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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > North Sails Direct fiasco
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-13-2013 03:16 PM
smurphny
Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
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.

Jeff
Yes, you're right about it being next to impossible to find a used sail with exactly the right shape. I did raise the sail I mentioned above before altering it and it did not work very well at all even though the perimeter measurements were almost exactly right. It had much more belly (in the wrong place), than the correct sail. I bought it to cut down and reinforce into a heavy weather sail, so it didn't matter too much. But, if someone wants to buy a sail to alter, it seems they can be had for less than the price of just the new cloth. Personally, I'd rather make a sail from scratch and hand sew all my grommets, put in substantial batten pockets, and use good materials but the price of sailcloth is through the roof. I just finished a storm jib designed with Sailcut Cad. The materials for that little 63 sq. ft. sail came to around $400.
04-11-2013 01:22 AM
MarkSF
Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

I've said this before and I'll say it again, when buying sails there is no substitute for dealing with a local company, where someone will come and measure the boat - someone experienced in measuring boats. Hopefully they will then make them for you locally, too.

Anything else is cutting corners, and most of the time one gets away with it - but sometimes you don't.

If you're going to mail order, at least have a stab at measuring the boat yourself. Double check the measurements with Saildata. You don't even need the rig up to measure J..... now I think about it you can check any measurement with the rig down.

Remember the phrase, trust but verify?
04-11-2013 12:26 AM
Capt.aaron
Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

[QUOTE=Jeff_H;1014713]Boy do you have that wrong: if you are a cruiser who needs to beat off a leeshore, if you are a cruiser who does not want reef early or beat their sails to death flogging them, if you are a cruiser who does not want to heel excessively, if you are a cruiser who does not want to wear out crew with excessive weather helm, or over power the windvane in a gust, or have to run the engine to charge the batteries because the autopilot is working harder, or do not want to replace sails prematurely because improper load mapping over stressed some corner of the sail, or it was made out of the wrong cloth, or you are a cruiser who does not want to have to motor as much because in order to get a sail which can deal with heavy air, you bought one that was too heavy for moderate conditions, then perhaps you might actually want to buy a sail that is designed for your boat.[/QUOT

Na, I got that right. My boat is pointy in the front, big stick sticking up in the middle, I hang white triangles made of dacron, that were disigned to catch wind and make the boat move forward. I just bought my 3rd set in 20 years. Ya'll tend to make something as simple as catching a breeze and move across the water, in to some kind of exact science. I race the tides and weather, beat off lee shores, balance my boat so she steers her self, sail on and off the dock, bla bla bla, all used sails. There is a surplus of used sails available, which make cruising that much more affordable for people, which will get more people out there. Which is a goal of mine, to promote the life style and convince people with moderate incomes that they to can afford to get out there and enjoy it. I just did a shopping day of used marine Gear today as a matter of fact and bought great used or pre-owned gear at a fraction of the price. Sail covers, life raft, snatch blocks, sea anchor, compass, anchor, jerry cans, shackles spreader boots, sails etc. etc. I want more people realize that there is a surpluss of great boats out there at great prices. I've seen newbies not get a great boat because it needed sails, and new custom sails were way too expensive, and gear as well. If one dude saves thousands because he read this thread and realized he could go used, than we've done our job. If one couple buy's a 15 thousand dollar cruiser and hanks used sail's on it and has 90 thousand left over to cruise with, that's great. And I'd like it if just one dude reads a thread like this and decides that it's not all about pushing light boats to there max speed on sunday, but sailing thick hulled cruisers with big ground tackle to exotic places can be just as if not more rewarding. I sure have been sailing around a lot with used sails for having it all wrong. I'm glad no one told me I needed new sails 24 years ago, I may have never set sail. Oh, and if I were a cruiser who does'nt want to reef early, than I'm not doing it right. You reef the moment it crosses your mind, first rule of reefing. It's probaly not in the racing rule book ya''ll are alway's qout'n and arguing over.
04-10-2013 02:16 PM
Alex W
Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

I agree with SchockT.

For the record the Catalina 25 that I mentioned above is mostly used in beer can racing, not cruising. We also have fun getting it moving when there is "no wind" and everyone else is sitting around idle. So sail shape matters a lot to us. I'll do a little case study in why buying used sails can be tricky.

