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  #1  
Old 02-21-2010
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Who is the best of the cheap sail makers...

I can't afford a high quality sail at this time, and it looks like it'll be a couple years anyway before the big trip, so I'm looking at buying some new sails (yay!) that will fill the gap of the next few years until we go offshore and hopefully can afford some good sails.

What I have now for my Formosa 41 are Lee sails for the main and mizzen, and misc. headsails all in fair condition. We're about to put on roller furling so I figure now is a good time anyway to get new sails.

My question is: Who makes the best quality sails for cheap? I'm inclined not to be impressed with my lee main as it currently holds sail shape about as well as the bag it came in, though I can't prove it's a lack of quality as the sails are of unknown age and the boat was used offshore quite a bit. The mizzen is holding up fairly well and doesn't really need to be replaced at this time.

The main sailmakers I'm looking at are:
1: Rolly Tasker (slightly more expensive than lee but look better)
2: Lee (cheap cheap cheap)
3: FX (30%more than lee or taskar but still might be affordable)
4: Any other sailmakers I'm overlooking?

Ideally we want to stay under 3Kfor the headsail and 2,500 for the main. Our rig dementions are:I: 47; J: 16; P: 42; E: 17 and the headsail would be 120%with foam luff and the main would have 2 reefs and full battens.
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Old 02-21-2010
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Maybe try Sailcare, Sail Care for sail cleaning, sail repair, new sails, roller furlings and sailing equipment
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Old 02-21-2010
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FWIW, have you thought about used sails in good condition? For example Bacon Sails & Marine Supplies

I recently purchased a head sail for my boat made from pentax for $1000.00
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Old 02-21-2010
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I would stay with the bags until you can afford something you will appreciate the quality on. It is a fools errand to go out looking to buy the wrong tool to save a buck.
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Old 02-21-2010
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A bargain is only a bargain the day you buy it. Those who told you to wait until you can afford it, or find good used sails of high quality are right on. If you can find good used Hood or North or the like, or wait until you can buy them new, you'll never have to second guess yourself.
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Old 02-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tager View Post
I would stay with the bags until you can afford something you will appreciate the quality on. It is a fools errand to go out looking to buy the wrong tool to save a buck.
Well... we're going on a 5 week sailing trip this summer to the west coast of vancouver island. It would be a pitty to take the bags. We need at least to buy a headsail to use with the roller furler, as the hank on sails aren't worth the cost of re-cutting. Timing wise we're now thinking it'll be 5-6 years before the big trip, so a pair of cheaper sails seems to fit the time frame and budget and allow us to make all of our sail-choice mistakes on this first set and then buy the good sails in 4-5 years time. If we blow our wad on good sails a year or two from now, we'll have to live with the bags for that much longer and come time to depart we'll have good, but not new sails. Hence the plan.

I had given a moment's thought to used sails, but not much more than that as I'm worried about my raked masts being hard to fit. Anyone have good luck with that venture? How does one ensure a good fit/quality?

MedSailor
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Last edited by MedSailor; 02-21-2010 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 02-21-2010
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I would keep the hank on headsails, leave your favorite one hanked on in a bag, add a downhaul, there you go, it's convenient. This would allow you to save for better sails. If you do buy budget sails, focus on the ones that drive your boat upwind. Baggy sails have their biggest problem pointing.
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If only it was just a case of just spending money to get the right sail.

Sounds like you are in the position I'm in. Yes I'd like to get a local sailmaker to do up a nice set of sails but if I wait for that money to be available I won't get any sails. I did use a sailmaker in Mobile to restich the foresails so I could get another year or two out of them. It would be great to just have him make new sails, I know they would be great but can't do that just yet.

Yesterday I put up the Mainsail I had made by Hong Kong Sailmakers, Welcome to Hong Kong Sailmakers

Pretty much what I expected. They forgot the tell-tales but everything else seems to be correct. I have yet to test it out but when I do I'll blog about it.

They were easy to work with but you have to know what you want, exactly what you want. They worked with me on the shipping and got all of that right.

Shipping put MSR heater parts to shame. 3 days from Hong Kong to my hands for the sail, average more than 1,000kms a day. More than 5 days for MSR heater parts, average less than 100kms per day, cost was within a few dollars of shipping a sail from Hong Kong and both packages were within a few pounds of each other.

So far I would at least suggest getting a quote from them.

Last edited by Architeuthis; 02-21-2010 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 02-21-2010
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Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice
Rolly Tasker / National Sail Supply, hand down. I am very, very picky as I am, and have been, an avid racer.

I highly recommend National Sail Supply in Florida!! I have now purchased eight or nine sails from Dirk with zero issues. They are beautiful sails, great shape and are very, very well built.

Dirk used to work for Rolly Tasker in Phuket and was his GM at the largest sail loft in the world. He decided to move back to Florida and open his own sail business selling and importing from Rolly, all his sails.

The sails are made of US woven Challenge sail cloth which is the the same cloth coming off the same machines as NorDac, North Sails Dacron.

How do I know this? My local sail maker got a batch of Challenge hi modulus and it was accidentally packaged in NorDac wrapping.. Doh.. oops...!

Another thing about Rolly Tasker sails is that they build cruising sails for LOTS and LOTS of the big name companies here in the states. I promised Dirk that I would not disclose who RT builds for, and I don't know them all either, so I won't, but you would be horrified if you knew even a few, especially at what they charge, trust me.

If you think your small loft is actually building your sail you may be wrong as Dirk & Tasker also supply many local small time guys who sub out the cruising sail business through Dirk/Tasker.

I ordered a new main last winter for my CS-36 and it is simply beautiful.

A good friend and I both ordered sails at the same time last winter, his local mine mail order. My sail is triple stitched, his is double, mine has a solid riveted head board his does not, my reef points are built to an off shore standard his are not, my tack & clew reinforcements are built for off shore use and his are clearly coastal, my batten pockets are more secure and better designed and adjustable, my clew and tack are both hand finished and stitched in UV resistant leather.

Both sails look to have been designed on the same computer system and both have excellent shape and are within +/- 2 feet of each other luff length wise. I am his main sail trimmer so I do know my mains. He should have ordered a RT sail...

My new sail with top two battens full, draft stripe, logo, 8.3 oz Challenge cloth, three reef points, shipping and a brand new sail cover was $1713.00 delivered. His was $3400.00 with 7.6 oz and no sail cover....

I would not bother going to other Tasker dealers as Dirk has the lock stock and barrel best price to feature spec/ratio of ANYONE. I checked them all and compared features and specs and price. Dirk has the inside scoop and as Rolly's ex general manager. I assume, because of this, he gets better pricing than just about any other Tasker dealer??

This is not a one time deal for me I have purchased CD-27 sails C-30 & C-36 sails and now CS-36 sails all have been spot on and the absolute best price I found anywhere.. For cruising sails they can't be beat!

National Sail Supply (LINK)

P.S. I have a barn full of old North Sails, Hood, Doyle etc. and NONE of them were any better than any of the Tasker sails I've owned. If they were better I would not be on my 8th or 9th sail from Tasker..
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 02-21-2010 at 10:58 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2010
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Thanks Maine, I was leaning towards rolly from NSS. I have a bunch of old quotes from 2 years ago and they were MUCH cheaper than anyone else except Lee, and I have lee and I don't think they're very good. All the other quotes are 50% more than RT ie 3K+ instead of 2K.

I'm glad to hear such a good endorsement. That's enough to swing me over the fence and give them a try.

Medsailor
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