Join Date: Oct 2005
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recommendation for racing/cruising sails
I work for an indepentant sailmaker and race professionally in the San Francisco area of California. I find it interesting that the average expected life span of a laminated sail seems to be 4 years. I have to say that from most sailmakers this is really unrealistic. If North or Quantum are telling you that 3DL or FusionM will last that long, remember, your talking to a salesman. Most of the boats I sail on professionally use North 3DL 860 series, we would never expect any headsail to be competitive longer than 50-60 hours of use. Thats right...HOURS. Now, we were sailing at a very high level, but still, the sails were significatly slower after 1-1.5 seasons of racing. People buying sails need to try and remember that the larger companies are spending 90% of their efforts in the Grand Prix or higher fields, were repeat business is the way its played, but at a club level, their service and products are usually not durable enough. Try looking into the smaller companies, they should be running thier business with one thing in mind...YOU. Customer service and support should be A number ONE.
For instance, I had a customer who just started sailing, bought an Express 37 and I helped him outfit with new Carbon Main, #3, and #1. Remember that this was his first year sailing, not to mention racing, I coached him all through the summer, and our efforts were realized at this years Big Boat Series when he finished 2nd in an 11 boat very tough fleet. Show me a North rep who would do that WITHOUT charging a per day fee above and beyond.
Not only that, but his sails WILL last at least 3 seasons, due to the fact that we use great cloth and we don''t build sails to be as light as possible, we build them to be strong, fast, AND durable, just what our customers want.
Remember the independant sail lofts, you won''t be disappointed!