The genoa that was bought yesterday was $165 and is still crisp and not stretched. It came off of a "26' sailboat" and was considered a 170% genoa on that boat. The measurements on the Catalina 25 tall end up being about 150%. The luff length is just about perfect. This makes me guess that it came off of a boat with a 31-32' I and 9.5' J, instead of the 31' I and 10.5' J of the Catalina 25. That could be something like a Pearson Ariel/Commander.

The downside of moving it from a boat with a shorter J to a longer J is that the angle between the luff and foot is a bit less acute than one cut for the Catalina (by my calculation the difference is about 1 degree) and the leech is a little longer. This puts the clew very close to the deck height and genoa track block, which makes it difficult to fully flatten the sail.

One way to fix this is to raise the sail higher off of the deck. Raising the sail 3" will make up for the 1 degree of loss. We now have a gap under most of the sail along the deck though, which makes the sail less efficient. You also need 3" more luff length, which is hard since the sail is already 2" longer than ideal. In our case it just worked.

So the sail is a hair less efficient than one cut for the boat because it is sitting a little too high off of the deck. In the future it could be recut with a new foot for a couple hundred dollars and we'd still come out way ahead. In the meantime it is a lot better than the genoa that we have been sailing with (which was also a "wrong" sail, it appears to have been cut for a Catalina 25 standard, not tall).
04-10-2013 01:26 PM
Jeff_H
Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
If your main objective is to sail around bouy's faster than the other guy, then used sails won't do, this is true. If sailing is a fine tuned "sport" for you, and every nuance of sail shape is what drives you to sail, then no, used sails are not the way to go. You'll also want a hull that has put speed above saftey, something light weight in construction and you will want a light anchor so as not to slow you down. However, if sailing is a means of exploration and you want to safely get across the ocean to see whats on the other side, and your the kind of sailor who will purposely dump wind to slow down in order make the harbour entrance after sunrise in stead of 3 hours before, when the racer dude is raising his aysym. And If you are the kind of sailor who is reefing to lessen the strain on the rig and hull, when racer dude is heeling and yelling "yahoo, we are sailing now!", than used sails are the way to go. like I said, I bought a like new, double reefing main, a storm jib, a working jib that fits like a glove, a 135% genny that sits perfectly and a black yellow and red asymetrical in excellent conditon for 1400 bucks total! And I am sailing to Honduras with an affordable, good looking ,new to me, set of sails in less than a month. This left me money to buy a fancy new wind vane, a bigger better life raft, a g-pirb, a sat phone, the bigger solar pannel I wanted, a spot, new fouly's, a back up auto helm, all new blocks, main sheet, halyards, a vhf with ais, and a new gps. All which I would have done with out if I had gone for all new custom sails. Which I do want. I have sailed aprox. 15,000 miles of open water on just my little sloop alone, to as many as 10 different countries on good used sails, with no engine. Next I buy the new mast, then the engine, then I get the local sail loft to start sewing.
Boy do you have that wrong: if you are a cruiser who needs to beat off a leeshore, if you are a cruiser who does not want reef early or beat thier sails to death flogging them, if you are a cruiser who does not want to heel excessively, if you are a cruiser who does not want to wear out crew with excessive weather helm, or over power the windvane in a gust, or have to run the engine to charge the batteries because the autopilot is working harder, or do not want to replace sails prematurely because improper load mapping over stressed some corner of the sail, or it was made out of the wrong cloth, or you are a cruiser who does not want to have to motor as much because in order to get a sail which can deal with heavy air, you bought one that was too heavy for moderate conditions, then perhaps you might actually want to buy a sail that is designed for your boat.
04-10-2013 01:18 PM
SchockT
Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
If your main objective is to sail around bouy's faster than the other guy, then used sails won't do, this is true. If sailing is a fine tuned "sport" for you, and every nuance of sail shape is what drives you to sail, then no, used sails are not the way to go. You'll also want a hull that has put speed above saftey, something light weight in construction and you will want a light anchor so as not to slow you down. However, if sailing is a means of exploration and you want to safely get across the ocean to see whats on the other side, and your the kind of sailor who will purposely dump wind to slow down in order make the harbour entrance after sunrise in stead of 3 hours before, when the racer dude is raising his aysym. And If you are the kind of sailor who is reefing to lessen the strain on the rig and hull, when racer dude is heeling and yelling "yahoo, we are sailing now!", than used sails are the way to go. like I said, I bought a like new, double reefing main, a storm jib, a working jib that fits like a glove, a 135% genny that sits perfectly and a black yellow and red asymetrical in excellent conditon for 1400 bucks total! And I am sailing to Honduras with an affordable, good looking ,new to me, set of sails in less than a month. This left me money to buy a fancy new wind vane, a bigger better life raft, a g-pirb, a sat phone, the bigger solar pannel I wanted, a spot, new fouly's, a back up auto helm, all new blocks, main sheet, halyards, a vhf with ais, and a new gps. All which I would have done with out if I had gone for all new custom sails. Which I do want. I have sailed aprox. 15,000 miles of open water on just my little sloop alone, to as many as 10 different countries on good used sails, with no engine. Next I buy the new mast, then the engine, then I get the local sail loft to start sewing.
Wow! Aren't we feeling superior! You're right, performance sailors are just reckless yahoos sailing flimsy unsafe boats.

