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Thread: Newbie looking for help regarding sails.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Hebron, CT, USA

    Default Newbie looking for help regarding sails.

    TL;DR: I am a new boat builder who has no idea what kind of sail to put on my boat, or where to even buy decent and appropriate sails.

    Hello all!

    To preface any of my following questions, and most likely add context, I am currently building my first boat and am an amateur woodworker at best. I have purchased plans for the 16í Nova Scotian Grand Banks dory as designed by Spira International. I have made some progress as seen below, and I am preparing to begin placing the hardwood ply on my frames after having spent a considerable amount of time faring.

    However, as I am looking into the future I have grown more and more concerned about the type of sail I should put on this boat. While the designs call for a Sprit Sail I have had significant difficulty finding one readily available for sale. So, my question is: does anyone know where to buy a reasonably priced sprit sail? I am not interested in sewing my own sail, only due to a lack of appropriate equipment and time.

    Of note, if there are other types of sails I could use with modifications to rigging, i am very open to ideas. In fact, if there are other sails which would prove to be equally effective but for a better price I would be very interested. I just don't want to pick an inadequate sail secondary to my inexperience. F26F0E5B-2909-4BD9-B7E0-7C816B716DF6.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Austin, TX

    Default Re: Newbie looking for help regarding sails.

    What is the designed sail area for your build?
    You could also use a balanced lug sail, itís another popular sail type for sailing skiffs.
    Duckworks or RSS is a good source for them.
    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Almost in BC, CA

    Default Re: Newbie looking for help regarding sails.

    Someone here once said that raising a spritsail is an obvious sign of distress. Having sailed 900 miles under spritsails, I have to agree. They are fussy ill-mannered things that are easily replaced by any number of better rigs.
    Last edited by TerryLL; 04-03-2021 at 06:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Bainbridge Island WA

    Default Re: Newbie looking for help regarding sails.

    The last bit of this video has a happy looking fellow with his boat rigged up as a bermudan/marconi sloop, you might ask him. There do appear to be number of options applied to this boat, I concur with previous posters that the spritsail is not necessarily the best of them. Along with the other sailmakers noted, Sailrite will also design and build one for you.

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Newbie looking for help regarding sails.

    I'll second the motion to go to Duckworks. And I, for one, really like the spritsail for small, simple boats. Duckworks has stock sails, but they'll have one made up to order at as good a price as you'll find anywhere. The mizzen on my Whisp came from Duckworks, and it looks good and works quite well. (Disclaimer, no I don't have a financial connection, etc.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Newbie looking for help regarding sails.

    I vote for a balanced lug. I started building a sprit rig but fortunately changed my mind before I ordered the sail. Zero buyers remorse on the balanced lug.
    You're on the wrong end of the continent or I'd make a deal on a nice laminated sprit.
    Douglas Fowler did my sail.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter

    Default Re: Newbie looking for help regarding sails.

    Seek out a lug rig.
    Try to build it yourself, the first may be sucky, they will only get better.
    A perfect expensive sail will not fit this boat.
    That sloop rig shown on the cover in #4 is patently ridiculous.
    Sometimes I wonder how Spira is so popular.

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