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Old 21st October 2006, 10:50 AM   #8
GEM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 67
Default RE: Sail quiver: One or more manufacturers?

I think the discussion has been overly simple, though the concept of matching sails to masts is extremely important.

The question is: Is there ONE sail manucturer whose sails suit my needs, better than all others?

To highlight the illogic:

Is there one board manufacturer who has the best of every kind of board?

Is there one fin manufacturer whose fins are the best for formula, slalom, X-cross, wave, and freestyle?

All designers have their fort?. In cammed race sails, I'd vote for anything from Barry Spanier; in non-cammed sails I vote for the Sailworks Retro above all others; in wave sails I like the Ezzy Wave SE. There is not complete perfection in mast-sail combos across these brands. You may have different preferences.

I think I'm capable of figuring out how to optimize each sail line within itself, and learn the tuning nuances of each. I don't think the sail designer's "style" has much impact on my ability to do that. Easier....errrr, maybe. Better....absolutely not.

I do think that quality of construction and fittings varies widely. I particularly like pulley tack fittings. In my quiver, sails that lack them get Harken microblocks lashed to the tack grommet. I give strong consideration to this when picking a sail.

My stepfather (a JN) taught me a lot about sailing. The most important lesson was: do whatever works. He had a pretty rigid boundary conditions of what constituted "it works". But within those conditions, you could do anything you wanted.

I think it HIGHLY likely that, supporting one sail manufacturer feels good spiritually (been there, done that), but that you will not have the very best sails to suit your purposes for all conditions. I also think (having had such a pairing) that there are certain sail-board-fin combos that are nothing short of magical. These are the strongest reasons to mix.

The good news, should you choose to stick with just on label, is that (on the right mast) I'm forced to wonder....is there a truly bad sail out there these days? I don't know of it.
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