Does anyone have any experience buying new sails from FX sails in Charleston SC?
I'll probably be looking for some sails next year.
NCSC: I actually did a fairly thorough comparison of several manufacturers for my boat. I thought that FX had the best deal for the money in terms of what I was looking for. I was specifically shopping for an offshore weight sail with 2 reef points, a cunningham, reefing pads, UV cover and patches. Here is my list. (Sorry, Excel dosen't transfer onto this site perfectly). I am going to order the FX.
Manufacturer Mainsail 140% Genoa
8.5 Ounce Dacron, 2 reefs Cunningham, 1 Full Length Batten 2 partial 5.8H UV Leech and Foot Ropeluff Reefing Pad with Patches
Offshore Cross-Cut Main: 8.3 oz High Modulus Dacron. 5 year warranty, reinforced corner patches, aluminum head board, draft stipes, leech line with Clamcleat, web reinforced pressed rings, double tapes on luff, leech and foot, webbed on leech telltales, premium fiberglass battens, sailties and bag Offshore Cross-Cut 140% Genoa, 5 year warranty, reinforced corner patches, leech line with claimcleat, double tapes on luff, leech and foot, 2 ros of telltales, sail ties and bag. Canvas UV Cover.
Cross-cut Mainsail 8.3 Dacron 4 partial battens, 2 reefs, cunningham, luff slides, foot rope, telltales, leech line, sailties and bag Cross Cut 140% Roller Furling Genoa. 8.3 oz Dacron, Canvas UV Cover, Roller Reefing Patches and tapered foam luff pad, luff tape, telltales, leech and footlines and bag.
8.0 oz dacron to a cross cut panel layout, two reefs, standard battens, radial patches, aluminum headboard, leech line, telltales and a bag. 140% genoa will be built from a 8.0 oz dacron to a cross cut panel layout. The sail will include UV leech and foot covers, foam luff pad, radial patches, leech line, telltales and a bag.
It's first class!
It's really informative!!!
Good and actual informative site!
FX sails quotes very favorably over the mainstream lofts, so the idea is tempting. Delivery times are similar as well, at 6 - 8 weeks.
I'd also be most interested to hear from someone who has gone through the process from start to finish. A concern I would have is with the fit. Ordering on line means the sailmaker is not going to measure your rig. Not all "standard" boats are the same and it's quite possible that the sail will not be a perfect fit if the measurements provided them are not spot-on. I'd then be interested to see how interested the local lofts are in helping you out...
I order a jib-135 from them at end february and got my's about three week after estmated time. Have not had much time on the water with it.But they will call you on the weekend and ask question about the sail. For me,with a new first time order ,this was a big help and helped me better about the process.
I have not dealt with FX so I don't know how good they are, but I want to comment on Surfesq's comparison and specifically want to comment on North, and Haarstick, both of which I have dealt with quite a few times in the past. There are big differences between the better sail lofts and the smaller, mail order, and bargain lofts.
The big lofts often use far more sophisticated cutting programs and have access to better cloth testing. Haarstick in particular tests every piece of cloth that they use rejecting a fairly high percentage of the fabric that is sent to them. That rejected fabric goes to lofts who do not have the same ability to test and reject fabrics, typically a less price but not always. (I understand that North has a slightly less extensive quality control testing program.)
I believe that North has gone to radial construction on almost all of its mainsails except on the smallest boats. Radial construction is more expensive to build but produces a sail with better shape, much less stretch (which translates to a bigger wind range with less heeling, weather helm, and leeway, and more safety and comfort at the high end of the windrange) and most importantly, a greatly expanded lifespan. All of the other lofts specifically say that their sails are crosscut rather than radial. (North's proposal does not say but they usually submit a cutting diagram with their proposals and that includes all of the details of the sail.)
I have found that North is quite expensive if you simply ask for a quote, (15% or so more on an apples to apples pricing. I suspect that Surfesq's quote is not an apples to apple quote, North being radial which can add 10% or more to the cost of the sail), but there are times of year when North offers pretty big incentive programs for purchases, and during those times they are usually about the same price as the 'bargain lofts' making them a real value. I ususally talk to the loft well in advance of placing an order, getting the boat measured and all of the decisions made, and then place the order during one of these periods when there can be as much as a 15-20% mark-down.
Being able to discuss a sail with a sailmaker can be extremely important. For someone like myself who really cares about the windrange of a particular sail, I will emphasize how I want a sail cut in terms of optimum performance range and depth of camber. There can be an extremely huge difference in the wind range of any two particular sails of equal size depending on the small scale specifics of how each sail is cut, and that kind of cutting pattern detail is hard to do with a loft that does not have as sophisticated a cutting program, but details like that can really make a huge difference in how much sailing vs motoring you end up doing, or how over-powered that you are at the upper end of the windrange.
But is more than that as well are personal preference details. I get my single-handing sails cut so that they will flip off of the lifelines by tapping on the lifelines without me having to go forward to skirt them. In the highly variable and often lighter winds of the Chesapeake, this becomes especially important. Getting the lead, clew height, and foot shape right is a highly developed artform. You are not going get that right with a mail order sail loft, and, frankly, even with a local sailmaker, they occasionally miss on this and have to come out with the sail up, take notes and do a minor recut. Having him here to look at and pick up the sail and to not have to try to get this sorted out "by guess and by golly" and by shipping the sail back and forth can be a real advantage.
Since I wanted a specific sail for my new main (Doyle StackPack), I didn't really shop around on price. My experience though, in dealing directly with the loft, was quite positive, and something you don't get, buying online or by mail order. We spent considerable time going over how and where I would be sailing, what I felt I needed in the sail, and what they thought would work best for me. After that, they came out to the boat, and thouroughly measured the rig. Since I was buying the StackPack, they also installed all necessary hardware, and will be installing the sail itself next week. All in all, I was impressed with their professionalism and interest in getting me the best sail for my needs. It was as if they were doing it for their own boat, not some nameless stranger.
Unless you are as knowledgeble about sails as someone like Jeff, I feel, considering the cost, you are money ahead by working directly with the loft, if they take the same professional steps as mine did. To me, it's a question not so much of price, but value. I could have saved some money, by simply buying a main and lazyjacks, but feel I got the best value going the route I did.
In your comparison Scott Sails is significantly cheaper (8oz instead of 8.3oz though)
I just got a good quote from them and am thinking of doing them instead of FX. Anyone ever order from scott sails?
I am in the process of getting a bunch of quotes. I've gotten about 6 so far and was kinda surprised that they were all pretty much in the ballpark given the difference in materials, etc. I think places like fxsails, scott sails, and sailquoaes.com along with some automation/tooling advances have started to make generic sails more of a commodity thing, which is good for us sailors. 'Real' lofts will always be there for racers and people like Jeff. ;)
I'm also happy I decided on getting a smaller boat, a main for my R24 is 550-850 depending on options.
Re: FX sails?
I know this is a reply to an old post, but I wanted to let everyone know I purchased sails for my C&C 31 from FX. They arrived as promised and are holding up very well. The customer service is great and they knew my boat and made the sails to fit. I have been out about ten times with them and I get compliments on how nice they look. Here is a short video of the sails wing-on-wing that I made this past weekend (March 25th, 2012).
Wing_on_Wing_March 25th.wmv - YouTube
Aubrey in New Orleans
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