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Bad Situation with Great Circle Sails

gn4478

.
Jul 6, 2016
7
Baltic 51 40878 Perth Amboy
Anyone else have a problem with getting their sails from Brian Hancock’s company, GreatCircle sails? (greatcirclesails.com)

I ordered sails October of 2019. He gave me an unbeatable price for a carbon fiber/aramid string sail. A 140% Gernoa form my Baltic 51. Literally less than half price of the quotes from major lofts. I called a few of his provided references and they were all happy with the sails he provided. Brian is a famous sailor and writes articles for major sailing publications. I gave him a substantial deposit for half the value of a sail. I measured my boat using his instructions. I later added to the order an additional sail, a freestanding staysail. Covid hit and delayed things. That was understandable. He delivered to me a Selden furler for the staysail in the interim. Turns out 2 other sailmakers thinks that it is undersized for a heavy weather staysail.

However, he subsequently disappeared. Didn’t respond to emails, texts, FB messenger or phone calls. He then months later reappears and blames the contract loft he uses. He tried to reassure me that he will get the sails made. Meanwhile, I had referred a friend to him who needed a mainsail. My friend got a cruising laminate roller furling main which although delayed, arrived last summer, 2020. It’s well made with excellent workmanship.

Brian then disappeared again in terms of communication. We had become friends on Facebook. I was able to figure out which loft Brian was using, and contacted them early fall of 2020 to see if they were producing sails. They did not respond initially, but late November the loft reached out to me stating that Brian never gave them the deposit money. They stated that they had started the sails for multiple customers for Brian on credit. They asked me if I had heard from Brian because he was no longer communicating with them. I have no way of verifying this, but someone else reached out to me with the same experience that I have had. They paid for half the cost and never got the sails, and Brian stopped communicating with them.


The contract loft agreed to construct the sails for only the balance due which is more than reasonable. I’m out the shipping which was supposed to be included and the expense of hiring a customs broker. I tried one more time to reach out to Brian. I let him know the loft had contacted me and was willing to complete the sails. I asked him to send me the anti torsion line he had told me was in his possession for my staysail. I asked him to refund the deposit less the cost of the furler and anti torsion line. I would forward that to the loft. I never heard back from Brian. He then unfriended me on facebook.


I received pictures of the sails in construction and forwarded the balance to the contract loft. The sails did arrive and I had them checked by a major loft in the NY metro area. They are fine. Thanks to Craig Millar who finished the sails.

I post this to see if anyone else has had the same experience. Someone else has started legal action against him in Massachusetts.
 
  • Wow
Likes: Rick D

Ted

.
Jan 26, 2005
1,215
C&C 110 Bay Shore, Long Island, NY
I met someone last year who ordered a sail from Brian and had all sorts of problems. The LP of the headsail was too long and Brian refused to make good. The sail was supposed to be designed to be sheeted inboard of the shrouds (fractional rig) but since the LP wasn't correct the leech hit the spreader by a considerable amount. Another unsatified customer.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,987
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
This business may deserve the negative posts but I really think that use of this forum to trash a business without an opportunity for the business to defend itself is unfair.
 
  • Like
Likes: dLj

gn4478

.
Jul 6, 2016
7
Baltic 51 40878 Perth Amboy
This business may deserve the negative posts but I really think that use of this forum to trash a business without an opportunity for the business to defend itself is unfair.
I am posting this to warn other sailors about the situation. He is still in business and advertises. Brian is certainly welcome to defend himself. I gave him every opportunity to make good on the deal. I have documented all my emails, texts and IM messages. I know one couple that has filed in small claims court against him in Mass.
 
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Likes: Leeward Rail
Jul 26, 2009
250
. . .
This business may deserve the negative posts but I really think that use of this forum to trash a business without an opportunity for the business to defend itself is unfair.
While we all know there are 3 sides to every story, I would not characterize the OP's comments as trashing a business. However, providing the owner an opportunity to defend himself is a valid point. Great Circle Sails has been notified of this thread through the contact details on their current website.

Like any other product/service review on an internet forum, gn4478 is reporting his/her own specific experience. I would hope readers of this thread would take note of that in forming an opinion.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,735
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
While we all know there are 3 sides to every story, I would not characterize the OP's comments as trashing a business. However, providing the owner an opportunity to defend himself is a valid point. Great Circle Sails has been notified of this thread through the contact details on their current website.

Like any other product/service review on an internet forum, gn4478 is reporting his/her own specific experience. I would hope readers of this thread would take note of that in forming an opinion.
Posting the same post on several forums could be considered trashing a business.

I have 2 sails from GCS and are pleased with both the design and quality of both sails. There was a delivery issue with one, and that appears to have been the result of problems at Ullman Sails and with one of the owners who owned the loft in South Africa that built Ullman Sails, GCS, and others.

Brian was always responsive to my emails and I felt he dealt with me fairly and honestly.
 

MitchM

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Jan 20, 2005
959
Nauticat 321 pilothouse 32 Erie PA
here in PA, if a sailmaking business takes a 50% deposit for a sail , promising that the $ will be transmitted to the loft making the sail, and the loft claims the money was never received , it's 1 of 2 things:
a/ breach of contract: remedy is to file in small claims court , no need for a lawyer , win the case, get your $$ back.. b/ "theft by failure to make required disposition of funds. " contact the DA... a much more serious criminal case.
 
May 9, 2020
53
Hunter Legend 37 Harrison Twp, MI
No horse in this race... but a tribute to Roger Martin that was penned by BH was posted on SailingAnarchy’s main page yesterday... so he’s around somewhere...

Hope all has worked-out for the GN4478! Would be interesting to hear BH would clear-up the situation. The way he idolizes Martin in this piece, I’d hope he’d want to approach his business the same way.

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