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Old 01-28-2010, 10:33 PM   #1
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Is anyone aware of a software program available that compares sail plans? We are having trouble finding used sails in decent shape to use as our alternative sail inventory. A few years ago I saw such a program online but now that I have a use for it, I can't find it. Go figure. If you can help I'd really appreciate it.

Kristin

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Old 01-29-2010, 09:06 AM   #2
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Hello Kristin,

Not really sure what you are looking for.

In the meantime , would this programme be similar ?

CLICK
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoma View Post
Is anyone aware of a software program available that compares sail plans? We are having trouble finding used sails in decent shape to use as our alternative sail inventory. A few years ago I saw such a program online but now that I have a use for it, I can't find it. Go figure. If you can help I'd really appreciate it.

Kristin

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Kristen, there is a company called Bacon Sails here in Annapolis...probably has one of the best used and consignment sail inventory I have ever seen. www.baconsails.com . Check it out... I know the GM pretty well....and perhaps could help check out the sails for you if you need fresh eyes locally (well, not so fresh, without my spectacles...sucks getting older). I know its a long way from Tacoma, but they have the I, P, J, and other measurements of most every boat ever built...and thousands of sails in inventory. Its like a candy store for sailors...!

No, I have no affiliation other than buying sails and all kinds of cool gear!
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:24 AM   #4
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What kind of boat do you have? If you have the dimensions of your present sail inventory, you should be able to contact vendors of used sails to obtain what you need. Even if you have an odd sail plan, you may be able to find used sails. If you cannot, there are many fine sail makers out there world-wide

Headsails are easier to come by but, there are many reasons why it is hard to find a used sail that will fit the rest of your rig--especially if you have a custom boat. In addition to having the right luff, leech, and foot measurements (or be easily modified to achieve them), for a main or mizzen sail to be worthwhile for you to consider your boat's attachment systems, tack offset and the like.

We have a schooner rig with numerous spare headsails but no spare main or foresail. However, the main is low aspect and has an unusual cut which requires a tack angle of less than 85 degrees. Most mainsails have an 89 degree tack angle and are of higher aspect. Even so, we've kept an eye out for a spare mainsail since we purchased the boat in late 2006. We found two sails with zero offset tack and appropriate tack angles (one via Bacon and the other via Minney's in Costa Mesa, CA) that will work. The one we chose is 12 oz Dacron, has about 80% of it's life left (which is unfortunately more life than our existing main has!), and required a $210 mod to the luff to increase camber and reduce foot length. In our case, a couple of key factors were that the sail slides on the sail we purchased were 1-1/4" bronze cars like those on our existing sail. These cars are difficult to find and costly. The low aspect sail we found also had a very traditional method of construction (external bolt rope, internal head board, etc) matching our existing rig.

However, we did look for this sail for....3 years...and I'd actually given up and planned on purchasing a new sail built for our boat and using our old sail as the "spare." Quotes for new sails have been between $4500 and $11000 depending on loft and construction methods. So, with a little over $1000 in my new spare sail, I'm happy to save the money for other boat projects

Looking forward to hearing about your rig--and hoping you find what you're looking for in spare sails!
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:09 PM   #5
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Well done!

When shoppimg for a new main on our boat, we were given initial quotes ranging fron $5500 to $6900 USD fron three large lofts. These were "innitial" quotes based mainly on square footage and costs would rise significanyly when we started talking about three reefs, full battens, tripple stitching, slides, etc. We could easily top $10K for a new sail! Yikes!

Then I went to Bacon's website. They have a database of hundreds (thousands?) of manufacturer's sail plan specifications listed I and noticed there was a main listed as being made for my boat, with full battens, three reefs and in "very good" condition asking price $900. It was still there six months later and I called and offered $575. They accepted and the sail was delivered by ship to St Thomas - because it weighs nearly 100 lbs. When we stretched it out on the floor of our neighborhood loft - we all agreed that the sail had never even been bent onto a mast! It appeared to be brand spanking new! She's a real beauty (made by UK) and fits like it was made for my boat - which it was - for a total cost (sail, six full length battens, slides & shipping) of $1250! I've just had Bacon ship a "like new" cruising spinnaker to us in American Samoa - complete with ATN snuffer, tacker, all lines & hardware for a mere $1000! We made the deal on a Tuesday and it arrived in Pago Pago from Annapolis on Saturday! Four day delivery by US Mail! God Bless America!

In these troubled times of economic shut-down, with costs of raw materials soaring... I cannot believe our good fortune and luck we've had from purchasing used sails from Bacon and I (for one) as a cruising sailor see no reason to ever consider purchasing new sails when it's so easy, affordable and environmentally "green" to recycle.

To Life!

Kirk

PS - sorry about your kitty.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:12 PM   #6
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If you can find a used sail that really fits your boat--it's a wonderful thing. It is difficult to do for non-production boats, though. Also, if the sail has been sitting a while, the vendor is likely to make a deal, for sure.

Your sail sounds to be about the same size as ours--the 10 oz Dacron one we have bent on right now weighs about 100 lbs. The new one is heavier. Our max sail size is a 54.3 ft luff, 57 ft leech, 23 ft foot. Our existing sail had 54.25/56.67/21.33 and the "new" used sail will be 52.25/54.8/22.67 (reducing the foot from 23.9 btw with the mod). As mentioned--looking at used sails, things like attachment systems, battens, offsets, and so forth make a real difference. The sail we found at Bacon wouldn't have required an modification BUT had 7/8" ss sail slides sewn on webbing and I'd have had to find about 20 of the hard-to-find-used-or-costly-new (try $2-$10 each used vs $40 each new!) bronze sail slides to use the sail and keep my old one ready to use. It turns out, the sail we bought for our main was actually a mizzen sail from a huge ketch. That ketch's main is almost 80 ft in luff length. Lucky us, else we wouldn't have likely found the low aspect sail at all.

While I like using good used sails when they can be found, the reality is that USUALLY a new sail is dollar-for-dollar a better deal. That's just because typically a sail has seen a lot of UV light and experienced serious degradation that we cannot see. If you ever read Emiliano Marino's Sailmaker's Apprentice, he has a great section on sail survey and another on materials of construction.

Because of the vintage (1931) of our boat and our interest in continuing to use traditional methods (e.g. hand set/sewn bronze eyelets and cringles vs hydraulic pressed cringles or D-rings...sewn on external boltrope vs internal and so forth...) the cost of a new sail is going to be...more... we could have gotten into a new Rolly Tasker cruising main for as little as $3,300. But, not with the traditional construction methods we desire.

One of the BEST deals out there for someone in the USA who cannot find a good used sail and cannot afford a new sail is to use Sailrite and build a sail. The amazing thing about Sailrite is their expertise in custom sails. They can loft out, cut, and mark-up a sail for your sewing at a very reasonable price. You can do the sewing onboard your boat and not even have to have access to a lofting floor. For example, I looked into having them do a 12 oz Dacron sail. The ready-to-sew sail would have been $1700 delivered. Then, I would have had roughly 60 manhours of machine work and the handwork to do...Or, I could have had Sailrite do some of the sewing while I did the rest. They are very flexible. It also takes them far fewer hours to build a sail than it would have for me to do the same. Probably I will work with Sailrite to have them cut my "spare" foresail (it is a tall gaff sail) and I will sew it myself. Since very few lofts can do a good job with a gaffer, but Sailrite has a reputation of being able to do so, I'll be happy to work that out with them. In the meanwhile, though, I do keep an eye out for used gaff sails of the right size and in good condition, though they are quite rare!

I hope Tacoma comes back with info about their existing sails--curious minds want to know
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