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  #11  
Old 02-21-2010
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I second what MS says about Rolly Tasker sails and Dirk at National Sail Supply. I ordered a 125% RF high cut genoa and a RF staysail last year from Dirk after doing some research and getting quotes as high as $7K for the headsail from local lofts. I only have one season on the sails but based on the quality of construction and shape I am a customer for life. At a little more than half the price of the average local loft, 8.3 oz. Challenge cloth, triple stitching, hand sewn leather chafe protection and a perfect fit and shape, what's not to like?
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2010
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We didn't have a good experience with Rolly Tasker. Not very communicative and didn't do exactly what we asked for, just changed the specs and send the product. Also have a look at UK Halsey, more expensive, but excellent. Everyone we meet says that they are good enough for cruising and the price difference is quite huge. We only heard bad comments from people who claim that "North are the only way to go".
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Old 02-22-2010
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Just remember, you may want to have some non-standard modifications made to the sails, especially if you singlehand the boat. A high-cut clew on the head sail is often nice, since you can see under it more easily. It also chafes less on the lifelines and such. This is usually more of an issue with bigger sails, but YMMV.

A third reef on the main sail is always a prudent investment, especially if you're going to be sailing on longer passages and don't want to rig a trysail.
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Old 02-22-2010
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I did some research and found that some "sailmakers?" take your order but buy in the sail from China then add a few finishing touches and their name before passing it off as their product. This was UK based.

I got lucky and the boat I eventually bought has nearly new sails!
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Old 02-22-2010
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[QUOTE=TQA;572529]I did some research and found that some "sailmakers?" take your order but buy in the sail from China then add a few finishing touches and their name before passing it off as their product. QUOTE]

It is their product and you will have a sail that is more likely to fit your boat and needs and if there is a problem they will take care of it. If I had the budget for that it wouldn't bother me at all.
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Old 02-22-2010
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I am also a happy customer of National Sail. My last sail was an asymmetrical spinnaker and I am very pleased with it. Delivery was also quick. Talk to Dirk, he knows his business.
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Old 02-22-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Just remember, you may want to have some non-standard modifications made to the sails, especially if you singlehand the boat. A high-cut clew on the head sail is often nice, since you can see under it more easily. It also chafes less on the lifelines and such. This is usually more of an issue with bigger sails, but YMMV.

A third reef on the main sail is always a prudent investment, especially if you're going to be sailing on longer passages and don't want to rig a trysail.
A good thought Dog, but in my case the second reef IS where a normal third reef would go. My desired reef pattern is 30% for the first and 60% for the second. The typical reef pattern is 20%, 40%, 60% of area taken out for the three reefs. Since I have a ketch and the "main" area is really main+mizzen and I have a reef on my mizzen as well, I can divide and shorten as much or more than a sloop with 3 reefs while retaining my deepest reef (my second) in the same place as another boat's third reef.

I got this suggestion for a reefing plan from Carol Hassee, and it seems to make a lot of sense to me. She says that taking only 20% out of your main only is = to a 12-15% of a reef on a sloop, so that first reef point is kind of a waste.

On the other hand if you go by Bernard Motessier's theory for ketch reefing in his book "Cape horn the logical route" he reccomends 2 headsails (cutter-ketch) each with 2-3 reefs, 3-4reefs for the main and 2 for the mizzen. That would allow you to adjust your sail area by 1/2 a foot at at time.

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Old 02-22-2010
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True, being on a ketch gives you a bit more in the way of heavy weather rig options... I have a third reef in my main because I have been out in the snotty stuff one too many times wishing I had one...
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  #19  
Old 02-22-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
True, being on a ketch gives you a bit more in the way of heavy weather rig options... I have a third reef in my main because I have been out in the snotty stuff one too many times wishing I had one...
AMEN. One day when there is more money, I plan to have a removable soilent stay put on. Then I can sail with just storm-jib and reefed mizzen if necessary.

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Old 05-23-2010
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OK - I am biased as I am a 'local' sail maker - I would investigate just what exactly it is that you are buying - research the quality of the Dacron (both density and thread quality) being used/sold. Where is the sail made? Off shore makers use inferior fabric and construction techniques (IMHO) Does the sail maker attend to all the little things - reef points, tell-tails, triple stitching, batten design, etc. You get what you pay for and a small shop will give superior service - also, in this day and age, a shop in, say, in Connecticut can easily service sails throughout the country or the world (UPS/FedEx and the internet make the world much smaller!) - we just made a sail for someone who was going to sail in Croatia.

So do you homework and remember that the cheapest may be just that!
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