Mainsail from Hell ~ Comments from other sailors

“You only get what you pay for.” That’s a comment we have heard a few times.
Well, we did not get what we paid for, simple as that. We ordered a Mack Truck and got a Fiat.

After sailing Banyandah across almost every ocean, we knew exactly what we wanted in a brand new mainsail. Robust attachment points. Easy to reef. Super strong edges.  The man in NY said he got the picture and we sent him a copy of Where Wild Winds Blow to emphasis just what Banyandah has to endure. He took our money and delivered a liability. Then he had the cheek to accused us of extortion when we asked for our money back or what we ordered. That is why we have been warning all our friends to stay away from Somerset Sails.

Here are a few comments from other sailors once they saw our photos.

“Whether the sailmaker knows better or the purchaser knows better is not the issue. The purchaser specified what he wanted, Ostensibly the sailmaker quoted on those specs and the sail was not built to those specs.”

Chuck Burns, Naval Architect, boat builder, sailor:
“The sail is definitely not “offshore” quality…construction looks more suitable for a 20? daysailer…I am shocked at what they sent you. All the cringles are too small and reinforcing inadequate/non-existant.”

The Moderator at Cruiser Forum writes:
That’s a complete mess. I am so sorry that you have been pissed around so badly. Can I suggest that you post the email address you have been dealing with. I’m not sure, but maybe a few emails from members, suggesting that we will make sure that nobody in our marina ever uses them to make their sales MIGHT help him decide to remake your sails properly…

Last year, I purchased a new main sail from Somerset Sails. The fellow who operates the loft is definitely not a scammer – but he is difficult to deal with and I would not purchase from him again. He is knowledgeable and passionate about sails but he does not listen and loses his temper easily. After telling him that I did not want a large roach that would interfere with my backstay and topping lift, he went ahead and made it that way anyways. He also made the sail longer than I specified. When I spoke to him he told me that he knew what was best.

I don’t even know where to start. The sail is seriously stuffed, and moreover, not even close to suitable specifications for a cruising sail. Island Planet Sails

Sounds like you “worked” with a sailmaker who then just decided to do whatever he wanted to, and charged you for the privilege.

In your case, with roach, a headboard is preferred because of the extra support it affords the leech. There should be no fixed slides at the reef points on the luff. Rolled tabling on the luff is BS. The luff should be double taped for strength and wear, this is a blue water sail.

It may not get results but may make you feel better if you file a report with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) in NY and a consumer complaint with the NY Attorney General’s office.
Keep at it. If Somerset feels they might lose business perhaps they’ll make amends.

I can suggest that you do not use anything – rope or webbing straps through the reefing cringles that have Tides Slides (car) attached. The Tides main track is made of UHMW “plastic polymer” and the slides are steel. The reefing straps will put a twisting load on the slide (car) and cause the edge of the steel slide (car) to dig into the polymer track. This will most probably make the slides below jam or hang up on the “notched” dent in the track.

The only suggestion I have is to cut and remove the slides at the reefing cringles and then if necessary, reposition the slides above and below so that the reefing cringle can reach the “horn” – or – use a strap to reach “horn.” You do not want any “twisting / tilting / angling” forces on any of the slides (cars) so that the upper or lower edge of the slide (car) will dig into the UHMW polymer track surface.

* There are many more comments. We’ll post them when we have a bit more time.


Mainsail from Hell ~ Comments from other sailors — 1 Comment

  1. that is why i always use a credit card. It is easy to just send the sail back for a full refund and the credit card company will back you up. It is called a charge-back and the vendor has no choice in the matter and would comply with the dissatisfied customers wishes because the money is automatically deducted from the vendors account.
    Why didn’t you send the sail back for a refund?
    I was reading the blog and did you really sail 60,000 miles in ten years? amazing

    Cap’n Jack replies, “We paid using Paypal as the vendor requested. Paypal operates much the same as a CC having 45 days to lodge a complaint. Unfortunately the time it took to receive it from o’seas, it landed during a heavy workload while out the water and we didn’t give it a through inspection until the last day of that time period, when the vendor agreed to send the correct slides. All at Christmas – a further complication.
    We trusted him too greatly and got burnt. Such is life, we had the sail reinforced with webbing thru cringles over larger patches, bolt rope and taping the leach. The luff is still twisted.
    Regarding the miles – I’m not sure which period your referring to, but the Four J’s ( with our sons) sailed a lot of miles. During the five years doing Amateur Radio DX-peditions we covered the Earth back and forth easily logging upwards of 30 or 40 thousand. Even today, in our mature years, we’ve just notched up 6,000 NM on this mainsail since April. Guess we just like sailing.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *