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jsaronson 06-18-2015 09:07 AM

Anyone buy laminate sails from China Sails?
Starting to look for a new main. Got a great price quote on a laminate sail, but know nothing about the quality of the laminate sails they make.
Anyone have any experience?

SailingJackson 06-18-2015 10:55 AM

Re: Anyone buy laminate sails from China Sails?
The last sail I got was from the North loft last year. It was Series 300 Soft Norlam Mylar, a paneled laminate sail. I was surprised to find it was made offshore. I forget if it was China or some other Pacific Rim country, but it was from Asia. All the big shops screw up on occasion. I think the biggest issue is whether there is a local loft to fix the errors. If there were adjustments needed on my Asian sourced North sail at least there was the local North loft around to correct things.

capta 06-18-2015 01:22 PM

Re: Anyone buy laminate sails from China Sails?
We have UK Sails tape drive sails (made in the USA), and though I love the cut, the actual material is not what I would consider a cloth that has any longevity.
If you are racing, and can afford to replace your sails every season or two, then go for it. But if you are not a full on racer with deep pockets, then I would think twice before going for laminated sails.

JimsCAL 06-19-2015 08:03 AM

Re: Anyone buy laminate sails from China Sails?
There are all kinds of laminate sails available today - from the high-end 3DL molded racing sails from North to paneled cruising/club racing sails made with laminate cloth that looks a lot like woven cloth. You really have to decide how you are going to use the boat and then select a sail that meets those needs. A well made crosscut sail made with a high quality woven Dacron cloth is still a good choice for those that don't race and provides decent performance and long life. But some of the newer laminate cloths look like they will give better performance and very good life at not much of a price increase over woven cloth.

So what kind of laminate did you get a quote on?

jsaronson 06-19-2015 09:35 AM

Re: Anyone buy laminate sails from China Sails?
The "cloth" is Club Race MXL, Gold Kevlar, Black Twaron, Mylar outer skins. Not cutting edge stuff, but it will certainly hold its shape longer than dacron.

hellosailor 06-19-2015 09:48 AM

Re: Anyone buy laminate sails from China Sails?
If that is a new loft with unknown owners, unknown managers, and production in China? I'd be scared. Laminates don't always hold together (in sails or anything else) and it is too easy for a supplier to cheat on the glue, or someone inexperienced to mess up the lamination (time, temperature). I don't know that shipping a sail back to "southern China" for a remake would be convenient, and despite two (!) Chinese restaurants in Massachusetts somehow also being called "China Sails"...

I think the loft calls itself "China Sails Factory" fwiw.

The question being who stands behind the company, and are they really cheap enough to make an unknown worthwhile? (And of course, can you put it on a credit card to add their warranty protections.)

WRT product quality and materials? Ask the Gore-Tex people how much "genuine Gore-Tex" clothing, made in China and sold on eBay, has been counterfeit. Mostly all of it, because it is too easy to mislabel cloth. I'd have major reservations, unless the new owners included Mother Teresa. [sic]

Sanduskysailor 06-19-2015 09:50 PM

Re: Anyone buy laminate sails from China Sails?
China Sail Factory is a major production loft in China that makes sails for a lot of the lofts in the US. My friend has had a new main twaron MXL for his J-29. Local loft spec'd it and ordered it from CSF. Sail was nice but had lamination problem that showed up at end of 1st season. CSF made good with a new sail next season as a replacement. He is happy with sail after a couple of seasons.

FWIW, Island Planet sails uses CSF for their laminate sales. Twaron is essentially Kevlar. Get the black twaron as it has better UV resistance.

jsaronson 06-20-2015 06:45 AM

Sandusky, thanks for the info and link.

JimsCAL 06-20-2015 08:54 AM

Re: Anyone buy laminate sails from China Sails?
Interesting link Sandusky. Looks like they are using their own cloth. I note the comparisons being made to Challenge and Bainbridge. I would feel more comfortable if they were using name brand cloth rather than Chinese, but it looks they have done their homework.

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