Sail fabrics - help!!

robmurray

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I am about to order a new main for my boat. Money tight but need a nice sail so got to get this right. I have my usual sail maker Kemp and North on the same price for the same spec of sail but with different fabrics. Both are saying that their fabric is the only one to be trusted. The sail will be fully battened tri-radial
The fabrics are:
Dimension Polyant Pro Radial
North Cloth Nordic Radian
Given that all other specifications seem the same and they are both good companies, which should I go for? Boat is Sweden Yacht45.
Thanks
Rob
 

dslittle

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OK I know that this is not going to help but I went with Kemp and I am also happy...
 

Tranona

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The two fabrics are competitors in the same market place (as their price indicates), and not surprising North recommend their own fabric. Unless you find somebody who has extensive experience of using both in a similar application to yours, you are reliant on the claims made about each and your assessment of their validity.
 

Tranona

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They are all made in China anyway, the only difference is the specification of the seams.

Simply not true - at least for Kemp which are made in their own loft in Wareham. - and the fabric they use is made in Germany.
 

laika

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The two fabrics are competitors in the same market place (as their price indicates), and not surprising North recommend their own fabric. Unless you find somebody who has extensive experience of using both in a similar application to yours, you are reliant on the claims made about each and your assessment of their validity.

+1. I may be easily wrong (this is way out of my area of knowledge) but as I understand it...

North do their own fabric. Kemp (like most other sailmakers) use fabric from 3rd parties. Both salespeople are probably offering you the most appropriate cloth within their remit but the North salesperson will be offering you North cloth and the Kemp person will be offering you the best of their favoured cloth options (iirc they have a preference for DP but will do other cloths if asked/appropriate). I'd guess that if you went to a 3rd sailmaker they'd more likely agree with Kemp as they'd have access to the same (non-North) ranges. In the absence of someone with experience of both (as Tranona says) I'd go with the people you like dealing with most, also taking into account how local they are to your boat (which helps if there are any issues).

I have a single experience of buying new sails: I was extremely happy with the service from Kemp.

Did anyone mention HydraNet radial or is it out of budget?
(EDIT: I had overlooked the "money is tight" statement, so think I have the answer to that last question...)
 
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michael_w

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Twice I've had rubbish service from North UK. Never again.

Just had a new main made of Hydranet by Dolphin, which I am delighted with. Dolphin worked hard with me to get the design and details right. Incidentally, they tried Chinese manufacturing, but the quality wasn't there and have reverted to making sails in West Mersea.
 

Champagne Murphy

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I am about to order a new main for my boat. Money tight but need a nice sail so got to get this right. I have my usual sail maker Kemp and North on the same price for the same spec of sail but with different fabrics. Both are saying that their fabric is the only one to be trusted. The sail will be fully battened tri-radial
The fabrics are:
Dimension Polyant Pro Radial
North Cloth Nordic Radian
Given that all other specifications seem the same and they are both good companies, which should I go for? Boat is Sweden Yacht45.
Thanks
Rob

You'll get as many opinions as there are boat owners. I went with Crusader who were excellent. A vast choice of cloths, all at the same price, so they had nothing to gain by pushing one in particular. The price was far and away the best (one company wanted more for a genoa than i paid for a full recanvas) and paul lees came to the boat to measure up.
Difficult to see why not, really
 

han34

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I have always had excellent service from Kemp through their Gosport workshop. Had new main and genoa plus several repairs (not to the new sails!) They have always measured at my boat and delivered at or before the planned date.
 

markhomer

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Jist to add to conundrum

I had a new main made this year for my B38 , fully battened made by local sailmaker , he used a cloth called vectran , which is a very good dacron with a vectran thread weaved through it , has the long life of dacron and no stretch properties of vectran fibre , also lighter than equiv dacron , sets like a laminate sail , perfectly and will outlive a laminate sail by multiples of years , with no stretch , didnt cost any more than a best dacron sail either , very fast !!! too ,

This cloth was developed by north for superyachts and cost a fortune , now patent expired and available through other suppliers at cost mere mortals can afford :) , well worth looking into

b38 is one middle sandwidged by two boats with hi tech laminates , 3/4 tonner and sig 38
 
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Tranona

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You may find that they are still made in China, but finished in the UK. Nothing wrong with Chinese manufacturers.

No they are not. Suggest you pop into the loft in Wareham next time you are there. And then go over to Poole to Crusader and see the same sort of thing. Plenty of sailmakers in UK making sails themselves, although also some who get them made in China.
 

Lightning

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Just to throw in another option, I have recently purchased a set of sails from Rolly Tasker Sails, who have a distributor in Hamble.

I had quotes from two or three manufacturers and they were the most competitive by far. My previous sails were by North and were my initial preferred supplier, but the attitude of their sales team and the number of times I had to call them to get a quote put them to the bottom of the pile.

Rolly Tasker manufacture in Phuket, and I was concerned that they could be using "look alike" cloth. However, they use Challenge Cloth out of the States so of good quality.

I opted for a tri-radial fully battened sail using "warp drive" cloth (another trade name for a similar construction) and graded the weight of the cloth across the sail (a lighter weight cloth on the forward section of the sail)

Sails set well and I am very pleased with the results.

On the issue of where sails are manufactured, I was of the understanding that the North loft in Fareham was for manufacturing special one off type sails and the production boat sails were made in the far East, but that is only hear say.
 

laika

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I had a new main made this year for my B38 , fully battened made by local sailmaker , he used a cloth called vectran

IIRC (see previous "I could be wrong" disclaimer) vectran is suitable for cross-cut sails whereas the OP is looking for radial. When I was looking for sails 3 years ago if I had wanted a non-laminate radial the choice seemed to be between the North stuff and Hydranet radial, the latter being way out of my price range. I wasn't aware of the DP pro radial (maybe it's new?) and I now note that contender also do one, but no idea how much for.
 

Bitterend

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If you can wait it might be to your advantage to get a boat show discount from a sailmaker.
I had a similar choice between Kemp and Dolphin. I went with Dolphin as they gave me a great deal at the boat show and the sails were excellent.
 

charles_reed

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You may find that they are still made in China, but finished in the UK. Nothing wrong with Chinese manufacturers.

One really should avoid opening mouth without some knowledge - Polynant is woven in the Netherlands and use their own looms, it's slightly superior in stability to the North Radian which is their version of standard Dacron cloth.
I'd advise anyone against buying Far-Eastern polyester sailcloth - it has about 50% of the life of even the least expensive US or European sailcloths.
 
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