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  #21  
Old 04-09-2013
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Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

I visit our local loft every month or so, the guy down here is really knowledgeable and I've used him for references to do other work (e.g. wood, etc), because he knows so many folks down here.

I swear every time I'm there, I see another brand new sail from a major sailmaker that was done incorrectly, but that the owners don't want to mess with shipping it back or have a tight timeframe. Usually they are small errors, but still errors that shouldn't have happened if it was made to specification. As a result, I'd probably try to use a local loft if we had anything new made.

Personally, I have just bought used sails lately. The expense of having new ones made is high compared to finding a few decent used sails and maybe waiting a little while to find the right ones. I actually got a new main and jib for <$200, both in great shape, but I was waiting to find them for 6 months or so and happened upon the right opportunity. I do recognize that this won't be an option for all boats and sails though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DalesStar View Post
I paid $500 for fast shipping, they delivered the wrong sail, (it was not my sail), I'm suppose to eat that? Right like you would!! My sail showed up a week later via a boat.
Where does it cost you $500 for faster shipping?

Also, out of curiosity, how long did you have the sail before you noticed the problem?
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  #22  
Old 04-09-2013
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Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
I just outfitted my boat with a whole set of sails (used, in great condition) from Masthead Sailing Gear in st. pete. I took the measurements of my head stay, sail track and boom. picked out sails that basically fit out of their invetory. My loose footed main, $495, two reef points, (6 inches too short, big whoop) my 85% working jib $300, my 135% genny, $400 my A sym spin, $495., storm jib $ 50 bucks. all in like new condition and arrived in one week. A whole set for 1400 bucks! Highly recomend Masthead sailing gear, good prompt service, good selection. But it takes a wee bit of common sense on the customer end.
There seems to be an unlimited supply of almost new sails for 1/2 the price of new. It's great to be able to buy new sails at $2000 a pop, designed by a local sailmaker but it's not in everyone's sailing budget. I bought a used main from Atlantic Sail Traders last year to cut down and turn into a heavy weather main. It was a Rolly Tasker that looked like it had never been taken out of the bag. Cost $250 bucks. Besides the sewing work, cutting the roach off and extending/beefing up the batten pockets, all I had to do was attach different slides. Minney's, Atlantic Sail Traders, and many other places have loads of good, used sails. If you can do your own modifications, A used sail can be custom fit to your purpose.

I don't think it's wise to trust that any sailmaker has the correct sail measurements on file. All the m/ms really need to be specified in inches or mm before hand, including the shape percentages. "Make me a 135% Genoa," is inviting error.
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  #23  
Old 04-09-2013
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Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

In my mind, unless you own a boat which is a pretty strict one design, or you do not care how your sails fit, then its makes next to no sense to buy a used sail no matter how cheap it is. A well made sail is more than a simple white triangle. It is cut to the expected headstay sag, mast bend, hardware geometry, the characteristics of the boat such as its need for more drive or pointing ability. So even if you succeed in finding a sail with roughly the right luff, leech and foot length, its not so easy to buy a sail with the right geometry to work with your boat.

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  #24  
Old 04-09-2013
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Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
There seems to be an unlimited supply of almost new sails for 1/2 the price of new. .
Interesting. Why do so many people by sails, then never use them?
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  #25  
Old 04-09-2013
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Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
Interesting. Why do so many people by sails, then never use them?
There are certain types of sails that are easy to find used. Storm jibs and cruising spinnakers are often easily available because they seem like a good idea at the time that they are purchased, and then are never used. These types of sails also easily move between boats of approximately the same size (where genoas and mains seem to benefit more from a very specific fit).

Nice hank-on genoas can be found because someone upgraded to roller furling and bought a new sail.

Roller furling genoas and very good condition mains are a lot harder to find because they are mostly sold once blown out or when the rest of the boat is destroyed due to a storm.

If you have a hank-on boat then it's very easy to find a good selection of used sails. If you have a popular-size hank-on boat then it's even easier to find ones that fit well.
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  #26  
Old 04-09-2013
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Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

If a sail was original stock equipment for a boat, and that boat is a fairly well or commonly documented vessel, sure, you should be able to call any loft and tell them "look it up, I need a main for a ByGosh 34". That's about as complicated as ordering tires for a car.

Of course, with a boat, unless you bought it brand new there is a reasonable chance that an OLD boat no longer has the original rigging, and it would not be unreasonable for a loft to say "MEASURE IT ANYWAY".

