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rauschpfeife 10-29-2011 09:46 PM

Replacement sails for Pearson 26
I have a 1979-vintage Pearson 26. One of the previous owners fitted a Harken roller-furling rig to the headsail, which works pretty much OK. It's getting to be time to replace the sails.
A quick Web search shows that there are several places that make replacement sails for this boat. I'd be interested to hear any relevant experience that others have had with a similar project. I use the boat mostly for coastal cruising. Thanks!

Faster 10-29-2011 09:54 PM

Any sailmaker can make sails for that boat... sails are not boat-brand-specific. Find a few sailmakers near you, get them to measure your boat specifically and quote some prices. Tell them your primary use.. eg cruising vs racing and they can create the sails you need.

Alternatively if there are budget constraints you could search for P26 sails among the various used sail websites, but it's tough to know what you're really going to get that way. On-line lofts like FX seem to offer cut rate sails too; just remember if you buy something long distance and it needs modifications you're on your own.. if using a local sailmaker they should make it right for you at no extra cost.

rauschpfeife 10-29-2011 09:58 PM

There certainly are budget constraints, unfortunately... Thanks!

rauschpfeife 10-29-2011 10:02 PM

To clarify: I was indeed hoping to save some money by ordering from some outfit that does this stuff, for well-known boat types, on a commodity basis. Is this actually a stupid idea? And if not... who should I be talking to?

Faster 10-29-2011 11:09 PM

There are lofts such as FX sails.. who will make a 'class' sail according to the original on-paper dimensions of the intended rig. There is, of course, a large data base of rig dimensions available to sailmakers and (now on-line) anyone who wants it.

However most of the time we're talking about a boat that's 20-30 years old or more.. you can't be sure the rig hasn't been modified, or the boat dismasted and the rig replaced, furlers added, etc etc any or all of which can result in a boat that is not really 'standard' anymore. Sails need to fit rather exactly in order to be properly set and trimmed. Undersized sails can be used at some cost of area and perhaps performance, but oversized sails in any dimension are going to be more problematic. Even the location of a jib track or jib lead might be wrong with a sail that doesn't quite 'fit'.

But go to the FX sails website for an example.. their prices are often nearly half of what a quality local loft would want and the delivery time is typically the same... You can measure your own boat to see if the listed measurements conform.. if they do, give it a go.

As a guide for measurement, try using a PHRF rating form (new member application PDF) here:

PHRF Forms | Pacific Handicap Racing Fleet

For a guide as to what the measurement numbers mean..

But in general:
J = distance from mast to forestay at deck - P26 is 11.7ft
I = height of foretriangle (jib) P26 is 31.5 ft
P = height from boom/tack to 'black band' or max hoist of main P26 is 27.5 ft
E = length of main from tack to clew (along boom) P26 is 10 ft

These are the dimensions to compare to any list of rig dimensions if you're looking for a second-hand 'fit'.

rauschpfeife 10-29-2011 11:51 PM

Thanks again, Faster. Excellent advice. And you have identified my problem: previous owners have indeed tinkered with the rig on my boat, one way and another. FX was one of the sources I found on the Web. Might be time for a phone call.

Faster 10-30-2011 12:06 AM

Keep in mind that any tweaks made to the rig by POs will alter the 'standard' measurements and you'll have to provide your own.

Using FX or other online sources does put more pressure on 'getting it right' the first time.

JimsCAL 10-30-2011 03:53 PM

Generally an online loft will require you to take measurements and complete a form before placing the order. In addtion to FX Sails, consider NorthSailsDirect, National Sail Supply, and new

CalebD 10-30-2011 04:05 PM

We replaced the main sail on our Tartan 27' this summer. We used whose offices are in Monterey, CA and their sail loft is somewhere in Thailand. They came in about $1K cheaper then a local loft and we have been quite happy with the new sail.
The Sailwarehouse
They have a lot of 'stock' sails and list a 130% furling genoa for your boat (P26) at $1295.
The salesman on the phone was quite pleasant, knowledgeable and helpful.

You could find a used sail from a place like Minnie's: HEADSAILS - LUFF SIZE 26' TO 45'
but as Faster already suggested it is difficult to tell if a sail has been 'blown out' until you try it on your boat.

No affiliation with the sail warehouse, just a satisfied customer.

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