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Just curious, but have you priced the sails at FX Sails, which is a part of sailnet, and helps sponsor this forum. It would be worth giving them a shot as well.
 

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The latter is the price on FX sails from sailnet, but is there a quality difference from your experience?
 

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A friend was sent a 150 genny for a tall 27 by mistake from the cheap place, we put it on the furler before discovering it was the wrong sail. Overall it seemed a little lacking in some areas for hard use, single stitched seams, small reinforcing patches at the tack and clew etc. It would probably be fine for "coastal" or "inshore" use which is common among sailmakers for their 'budget' line of sails.
The Sailstore is the "off the shelf" arm of FX sails and I'm not familiar with their sails.
 

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I have bought two new discount sails from North Sails Direct. The first was a storm jib, which was well made, cut flat, triple stitched, all the bells & whistles and had satisfactory craftsmanship.
The second sail was a working jib. Not so impressed with this one. It had a horrible belly and couldn't be used to sail upwind at all. It made me want to pull my old mylar jib out of the dumpster and break out the duct tape and super glue... Money not well spent. And of course you can't take it back to the loft (in China) and talk to the sailmaker about getting it recut... I won't ever buy one again. Local lofts give competitive pricing and usually great service. Sailmakers are our friend, don;t outsource them off our continent(s).
 

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The quality of sailcloth is not the only difference between sails. Off-the-shelf sails are cut to fit many similarly-sized boats. Good sails are cut to fit one make and model of boat, and they are designed for your anticipated use. If you intend to sail mostly in light air in sheltered waters, the sailcloth might be lighter-weight, so that the sails will fill more easily in light air. If you plan to sail in typically stronger winds, the weight of the sailcloth will be heavier. If you intend to cruise, the foot of the jib will be cut higher. If you intend to race, the foot of the jib will be low-cut, to maximize sail area. Likewise, a racing mainsail will have a big roach to maximize sail area.

Some (not all) off-the-shelf sails are made so that, if the buyer wants a roller furled jib, the sail can be used that way, and, if the buyer wants a hanked-on jib, the sailmaker can attach hanks to the same sail and send it to the buyer.

All that having been said, if you just want a sail suitable for daysailing and poking around in local waters, a lesser sail might serve you adequately. If you want a sail designed for optimum performance, whether cruising or racing, in coastal waters or offshore, then you should opt for a better, pricier sail.

One factor you should consider is how long you intend to keep the same boat. I bought my previous boat new and sailed it for over 22 years, and bought top quality sails. During all that time, I enjoyed superior sailing from those sails, and not only fully amortized their cost, but, looking back, the price I paid for them was dirt cheap by comparison with the cost of similar sails when I finally sold the boat. If you're going to keep the boat for awhile, opt for the better sails.
 

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Half the "name brand" conventional sails get built overseas. There is no difference in cloth unless you are buying something fancy...and for normal cruising you don't need to do that. You can specify the features you want in your sails and the robustness of the construction and still come out way ahead when compared to local options. I bought my genny out of New Zealand and it was perfect and exactly what I wanted and I saved $1500 bucks at the time. I got my main done locally because it had to be exactingly cut and built to be compatible with my roller boom. I can't recall even one complaint about FX sails sold here in the last several years and I would not hesitate to use them for a quality cruising sail at a very good price.
If you race or use exotic materials or need a guy on your boat to measure and fit, it makes sense to go local. I makes no sense to pay extra for a sail that will be built overseas anyway with NO difference in cloth or construction quality.
I believe in paying for added value....not for overhead and branding.
 

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One nice thing about having a popular boat like the Catalina 27 is that you have lots of places to choose from and that "everyone" has made sails for them.

I'm very happy with the 135% Genoa for my Catalina 30 I purchased from FX sails. Good workmanship, good shape...good service...low price.

I would not hesitate to go back to them.

If others had problems, you would have heard of it here.

David.
 

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I need a new mainsail and was looking at different online suppliers. I was wondering is there a difference in quality between sails offered. I have a catalina 27 Tall rig. I was looking at the links below which say sails are 6.5oz dacron, I was wondering if there are any other differences which would make the cheaper one not as good as the more expensive one. Thanks!

