Need Replacement Sails

Moderator: GreenLake

Need Replacement Sails

Postby rtracy » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:46 pm


I am new to the forum and I recently purchased a used O'Day Daysailer. I left my sail bag in the shed over the winter and the mice got to it. I am going to be able to milk the mainsail for the year with a couple of minor holes, but my jib is garbage. The boat lives on an inland lake in southern Michigan and is used for recreational uses only. I don't race to trailer my boat anywhere.

What are recommendations for the best VALUE, not cheapness, on replacement sails for my boat and what we use it for? I don't want to spend a lot but I want to make sure that I am getting some sort of quality. I am new to this, and don't know anything at all about manufacturers and different materials.

Thanks for your help on this.
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Re: Need Replacement Sails

Postby Alan » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:26 pm

I bought Intensity sails several years ago and am happy with how they were made. I can't speak to longevity because I haven't had the chance to use them much, but they seem well made. The jib included a luff wire and bronze hanks, as well as a separate adjuster for the tension of the cloth at the luff. My only real complaint was that they were creased from being folded in their packages.

The mainsail came with a stick-on numbering kit for the sail number.

Here's a link:
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Re: Need Replacement Sails

Postby rtracy » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:57 am

Thanks for the information. I did find them when searching on line, the price is definitely affordable, but was hoping to hear some thoughts on here about the quality.
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Re: Need Replacement Sails

Postby GreenLake » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:27 pm

The people who bought them are clearly happy enough not to have complaints. There are some that would not buy sails like that. The difference lies in the level of expectations. Top level racers will probably never purchase anything other than "racing sails", from the few vendors who are currently competitive in that market. People who go by price will probably not look at anything other than the cheapest option. Nobody goes out and buys two sets just to compare them (and few enough have the opportunity to sail on or compare many different boats).

I'm perfectly happy with the sails I bought from Hank Jotz. He makes them in some Northern California wilderness, so you have to snail-mail your order with your check so he can pick them up when he gets to the general store for his mail delivery. He'll call you and discuss your needs / style of sailing / details of your boat, etc. before he starts the work or cashes your check. The level of craftsmanship is excellent, he has decades of experience, supports the DaySailer Association by advertising in the Day Sailer Quarterly. The price is in the medium range between the cheapest and the most expensive sails you can get for a DaySailer.

I'm not a sailmaker, so even if I were to look at the sails I got and some other ones, I would not be able to give an expert's explanation of any design differences, but I suspect some positive correlation between quality and price. How would some tester rate them? Who knows? Does the range go from "fair" "good" to "very good" or from "good" "very good" to "excellent"? I suspect nobody here really has a definite answer. I think the sails Alan has are probably "good" (or better) whereas the ones I have might be in the "very good" range (hopefully the ones sold at a premium as "racing sails" are really "excellent"). The reason for thinking that is because he and a few others are really happy with those sails, and that argues against them being merely "fair". (And I for sure hope that I got "very good" :))

I got about eight seasons or 120 days on the water out of my first set and then the jib showed signs of being tired (leech started to flutter). I retrofitted a leech line, which stopped the flutter at the cost of a tendency for a hooked leech. Many would call the sails still usable for cruising. However, I decided to replace. While I'm not a competitive racer, I do participate in a mixed fleet beer can series and I enjoy sails that set properly.

Because you are questioning, I would recommend that you go with some mid-priced offer, and be sure that you get more than "good" in terms of quality.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Need Replacement Sails

Postby Zinger88 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:53 pm

I agree w/'s all about expectations and what you're planning to use your boat for (recreational vs racing). I too purchased a set of sails from Intensity last year due to age/wear of my old sails and have been pleased with them thus far. Came with tube style sail bag, DS emblem attached, and stick-on number set for customizing your sails. Cost is very reasonable for simple set of sails for cruising around the lake. Figured at that cost I could replace in 3-5 years if needed and still be ahead....
Jim H
'76 Daysailer II, Sail #7920, Windsong
Burton, TX
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Location: Burton, Texas

Re: Need Replacement Sails

Postby fatjackdurham » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:10 pm

I bought an intensity mainsail last year and the only think I was confused about was the excessive bagginess along the foot. I know it's supposed to help with the shape of the sail, but it didn't seem to ever fill out. That, and the reefing points were I think a little low. The one time I had to reef, there wasn't much difference. I plan to have a second set of points put in.

Sailing, however, was a different story. The first time I caught wind, the boat was just eager to fly. Even with an incorrect jib, the boat sailed beautifully, even as light as 4 knots. The sail is very stiff, stiffer than I remember sails being from my childhood. But, I am very happy with it. My boat is something of a beater, apparently cobbled together from salvage by the previous owner. I re-rigged the mast and stays last year and got the new sail, and it's been perfect so far.
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Re: Need Replacement Sails

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:54 pm

The stiff sailcloth is a "thing" apparently. Mine, from a different source, is also quite "crinkly" and very noisy when being raised or rolled up.

The DS mainsail has a boltrope at the bottom and therefore needs a "shelf" to allow the bottom part of the sail to have some shape, as opposed to being forced into a straight line.

Directly above the "shelf" the sail should fill and assume a a reasonable curve. In fact, the effect is supposed to be similar to what it would be for a loose-footed main (one attached at tack and clew only, with no boltrope) except that the "shelf" closes the gap between the boom and the actually active part of the sail.

If your sail doesn't set properly a few vertical inches above the boom, then you'll need to check your outhaul etc, for their correct settings.

The single reef point in my sails are approx 18" to 24" up (I think the distance is actually different fore and aft). That makes a noticeable difference in some conditions but if you cruise extensively you may want a second reef point (for the Texas 200 and events like that, even a third reef point is not out of place, but at that point you might want to be able to reef your jib or switch to a smaller one -- this year they started the week with 30-35knots of wind).
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Need Replacement Sails

Postby rblake » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:48 pm

I would look at the Day Sailer Quarterly and/or put out a query to DSA members for any used sails. There are plenty of racers out there that have too many sails in their garage and would love a little cash for the older sets.
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Re: Need Replacement Sails

Postby seabisquit » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:45 pm

I had that same question before - bought Intensity - they are crisp and look to be well sewn and enforced - Have used all last summer and a few times this year - family sailer only, would love to have the North Sails tag on my sail for improved status - but the Intensity work great - I did pull off the stock "DS" that came with it and added my own DS graphic in Red - and I've used the standard reef points (Fathers day sai) and they worked fine - good stuff, they work, and the price is right

Good luck in your new boat - have fun - I know I will
I bring nothing to the table.

1978 O'Day Daysailer II - Sea Wing
2001 SeaArk Voyager Houseboat - Serenity NOW!
2001 Crownline LPX - The Dockside
1984 Illusion Mini 12 MK2 15 Foot Sailboat
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