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Bruce_L 09-15-2013 09:30 AM

In Search of Custom Sailmaker
I am ready to purchase a new custom mainsail. Boat is 19 feet. Want some feedback on who you have used, who to stay away from... Who has great customer service. Will want some features like multiple reefing points too... Please give me some feedback...

Want a US based vendor only please... Thanks, Bruce

Alex W 09-15-2013 10:27 AM

Re: In Search of Custom Sailmaker
Where are you located?

Working locally will give you the benefit of having the sail maker come out and measure the boat for the best possible fit. This allows them to get details correct that aren't obvious from the I/J/P/E measurements like maximizing roach without having it hang out up on the backstay or topping lift, figure out the best sail track/slug option, and tailor the shape to your local sailing conditions.

In Seattle I like to work with Ballard sails. They made the main for my old boat, the genoa for my new boat, and have done repairs on a few sails for me.

Letrappes 09-15-2013 11:58 AM

Since your profile says Mississippi gulf coast you should check out Schurr sails in Pensacola. I've had Hunter there making racing sails for my flying Scot for years and bought a new main earlier this year. In the catalog on the site it shows pricing for the Corinthian sailboat you listed in your profile.

There's another sailmaker in Mandeville who reps Ullman but I've never dealt with them.

Alex W 09-15-2013 12:11 PM

Re: In Search of Custom Sailmaker
Also, if it is important to you that the sails are made in the US then talk to your sail maker about it. Most lofts are having sails made offshore now. Some will give you two quotes and let you choose.

DJames 09-15-2013 12:51 PM

Re: In Search of Custom Sailmaker
Without a doubt, best custom sailmaker is Bob Johnson in Clearwater, FL. Designed and made sails for Ted Hood back in the day. He made me a new genoa after one of FL's 2004 hurricanes shredded my old one (40 ft. Catalina).

Sabreman 09-15-2013 03:50 PM

Re: In Search of Custom Sailmaker
Evolution is a great worldwide loft that makes sails at each of their lofts. Their Easton, MD loft is very busy and makes a mix of racing and cruising sails on site (they have an enormous laminating table, larger than a tennis court). We had our mainsail built there with great results, had the genoa recut also with great results.

IMO, with respect to "Made in the US", I focus on the cloth manufacturer and not necessarily the loft. The reality is that the loft will employ 2 or 3 in building a sail in a relatively low technology environment (laminates excepted) while a cloth manufacturer will employ many more in a more sophisticated workplace.

With that said,

Contender - European manufacture
Challenger/Bainbridge - US manufacture
Dimension - US, German, Australia manufacture
North - US company, manufacturing locations unknown

Tetra 09-15-2013 04:00 PM

Re: In Search of Custom Sailmaker
I'd recommend Bill Tosh in Texas. He's made two for me. No, three. Excellent work.

T C Boats

Bruce_L 09-16-2013 08:13 PM

Re: In Search of Custom Sailmaker

Originally Posted by Alex W (Post 1088862)
Where are you located?

I am in Mississippi, sail on the Gulf Coast.

Bruce_L 09-20-2013 09:13 PM

Re: In Search of Custom Sailmaker
Does anyone have any experience dealing with Mack sails?

paulk 09-20-2013 09:54 PM

Re: In Search of Custom Sailmaker
I'll put in a nod for Schurr. We got a used set of their sails from a sistership J/36 that was destroyed in a Florida hurricane. Racing last weekend with their spinnaker up we PASSED a J/109, about 20 years newer and supposedly much faster than us.

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