When a sailmaker claims they make sails but don't.* - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  • 1 Post By travlineasy
  • 1 Post By FarCry
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Old 12-18-2011
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When a sailmaker claims they make sails but don't.*

The recent post regarding a certain sail seller going out of business brings to light an on going trend of Internet entrepenuers passing themselves off as bona-fide, scissors-in their-hands sailmakers. Just this year I noticed three more.

They're sailsmen operating salelofts.

They've never built sails, don't own sewing machines and never clicked "save" on a sail design program.

Armed with a fancy website packed with lots of pictures, words and buy now buttons these sailsmen con the consumer into believing they're the real deal.

Their products come from the far east: China Sail Factory and Rolly Tasker Sails in Thailand.

Some of these salelofts operate in home-offices far away from the water and employ no one. They claim success with years of experience and post fake letters from customers.

If that fancy website doesn't personally name the owners or operators, have pictures of their loft or a page dedicated to repairing sails then go elsewhere.

Ask questions, get referrals and google their address.

Don't be deceived.

Last edited by TackJibe; 12-18-2011 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 12-18-2011
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I purchased a jib sail from a sailmaker in Havre de Grace, MD about 7 years ago. While they had a full loft and sail making shop, they told me right up front that they no longer made sails because it was not cost efficient. Instead, they were essentially a middle man, or broker if you may, for a company in Southeast Asia. They did the measurements, the sail was perfect, incredibly well constructed, top quality materials, and reasonably priced. They delivered the sail when they said they would, and they gave me a written guarantee. They made money, I saved money, the manufacturer made money, the shipping company made money, and everyone involved was happy. What more could you ask for.

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Old 12-18-2011
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I suppose the OP's complaint is that they aren't up front about what they really are. I can appreciate that.

But, as long as the U.S. is dumb enough to let China kick our behinds, it's pretty tough for me to pass up a good price on an asian sail at a much better price.

Just so long as I can find an American to do the repairs for me.
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Old 12-18-2011
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I found it interesting that a certain sail maker (they may be out of business) advertised that their sails weren't made in Asia. Which gave me the impression that they were made in the US. They didn't disclose where they were actually made.

I ran across a posting that they admitted the sails were made in Barbados. Not sure what the difference is. Asia / South America?
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Old 12-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdbee View Post
I found it interesting that a certain sail maker (they may be out of business) advertised that their sails weren't made in Asia. Which gave me the impression that they were made in the US. They didn't disclose where they were actually made.

I ran across a posting that they admitted the sails were made in Barbados. Not sure what the difference is. Asia / South America?
Did you mean the difference between Asia and a British owned Caribbean Island? Barbados is not in South America.
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Old 12-18-2011
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We replaced the genoa and main in the last year. We did quite a bit of research when we selected the sails. It is true that most sails are constructed offshore and it is true that many sailmakers are salesmen, Thus, many sailmakers will deliberately make the construction sound like a black art and way too technical for us to understand. With that in mind, most "normal" sails are relatively set in their dimensions and the person spec'ing the sail has to do very little. And we as consumers probably really don't know what a really well fit and shaped sail looks like anyway, unless we race.

I know for a fact that Evolution Sails (Easton, MD) and Mac Sails are US made. When we had our main built by Evolution, I visited the loft and watched as they installed the reef points, cunningham, etc. At the time, they were laminating a new race sail and it's a cool process. Evolution's prices were only a little more than an offshore sail but we did a lot to change sand fit the sail that I would not have been able to do as easily mail-order.

IMO, I don't care if a sail is stitched in the US. The fabric is US made and that's were the technology is. But with that said, the service from a loft that actually designed and built the sail is worth a few extra $.
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