Sales and blatant self advertising

Anne and John Hollamby <annejohnholl@...>

Dear Bill,
I have read your message with interest. One of the important principles of this forum is to respect the opinions expressed by others and another is to exclude commercial interests to avoid the possibility of, for example, several different manufacturers or yards cluttering up the site. Our Moderator made this clear to a yard in St Raphael last summer.
I have been upset that after I submitted the remarks below on 28 September you and Dave Benjamin took it upon yourselves to rubbish Lee Sails HK quite unjustifiably and to offer conflicting advice  in the form of your own opinions and this,it seemed to me was an attempt to make it clear that I was wrong in my description of the sails that I had bought. It in no way attempted to suggest that it was the only solution This was so blatant that I felt constrained to list some of my experience in my message to Charles. I might add that I have only just looked at Daves info on Lee Sails only to find that he was referring to Lee Sails Canada which, from the pictures included seem to be a totally different kettle of fish to Lee Sails, Hong Kong.
Be that as it may it is still no reason for other members of the forum to attempt to influence people to disregard mine or anyone elses opinions.
                                Regards,   John Hollamby, Bali Hai, SM2k319   Malta
“We had the three white sails made for Bali Hai by Lee Sails in Hong Kong for less than €7000 including delivery to Malta in under four weeks. They were ordered via the Maltese sailmaker who sent them all the details including my request that one of the camber stripes on the main should be incorporated into the Amel logo. The sails are very good and are flatter than the original sails made by Gateff and the main also has vertical battens thus enabling much less negative roach I did also get a quote from Gateff which is, I believe, part of Doyle Sails. Luckily it was twice as much as the quote that our local sailmaker got from Lee Sails thus making the decision easy”.
Hi Mike,
I hope all goes well with you and yours. We are still living in Malta and have put the boat up for sale as my hip has never been good since it was replaced and anyhow at 83 in a couple of weeks one has to try to be realistic.
You will see from the stuff below I have upset an American sail maker by telling him that vertical battens are good based on my experience with the one you made for me about 15 years ago and on the sails that I had made by Lee Sails which are very satisfactory. I am being pilloried by the sailmaker and by another Amel owner who is very clear that Lee sails are crap. He goes on so much that I think that he must be have an problem.
If I remember correctly You had an arrangement with Doyles and that since then they have bought up a lot of sail makers worldwide and have sails made by China Sails.  I wonder whether they also believe that vertical battens are a no-no?
I would love to have your views on the subject, I do recall that the main sail you made for my Oyster was seven per cent larger than the original.
                                          Best wishes  Holl
From: dave_benjamin@...
Sent: Monday, December 2, 2013 9:55 PM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: RE: Re: Re: [Amel] Sails for Maramu



Excellent points. I too am bewildered by people who gravitate to the absolute cheapest sail for a high end cruising yacht. Yet they'll spend heaps of money on electronics and gadgets they don't need.


The proprietary cloth, particularly crap like North's Nordac, is an annoyance to me as well. North won't publish the detailed specifications like Challenge and other manufacturers offer. The real reason for this trend is that the big money is really going into the advertising budget. They'd rather pump money into ads then quality products.


The radial Hydranet was a far better choice for your boat than a radial Dacron. Personally, I'd go with a load path membrane if I owned an SM, but the Hydranet radial is good stuff. 

---In amelyachtowners@..., wrote:

Thanks for your input as a respected sailmaker. As a non-sailmaker and with no experience other than a buyer of sails, I agree with you completely.
Sails, their maintenance, and replacement are a major expense. I am sometimes bewildered at the decisions made by some people. The same people would never go to the lowest price brand of a diesel engine replacement will order sails sight unseen from China where the norm is to substitute any material that looks like what it should be for a piece of crap.
I guess it is because there really is a lot of mystery in sail selection that some of us revert to making a decision based on either the wrong things, or just price.
Another thing that adds to the mystery and our confusion is the trend of larger brands (North Sails, UK Sails, etc.) to have their "own brand" sailcloth. I know why this exists, but I am betting that few people understand why. It is this simple: The major cost in the "bill of materials" on a finished sail is sailcloth. If manufacturer A is using the exact same sailcloth as manufacturer B, the only significant difference in selling price is their Gross Margin. To avoid competing with discounts in Gross Margin, they "invent" a new sailcloth branded to them they have no direct competition on their finished product. For this reason, I eliminated from my search for new sails any proprietary sailcloth offered by major sailmaker brands.
I did choose Hydranet in a triradial cut. And, I will admit that it was probably overkill. But I would not use crosscut Dacron...the belly is going to bulge! If I were to use Dacron, I would do it in a triradial cut. The belly is still going to bulge, but not as fast and not as much. But, a crosscut dacron sail is about half the price of a triradial cut as was stated earlier...two for the price of one...what are you going to do. I previously had a Beneteau. My decision on sails for it was crosscut dacron...easy decision. I now have an Amel and I think she is happier with me nuts!
I recommend in Turkey...they made our sails a year ago and they ship worldwide.
Hope this helps someone.
BeBe, SM2k, #387

On Sun, Dec 1, 2013 at 11:02 PM, <dave_benjamin@...> wrote:

Anne and John,


As a sailmaker, I'm baffled by your remark. For your information, some of the larger spar manufacturers that make the furling masts specify not to use vertical battens. The last thing a professional sailmaker wants to do is set something up for failure. For me to put a sail on a client's boat in a manner that runs counter to published specifications is unethical and irresponsible.


We're building a furling main for an Oyster 53 at the moment. That sail has vertical battens, however without going with fairly long battens, we don't really get to add roach. Using 4 foot battens, we can reduce leech hollow from about 10 inches to 2 inches. Using 6 foot battens, we could add about 2 inches of roach. So the gains aren't particularly large. Very few furling systems will reliably tolerate the really long battens that would allow for a meaningful amount of  roach. We don't want to have the battens overlapping.


If you wanted a boat with a powerful mainsail, you should not have bought one with a furling rig. While you can use vertical battens on the Nirvana and Amel manufactured masts, you're still dealing with some compromises. Maintenance requirements will be greater for furling mains with vertical battens as opposed to those without.




Another one of those sailmakers with head in sand


Dave Benjamin -


---In amelyachtowners@..., wrote:

Hello Charles,
I have just repeated my views on vertical battens.It is a pity that some, but not all sailmakers have this superstition about vertical battens. I think if they got their act together they would develop much better furling sails with battens. There seems to be a “head in the sands”mentality on the part of some.
                    Best wishes,   Anne and John,   Bali Hai,   SM2K 319,   Malta
Sent: Friday, November 29, 2013 5:18 PM
Subject: [Amel] Sails for Maramu

Following up on a previous discussion, --and thanks to the directions I got from you-- I wrote DEME and they sent an estimate for Dacron “cross-cut” (?) sails and Mylar “coupe orientée” (??) sails, the latter somewhat more expensive. The three sails (Main, Mizzen, Genoa) would come to about 7000 Euros. They say they do not cut sails with batten because they fear there is not enough space in the mast, an objection that one of you addressed already. Any comments on this (for which I would be very grateful)?
Fair winds,
(Maramu N° 253)

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