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picking a new sail - help

Dil

.
Jul 13, 2020
38
Hunter 30T Neptune
I am looking to purchase new sails for my Hunter 30T, I am a weekend cruiser for now I dont race have no interest in racing. I am a fair weather sailor wind over 25 i am not leaving the dock. I have recieved quotes for North Sails, UK sails, and Doyle sails. the UK sails are more than I want to spend. The other two are about the same within a few hundred dollars. The north sails quoted are made from NPC Cross-Cut NorDac ND78HA. The Doyle are 7.88 High Mass Fiber Weaves with Cross Cut Panel Layout. I do not know really know anything about sail construction or materials. Both quotes are for the same number of battens and reefs and offer basically the same accessories as each other. My question is given the option which brand would you go with and why? or is there another brand I should look to get a quote from.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,115
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Dil. Not an easy question, do you pose.
I made my decision to use North Sails. I have raised them and had the opportunity to use them 3 times since buying them... Damn 2020.

Very pleased with the product, to date.
 
Dec 25, 2000
5,048
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
You might want to look into The Sail Warehouse for your purchase consideration. No experience working with them, but others have and seemed pleased. Just another alternative for you to choose from, here: The Sailwarehouse
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,013
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
The PO of my 30T were sailmakers but they retired. Can't help you there.
A couple ideas to ponder though: since you are a cruiser like me, what are your plans for managing the mainsail up and down? My main has a Dutchman system incorporated into it. I really like it. Another idea is a stack pack which is part of the sail. If you just use lazyjacks it shouldn't affect your sail decision other than maybe whether to go full batten or not.
Do you still have the old Hood continuous line furler? If you plan on changing it, it will probably affect your headsail. I still have mine
 
Last edited:
Jan 11, 2014
7,840
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Questions about buying sails are almost as popular as questions about which boat is right for me. There are many threads on SBO on this topic. Searching the archives will either be enlightening or overwhelming. A few comments about buying sails.

Almost all sails are now built overseas, in Asia, Sri Lanka, or South Africa. Big name lofts, like North, Quantuum, Doyle, UK, Ulmer and so on use the same lofts and the same lofts are used by less familiar brands. The big differences between the big name guys and the smaller guys is the franchise fee they charge and the design. Although there are talented designers at independent lofts, like Great Circle Sails. The big name guys charge more because of the brand.

For most of us, service is an important factor. Using a local independent loft or name brand is often a better choice than going through a mail order house because someone will come and install the sail and if there is an issue it can be taken care of locally. Simple mistakes happen. I recently ordered a new mainsail from a smaller loft that was not near me. When it arrived the building loft (in South Africa) had installed the wrong slugs. If I had used a local loft, I would have called them to come and get their sail and fix it. Instead I had to take the sail to an independent loft and have them fix it. The original loft paid for the fix, but there was an inconvenience factor. On the other hand I think I got a better designed sail for less money than the local independent loft would have provided and less expensive sail than North or Doyle would have provided.

Pricing is also seasonal and dynamic. The building lofts want to keep busy so in the off seasons the prices are a bit lower. North uses a dynamic pricing system based on capacity at order time. When there is excess capacity, the prices are more favorable to the consumer.


With a new sail you will see improved performance even thought you are "only a weekend sailor" sailing fast and flat is more fun than slow and heeling. A Dacron/polyester cross-cut sail will be fine. Two full upper battens, 2 partial lower battens, and loose footed with one reef and a Cunningham will easily meet your needs.

Brian Hancock does a nice job of explaining the ins and outs of sail purchasing on his blog. Enjoy your new sail!

 
  • Like
Likes: Parsons
Jul 12, 2011
985
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
I'm not a sailmaker, but I can offer some suggestions that might help you decide. Fully agree with the comments of @dlochner , particularly about searching other threads on sail buying. If you're going to spend more on one sail over another, your biggest impact will be your main as you're a fractional rig with about 60% of sail area being your main - https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/hunter-30t

The cross-cut Dacron sails are going to be a bargain product, but will give you a flatter, faster sail for a few years. Depending how you treat and sail them (flogging!), you'll have a few good years and 10 more adequate baggy ones. For under 20% of the purchase price, you can often get a recut (tummy-tuck), that will flatten it again and extend their lives. How long do you intend to use these sails?

Much of the cost difference is the service you want around the purchase and maintenance. Do you want a guy to come to your boat, take your measurements, perhaps go for a sail with you, and make recommendations? Are you okay taking your own measurements and filling in the form on-line with your choices? Who are you going to call when something doesn't fit, or needs a little repair in a couple years?

Suggest you also consider Mack Sails out of South Florida as a good reputable house.
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,663
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
Mistakes happen. I was pretty excited to bend on my new mizzen main 3 seasons ago. Full battened, I put the battens in as it went up.

Then, the halyard winch jammed and stuck. Hmmm,... I thought a slide stuck somewhere but I couldn't see the problem looking up the mast. Then I saw, the head plate on the new mizzen, was tight to the mast head.

I looked down at all the sail still on the deck. Wtf?

Mizzen mistake .jpg



Oh well, mistakes happen. Luckily it's a local guy who has built all my sails and sail covers, and he was devastated when I gave him the news. But he quickly turned around one that was the correct size.

I asked him if they found a home for that loooong slender mizzen sail.

He said no.

The new one:
Pope mizzen.jpg
 
  • Like
Likes: jon hansen
Jan 11, 2014
7,840
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Mistakes happen. I was pretty excited to bend on my new mizzen main 3 seasons ago. Full battened, I put the battens in as it went up.

Then, the halyard winch jammed and stuck. Hmmm,... I thought a slide stuck somewhere but I couldn't see the problem looking up the mast. Then I saw, the head plate on the new mizzen, was tight to the mast head.

