Cruising Sails Recommendations: Pacific Seacraft - SailNet Community
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Cruising Sails Recommendations: Pacific Seacraft

Hopefully, this is not as contentious of a question like, "Which boat is better...".

But, I am looking to replace my current mainsail and headsail on my Pacific Seacraft 31. They're both original Ullman sails that are about 23 years. They are in decent condition. Still, I'm not sure that I would trust them offshore due to their age.

I was originally planning to get the new sails made at Port Townsend Sails. Unfortunately, Carol Hasse is retiring and they're no longer taking new orders.

I am leaning towards going with Ullman sails (Endurance series). Pacific Seacraft went with them originally and I guess that is a good vote of confidence.

But, may I ask for feedback from the experienced members in this community? I am not experienced purchasing sails and I want to avoid making a stupid decision. I am looking for good quality offshore cruising sails. Are there any particular brands you would recommend?

Thanks.
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Re: Cruising Sails Recommendations: Pacific Seacraft

North Sails, no experience with them. Might be worth some of your time to investigate them.

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Re: Cruising Sails Recommendations: Pacific Seacraft

Unless you know a great deal about sails, I would suggest that you go with a local sailmaker. They will come out and measure your boat and discuss your needs and they will give you their opinion and an estimate. When done they will (should) help you hank the sails on and make sure they fit properly. Should there be a problem, they can take it back to their loft and get to work while the problems are still fresh in their head. No packaging up the sail and shipping it, trying to explain what you want redone. It will probably cost a bit more, but well worth it in my opinion. Should a problem develop after a period of time, it's handy to have the sailmaker locally to help determine whether you deserve some reduced charges on the repairs.
Back when, a good sailmaker would go sailing with you to see how his sails work, but that's probably a forlorn hope these days.
If you are looking for cruising sails, don't scrimp on the added expense of leather at the appropriate points and maybe a third stitching on the seams. If you plan an extended down hill run, have a baggywrinkle party and put them up to save your sails. If not, I think they make a cruising boat look salty, but they are a lot of work for that salty look.
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Re: Cruising Sails Recommendations: Pacific Seacraft

Capta has good advice, but what may have been lost in it is that major sail lofts have local sailmaker representatives. So I don't think he meant only the local independent sailmaker, but rather a local sailmaker in general. You can get "local" North, Doyle, etc sail service in measuring, fitting, and modifications, even though the actual sails themselves may be made overseas.

Carol Hasse retiring is a milestone - a good one for her, but not for us. All things must come to an end, though.

IMO, panelled sails are a thing of the past. Molded sails, like North's 3Di process, is the future. Right now, North introduced this, and dominates the market, but the others will be following ASAP. This sail process produces an unibody sail of a single cut of "cloth" molded precisely to your boat and rig design. It can be done in Dacron, or any exotic fiber you wish. The process involves laying many layers of thin unidirectional tapes impregnated with resin over an adjustable mold, then putting them under heat and pressure and melting it all together. The result is a single piece of "cloth" like a woven sail, with all of the fibers laying along load paths like a laminated sail, but without all the problems of a laminated sail.

However, it is expensive right now compared to traditional sailmaking. This should change in the future when more facilities are built and more competition from others occurs. It is actually less expensive to make these sails than traditionally, because there is no labor costs for cutting, sewing, etc. The molds and fiber layout is all done robotically, and the finishing work is minimal.

At 31', a decent grade of Dacron crosscut would serve you very well. A PS31 isn't a speed demon, nor will respond dramatically to exotic sails, so you should look for durability and a perfect fit. The durability is served by something like Challenge Marblehead or the like, and the perfect fit will be had by following Capta's advice.

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Re: Cruising Sails Recommendations: Pacific Seacraft

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
I think they make a cruising boat look salty, but they are a lot of work windage for that salty look.
Used the wrong "w" word. Fixed it.

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Re: Cruising Sails Recommendations: Pacific Seacraft

Thank you for your replies.

I will check out some of the local lofts here in Seattle. I have been hearing some good things about Ballard Sails.
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Re: Cruising Sails Recommendations: Pacific Seacraft

Agree that a good quality dacron sail makes the most sense for you. And being able to talk to someone about your requirements will be very helpful. Note even dacron cruising sails can vary quite a bit based on the cloth used and the details. The lofts should be able to explain the choices and the costs.

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Re: Cruising Sails Recommendations: Pacific Seacraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by fune31 View Post
Thank you for your replies.



I will check out some of the local lofts here in Seattle. I have been hearing some good things about Ballard Sails.
Yes, Ballard has been producing some very fast racing sails, although I havent seen their cruising sails.

Good advice above...avoid buying based on price alone. There is a huge difference between sails produced by the major lofts and online sail lofts both in initial build quality and after sales support.

Good sailmakers are a dying breed. Support your local sail loft or you will be stuck with chinese garbage as your only option in the future!

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Re: Cruising Sails Recommendations: Pacific Seacraft

Offshore..not local..is not all chinese and its not all..garbage
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