But how a sail gets from Sri Lanka to anyplace in the US by ocean freight "on a boat" in just one week, sure as heck surprises me. What kind of fast freighter gets across the Pacific in less than five days, allowing one more day at each end to make the sail, load the sail, unload and deliver the sail on ground?

How does one pay for that kind of service, with a three dollar bill?

Boats in my backyard for 12 years, and I'm going to pay a rigger to come out and hoist a sail?? Really? Does it take ten minutes to hoist a sail? Is a rigger going to make any house call for less than a hundred bucks?

It must be nice to have money. And so little time that it takes 12 years to prep a boat.

Last edited by hellosailor; 04-09-2013 at 03:47 PM.
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  #27  
Old 04-09-2013
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Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Quote:
If a sail was original stock equipment for a boat, and that boat is a fairly well or commonly documented vessel, sure, you should be able to call any loft and tell them "look it up, I need a main for a ByGosh 34". That's about as complicated as ordering tires for a car.
That is not good advice I'm afraid. Every boat varies, and for a main sail, the mast bend and aft heel, will have a great impact on the outcome.

I just took hold of a new main sail, and I must say that I am very glad that I took a lot and precise messaurements, otherwise it would not have been a good experience.
Please don't simplify this, it can give other people a very bad experience when they receive their sails, in fact I think that any proffesional sailmaker should deny to design and deliver sails without specific meassures.
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  #28  
Old 04-09-2013
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Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

To continue the car tire analogy; if I went to the tire shop and asked for a set of tires for my 2001 Volvo V70, they would still want to know what size wheels. There were several different wheel and tire packages available for that model, and I also have a set of aftermarket wheels for my winter tires as well! They would need to know that information before they could order anything, and if I couldn't tell them, they would want to check the car for themselves!

I too wonder about the $500 shipping vs the cheap high speed boat from SriLanka!

The OP doesn't seem to want to clarify anything for us.
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  #29  
Old 04-09-2013
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Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Morild, stock size sails fit stock boats. How you've raked the mast has no bearing on what the original sail size was, or what the current sail size is. Unless you're a top-tier racer making custom sails, rigging adjustments play no role in how you buy sails.

On the other hand, if you measure an old sail, you are also guaranteed to give the loft the wrong measurements for a new sail, as old sails are stretched out and can easily be 2-4% longer than when they were new. The first time I asked a loft to make a genoa and make sure it was a full 130(?) percent based on the builder's measurements, their answer was that they'd suggest making it only 128%, because after a year or so it would stretch out and if anyone measured it--we'd be DSQ'd on the spot.

If you've got the original rig, the original sail plan WILL fit. And if the designer did a good job, it will work very nicely. If you didn't buy the boat brand new, you have no way to tell if some PO replaced the rigging, maybe used a turnbuckle an inch too long (excuse me, 2.5cm too long in Denmark?) or what was done, so you still need to measure the rig and the sail both.

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You're right, there may be different wheel sizes. That would be perfectly analogous to asking "Did you get the light air rig, or the shoal draft?" and in both cases, any half-competent shop would look up the model in their library and see there are (or aren't) variations, to come back and ask again.
With any custom-made product, any "bespoke suit" so to speak, if you expect it to fit properly the very first time without any chance of error...sooner or later you'll get a surprise. These days, sooner is sadly more likely.

Last edited by hellosailor; 04-09-2013 at 05:36 PM.
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  #30  
Old 04-09-2013
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Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Quote:
Morild, stock size sails fit stock boats. How you've raked the mast has no bearing on what the original sail size was, or what the current sail size is. Unless you're a top-tier racer making custom sails, rigging adjustments play no role in how you buy sails.

On the other hand, if you measure an old sail, you are also guaranteed to give the loft the wrong measurements for a new sail, as old sails are stretched out and can easily be 2-4% longer than when they were new. The first time I asked a loft to make a genoa and make sure it was a full 130(?) percent based on the builder's measurements, their answer was that they'd suggest making it only 128%, because after a year or so it would stretch out and if anyone measured it--we'd be DSQ'd on the spot.
Uhm no... sails RETRACT in the outer perimeter, that's part of why they become deeper in shape when used.

I don't know what you think I did to my rig, but I just would like to warn against thinking that using "standard" meassures will get you the right sail, because they will give you everything else but that.
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