. I decided to try my hand at racing, so I took my main sail back to have my numbers put on. He did it for free. I had a small problem with my new headsail that was a manufacturing problem so I took it back.. Fixed it for free plus fixed a small tear I had put in the luff rope which was completely my fault.. Changed to a loose footed main sail.. he did that for free.. wanted a bigger outhaul slide for the boom--free.

The sails are, of course, of the highest quality and are wearing fine (which is obviously the #1 benefit). Any time I need a sail tune up, have a question or need something done, I can call _the guy_ who made my sail. Plus I'm supporting my local economy! :-)

It was actually the North salesman that kind of convinced me. I felt like I was buying a car from a car salesman when I talked to him. It was almost like "What can I do to get you into this sail today." Plus the sails are generally made over seas. What a drag if you get your sail back and there's a fitting problem or stitching problem or other change.. Can't talk to the person who built it. Plus the sails are a little more "cookie cutter".. Steve designed my sail, the shape, size, everything to the way I wanted it.

Good luck.


Architeuthis 03-14-2010 12:42 PM

I would second the local sailmakers, some are much better than the big boys.

But I found them to be so far out of my price range that I just gave up on the idea of getting a new sail. Then I got a quote from Hong Kong sails. More work, more risk, but lower shipping costs (yep) and it was less than 1/2 of the average quote (those that bothered), almost 1/3 of a sailmaker I would have preferred to use.

So I would say use a local sailmaker, they'll have better service, better advice (you have to know what you want if you order over the net) and having that relationship can more than cover the extra costs...if they fit in your budget.

jrd22 03-14-2010 01:01 PM

National Sail- top quality materials, excellent workmanship, great advice and support, very reasonable price. I bought two RF headsails and wouldn't hesitate to order a main or any other sail from them. This is for offshore cruising sails, racing might be a different situation.

sailingfool 03-14-2010 01:54 PM

54 Attachment(s)
Buy local, skip FX.

sailingdog 03-14-2010 03:22 PM

One fellow sailor ordered sails from FX sails in DECEMBER, and still has not received them.

tempest 03-14-2010 05:07 PM


Which Coast?

dbruce85 03-14-2010 05:08 PM

I have used Atlantic Sail Traders in Sarasota, found them to be very good.
I live in Canada but travel to Sarasota once or twice a year so I have stopped in and talked to them, very helpful with reasonable prices.

chef2sail 03-14-2010 06:16 PM

National Sail

Architeuthis 03-14-2010 07:48 PM


Originally Posted by dbruce85 (Post 580704)
I have used Atlantic Sail Traders in Sarasota, found them to be very good..

I have one of their sails, well made, very nice sail, the best on our boat actually. Atlantic Sail Traders - Used sails, New sails, Sail Broker

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