I agree with you that used sails that sort of fit are just fine for the average cruiser. The fact is, the majority of cruisers I encounter don't seem to care if their sails are trimmed correctly anyway, (or in some cases they just have no clue!) so why waste money on new sails?
The only new sail I have bought for my boat is the asymetric chute. Even my one "real" racing sail, a kevlar #1, was a used one off a different boat. It is far from perfect, but still good enough for beercan racing. Used sails are a valid option when you are on a budget. Not all of us can justify paying $500 to get our new $2000 headsail a few days faster!
04-10-2013 01:00 PM
SchockT
Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Quote:
Originally Posted by DalesStar View Post
Just an update and an end to all this that I feel is only fair to share. Peter Colby The manager of North Sails phoned us up and apologized for this whole mess. He had not heard anything about it from the people that were supposed to be handling it. He looked into the situation and said it was totally a mismanagement of information on their part and has corrected the situation and has satisfied this customer beyond expectations. What Peter did is "customer service" the way it should be and all I wanted from North Sails Direct. He informed me that that is not their policy of how to handle this type of situation and is looking into it and will correct it. Peter, thank you again for your phone call, you put my faith back into North Sails and customer service as a whole.
That is good news! The final result is more in line with what I have come to expect from the big players like North and Quantum.
04-10-2013 12:28 PM
DalesStar
Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

It wasn't a used sail, it was a new one. But the situation has been resolved and is over. Thanks for any helpful input, all the other input should be posted on Facebook.
04-10-2013 12:21 PM
DalesStar
Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Just an update and an end to all this that I feel is only fair to share. Peter Colby The manager of North Sails phoned us up and apologized for this whole mess. He had not heard anything about it from the people that were supposed to be handling it. He looked into the situation and said it was totally a mismanagement of information on their part and has corrected the situation and has satisfied this customer beyond expectations. What Peter did is "customer service" the way it should be and all I wanted from North Sails Direct. He informed me that that is not their policy of how to handle this type of situation and is looking into it and will correct it. Peter, thank you again for your phone call, you put my faith back into North Sails and customer service as a whole.
04-10-2013 08:44 AM
Capt.aaron
Re: North Sails Direct fiasco

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
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.

Jeff
If your main objective is to sail around bouy's faster than the other guy, then used sails won't do, this is true. If sailing is a fine tuned "sport" for you, and every nuance of sail shape is what drives you to sail, then no, used sails are not the way to go. You'll also want a hull that has put speed above saftey, something light weight in construction and you will want a light anchor so as not to slow you down. However, if sailing is a means of exploration and you want to safely get across the ocean to see whats on the other side, and your the kind of sailor who will purposely dump wind to slow down in order make the harbour entrance after sunrise in stead of 3 hours before, when the racer dude is raising his aysym. And If you are the kind of sailor who is reefing to lessen the strain on the rig and hull, when racer dude is heeling and yelling "yahoo, we are sailing now!", than used sails are the way to go. like I said, I bought a like new, double reefing main, a storm jib, a working jib that fits like a glove, a 135% genny that sits perfectly and a black yellow and red asymetrical in excellent conditon for 1400 bucks total! And I am sailing to Honduras with an affordable, good looking ,new to me, set of sails in less than a month. This left me money to buy a fancy new wind vane, a bigger better life raft, a g-pirb, a sat phone, the bigger solar pannel I wanted, a spot, new fouly's, a back up auto helm, all new blocks, main sheet, halyards, a vhf with ais, and a new gps. All which I would have done with out if I had gone for all new custom sails. Which I do want. I have sailed aprox. 15,000 miles of open water on just my little sloop alone, to as many as 10 different countries on good used sails, with no engine. Next I buy the new mast, then the engine, then I get the local sail loft to start sewing.
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