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Buying from Far East Sails


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I have received what seems to be a very competitive quote from Far East Sails, after completing their comprehensive question/sizing form.

What experiences has anyone had with this company? Were there any unexpected taxes or extras to pay? How did the sail perform when fitted? In the longer term, how did the sail stand up to NZ conditions?

Yes, I would like to buy locally - but at twice the price???

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Seems very similar:

135% crosscut triple stitched genoa (21.3sqm)

6.63oz Challenge Performance sailcloth, with Sunbrella UV strip.

Foam luff, and luff tape.

Draft strip, telltails & sailbag

- all for US$1450, delivered via air, in four weeks from order being placed.

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Don't forget GST, think that would bring the cost to a touch over nz$2000.

 

Have to say whilst it wouldn't surprise me that no NZ loft is cheaper, wouldn't have thought they'd be that much more, certainly not double.

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My understanding is that some local sail lofts are having their designs built offshore in large asian manufacturing lofts to save on labour rates and then the sails come back to NZ to be finished here by kiwi sailmakers. So, although much of the construction work has happened overseas, the design and finishing has occurred in NZ by experienced NZ sailmakers.

 

When you order your sail over the internet and its then "designed" according to a generic algorithm, constructed and finished by people who may or may not have ever seen a yacht let alone sailed on one or have any interest in sailing or yacht performance then yes you get a sail, but you may not be getting the same product as you would if it were designed and tweaked by a local sailmaker who has a much better idea of your boat and the way you sail it and what you're trying to get from the sail after having talked to you and asked some pertinent questions.

 

Yes, ordering a sail over the internet can be cheaper than going to a local loft, but I'm not sure it's a direct apples for apples comparison. The question becomes "how much are you willing to pay for a custom design service?". Of course, the other question is "who will service or repair your sails once lal the local lofts have disappeared now that everyone orders their cookie cutter sails over the internet?".

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Far East Sails, Lee Sails, have been around for many many years, As long as you give them the right information you will get a sail that is equal at least to what the local sailmakers can make. If your yacht is a known design they will have it on file. I have bought my sails locally, (small loft) working on the basis that we need our own industry here, but have been frustrated not to get their best price first! Having to shop around, come back with a price that they will then meet, but not necessarily better. The big lofts (international) should have pencils sharp enough to compete with these eastern lofts, They do, as Grinna says have the sails cut and basic work done in the east anyway.

Unfortunately they often don't try to meet the market, for some folk you are dealing with, it is just a job and in NZ there is often a take it or leave it attitude.

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+ GST + Customs clearance fee ($35-100+ depending on who does it) and maybe plus Duty, which is likely to only be 2 to 5% by now I'd think. So maybe NZ$2350 all up potentially there abouts and you have no cost free comeback or tweaking if there are flaws or tweaks needed. The price seems OK but it sure it's anything that spectacular. Having brought a similar sized one last year the price isn't close enuff for me to consider dealing direct with asia. In fact the one I brought here was cheaper, but then it was a different cloth and I don't know what impact that would have on the final $$'s.

 

Unfortunately they often don't try to meet the market, for some folk you are dealing with, it is just a job and in NZ there is often a take it or leave it attitude.
Please consider the buyers in that equation. Don't forget the 'punters market' is usually full of people called Peter Pan, Santa Claus, Arthur Dent and smart Aussies i.e. the punters market often doesn't really exist ;)
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Thank you all for the replies. They have been most useful, and I appreciate the time that you have each taken to write to me via this forum.

Tam

PS I will post another reply, when I finally have furling gear fitted and have ordered/received sail - which may or may not be from overseas!

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Yeah, the 'supporting local' thing is a factor. But it seems the NZ guys just can't compete on sails where cost is a primary factor -- which is fair enough. I'm surprised they can make them in China as cheaply as they do, with wages there as (relatively) high as they are now. Must just be sheer volume.

 

If I were buying a sail for racing or serious cruising it'd potentially be a different story -- but for the old TS it's a no-brainer really, anything will be better than the 35 year old main it has now! Buying a fancy NZ made sail for it would be overcapitalising for what we use it for.

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Bought a cruising  main from them six years ago.

Price was one third of local quotes at the time and included air frieght .

For cruising it has been spot on . Now many thousands of miles and still in great condition. The stitching has either been done by a computer controlled machine or by a super human.

Far East make sails for lots of other sailmakers (even if you dont know it )

They have made trillions of them...

 

If you want finaly tuned racing sails then you may be crazy or have lots of dollars and are better off setting up a relationship with a sail loft that will work with you tweaking and adapting to your situation.

 

 

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Ok she who holds the finances has approved me to by a new main and no2,

Am I best to go directly to far east/hyde or go through a sailmaker here who can measure and send of sizes?

What are guarantees like? just want cruising sails or cruiser/racer

was thinking of going through B&G  out in Botany

current sails 35+ old, cav26  sail mainly using furler no2.have a storm jib still in bag(new)

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Will BG actually visit the boat and measure up? Brent built me a furling headsail a few years ago based on an old headsail but with the proviso that he wouldn't visit the boat. If it didn't fit it was my problem. Fitted perfectly so wasn't a problem.

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