I looked down at all the sail still on the deck. Wtf?

View attachment 188244


Oh well, mistakes happen. Luckily it's a local guy who has built all my sails and sail covers, and he was devastated when I gave him the news. But he quickly turned around one that was the correct size.

I asked him if they found a home for that loooong slender mizzen sail.

He said no.

The new one: View attachment 188245
Ouch! That's a big mistake.
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,663
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
Ouch! That's a big mistake.
Yeah. A tape measure has become like my third hand in my life. Yet, I make the same careless occasional mistakes. Often it's the dreaded 'inch trick' that gets me.

Anybody who fabricates or builds anything no doubt has suffered and re-learned the 'measure twice, cut once' adage. You can get engaged in the details and forget to re-check, re-check your design work.

That one above will stick with somebody (I think it was an assistant), for a long time.
 

PaulK

.
Dec 1, 2009
802
Sabre 402 Southport, CT
Try giving Schurr Sails in Pensacola a call. We bought a used set of their sails from a boat that was destroyed in a hurricane. Six years later we went back to them for more. Nice people who know what they're doing and do it well. We spoke with Hunter Riddle. Good, detail-oriented guy who is pleasant to work with.
 
May 12, 2004
1,337
Hunter Cherubini 30 New Port Richey
A couple of years ago, I had a new full batten main built for my '77 h30 by Doyle Sails out of St. Pete. They came out to measure and discuss options. Two months later, a new sail. However, I had to pick the sail up and bend it on myself. Luckily I live close but it fit perfectly. Sail in my avatar pic is previous sail.
DSCN1557.JPG
 

Dil

.
Jul 13, 2020
38
Hunter 30T Neptune
thanks all for the input I am fortunate enough that both North and Doyle have local reps in the area so it shouldn't be too much of an issue to get them back both are willing to come measure in looking into this i see there is so much to consider just got
this boat and know enough about sails to realize the sails I have are shot and have s
o much patch on them one wrong gust could obliterated them. I do not really know how long I intend to own this boat I purchased as an introduction to sailing/ cruising and going into this looked at it as a starter boat. if the passion is great enough I will want to move up to a bigger more comfortable one. Would be interested in knowing more about sails stretch over time that is something I have never considered. my current sail is so old I can't imagine how horrible the actual stretch to it must be. I am starting to understand why my boat is so slow. I can have 20 knots sustained and still not get above 5 6 knots sog I have still so much to learn.
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
I am looking to purchase new sails for my Hunter 30T, I am a weekend cruiser for now I dont race have no interest in racing. I am a fair weather sailor wind over 25 i am not leaving the dock. I have recieved quotes for North Sails, UK sails, and Doyle sails. the UK sails are more than I want to spend. The other two are about the same within a few hundred dollars. The north sails quoted are made from NPC Cross-Cut NorDac ND78HA. The Doyle are 7.88 High Mass Fiber Weaves with Cross Cut Panel Layout. I do not know really know anything about sail construction or materials. Both quotes are for the same number of battens and reefs and offer basically the same accessories as each other. My question is given the option which brand would you go with and why? or is there another brand I should look to get a quote from.
All three of the brands you mentioned will build you very good quality sails.

The biggest difference between the products, as you pointed out, the different dacron sailcloths they are quoting. Both cloths are good quality, but suited for totally different cruising purposes, and suitable for differently shaped mainsails.

In a nut shell,
  • The High Mass dacron' sailcloth's strength is ultra-long life at an affordable price, but its downside is that it is stretchier. It's best suited for low aspect sails (not tall and skinny), high UV locations, and a long service life at a reasonable cost.

  • The HA (High Aspect) sailcloth's strength is a middle of the road compromise with a little more emphasis on lower stretch, medium UV resistance, and medium cost. It's a cruising cloth that will hold its designed shape a little longer than the High Mass Dacron. It's well suited for High Aspect sails (tall and skinny), which develop high loads parallel to the leech.

  • The main technical difference between the two cloths is that they have different sized threads in the warp and fill directions, which gives the cloths very different physical characteristics.

Your Hunter 30T Main is a tall skinny sail. All things being equal, it will hold a better shape in the gusts and as it ages if it's built using the High Aspect dacron.

A sail that holds its shape better will point higher and the boat will heel less in gusts and can handle more wind before reefing. It's a better performing sail, for all around cruising. The High Aspect Dacron will make a better performing sail than the High Mass, but won't last quite as long.

I personally would prefer the better performing High Aspect dacron over the High Mass for a weekend cruiser.

Judy B
Retired Sailmaker
 
Last edited:
Oct 26, 2008
5,019
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
So to answer your question, which was "which one would you choose and why" ... I would definitely follow the advise from @DrJudyB and choose the North Sail option because it appears to be the High Aspect option (and you didn't want to spend the UK price). I don't know if there is a higher reputation than North (surely several are equal) and they will definitely follow up with the right measurements, I think. You could go cheaper than North, but you won't go wrong with North, I'd bet.
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,919
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I bought a new main sail from North last year for my O’Day 322.they have an office in Chicago and happened to be at my marina for another measurement the day after I reached out to them for a quote. So I got to talk to the salesman/measurer and discuss my wish list.

I got quotes from a few places based on the measurements we took, and felt like they earned my business. There were a few on-line sail lofts that were cheaper (significantly), but felt more comfortable going with a local outfit. I don’t call them a loft as they don't make the sails in Chicago...but I have been very happy with the sail.

i went with Crosscut Nordic 6.4 oz cloth. My O’Day 322 has a pretty low aspect ratio. I added a Tides Marine Strong track and 4 full battens.

Happy shopping and sailing.

Greg