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Asian-made racing sails

Are they worth the money?

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#1 Sebyseb

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 10:47 AM

I need some new sails for an Archambault A35 on a offshore program (panelled could be OK). Being based in the UAE, Asia makes as much sense as Europe and seems a LOT cheaper.

A lot is being said on China and Asia made sails (cheap and not that good that is...), but I guess most racers in SE Asia and Australia must get their sailing gear regionally?

Could you share your experience and eventually some addresses? I have contacted Lee and HK sailmakers but they seem to be doing yarn only.

Thanks,
Seb

#2 ice9a

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 01:03 PM

I need some new sails for an Archambault A35 on a offshore program (panelled could be OK). Being based in the UAE, Asia makes as much sense as Europe and seems a LOT cheaper.

A lot is being said on China and Asia made sails (cheap and not that good that is...), but I guess most racers in SE Asia and Australia must get their sailing gear regionally?

Could you share your experience and eventually some addresses? I have contacted Lee and HK sailmakers but they seem to be doing yarn only.

Thanks,
Seb


Almost everyone's sails are being made in Asia these days - in the China Sail Factory, and Sri Lanka (for North).

#3 Sebyseb

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 01:09 PM

It's what I understood, from chatting from some european makers, so I thought their might be some good lofts around there

#4 allen

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 02:55 PM

I have similar questions except I am looking for a spinnaker for my L-36. My friend got his sails from Far East Sails http://fareastsails.com and had good luck. Personally, they don't look much like the Quantum sails I ended up getting but then again mine don't have near the miles on them as I think he sailed 125 days one year and they are 10 years old.

In any event, I don't think it is hijacking the thread too much to ask for input on spinnakers as well.

As far as laminate sails go, I love the 90 jib that I got from Quantum and it wasn't much more than their quote for a Dacron sail. This particular sail is cheap compared to the full race versions in that the threads run straight from corner to opposite edge and the sail is built out of panels and sewn together. They say that makes the shape better which I assume is marketing hype but it also makes them much cheaper to make and that is not hype. My sail has polyester threads but they come with most any thread type you like. With the two layers of mylar and two layers of cloth on the outside, it seems to hold its shape extremely well. Perhaps some of the far east sail makers are doing something similar as the investment would not be as large given that the panels are only 3 or 4 feet wide and flat so they don't need the full sail mold.

#5 WCB

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:21 AM

My buddy just became a rep for Island Planet Sails who uses the China Sail Factory. He said they've received good product from there.

#6 MSA

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:29 AM

There are those that use OEM production facilities that will put any one's logo on the sail.. Ie China Sail factory, Pryde, Hyde, Dimension Polyant/D4. You get the usual, Shit in Shit out.. Anybody can build a Triangle/Rectangle.

Then there are those that own their own factories with a systematic ordering system from the day of the quote to delivery, all in house with company standards and a transparent timeline.. Only the 2 major brand do this that I know of.

Then you have the low budget, Far east sails, Taskers etc.. And they are typical of the old saying "You get what you pay for". Not saying they are bad, but technology in sails is now a specialized field/arms race.

#7 allen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:07 AM

There are those that use OEM production facilities that will put any one's logo on the sail.. Ie China Sail factory, Pryde, Hyde, Dimension Polyant/D4. You get the usual, Shit in Shit out.. Anybody can build a Triangle/Rectangle.

Then there are those that own their own factories with a systematic ordering system from the day of the quote to delivery, all in house with company standards and a transparent timeline.. Only the 2 major brand do this that I know of.

Then you have the low budget, Far east sails, Taskers etc.. And they are typical of the old saying "You get what you pay for". Not saying they are bad, but technology in sails is now a specialized field/arms race.


When you say "the 2 major brands" are you talking about Quantum and North or two major Asian brands as per the topic of this post? If 2 major Asian brands, what are they?

I have purchased 5 new sails for my boat over the years using North then Quantum. Zero is how many came our right the first time. Zero is how many came our perfect after North re-worked them. Four is how many came our perfect after Quantum re-worked them but that was due almost certainly to the dedication of the salesman who sold them to me but is no longer there.

#8 MSA

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:36 AM

Yes referring to N and Q.

The question is Asian Made sails.. Q is from Malaysia, a fulltime Quantum only loft and North is from Sri-Lanka, I presume a full time North only facility. Just because you are in Asia doesn't mean you go direct to an asian Sailmaker, skipping at the R&D, IP etc etc.

Allen, Personal experiences vary and the end product is determined by the salesman, the designer and those handling the bits inbetween.

As I said.. Most OEM places will build what they are told to, down to the last Millimeter, right or wrong. There is a lot that is out of salesman's control once he places an order with an OEM factory. It just arrives in a box..

