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miyagi 03-12-2006 01:27 PM

New Sails, opinions
I am in the market for a new cruising mainsail for my Aloha 27. The quotes I have rec'd vary wildy for what appears to be similar products.

Sail makers have recommended Challenge sailcloth 6.53 ounce to another Dacron product at 7.5 ounces (Victory) and North 4800 7 ounce.

I recently rec'd a quote from Sailseast but nobody at our club has dealt with them. The local lofts are North, Doyle, Victory and Lee but Sailseast is half the price.........

This leads to 2 questions. First is 6.53 ounce Challenge sailcloth heavy enough for coastal cruising a 27 footer? and second what sort of quality can I expect from Sailseast?

Any help is appreciated


captlar 03-12-2006 02:11 PM

I do not know the Challenge name brand, but weight alone means little.
I just ordered new sails and went with a lighter weight HM cross stitch. You want a sail that will hold it's shape longer, not last forever, and the cross stitch achieves it. I put 4 old sails in the dump. Still "servicable" - which means they work, but you can't point as high and the rail is under all the time. Part of the question is how "well" do you want to sail ?
Half price sails - what do you think ? Material and labor costs are close to the same for all on a per yard or hourly basis. What you don't pay for, you won't get. Both North and Doyle will treat you fairly. I don't know the others. Sounds like you are in the area, so you could get a price from my loft, Harding Sails in Marion. Smaller operation run by real sailors.


sailnaway 03-13-2006 07:49 PM

I would go to several lofts and look at the sails North,Quantum,Doyle,Hood ect.Hood makes some fine sails and have a fine price. The continuous thread heat sealed fibers is quite a piece of work. North makes great sails and uses several Dupont strands which some other companies also use but North does make great sails that are correct usually. Quantum has allot of its sails made in South Africa good sails cheep labor. Lee made in Hong Kong good sails. I think if your in the market it would be to your advantage to shop for quality and learn what the cloth is all about. Some laminate sails are great for two or three seasons then they make good sun shades at the next picnic. I like to look at cloth North will give you samples you can feel and have to give you a good idea of how the Dacron will look and feel. Keep the samples they make great patches. I like Hood made in Ireland and the way they stop the loom if one thread breaks they repair it and then move on thats quality. If your looking at a tight budget Bacons in Annapolis cuts second hand sails to fit your boat. The sail industry is very complex and interesting to learn about you may be surprised at what you will learn. Kevelar ,mylar and the high tech stuff are not for the cruising sailor. Sounds like your a club racerand need some thing in the middle a nice radial cut main by North might be in order. its all riding on what you are doing with the boat and what it is. What is it Tartan,CC, Jboat what you see.

mgiguere 03-13-2006 10:22 PM

Man, I got a new fully battened main with stack pack from Doyle...and really like it a lot. Call Chris in Marblehead...directly. He's very knowledgeable and a good guy.


PBzeer 03-14-2006 07:14 AM

Using a local loft, where you can talk with the sailmaker and explain what type of sailing you do, and what you expect from your sail, is a good idea for ending up with the best sail for your money. The more input from you, the better choices they can provide you.

paulmcquillan 03-15-2006 02:04 AM

Challenge is the top, or at worst tied for the top, as far as Dacron fabrics are concerned. They publish detailed info on each of their fabrics on the web.

Fabrics from Challenge that end in x.62 or x.3 are intended for high aspect sails.

There are very large differences in dacron fabrics, so homework is suggested.

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