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Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:20 pm
by talbot
Anyone know anything about Peak Sails? I came across their web site, and they seem pretty competitive. Here are costs for a DS main from six sailmaker web sites:

North Sails: $1,260. 3.8oz fabric, 1 reef.
Harding (via Cape Cod Shipbuilding): $1,040, NS fabric, 1 reef.
Doyle: $1,020. NS fabric, NS reef.
Peak: $690. 5.11oz fabric, 2 reef. 2 full battens. Luff slugs.
Pryde: $670. 5.53oz fabric, NS reef.
Intensity: $279. 5.9oz fabric, 1 reef.

I'm not sure I believe the 5.9oz fabric for Intensity. That's what I have now, and it doesn't seem particularly heavy. I note you could buy four Intensity mains for the price of one North main, and have enough left over for a jib. But intensity imports a very basic sail, not finely finished. The Peak sail is a tri-radial cut with more adjustments and features, and still much less than Doyle, Harding, or North. Where do they cut their corners?

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:11 pm
by diffusion
So I took a gamble and decided to try Peak Sails for my DS2's new suit. I chose the mid-level "Blue Water Cruise" version, which are cross-cut construction with Challenge High-Modulus 4.93 oz. dacron, Luff slugs, 2 reef points and a full-length top batten. I considered the more expensive tri-radial version but it seemed like overkill and not worth the extra $$$, IMHO.

I ordered the sails on 12/9/14, when they were running a sale for 15% off. So both sails were $765, plus $36.75 for shipping. $801.75 total invoice. They arrived yesterday, 1/20/15

The only drag is it will be a few months before I can get them on the boat and try them! But they seem quite well constructed. Following are a few detail pics.

Mainsail headboard
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Mainsail head
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Full-length top batten
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Mainsail tack
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Mainsail clew, leech line
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Mainsail 1st reef
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Mainsail luff slug detail
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Jib head
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Jib clew
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Jib tack
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So far the only thing I'm disappointed with are the sail bags, which while well-made, are both too small and require the sails to be flaked down very small and tight to fit, which I don't like to do.

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Once spring comes and I get the boat in the water, I'll post some impressions of the sails' performance.

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:01 pm
by GreenLake
With the two full battens, the sails appear to not be class-legal. That means you cannot use them to race under class rules. If that describes you, then that's not a consideration.

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:05 am
by diffusion
On the BWC version that I got, only the topmost batten is full-length. I agree, that may render the sail not class-legal, but I don't race so that wasn't a consideration for me. The Tri-radial has 2 full battens.

Good point though - either of these sails is probably off the table for anyone who does race OD.

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:01 pm
by GreenLake
If you don't race they'll probably work fine for you.

The standard mainsail, by having four partial battens, has positive roach (the leech line at the back of the mainsail makes a convex curve). So its area is a bit larger than what you get from a straight triangle. When you race against another boat, you'd probably notice the difference, but in cruising, you'd mainly notice that the new sails work better than your old ones!

Let us know how they work out for you.

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:35 pm
by K.C. Walker
If the sail shape is good that seems like a good price for a nicely made sail. It certainly has nice features. My understanding is that a top full batten extends the usable life of a mainsail a fair amount as it helps to keep sail shape. It's really nice to be able to change the camber in the top batten for different conditions. You can even use two different weight battens for different conditions. My Main has a full top batten, also. I've got a medium weight batten and it has worked out for most conditions I've sailed in, though it might be nice to have a stiffer one for heavy air, especially if it's really heavy and reefed down. My sail also has a loose foot which makes adjusting the outhaul a bit easier for changing the camber of the lower part of the sail.

Keep us posted!

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:10 am
by talbot
Thanks for the report and the excellent pictures. I wondered about loose foot versus bolt rope. I understand the current thinking is to have the foot loose. Any thoughts? Is that class legal?

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:21 am
by GreenLake
From the class handbook:

8.4. MAINSAIL: Mainsails, when set, shall be attached to the spars using bolt ropes in the slots provided in the spars. Loose footed mainsails and zipper footed mainsails are prohibited. Slugs are permitted on the luff of the mainsail in addition to the bolt rope.

Note, from a racing perspective, sails would be considered "consumables". When you sell your boat to someone intending to race, whether you have old standard sails or old non-standard sails shouldn't matter - to be competitive they'd want to get a new suit of sails sooner or later, all this would mean that if they buy your boat, that purchase would be a bit sooner.

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:31 am
by GreenLake
Here's a drawing of the specs from the Handbook:

drawing-8.1.jpg
Mainsail dimension from the class handbook
drawing-8.1.jpg (80.44 KiB) Viewed 10833 times

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:20 pm
by kokko
I googled Peak Sails and there are a lot of complaints about their customer service.

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:14 pm
by talbot
Yes, that's why I originally started this thread. I noted that the complaints were not all recent. I also note that the listings for Sail-Rite seem to come from the same shop. So the question is, whether the complaints and problems are current. It sounds like at least sometimes, they come through with a good product. I understand most sails from all companies are now made in offshore factories. It sounds like the fulfillment problems are not with the factory, but with the company that actually takes your money and places the order. (I am guessing that if they run short of cash, they use recent orders to pay old bills, rather than using customer money to order the sails.)

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:12 am
by GreenLake
Having a sailmaker you can trust is key. And if they are not outsourcing their production they know much more precisely what you'll be getting - and if they have relevant experience with the DS, then you can expect sails that fit your boat.

My sailmaker asked me a couple detailed questions: sailing style and experience, region where boat is sailed, type of mast, model of DS, type of rigging (mast jack in my case) and made some visible and some not so visible customizations.

Reef points (number based on factors elicited on consultation), collision windows, tell tales, etc. were visible customization. But I'm certain that he also adjusted for the fact that I don't have a very bendy mast and that the mask jack limits adjustments for the forestay relative to the shrouds.

All this even though his business is mail-order only, but custom built is custom built.

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:05 pm
by talbot
So who is your sailmaker?

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:29 pm
by GreenLake
Hank Jotz, he's around the corner from you in N Cal.

Re: Peak Sails?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:32 am
by diffusion
talbot wrote:Yes, that's why I originally started this thread. I noted that the complaints were not all recent. I also note that the listings for Sail-Rite seem to come from the same shop. So the question is, whether the complaints and problems are current. It sounds like at least sometimes, they come through with a good product. I understand most sails from all companies are now made in offshore factories. It sounds like the fulfillment problems are not with the factory, but with the company that actually takes your money and places the order. (I am guessing that if they run short of cash, they use recent orders to pay old bills, rather than using customer money to order the sails.)


I had read some complaints about Peak also, which concerned me, but my experience with their service was entirely satisfactory. They wanted 1/3 up front, and the balance when the finished product shipped. Their communication was good and they always responded to my emails promptly. The sails were produced and shipped on schedule according to what they originally promised with the order.

Unfortunately it seems like spring will never come and give the opportunity to try them...

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