Catalina Sails (stock or custom built) and New In-Stock Surplus Sails

Catalina 27 Tall Rig Mainsail

It's really, really ,really hard to beat National Sail Supply on Catalina sails. Believe me I've tried. The Rolly Tasker sails that Dirk sells are very ,very well built using the same materials as you'd find a local sailmaker using. The difference is that they are built in Thailand with CHEAP labor..

I've owned seven sails from National Sail supply and every one has exceeded my expectations...

I'm about to order a main for my curent boat at less than half what my local quoted me uisng the identical specs, rows of threads, reef points and cloth brand and weight...

If you're not buying racing sails the online deals can be very, very good...
 

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Half the "name brand" conventional sails get built overseas.
I wonder what the four or so sewing machines around the perimeter of the big ol' raised, polished wood floor at the local North Sails sail loft are for, then? I'll have to ask them next time I'm over there.

I believe in paying for added value....not for overhead and branding.
I agree wrt to the "branding" issue (tho sometimes it does matter), but you're mistaken wrt to the "overhead" issue. Overhead, as it applies to having a local facility that employs local people and pays local taxes, is added value, in my book. How much is that worth? Hard to say, but I will usually pay a bit more for that added value. For example: A local marine supply store offered to "deal" on the new compass we wanted for Abracadabra. I knew his price was "in the ballpark." I think we paid $160, or there-abouts, plus tax, and I think I later found I could've gotten it on-line for about $140 + shipping. I was glad to have given the business to the local merchant.

FX Sails, for example, I doubt would've fixed our old main, inspected the sail for other necessary maintenance (there was none, btw), and added floppy rings and tell-tales, all for less than $100, have done it in three days or less, thrown in a half-dozen quality sail ties and shown us a better way to fold sails for storage, to boot :). Had that sail loft not been there: Then what? If they go out of business: Then what? I guess just like everything else in this country, anymore: If it breaks, just send it off to a landfill and buy a new one for cheap from somebody overseas?

We're losing something in this country by buying everything from the lowest bidder, from some place far away :(.

Jim
 

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Cat 27 Main

Hi Saura..(Sp)?,

Right now there are three different models in new sail buying that I know of:

1- Big Loft....North, Quantum, Neil Pryde, Doyle, UK Halsey, Ulmann,...Big price with most high tech fabrication done overseas somewhere. North does some of theirs in Minden, Nevada...but most still overseas. Sale, measurement, final adjustment and repairs done by local loft. Great for racers. higher tech cruisers and brand loyalists.

2-Direct Online.....FX, North Direct, Sail Supply...etc. ...Smaller price, comparable quality on cross cut cruising dacron sails and simple paneled performance sails. Measurement done by customer...adjustments and repairs by mail back to provider or to local loft if an agreement in place.

3-Local independant loft...or somewhat affiliated loft. These can fabricate sails as well as support them in their local area. They are knowledgeable of the foreign manufacturing competition and resultant low labor cost and low overall price. If you have one of these local to you on the Hudson, check them out. A good one of these that may be a little far away is Somerset Sails.

For what you are doing with a new dacron cross cut main, for a very well known boat as far as dimensions, luff and foot hardware etc, I would suggest either the online route or the local sailmaker route. Compare prices as well as what value you might place on local support for repairs, etc.

I have heard excellent things about FX and have personal experience with North Direct and would say they would both serve you well. Last, there are several sail brokers around that sell used sails on a grading system. Some of these are as new as a new sail will be after you fly it once or twice. You may want to check them out as well.

Good luck,

121 Guy
 

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I will usually pay a bit more for that added value.


Jim
A bit more? My local quotes for my new main sail were very high and these guys have been doing work for me for years and years. I respect them immensely and would buy racing sails from them in a heart beat. Oh and they gladly work on my Rolly Tasker sails too as they much prefer building high margin racing sails than low margin cruising sails. They would much rather take my labor only money than having to sharpen the pencil on a new sail quote. Even at the outrageous quotes I got they still don't make a lot on a new cruising sail..

Same specs went out to all:

Local Quote #1 $3170.00
Local Quote #2 $3035.00
Local Quote #3 $2950.00

National Sail Supply Quote $1485.00 delivered...

