So, Evolution sails it is. They (John Dakin) and North (Hugh Beaton) were by far the most engaged and responsive of those I contacted, both sent detailed proposals offering alternatives. Each explained their rationale and the features and benefits of each option. Both were intimately familiar with the C&C 33ii, not surprising here in Toronto. North was actually referred by a lister through the US and chased the enquiry on their own. (cool) There was little to choose between the two, other than my modest preference for one of three options proposed by Evolution, and the fact that the entire sail is made locally. Both were highly recommended by a local marine industry exec and ex-sailmaker friend of mine.
- Each loft recommended cross-cut dacron, some with two price points, one a more "commodity" sail, one more tailored, with higher grade cloth.
- UK sails (who has my sails in their Toronto loft today for fall repairs and assessment) never bothered to quote, despite 3 reminder emails.
- Lee sails quoted a commodity sail only, after having asked a few basic questions, and advised that I could earn a discount by placing an order that accommodated their spring shipping container, but that I'd better hurry because the local agent would be away for several month on holiday over the winter. Price was not appreciably less than others locally loft for a similar commodity sail.
- After a poke or two Doyle responded with a friendly email only, short on detail and with pricing that was not terribly competitive. Also, they are far enough away as to require shipping.
- Rolly Tasker in Thailand (David) was the value king - great and thorough response (again) and C$700 or so cheaper than others for what is probably a quality commodity-type sail, with partial battens. No middlemen. If I were on a budget I would order from Tasker (again - I bought a cruising spinnaker from them a few months back) without hesitation.
- Both Tasker and Lee were not prepared to quote full battens, only prep for same, so the buyer would need to spend more locally and sort out the details. I think the long battens make offshore shipping an issue, but I did not really investigate that.
- Interestingly the sail area (roach) really varied between quote (Lee and Doyle did not specify SA), I suspect as a result of familiarity of North and Evolution with PHRF ratings and the boat itself. Highest was 292 sq ft, lowest 263sq ft from Tasker. It is possible that at order time they would request more info and tweak that. Lee covered roach dimensions in their very detailed order form.
- Lee's order form is pretty complete and is a useful way to document your rig for getting quotes from sailmakers. Tasker's is less detailed. I used Tasker's and posted photos here.
- I think that Evolution sails may be a good option for US C&C owners looking to benefit from the current weak Canadian dollar with a loft that has plenty of C&C experience.
- Prices ranged from approximately C$1800 to C$2500 for the more basic sails, to around $3200 for a higher-end but still cross-cut sail from a responsive local loft.
Am pretty happy to be dealing with a local loft on this one, I think availability for future service plays more of a role with a main than a spinnaker, and tribal knowledge of the various C&C models that is natural to the Toronto area is worth something to me. Not having to ship the sail matters too - one fitting tweak could eat up some freight cost, especially cross-border.