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  #1  
Old 02-17-2013
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Mainsail from Hell OR am I an Old Fart?

For those of us who live life afloat, finding good gear at the right price is a top priority. That's why we shout to all about the good stuff, and thankfully less often, warn of being taken. Here are the facts - you judge.

Jack and Jude have sailed nearly 150,000 NM since 1973, many of those aboard a vessel called Banyandah, meaning "Home on the Water," a vessel they built themselves when they were kids.

Needing a new mainsail to explore the treacherous Fjords on New Zealand's South Island, we sent out specs to several sail makers. Three came back with similar good prices, only one offered a good track system for full length batten at a fair price, so they got the order.

But we did not get what we ordered.

1/ We did not get the size of sail agreed.
2/ We did not get a headboard as specified.
3/ The slides were installed incorrectly – against the track maker’s advice.
4/ The attachment points are very weak, small and not designed for heavy use.
5/ The edges are simple fold over, weak and not designed for heavy use.

We have created a website of photos that clearly shows how poorly made this sail is. Have a look.

When we asked for our money back, the man wrote this to us: (copied and pasted)
You just want money, you are not an honest man.
You are using extortion to try to get a free sail.
Also I did the math and you could not have sailed as many miles as you claim.


Are we out of touch? Is this considered a heavy duty cruising mainsail today?

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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Mainsail from Hell OR am I an Old Fart?

What specifically did you order

Sailcloth, weight reefs, deminsions for what kind of boat features, batten pockets. Do you have other pictures.

Right off the get go cruising sails that I jhave priced are usually triple stitched or they have decreased the throw of the zigzag. The Clews are reenforced big time.

Hard to tell because of so many variables though. What did you pay.

As an example We have a two year old Quantum Mainsail

8 oz high modulus performance sailcloth- 290 sq ft
4 full battens with closed batten sleeves
triple stitched, cross cut, 2 reefs with reef bands
metal reenforced head board with web
renforced tack and clews
numbers
and other features.

This was $2800
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Last edited by chef2sail; 02-17-2013 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Mainsail from Hell OR am I an Old Fart?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJude View Post
Are we out of touch? Is this considered a heavy duty cruising mainsail today?

Some lessons to learn from this..
When buying sail mail order (or in his shop)
-Get picture documentation from the sail maker of details from similar sail.
-Check references
-Get detailed spec

Here is a picture of my cruising main (made in cruising laminate)


Tack/Cunningham area on the same sail, the reef points have similar reinforcements - sorry no picture of those

Last edited by knuterikt; 02-17-2013 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Mainsail from Hell OR am I an Old Fart?

This subject, with the same pictures, has been done to death on Cruisers Forum. Did it really need a brand new thread on this forum to discuss it all over again? I think not.
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Mainsail from Hell OR am I an Old Fart?

Hello MarkSF

By the numbers commenting on that CF thread shows a keen interest in an issue effecting our community and has brought many good suggestions.

We made a mistake by blindly putting our faith in a supplier and have had to put off sailing plans conceived and worked towards for the last six months. It would be a tragedy if others were so effected - shoddy suppliers who promise one thing and supply something much less are not only irksome and costly, they can create great danger.

Also, in this thread, we are wondering if it is us who are out of touch with modern sail making as this sail maker has claimed.

knuterikt - that's a nice looking clew. Our furling headsail finishes like that.
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Mainsail from Hell OR am I an Old Fart?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJude View Post
Also, in this thread, we are wondering if it is us who are out of touch with modern sail making as this sail maker has claimed.
No, not necessarily out of touch.. it is simply very hard for a sailmaker who has only ever known how to build racing sails (or, more specifically has forgotten how) to build cruising ones!

I can tell you from current experience that even going back to the guy who made the old one won't always help. These days, to keep costs down, sails tend to be computer-cut somewhere else and then assembled at the local sail loft. If he didn't understand what you wanted, like me and my futile attempts to get a new headsail, you're screwed..

IMO, you need to find some "old salt" who will show you cloth samples, measure up your boat and take the time to work out exactly what you need - but it certainly won't be the cheapest quote you get.
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Mainsail from Hell OR am I an Old Fart?

I think that believing you could get a quality mainsail for a heavy 44 footer for $1500 was the first mis-step.. I can't get a small jib for our 34 footer for that....

A great illustration of why 'on-line' buying isn't for 'everything'....
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Mainsail from Hell OR am I an Old Fart?

I'm well in agreement from the looks of it the sail is rubbish but I'm afraid that if I was after a new sail I'd be going local even if it did cost a bit more. No international supplier is going to cover the shipping costs as part of a warranty so for mine large items bought offshore with no international warranty backup are posing a major risk.

Nonetheless, figuring you guys are on a pretty tight budget I'm really sorry to hear of your misfortune. Quite frankly the whle thing sucks.

Has there been any feedback from other customers of this loft ?

Andrew B

btw Hartley ... what's this about your headsail ?
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Mainsail from Hell OR am I an Old Fart?

$1500 for a mainsail for your boat! You GOT WHAT YOU PAID FOR!!!!!!

Go away, you barking up the major wrong tree here! A Base main for my 6500 lb 28' on deck is $1500, cost me close to $4K for a string style racing sail.

Again, "YOU GOT WHAT YOUR PAID FOR!!!!!"

Can I say go away again and get away with it.

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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Mainsail from Hell OR am I an Old Fart?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
btw Hartley ... what's this about your headsail ?
TD, if you really want to know:

As mentioned on the previous thread, my current heavy-duty headsail was getting a bit long in the tooth anyways before the old furler chafed the boltrope out of it in a few places. It's also (a) stretched out of shape, especially along the foot, by being hardened in tight for +10years and (b) needed a new UV cover (apparently it's 4th..) - so I decided to fork out for a new one to fit the new furler.

That was my instructions to Doyles: "New headsail to fit the new furler, but please make it shorter on the foot so I can set it properly." So the sailmaker measures up and takes away the old headsail to use as a template... and comes back with a headsail that fits the furler great, but is so long on the foot, I can't set it any tighter than a reach without relocating my jib tracks to the stern!!

Can you guess what happened? He made the foot of the new one the same length as the stretched one... FFS.


(Reminder to self: Make sure next boat has a full set of good sails, because unless the boat has a glossy carbon fibre rig and is a regular winner of major ocean races, dealing with sailmakers is no fun at all.)
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