A little bit more huh....:eek:
 

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I wonder what the four or so sewing machines around the perimeter of the big ol' raised, polished wood floor at the local North Sails sail loft are for, then? I'll have to ask them next time I'm over there.
Probably for repairs... :)

I agree wrt to the "branding" issue (tho sometimes it does matter), but you're mistaken wrt to the "overhead" issue. Overhead, as it applies to having a local facility that employs local people and pays local taxes, is added value, in my book. How much is that worth? Hard to say, but I will usually pay a bit more for that added value. For example: A local marine supply store offered to "deal" on the new compass we wanted for Abracadabra. I knew his price was "in the ballpark." I think we paid $160, or there-abouts, plus tax, and I think I later found I could've gotten it on-line for about $140 + shipping. I was glad to have given the business to the local merchant.

FX Sails, for example, I doubt would've fixed our old main, inspected the sail for other necessary maintenance (there was none, btw), and added floppy rings and tell-tales, all for less than $100, have done it in three days or less, thrown in a half-dozen quality sail ties and shown us a better way to fold sails for storage, to boot :). Had that sail loft not been there: Then what? If they go out of business: Then what? I guess just like everything else in this country, anymore: If it breaks, just send it off to a landfill and buy a new one for cheap from somebody overseas?
Went with a local loft for the modifications to my main earlier this season. Look at it as a long-term relationship, and they did an excellent job for me.

We're losing something in this country by buying everything from the lowest bidder, from some place far away :(.

Jim
Very true...
 

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Were I cruising lake or coastal in mainly fair conditions, I wouldn't hesitate to use off-the-shelf sails. My habit in the last few years has been to get what the racers have been throwing out and to have those recut and to have hanks put on...voila, a $250 No. 1 that I can ditch in four years. My current main is a nearly new Dacron from a C&C 34 (similar dimensionals) that sat in a bag for some time when the owner switched to composite sails. The alterations cost me $180 at a local loft.

My newer boat is going offshore. I'll need triple stitching, deep reefs, reinforced grommets, chafe patches, beefed up batten pockets and so on. I've had to learn a lot about sailmaking and repair just to know what to ask for in terms of cloth weights and what to improve and why. No "volume loft" making light-air sails can do this work: it's a custom boat. I need to give a sailmaker all the dimensionals and then we need to take the boat out and see what needs adjustment.

I need a 40,000 NM, five-year main. To accomplish this, I'll need to be conservative and I'll need to do my own repairs early and often. I'm going with Dacron, except for the cruising assy and I am considering a Para-Sail also for the downwind work typical of trade wind cruising.

For this, there is no real choice except a local loft still able to do the kind of work needed for offshore sails.
 

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Local Quote #1 $3170.00
Local Quote #2 $3035.00
Local Quote #3 $2950.00

National Sail Supply Quote $1485.00 delivered...

A little bit more huh....:eek:
That is indeed quite a difference. I'll have to discuss this with the local sail loft we used and find out, just for curiosity, if the same applies.

Jim
 

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Exactly Maine...get me within 10% or so and I'll gladly buy local. But it isn't even close. The market has moved on and the "locally" built sails are for the most part made overseas anyway. There will always be work for local sailmakers...just not as many of them as once before. That's what THEY get for driving Volvos and shopping at WalMart. (Kidding a bit...but it IS pretty ridiculous to suggest we shut ourselves off from the world at large in this ONE case.)
 

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Reminds me of Home Depot. Take the worse plumbing store you have ever been in, combine it with the worst electrical store, the worst garden center, the worst carpet store, the worst paint store, and all of a sudden you have a great store? They undercut the prices on the commodity items which pushes out the well stocked local supplier who had all the important pieces you needed to finish the job or even do it right!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I guess it boils down to what you will be using hte sails for. I will primarily be pleasure sailing and putzing around the river. I will try local but I have a feeling it will be more expensive.

Also I have called around for used mainsail for a catalina 27 tall rig, but all the sail lofts say for cruising boats like that cat 27 most people use the sail till it falls apart and can't be salvaged. Thus making used sails for this boat impossible to find. Is this what you all have found as well?
 

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check out the sail warehouse for Rolly Tasker sails, as well. Good prices and quick service. Got my new main recently from them for my 27 footer. Got the full batten model and very happy with it. Just perfect for a local cruising boat.
 

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i also tried the used route and just couldn't find anything good shape for a decent deal. Anything that's in very good shape is being quoted for too much compared to the marginal amount you'd add for brand new. Glad I went with new.
 
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