View Full Version : Sail quiver: One or more manufacturers?

14th October 2006, 05:33 AM
Hi all,

I am in the process of renewing my sails. I am interested in your opinion/experiences for selecting a sail quiver from either one manufacturer only or a selection from various manufacturers.

Based on reviews I would like to go for a mixture from various manufacturers (unfortunalty I cannot test myself). On the other hand I think it might be beneficial to go with just one since the characteristic might be similar and therefore easier to change betwen sail sizes (of different type, i.e. Freerace, Crossover, Wave).


14th October 2006, 02:54 PM
Hi Thomas,

Of course it makes a lot of sense to stick to one manufacturer. You can then be relatively sure, exceptions exists, that your masts will fit all your sails. And rigging is likely to be consistent, but not even that is sure.

If you pick sails from several manufacturers it makes sense to choose them so that they all rig well on masts with the same bendcurve.

Personally, having only once bought a complete set of sails, I have chosen different brands at different times (Tushingham, Sailworks, Simmer, NP) and for different reasons.
Tush Storm 4.0: I needed a small sail that fits a boom with min length of 160.
NP NR-Wave 4.5: got it cheap as it is a pre-production sail.
Sailworks Revo 5.0: at hat time I had more of them
Simmer Crossover 5.7: I already had two Simmer sails I like very much
NP Search 6.2: As I am heavy I wanted the most powerful big wavesail (and I liked my old NR-Wave 6.2 very much, in hindsight more in fact)
Simmer ZeroSeven 7.0 and 9.0: I wanted a big camless sail with lots of range, and also a brand that is unusual on my home beach.

However, the thing that keeps this quiver together is that they all rig well on Powerex masts (one mast brand, 4 sail brands...).

14th October 2006, 06:25 PM
PG is right. People don't always consider the mast when choosing sails. You can often run into bigger expenses if you pick and choose your sails amongst different mfg.'ers.

16th October 2006, 03:47 AM
The nast issue is indeed important, but there are in fact many brands that can share masts (far fom all though). I would say keeping the character of the sail is more important and I would also say it is more likely that you learn to tune your sails perfectly if you stay within one brand (or even one model when applicable).

That said, in practice a range from wave to freerace can sometimes be though of as two completely differnt ranges so you might not even need to share masts between the two. or example you can have a wave/crossover range up to 6.0 setting on masts up to 430 and than go on with a freerace range from 7.0/7.5 setting on 460 and above masts.

16th October 2006, 08:01 AM
I'm in the process of replacing my whole quiver too. My 9.8 V8 is the only sail that I'm keeping.

I'm getting Sailworks because I trust the brand. I'm not saying I don't trust other brands, mind you.

I'll get an 8.0 Retro to fill out my lght wind needs. I'm interested in trying out a large sail that doesn't rely on cambers.

Below that, I'll get a series of Huckers (6.6, 5.6, 4.8). I already have the 4.8. I like to keep the sail model the same in smaller sails because it is easier to pick a sail, IMO.

I do make sure I buy sails that will work well with my masts (or masts for my sails depending on the order of purchases).

I do NOT buy my masts from the sail manufacturer because I know other brands are designed to work fine with the sails. I rely on retail staff to make sure things will match up. I'm very happy with Powerex masts, so all but one mast is a Powerex. Since they have plenty of life in them, I am picking sails that work with them. When the masts wear out, I might look at other sail brands and masts that have different bend characteristics.

16th October 2006, 06:29 PM
Personally, I use two different sets of sails: one for wave, one for slalom/blasting. Each set of sails are same manufacturer and model (Ezzy Wave LE and Maui Sails TR2).
Should I substitute one set, I would purchase the new one in the same way: same model. This way, I get consistency of character throughout the quiver and easier tune learning.
As for the masts, I check with both sail and mast manufacturer for compliance and I assume no risk in this area.

17th October 2006, 12:58 AM
While most others above have highlighted it, it's worth mentioning again and again. Be sure to acquire compatible masts that will optimize the performance of your sails, whatever brand(s) you decide on.

