....... They can also advise you on the best options for YOUR type of sailing.
Excellent point by SanderO !!!!!
No matter where you are along in your sailing goals and aspirations, sitting down and actually speaking to the sailmaker about your goals, your gained expertise so far including your present fears and trepidations, etc, that sailmaker can easily 'tweak' (usually at no extra coast!!!) your new sail to meet your expectations, and set up that 'tweak' so that when you arrive at your 'next' goal, the sail can later on be 'adjusted at little cost' to be suitable for your next goal.
For example, if one personally limits his/her sailing in only 'mild' conditions because the sailor or member of his/her crew becomes 'very uncomfortable' when the boat heels over when 'white caps' on the water begin to develop, that sailmaker easily can make 'minor adjustments' in the design program that laser cuts that sail to reduce such heeling, and yet later on when the sailor becomes more comfortable, the local loft can perform simple adjustments to restore the sail back to a more 'normal' design. OR, that sailmaker can give you explicit directions of how to raise and 'set' the tensions to get those shape adjustments to meet your current goals and needs based on the design parameters set by that sailmaker.
With a local loft, you should in some detail as best you can describe in some detail your sailing 'preferences' and goals:
what sailing conditions you prefer -- tell that sailmaker at what wind strength do you 'go out' and at what wind strength do you usually return to the dock, etc. How much do your sail in 'ultra-light' wind conditions.
what conditions of wind strength, etc. you would like to progress to for your 'next goal', as best as possible.;
whats the characteristics of your boat as you now perceive them (a P28-2 generally 'likes' to initially easily
heal over then stabilize or 'harden-up' at about 15+° over, etc.),
At what amount of wind speed do you usually put in your 'first reef'
as best as able what kind of helmsman are you .... anywhere from being 'constantly and accurately' following the wind or tell tales, or simply 'duffing around' and simply just enjoying yourself on the water and with no need to go long distances in the least amount of time - will help define the amount in-built 'forgiveness
' included in the sail design.
exactly where on the Ches will you be sailing .... the sailmaker should know most of the local venues and their wind 'anomalies' .... i.e.. local 'wind turbulence' and amount of wave height typical in these venues, etc.
Whats your normal 'sailing load' ... boat full of weight from 'personal effects and stores'?, 6-7 450 lb. persons normally in the cockpit? 2 normal sized persons and two small kids? tell the sailmaker how much extra weight this boat will normally be carrying around ... how deep into the water below or above its normal waterline is this boat when sailing - affects sail design in the upper sections of the sails.
In other words, at no additional cost you get a sail designed for YOU and YOUR preferences ... in comparison to a stock off the shelf sail ...... and all at no extra charge by that local sail loft!!!!
Definitely if there is a problem with a new sail from a local loft, you won't have to be direct-calling SriLanka, Indonesia etc. to affect any corrections or remedies.
Local sailmakers usually have an uncanny ability to match or tweak the sail design to the customer's needs and perceptions that they're actually talking to.
With a local sailmaker, the timing of when you order your sail 'may' affect the price and delivery time, as local lofts are usually EXTREMELY busy in late winter through late spring and again in October through Nov. .... to serve the needs of their repetitive customers - the racing fleets on the Ches. So ask the local loft when will be the best time to order and delivery for the 'best' offered price, etc.
hope this helps