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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Buy doyle sails
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-08-2014 10:28 PM
Classic30
Re: Buy doyle sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by hriehl1 View Post
I am not in the business so this is only a semi-informed view based on observations in other industries.

Sails (recreational use) are no longer mysterious black magic. They are well understood designs with manufacturing methods much the same the world over. Material and workmanship quality distinguish the excellent from the ordinary. But for many of us, inexpensive and ordinary is good enough.
Whilst that might be true enough for cruising, in the world of yacht racing where the difference between winning and losing is now sometimes measured in tenths of seconds, there is still an art to making racing sails that are even just a tiny bit better than the next guys. ..and it's the yacht-racing scene that the local lofts are in business for.

By example, one local sailmaker personally hand-stitched the sails on his gentleman's racer and the yacht not only looks stunning but, just to prove he knows what he's doing, leaves the rest of us average-Joes far behind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hriehl1 View Post
In another thread I detailed my uneven customer service experience with sails sourced fron China. But for the money I saved and my recreational use case, I would buy the bargain brand again. I measured and they delivered to spec. They work for me as I am not racing or headed to Bermuda. I daysail twenty days a year and these sails will outlive me (I'm in my sixties).

Some people drive a Benz and others a Kia, to each their own.
I don't think I saw your other thread, but in my experience, I think you'll find it'll be the stitching that fails long before the cloth does.. but if that happens you can always get a local loft re-stitch them and still end up ahead on cost.
07-08-2014 10:12 PM
hriehl1 I am not in the business so this is only a semi-informed view based on observations in other industries.

Sails (recreational use) are no longer mysterious black magic. They are well understood designs with manufacturing methods much the same the world over. Material and workmanship quality distinguish the excellent from the ordinary. But for many of us, inexpensive and ordinary is good enough.

In another thread I detailed my uneven customer service experience with sails sourced fron China. But for the money I saved and my recreational use case, I would buy the bargain brand again. I measured and they delivered to spec. They work for me as I am not racing or headed to Bermuda. I daysail twenty days a year and these sails will outlive me (I'm in my sixties).

Some people drive a Benz and others a Kia, to each their own.
07-08-2014 09:20 PM
northoceanbeach
Re: Buy doyle sails

Good post. Thanks.
07-08-2014 08:58 PM
Classic30
Re: Buy doyle sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
I have a Doyle StackPak (2006) and a Doyle Headsail (2007), one bought in TX, one in MD. Both sails were made in the Caribbean (I forget which island). Perhaps they've changed how they do things, but that was the procedure when I bought mine. I've never heard anything about their sails coming from anywhere in Asia.
PB, things have changed a lot in a few years..

Excluding exotics (like 3DL) for a sec, essentially there are two types of sail lofts: the Value-Add type stitch their own; the Importer type order the completed sail from Asia. Fortunately the first type are in the majority still, but it's market-driven so who knows what the future holds.

The key to this is to find out where they get the cloth. Up until the early part of this century, sailmakers would buy rolls of cloth (typically only Dacron, Mylar and Kevlar back then) in various grades, cut the panels in-house and stitch up, but that means stockpiling large amounts of expensive material in the hope that someone will want a sail made from what you have to hand and with the advent of new fibres (Carbon, Vectran, etc.) stockpiling a vast range of expensive 'raw material' doesn't make economic sense.

Around 5 years ago now, with the purchase of some Australian and European technology under FTAs with moronic governments, Chinese polyethylene manufacturing shifted up a gear. Sailmakers the world over then got smart: "Why stockpile large amounts of material when we can order only what we need on-line using 'just in time' principles?? We'll need less storage space, overheads will go down and we can (unless we're greedy) pass the savings onto customers." So.. if you were to go into your local modern loft now and order a new sail, they order the cloth you want, usually in computer-cut panels, directly from the manufacturer - and usually from Asia.

Since the art of good sailmaking is in the way the panels are stitched together, good sailmakers retain that expertise in-house. That's why, over here at least, many people will only buy racing mains and headsails from a local loft of their choice - but where sail shape is less critical they buy spinnakers from a cheaper Importer (eg. Taskers), knowing there are is little or no difference in the quality of the cloth just the way it's stitched together, since the plastic all comes from the same place... just to the north of us.
07-08-2014 05:46 AM
northoceanbeach
Re: Buy doyle sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic30 View Post
Hmmm.. well, I was told by one of their most experienced sailmakers that whoever it was at Doyles that buggered up the cutting of my last headsail couldn't read English...
Probably just immigrants. I don't know about New Zealand but in Massachusetts there are a LOT of immigrants from all over the place. Could be just that. I know we thing of a typical sailmaker as a yachty looking white guy but at factories in New England there are a lot of foreigners.
07-08-2014 04:38 AM
PBzeer
Re: Buy doyle sails

I have a Doyle StackPak (2006) and a Doyle Headsail (2007), one bought in TX, one in MD. Both sails were made in the Caribbean (I forget which island). Perhaps they've changed how they do things, but that was the procedure when I bought mine. I've never heard anything about their sails coming from anywhere in Asia.
07-08-2014 04:23 AM
Classic30
Re: Buy doyle sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
The rep here, no doubt the same one in Everett did a great job for me. He assured me the sails are 100% cut and sewn in USA. New Zealand for that part of the world. No china involved for Doyle. Their website confirms this. They just built a huge new loft in Massachusetts and I think New Zealand. Well one or the other at least.
Hmmm.. well, I was told by one of their most experienced sailmakers that whoever it was at Doyles that buggered up the cutting of my last headsail couldn't read English...
07-08-2014 03:36 AM
northoceanbeach
Re: Buy doyle sails

The rep here, no doubt the same one in Everett did a great job for me. He assured me the sails are 100% cut and sewn in USA. New Zealand for that part of the world. No china involved for Doyle. Their website confirms this. They just built a huge new loft in Massachusetts and I think New Zealand. Well one or the other at least.
07-08-2014 12:52 AM
Dave_E
Re: Buy doyle sails

Sail lofts are akin to car dealerships, you don't hate your Ford because dealership X is a looser. The Doyle rep in the Everett area has not impressed me (dishonest, didn't do the work he said they did and was going to take $450 from me). But I'm not going to let that loft sway my dislike or like for Doyle sails.
07-07-2014 09:53 PM
Classic30
Re: Buy doyle sails

Agreed. The guys at Doyles NZ are good (they sometimes come over here to help the local guys out), but I've moved away from using Doyles here after a couple of bad experiences.

In my experience, the majority of them (including Doyles) don't cut their own cloth but get it shipped in from China (or elsewhere) to their measurements and either stitch the panels locally or, like Taskers, get the whole thing made overseas.

At the end of the day, good custom sails are a product of a good sailmaker - and the name of the company he happens to be working for this month is, at best, misleading..
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