#9 Steven B

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:20 AM

I have similar questions except I am looking for a spinnaker for my L-36. My friend got his sails from Far East Sails http://fareastsails.com and had good luck. Personally, they don't look much like the Quantum sails I ended up getting but then again mine don't have near the miles on them as I think he sailed 125 days one year and they are 10 years old.

In any event, I don't think it is hijacking the thread too much to ask for input on spinnakers as well.

As far as laminate sails go, I love the 90 jib that I got from Quantum and it wasn't much more than their quote for a Dacron sail. This particular sail is cheap compared to the full race versions in that the threads run straight from corner to opposite edge and the sail is built out of panels and sewn together. They say that makes the shape better which I assume is marketing hype but it also makes them much cheaper to make and that is not hype. My sail has polyester threads but they come with most any thread type you like. With the two layers of mylar and two layers of cloth on the outside, it seems to hold its shape extremely well. Perhaps some of the far east sail makers are doing something similar as the investment would not be as large given that the panels are only 3 or 4 feet wide and flat so they don't need the full sail mold.


Interested in finding out more regarding the Quantum sail you mention with the polyester threads - Is that sail a CDX sail or a Fusion M or other?

#10 allen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:03 PM

Yes referring to N and Q.

The question is Asian Made sails.. Q is from Malaysia, a fulltime Quantum only loft and North is from Sri-Lanka, I presume a full time North only facility. Just because you are in Asia doesn't mean you go direct to an asian Sailmaker, skipping at the R&D, IP etc etc.

Allen, Personal experiences vary and the end product is determined by the salesman, the designer and those handling the bits inbetween.

As I said.. Most OEM places will build what they are told to, down to the last Millimeter, right or wrong. There is a lot that is out of salesman's control once he places an order with an OEM factory. It just arrives in a box..


My Quantum sails were made in South Africa. The issues I had with them was that they were racing sails made of Dacron and the designer did not allow for the stretch of the Dacron. They fired him after I got my sails. My laminate sail was perfect except that the clew ring was undersized and we bent it the first time out. The specification was correct but they put the wrong ring on in production. That was quickly fixed and the salesman delivered it before the next weeks race. As I recall, he brought it with him and raced with us to make sure it was OK. Stuff happens. My boat is unique being old and wood so every one of the 71 built is a little different. I would not consider an Asian sailmaker for a main or jib because the after delivery support has been so critical. However, it seems that a spinnaker might be different as they don't attach to the boat in the same way.

#11 allen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:18 PM


I have similar questions except I am looking for a spinnaker for my L-36. My friend got his sails from Far East Sails http://fareastsails.com and had good luck. Personally, they don't look much like the Quantum sails I ended up getting but then again mine don't have near the miles on them as I think he sailed 125 days one year and they are 10 years old.

In any event, I don't think it is hijacking the thread too much to ask for input on spinnakers as well.

As far as laminate sails go, I love the 90 jib that I got from Quantum and it wasn't much more than their quote for a Dacron sail. This particular sail is cheap compared to the full race versions in that the threads run straight from corner to opposite edge and the sail is built out of panels and sewn together. They say that makes the shape better which I assume is marketing hype but it also makes them much cheaper to make and that is not hype. My sail has polyester threads but they come with most any thread type you like. With the two layers of mylar and two layers of cloth on the outside, it seems to hold its shape extremely well. Perhaps some of the far east sail makers are doing something similar as the investment would not be as large given that the panels are only 3 or 4 feet wide and flat so they don't need the full sail mold.


Interested in finding out more regarding the Quantum sail you mention with the polyester threads - Is that sail a CDX sail or a Fusion M or other?


My 90% Quantum jib was purchased in early 2010 and at that time was called Fusion MX Polyester. It has 5 layers, taffeta, mylar, yarn, mylar, taffeta. It has four batons The yarns can be high tech or polyester. I picked polyester because I need some give on my old wood boat or I start to pull it apart. It is made in panels but designed as a full sail so each panel is custom. The threads go from each of the three corners and fan out to the opposite edge in straight lines. It is not a load path layout. However, I thought that was a good thing as it appealed to my senses of stress and strain. I just don't get the load path idea but that is a personal problem :-) Anyway, they then sew the panels to together to give the sail the correct shape. It has been a very fast sail and basically eliminated our ever wanting to use our 130 as it is faster than the 130 up to where the 155 is the best sail. As you known, a 130 on a boat with rigging on the rail has sheeting angle issues so it can't point as well as the other sails can.

Allen
L-36.com

#12 MSA

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:17 AM


Yes referring to N and Q.

The question is Asian Made sails.. Q is from Malaysia, a fulltime Quantum only loft and North is from Sri-Lanka, I presume a full time North only facility. Just because you are in Asia doesn't mean you go direct to an asian Sailmaker, skipping at the R&D, IP etc etc.

