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Has anyone had a set made from the Philippine loft?

Thinking of getting mainsail made,sail maker reckons cheaper for a standard Dacron sail to be made and shipped than local?is this correct?

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From what I understand your sail maker is probably right. But unless you get one through a local you could be playing with fire.. or in this case a bit of cloth only good for being a painters drop sheet.


I know a dude who was smart and got a set direct from a offshore loft. The sails look OK made in what seems OK cloth but the shape is totaly sh*t. To get that fixed locally will cost, to send them back to get fixed will cost. He reckons that cost is more then the difference of what he would have paid buying them thru a local sailmaker. He is not a happy chappy but understands it was his call so he can't blame anyone else.


But on the flip side some have done the same and got nice sails.


The question is 'How brave are you to go it alone?'



Disclaimer - I got 4 sails from offshore last year but they did come from well respected lofts i,e Norths and Quantum. They were favour paybacks and I fully understand if I need them tweaked I can't expect the locals to do that for nothing. Basically they were at a price that was beyond silly cheap or I would have purchased them locally.

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The real issue is being absolutely certain of what you are getting. I looked at offshore lofts, or even Kit sails from Sailrite. Once the correct specifications I wanted was reached (Right cloth, design, fittings etc) they were less than 20% cheaper than local sails. My new main will come from Norths, here in Auckland. PM Booboo on this site for a price/info, or click the Norths Advert.

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I have looked hard at sail lofts in Asia, and although some sails are well made, I would still support a locally cut and stitched product, purely because I want to support local.


If the local sailmakers lose our support, there will be a tipping point where the local lofts are no longer sustainable, and we no longer have the choice. Everything will come from China. Without the local competition or choice, after all sails start to come from Asia and the locals are gone, the cheaper asian product will escalate in price to be the same as or more expensive than the original locally made product, but will still be a cheap offshore quality. It's already happened with tools...


I try very hard to prevent the loss of that consumer choice and harder still to help maintain the realistic price of good quality.

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That is a large difference. How long does it take to save the extra 1000?


Just wondering. I know it's not easy.


But it's not going to get easier unless we support each other.

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my problem is a mainsail nz $2200  hyde $1200 3 seperate quotes


Are the quotes comparing the same sail, batten layout, reefs and cloth? You could assume all dacron's are similar in price but in actual fact some can be double the price per m to others. I know Hyde use Challange PC which is very low end.

Talk to the NZ agent for Hyde - Fyfe Sails, ask him about different dacron's. The other problem is they won't ship full battens. But you could do a lot worse up here than Hyde!

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John Ruskin wrote the below quote in the early 1800's, it is still just as valid today (perhaps more so).



“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When
you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay
too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you
bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The
common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a
lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well
to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will
have enough to pay for something better.”
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little bit of a delay but sails are there way finally,6/8 weeks,but got pushed back as they had to make 10 sets for some one design class asap.Hoping to be landed this weekend,so all going well midweek pick up .I can feel a sick day coming on. main with 2 full length battens and 2 1/2 battens lower down to reduce tension on leash?no 2 headsail without uv strip.Just means removing end of weekend but no biggie.  On the nz agent front Kenny Fyfe is getting out and apparently his boys are doing shade sails,so went Brent Gilles?botany,he has all the various sample clothes and we settled on his recommendation for longish lasting cruising cloth with a bit of club/social racing.Contender cloth/dacron

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A interesting comment out of Practical Sailor


Choosing a Sailmaker

Sailmakers around the world have been printing up new business cards even though they continue to work for the same franchised lofts. Their new cards have swapped job description titles from "sailmaker" to "sail designer," a result that's partly due to the proven value of computer-aided design and partly due to a growing trend toward sending sailmaking overseas. Like so many other industries, sailmakers have responded to the lure of lower labor rates and the growth in high-tech manufacturing skills in Asia. Many of the big-name lofts have curtailed much of their domestic sail production and instead focus on building each customer a virtual sail in their local loft, digitizing carefully made measurements, and electronically forwarding the data to a mega loft on the other side of the globe.

Sailmaking success continues to be measured in units of satisfied customers, and despite the remote location of the loft floor, this globalized approach seems to present a viable model, both from the perspective of the consumer and the business. It's true that not as much dialogue can take place between the loft salesman, sailmaker, and skipper - a kind of collaboration that in the past led to some important decision making and genuine brand allegiance. But a capable sail designer can still deliver the goods. To do so, he must address three critical points: capture accurate initial measurements, use sophisticated design software to customize sails for the specific boat, and match the design work with the sailing preference and crew skill level.

Fortunately for those who savor the working relationship that they have had in the past with the favorite salesman/sailmaker, there are still smaller independent lofts where sewing machines continue to whir away and where the sailmaker who built your sails is still willing to join you for a sea trial. Such lofts are like independent hardware stores - an endangered species, something we'll all certainly miss when the full effect of centralized sailmaking takes hold. Some of the independents will survive on the repair work that the sailing season generates, but many see the handwriting on the wall and are turning production over to wholesalers such as China Sails Factory in Guang Dong Province, Southern China.


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