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Sails - Suppliers

Posted: 04 Sep 2006, 16:20
by Graham_Snook
I'm in the market for a new set of sails!

Not by choice, by sailing in too strong wind strength with a full rig...It's my only rig, well was until I ordered an no.2 before lunch..So I had two choices, either sailed with it and take the risk. Or don't sail.

I sailed :cool:

Anyway, while I won the moring races with too much sail area, the afternoon didn't go my way, naff start, got to windward as the wind really picked up, boat out of control, spinning and flogging and diving it's way down wind...forestay came off, picked up a carrier back under water, boat stuck, jib whipping around, me watching, helpless, boat came unstuck, bought boat in. Jib knackered!

More wrinkles than that wrinkly bread of dog! :(

So, new sails it is no1 suit for my existing rig, and no.2 suit for my new one.

So far I've found:
Housemartin (1st set which these are/were)
BG Sails

In that order from low-high prices.

So after all that, have I missed out any? and any recomendation?

or to put it another way, who do you use? and why?

Posted: 04 Sep 2006, 16:51
by Andy Stevenson

My replacements came from Blackmagick, and they’re outstanding. The last guy at our club to buy sails got them from Sailsetc & they too are exceptionally well made sails. From a quality & performance viewpoint it’s difficult to separate them.

I was impressed with the service at Balckmagick, Alec was always quick to respond to emails, had advice when asked and delivered well within timescales. He was also willing to talk discount, I ordered 3 suits with numbers & he knocked off the delivery price.

That said, and given that you made such a good job of building your own boat, had you given thought to making a suit of sails? Sailsetc has a good advice leaflet & Larry Robinsons “Making Model Yacht Sailsâ€

Boats and sails

Posted: 04 Sep 2006, 17:13
by Graham_Snook
Thanx Andy, boat compliments are always accepted :)

Boats are one thing, sails are another, I'm quite happy to pay for someone to do the things I can't

I wanted to build my boat, I have no desire to make my sails :D

Besides, I have a feeling I'd probably use most of the worlds resources of film, and I want to race and be competitive :wink:

I've looked at Blackmagick, the tuning tips on their website are excellent, but it's the thought of paying £10.50 for postage, rather than spending the extra £10.50 on sails, not to mention my sails travelling half way round the world...I know what the post is like in Tooting!!

It's not somehting I'm going to rush into, at the end of the day I'm sure I'll be happy with whatever I buy. It's just trying to justify the expence to myself that will take the time

Posted: 04 Sep 2006, 17:31
by Andy Stevenson
I wanted to build my boat, I have no desire to make my sails
Understood. I have to admit to coming to the same conclusion myself! Although I do intend to have a crack at sail making at some point.
[…]not to mention my sails travelling half way round the world
Mine were very well packed in a large diameter tube & none the worse for their long trip. I hung them loose for about a week before rigging them. But I’ve no evidence to suggest this was actually necessary.
It's just trying to justify the expence to myself that will take the time
I know that feeling well! I was lucky, my need for new sails arrived at the same time as a healthy, and incredibly rare, bonus. One of those very few and far between moments that found me saying “now what am I going to spend this on?â€

Posted: 06 Sep 2006, 03:56
by cfwahl
I realize that you're not in the US, but I will second the recommendation for BlackMagick sails. I've ordered a second suit, being so pleased with the first. I got them from Don Ginthner of Great Basin (, and purchased the standard set (neither of the lighter jib options). The jib material for the "standard" IOM jib is not polyester film (as the main is), but a very light, and supple woven nylon (I believe) that indicates puffs and shifts better than stiffer material. I sail in light to aggravating/frustrating conditions at Central Park in NYC, and I've never had a suit of sails I liked better.

The only problem I've had is that the sails are cut with more draft than the SailsEtc, it seems to me, and my rig is not ideal for the main: I can't get enough curvature in the lower part of my mast to "fit" the mainsail, so I need to sail with the foot very flat. To solve that, I'm building a new rig with new booms. I got the second suit with a jackline luff on the main, which I prefer -- wasn't available in stock last time around.

My boat goes much better with this suit, though, than it did before, IMO. When I had a bit of an adventure, and abraded a hole through the jib luff pocket (don't ask), I emailed Alec Newald who sent an envelope of repair materials free of charge from NZ. You can't ask for better service than that, and the jib is good as new.

Posted: 06 Sep 2006, 11:06
by Lester
cfwahl wrote:I can't get enough curvature in the lower part of my mast to "fit" the mainsail
Hi Charles

Have you tried (keeping everything else constant) slackening the mast ram, tightening the shrouds a little, and then increasing the spreader "V" considerably to actually push the mid-mast forward?

Posted: 07 Sep 2006, 03:38
by cfwahl
Thanks for the advice, Lester, but really the problem is that the mast has a peculiar "hamartia": it's spliced about a third the way up, which makes the lower part too stiff/straight. Also, it's deck-stepped, even though the hull has a mast hole for keel-stepping. The mainsail wants more curvature in the lower part of the mast. If I tighten up shrouds, it just pulls curvature into the top, resulting in a wrinkle problem.

Truth be told, the rig doesn't have any spreaders, I'm somewhat embarrassed to say. Our wind conditions are generally so light (except in late fall) that I don't really miss them. I don't believe that adding them, or bending the top of the mast forward (prebend) would improve the curvature issue in this case, with the bottom being so stiff. I bought it all this way, and it's served quite well, but it's time to get off my duff and update things.

The new rig under construction will, I hope, remedy all these "issues," while still leaving me with the old rig for comparison purposes. I think that's a good way to proceed.


Posted: 03 Jan 2007, 13:36
by Graham_Snook
Just a quick update

In the end I went for BG sails, and I'm glad to say I'm not dissapointed athough, thanks to work at the London boatshow, I won't be able to sail them this Sunday :(

So why BG?

They are not the cheapest, but I feel they offer value for money, as the price you see is the price you pay. Included with them are many extras which are chargeable from other places, things like finger patches, tell tails, luff line, sail numbers marked etc are included. They come with all the wires and patches neatly finished and seem very well made.

As far as I can see and tell, their shaping looks good, but my lounge is no substitute for the water, so how they perform will be another update :D