Allen, Personal experiences vary and the end product is determined by the salesman, the designer and those handling the bits inbetween.

As I said.. Most OEM places will build what they are told to, down to the last Millimeter, right or wrong. There is a lot that is out of salesman's control once he places an order with an OEM factory. It just arrives in a box..


My Quantum sails were made in South Africa. The issues I had with them was that they were racing sails made of Dacron and the designer did not allow for the stretch of the Dacron. They fired him after I got my sails. My laminate sail was perfect except that the clew ring was undersized and we bent it the first time out. The specification was correct but they put the wrong ring on in production. That was quickly fixed and the salesman delivered it before the next weeks race. As I recall, he brought it with him and raced with us to make sure it was OK. Stuff happens. My boat is unique being old and wood so every one of the 71 built is a little different. I would not consider an Asian sailmaker for a main or jib because the after delivery support has been so critical. However, it seems that a spinnaker might be different as they don't attach to the boat in the same way.


Correct on the South Africa. The Mx range, which has morphed in the the MC range are South Africa. The MR range (Grandprix) are Malaysia.

#13 Fleetwood

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:56 AM

Recently got a new genoa which my sailmaker designed and then had made by Dimension/Polyant's loft (in Sri Lanka I think). Thousand bucks cheaper than he could have made it, 2/3 the price of a North sail and the quality is superb. Design is the sailmakers and its great too. He's selling it to me and he's responsible for it.
Only the second sail he's had made there but I don't think it will be the last..........

#14 George Hackett

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 04:46 AM

always remember. you buy cheap, you get cheap. there are very good sail making companies in asia. and there are those like china sail factory that cut for branded sail making companies. the quality of workmanship coming out of china sail factory is very good. when i was with Banks Sails, we delt with china sail factory and i have never had a complaint with them.

someone mentioned Hyde as an OEM loft. as far as i know, Hyde has a loft in Cebu in an Export Processing Zone. it is as i undestand it, a cookie cutter operation for the line of dinghy sails which when done are exported back to england. because the loft is located in an EPZ, all the raw material comes in tax free as long as the finished products are shipped out of the country back to the county of origin.

now remember what i said about buy cheap you get cheap? in recent years, there has been a lot of sails from a particular brand showing up on boats here in the philppines. and the main reason for this is becaue they, and i quote the usual response. "they are really cheap". and these are not dinghy sails, but rather big boat sails. yes, they look great fresh out of the bag. it is later that the true quality of the sails start to show. and in some case, right of the bag. like the wrong size bolt rope used on a mainsail. a very kindergarden mistake.

like what is being said. there are some very reputatble and good sailmaking companies here in asia. and they all can cut from entry level sails to grand-prix sails. but if the price is too good to believe. then it is.

#15 quasi-expert

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:49 PM

I guess most of the racing sails are manufactured in china anyway (see link). buying local means buying expensive but also buying local support which IMO is important when buying sails. It starts with taking measurements and ends with adding chafe guards and helping to tune the rig to the sails. Going to a local sailmaker who honestly tells you his sails are made in china might be the best of both worlds, good cheap price and including some service.

http://www.leesails....sfromchina2.pdf

#16 notallthere

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

There is so much wrong info in this thread, I do not know where to start... Some correct too, but tough to dig through the marketing BS some of you are spouting!

#17 samc99us

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:47 PM

The bottom line is you need to talk to a local representative who can get on your boat and go sailing with you. In my local local area that guy is a Q guy. One of the boats I sail on went from XX brand to XX brand and finally to Q this season, guess what they immediately became a very very serious threat, before they were in contention but not threatening-crew has not changed and they are a very experienced offshore team, hundreds of thousands of miles on the boat. Even taking your boat to the next port and sailing with those sails reps for a few days may not get the desired outcome vs. a local guy that will be racing in your fleet every weekend and is genuinely concerned with the performance of his sails in that fleet. Service matters. Find some one in Dubai to talk to!

#18 judge

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:13 AM

We had a new main last year from the Q local guy. It came to us completely wrong in terms of both dimensions and shape, eg about a foot short on both the hoist and the foot. To his credit he has admitted a transposition error when sending the order over to China and is getting us a new one when we get our mast back in and he can come sailing with us for a bit.

That said there was nothing wrong with the way the sail was made, altho it didn't get much use.

Bottom line is you MUST get your gear from a local sailmaker/agent who has an understanding of what you want and what will work where you sail. The bars and marinas worldwide are littered with disappointed clients of the superstars who have convinced the owner to spend up big and have then moved on with the rockstars to the next big budget campaign.

#19 MSA

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:35 AM

The general consensus, to help the OP. Mistakes happen, people are human, It is how your local bloke fixes the error and your relationship with them.

Of course the standard knowledge and Technology comes in to play.




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