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Monday, August 17, 2015

Sail shopping saga

One of the most important things about a sailboat is the condition of the sails. Duh. Since ours are pretty blown out, we've been seriously shopping for a new main sail. My lovely wife and I put off sail shopping when we were sailboat shopping. Now that we've decided to stick with our boat for at least one more winter, we need to do the upgrades.

Sails are darn pricey. Right now I'm waiting for some estimates from a couple different sail companies. Another option is to purchase used sails. A sail a year or two old might not be up to hard core racing specs, but they still make excellent cruising sails.

One company that deals in used sails had one that looked pretty good. When I finally decided to call them they claimed they just sold it that morning. However, they had similar sails they could sell me. That set off alarm bells in my head. The sail I looked at was a good price from a high end sail maker. The others on the site did not look nearly as good and sold for more money too. Bait and switch?

Fortunately, they aren't the only dealer in used sails. There's a couple for a bit more money at Bacon Sails, and I know they have a good reputation. It would be nice to get a brand new sail, but my budget might be telling me to go with used.



  1. You could make a set yourself using the old ones as a pattern. You know, something to do on those long winter nights. . . oh that's right, you need the sails to escape those long winter nights.

    1. Exactly right! I've got to get my winter escape pod ready soon.

  2. Update: just got a quote for a new sail: $1350. Ouch! Sure, it's a quality sail, but really? There are other good new sails on the market for $650. Still checking out the used ones. Waiting for one more quote to come in.

  3. Replies
    1. Something will. It just takes time.

  4. Seems like whatever type of conveyance a person enjoys, be it truck, plane, boat or whatever, there's a lot of time and effort involved in keeping the equipment in shape. I never really considered the difficulty of finding new sails. I hope you find what you need at a reasonable price.

    1. Finding them isn't too hard. Finding them at a good price point however . . .

      The clock is running. I want to sort out any problems while still up north.

  5. Is there a guideline for how long sails last? For instance, 2000 hours of use, or whatever.

    I was looking at used trailer sailers, it is pretty common for them to be from ~1980 and say "original sails, still in good shape". I need to find someone to check them out, I suppose.

    Oh, several years ago I was reading about cruising trawlers. Someone made the claim that if you were circling the globe, diesel in a trawler would be cheaper than sails. Not sure if there is any truth to that.