Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: North Sails Direct fiasco
Frankly, my experience with the non-mail order North loft was that not all that different from the OP. A few years back, I ordered two sails from them. The first was supposed to be an AP #2 and came in cut as a flat cut, heavy air #2. They stood behind that sail and replaced it with what was supposed to be the same size sail cut as an AP. That sail is way under reinforced and so is useless, being too small for light air and too stretchy for mid range. Frankly has been used 3 times and sits bagged and unused.
The second sail was an AP #3. The loft again measured my boat and insisted that I needed to add a new longer track, which I did. After the track was installed, they came out and remeasured. When the sail arrived the sheet lead did not even hit the track. We had weeks of discussion about how to adjust the sail to get it to hit the track without screwing up the sail. Then they ignored what was agreed to and did something completely different and unacceptable. When I complained, in fairness they did return my money and did tell me to go somewhere else.
So on one hand, I think they tried to do the right thing. On the other hand, their accuracy in making sails to the right size and shape sucks. And they left me with out an AP right at the start of the sailing season.
Quantum came in and made the sails I needed quickly, for less money and they have been brilliant sails with the kind or wide wind range I was looking for.
As a postscript, I did buy back the North #2 sail that was cut too flat for an AP, with the plan of using it as a heavier air #2, and have used it, but it has not stood up very well compared to the Quantum Jib which I bought to replace the jib that North never could get right. The Quantum sail has way more use, in way more wind than the North, yet the North is shot and the Quantum looks like new.
I think that the reality with North is if you are not a one design racer, or a rock star, but you care about your sails, they are the wrong place to go. North made me a big believer in Quantum.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 04-08-2013 at 05:04 PM.