Talking to your Local Sailmaker – GIS sails

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Since this article was posted we have started making sails in the Philippines. We have a pretty unbeatable combination of price and quality. The exciting thing about the Philippines is that the low labour costs allow us to apply more labour for really nice detail and finishing on the sails.

Our company, Really Simple Sails makes from lugsails to laminate sails for small dinghies through to medium sized yachts.

You can find out about our sailmaking at

Affordable sails for Storer Boat Plans - Goat Island Skiff, OzRacer, PDRacer, Ocean Explorer

This discussion was prompted by Patrick on the Facebook Group for the Goat Island Skiff

The important thing to know is the basic sail on the spars as in the plan work very well.  But there are a number of Goat sailors who like to experiment and play with their boats.  That is cool too.

There are two places the sailmaker will need information.  About the yard bend and about the reefs, but also there are more things you can choose to do.


Is there a better “beta tested” sail design, after the experiments carried out during the last year? My sailmaker has the measurements from the plans, but if the updated sail design is better, I will send that to him.

Rick immediately pointed out that our partner business Really Simple Sails does sails much cheaper than most sources

Dave in New York:

the dimensions are fine and are an integral part of the design. What your sailmaker might bring to the party is his own preference for how and where to create depth of draft. Simon in Florida worked with Doyle Ploch Sails to develop his radial lug. Likewise, Andrew Softley worked with Sailrite kit sails to create his semi-radial hybrid.

What your sailmaker can really do for you is work with your actual spars and the amount of bend they have.

The spars and the sail should complement each other. You can make the sail in advance, but then the burden will be on you to make the spars complementary. Easier to cut cloth than to shape (and measure and reshape) wood.

The one collective lesson learned is don’t bother with the full-length battens of the early design. But the shape is pretty well dialed in, give or take some roach.

MIK wrote:

Your local sailmaker will do a good job.

The only thing to be aware of is the yard bends more than people think. The first thing top notch sailmakers have done is to recut with more round. I can’t give you the numbers because we moved on from the calculation by testing real sails.

you could scale yard bend from photos of existing boats. Or make a less bendy yard (try adding 3mm at all the measured diameters to make the yard a bit thicker and stiffer.

Also sailmakers don’t usually have experience of small boat reefing and underestimate its importance. If you reef all the way you can continue in pretty horrible conditions or not startle your great Aunt on a moderate day. Three reefs. We found that the first one has to be smaller than the other two. Maybe 60 percent. Equal first reef means too much is taken out of the boat for RAID and other events when you want to take the wild edge out of the rough water boat handling but still want to go fast.

The sail’s Roach is a personal preference only. I don’t like battens if not needed. The reason for them is to get some free area under a rule. Compare goat sail area with other similar boats and you’ll see it is big already. There’s no advantage in it intrinsically.  Sailmakers love it because it is the convention – dedicated followers of fashion as the song goes.

Loose Footed sails and Box Booms

A box boom rather than standard you can go loose footed which is better for performance but adds complication.

Boom can be standard in which case the foot is laced.

The standard setup is fine. I’m just mentioning this stuff because tweaking was mentioned.

The goat is tweakable but its not necessary at all.

The reefs are a good idea. And not underestimating the yard bend is important too.

Pontus wrote

Nothing to add, just testing

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