Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Would you buy or would you build?

Many sailors feel the confusion whether to buy a ready-made sail or to ask a good sailmaker to provide custom built sails for their vessels. We know that many a time people don’t have choice but to buy stock sails if they are in a hurry. 

But we shall always vote for custom sails if you are going for a long trip off-shore or going to participate in a competition. For these two occasions you need to make sure that you’ve got what is best for you. 

Custom sails are always built keeping in mind the specific requirements of the boat and the sailing itinerary. Not all the time you can get a stock sail fitting in perfectly. If you have enough time in hand before you set out, do go for custom sails. 

Any kind of off-shore sailing makes the sails exposed to differential wind conditions. So, first you need a proper inventory so that you can switch sails as and when required.
Secondly, while going off-shore you are bound to pass through the areas where winds blow at more than 20knots on an average and anytime you can find yourself in a stormy weather. 

To withstand the extra pressure, sails need triple stitched seams, UV stabilized threads, reef reinforcements, and premium Dacron crosscut high aspect sailcloth, heavy duty batten pockets and so on. 

If you are going for a weekend sail trip in a nearby lake, a performance Dacron crosscut sailcloth in one-row three step seam will do. But for coastal cruising, high modulus Dacron crosscut sailcloth is what you’ll need. 

If you are going to take part in a competition, you will need sails that will provide extra push to your boat speed. 

Sails may look simple from a distance but each one is constructed with lots of engineering and even if you are seasoned sailor, you should always consult with a sailmaker for the custom sail that will serve you the best.

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