Personally, I have exclusively sailed Bill Hansen's sails (Windwing and now Hansen Sails) for over 20 years. Needless to say, I'm a proponent of buying a single brand across a sail quiver. There are many advantages to this strategy, but the most important in my mind is better understanding the subtleties of rigging and tuning. With one brand, you have a better opportunity to learn the secrets of unlocking the performance of a sail because you become familiar and comfortable with the sail designer's intent and way of doing things. This doesn't mean that things won't change over time, because they have and will continue to evolve. Yet, I find that the sail designer's underlyiing style tends to be maintained over time. This is difficult to quantify, but I know that others feel similarly when it comes to aligning with specific sail designers and creating a base for customer loyality.

Despite my long term brand loyality, I can readily understand why others might mix and match, or strike a fresh path on occasion, and I wouldn't recommend against it. Many folks differ in how they handle change and adjust to it. Also, there can be quite a bit of merit in aligning with trend leaders for building a varied purpose sail quiver. One might want a certain brand for racing, but something entirely different for wave sailing. Given the completely different attributes and demands associated with these two sailing extremes, it could be very appealing to rely on a theme of diversity.

All in all, there are some great choices out there. It's hard to go wrong these days.

21st October 2006, 09:50 AM
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.

22nd October 2006, 09:23 PM
Ola and particular Geoff,

Thank you for broadening the discussion from the mast issue, where it is quite clear that the mast must firt the sail, to other aspects.

My take from the discussion so far and some of my own thougths is that it is useful to have the same sail model for a similar use, i.e. wave, crossover, (free)race in different sizes as it fits. Main reason is that there is (hardly any) bad sail around nowadays and one may look for different characteristics for the different ranges, which might be best matched by different manufactures. Charactereistics may change when a designer moves such as Dan Kassler from Naish to Gaastra. And last but not least quality and features of different manufactures play a role, depending on the range, wave (heavy duty) vs. Freeride or Freerace.

Therefore I plan now to buy my sails from different manufacturers.


24th October 2006, 09:18 PM
Before buying sails from diff brands have a good look at not just mast specs but even simpler boom/ mast lengths.
A lot of sails advertised as good in strong winds. (eg Combats) are almost a sails size smaller than sails as advertised as same size. (Eg powerwaves like Gun MC wave NP Search)
Comparing a 5 MC wave with A combat 5 is ridiculous. The combat rigs on (approx) 165 boom. The Gun on a 175. There is no way on earth both are 5 `s. Its same old story of kind old manufacturers playing with the numbers to make them say what they want.
(yiou can actually ghet two 5 metre sails that fit in a quivwer quite nicely ! (Eg the ones I`ve quoted; the 5 combat is small enough to change down to from MC wave !)
As a guide I multiply boom lenghts by luff length.Use the result to put sails in order of size. (Its more reliable than manufacturers fuigures !):D

Paul F
25th October 2006, 10:15 AM
As per Floyd's comments, the sails below are the same size
and are multple cammed 'Freerace sails but 'luff x boom'
result varies greatly.

Does this really mean that some sails are bigger than others ?

Luff Boom SQM
OVERDRIVE 8.5 5.13 2.20 11.3
V6 8.5 5.09 2.24 11.4
V8 8.5 5.15 2.27 11.7
INFINITY 8.5 5.09 2.30 11.7
O2 FREERACE 8.4 5.13 2.29 11.7
DAYTONA 8.4 5.23 2.29 12.0
R-TYPE 8.5 5.22 2.30 12.0
GTX 8.5 5.14 2.36 12.1
MATRIX 8.5 5.16 2.36 12.2
MS-2 8.5 5.12 2.39 12.2

27th October 2006, 08:29 AM
Well.....I've been in the have lots of sails camp, moved to the minimalist sails camp, and am now finding myself erring back to specialist pairings. Even to the point of one-board one-sail at the lighter end of the wind range. I guess I'm an example of the grass being greener on the other side of the fence, and in years I'll be cutting back on my sail quiver!

I do think you want to carefully pick the sails to match the board, and the size the board manufacturer recommends may not be a perfect fit with the sail's rated size. Test drives would be the best option.

....and don't forget to experiment with the fin - sail pairing, as well. I do think that some sail-board-fin combos are like they were made for each other.