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Thread: sail question

  1. #1
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    Default sail question

    Hey, you normal mortals who buy sails..... is it still customary for a sailmaker to deliver sails to your boat, maybe even go out for a couple hours to make sure it/they sets well? It used to be, and I can think of one sailmaker that we all know who would almost certainly show up at one of our boats and make sure things fit right.

    With the rest of the industry, is that service reserved only for the Seriously Big Bucks spenders, now?
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  2. #2
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    In my experience, yes, on-board service is reserved for the big spenders these days. I have to offer the sales rep a hundred bucks "for expenses" to get him to come out sailing, and then it's whenever he can fit me in. It's pretty surprising considering what sails cost. I spent $6,500 on a new main recently and my sales rep has never seen the sail. I don't think he even e-mailed me to ask me how it looks. He was out crewing on some ocean race when the sail came in.

    It must be nice - if I treated my clients that way I'd have no clients.

  3. #3
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    I also had to pay for a "fitting". One guy did show up for free, but he was trying to placate me, knowing that i was pi$$ed that he had greatly missed the promised seasonal window for using the new sail and also knowing I was buying a lot more. He no longer has most-favored status.

    The biggest problem I have had is getting delivery at or near the required, and promised, time. So far, Quantum has been the best of the bunch. I like Pineapple, too.
    Last edited by The Smokester; 03-23-2017 at 01:05 PM.

  4. #4
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    I've had very good service from Marchall in Alameda. Dominic built twin jibs for me and also a storm trysail and helped set them up. Of course I was in the same marina.

    Quantum is fairly hands-off but they have good delivery and pricing.

    I was super happy with my new main from UK Halsey Alameda (Sylvain), they got it to me in a very reasonable time under a deadline, and put it on the boat and everything. Competitive pricing, I'd recommend them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    David Hodges, formerly Santa Cruz Sails. His same shop is now Ullman Sails Monterey Bay/San Francisco. Sails are still built there by local employees. He is tied into the world wide network of Ullman Sails and so can take advantage of their network.
    But here's the best part: he will bring the new sail to your boat, set it up and go sailing with you. And even after that he'll still go sailing on your boat and coach you. Even with your old sails. His coaching is straight forward and to the point. Ullman Sails SFMB, 831-454-0868. SDK

  6. #6
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    Nov 2013
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    Humboldt Bay
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    I was super happy with my new main from UK Halsey Alameda (Sylvain), they got it to me in a very reasonable time under a deadline, and put it on the boat and everything. Competitive pricing, I'd recommend them.
    +1 Sylvain made me a new main. He's got a lot of good advice. I dealt with him strictly over the phone and had my sail shipped, although he did have my old main for reference and measurement. I did business with him through Marchal but the sail is UK.

  7. #7
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    It's been so long since I bought a new sail that... that.....

    Anyway, this post was triggered by an incomplete communication between myself and Bill and Doyle. Turns out he will drop off the sails, I don't have to go to the loft to pick them up. So that's a plus. I went with Doyle this time for two reasons..1.) the 5x class champ is a Doyle sailmaker on the Chesapeake, and he probably knows something about fast sails for this boat. That info is shared among all the lofts, one assumes. 2.) I felt bad that Doyle was probably going to get booted out of the Alameda Marina because of all the development brouhaha and I wanted to show some support.

    Well, point #1 is still true. Also Bill was forthcoming and patient with e-mail discussions and multiple estimates on fabric and so on. He's all over the globe so sometimes communication takes a while, but all things considered, he did a good job. Point #2 is either becoming somewhat less likely, or at the very least the timeframe is pushed off to at bare minimum, a year-plus from now.

    Sail repair, I've always taken to Synthia. Always...and always will, as long as she's willing to fix stuff. For one thing, she's a good friend. Secondly, she does good work. She busts her butt to get sails back in time for races and stuff. She shares her knowledge. I'm a big Synthia fan. She made a quick triradial chute for my Santa Cruz 27, years and years ago. Now, she's associated with Dave Hodges and Ullman, so that's a point , too. I'll be buying the next spinnaker from Synthia/Ullman.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  8. #8
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    Now, another question.

    Triradial mainsails and reefing

    it's always seemed to me that Triradial mainsails on boats that may need to reef, didn't make sense. I mean, I had one on my Santana 3030 but ....*meh*. The Santa Cruz 27 had a dacron main, as did my old H-Boat. When the sail is at full hoist, the triradial panel layout makes sense, but as soon as you pull down a reef, the fibers aren't lined up along the stress lines, at all. It seems to me that if you do this a lot...and folks who race in the ocean do this a lot... that you'll distort the sail because the loads are off-line with the load-bearing threads. It's the film and the glue that's taking the load. This seems like a recipe for distortion to me.

    Well, one way to solve this is to buy a string sail that's made with fibers emanating from your reef points. That works....but string sails...cha-CHINGGGG. $$ Owie.

    I notice that an awful lot of Santa Cruz ultralights around here use fancypants radial or string headsails and crosscut dacron mainsails. Hmm. Howzat?

    So it occurs to me that for biggish boats that reef pretty often, a crosscut sail made out of a fabric that more-or-less resists stretch in all directions makes more sense than a radial mainsail. That would mean some sort of plain-weave (not warp-oriented) Dacron, or the Dimension-Polyant FLEX fabrics.

    THOUGHTS from you cognoscenti??
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  9. #9
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    Mar 2009
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    Albany, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steevee View Post
    +1 Sylvain made me a new main. He's got a lot of good advice. I dealt with him strictly over the phone and had my sail shipped, although he did have my old main for reference and measurement. I did business with him through Marchal but the sail is UK.

    I have worked with Sylvain for both my previous boat and my current boat. It didn't matter if I ordered 1 jib or a Main and 2 spinnakers, he always comes to the boat to measure, understand how I trim, what my requirements are as a single-handed racer, etc.
    Sylvain is also a great sailer and can deliver product that works for you and your boat. The difference between comparable materials between the manufacturers is very small.

    I highly recommend working with Sylvain.

    Dirk "TIJD" First30JK

  10. #10
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    Jan 2012
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    Santa Barbara Sometimes
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    I've bought several sails from Sylvain and been very satisfied at all levels. Similarly I've been pleased with results of multiple repairs by Dominic Marchal. And they're around the corner from Blue Pelican!

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