offshore sailmaker recommendation

i have received a quote from shattauer sail loft on the west coast. i would appreciate any feedback about this sailmaker. i know of them by reputation only. also, any leads on east coast first rate offshore sailmakers would be appreciated.

and ben, ouch! sorry about your foot.

best regards,

I had sail built for my Nor’sea by Eggers, which was recommended to me by another Nor’sea sailor who has been sailing offshore for 20 years. I thought it was a quality sail.

jo anne,
I saw your post in the FC forum. I would recommend a full batten main. After sailing Angelsea for 16 years I went with a FB main and added almost a knot to my top speed record. Also had it cut a little flatter than normal and took out some weather helm. of course part of the weather helm could have been coming from the god awful hook I had in the leech of the battenless main. It was like flying an airplane with the flaps down all the time.

good luck

I would also recomend Eggers Sails in South Ambboy NJ . I have used them for a number of cruising boats over the years and they do a great cut…in house…not jobbed out to some loft in Asia. Talk to either Dave or Ennis . They do a great cut and a quality job.


SV Lightfoot

thanks for the recommendations. i am sending the specs off to them for pricing. am i asking for trouble having sails made out of state, far enough away for the sailmaker to not be able to actually see the boat?

best regards,

jo anne ross
falmouth cutter 26-7

jo anne,
The good thing is the dimensions for the FC and BCC are fairly standard. So measurements should be good. As long as your mesurements are good you shouldn’t have a problem. Have you taken the sails off and double checked the measurements? A local sailmaker would be ideal, but they may not offer what you want, in terms of service or quality (maybe even material). I am looking for a sailmaker who uses a new kind of cloth and I know I will have to go far away for that.


the sails are off. ill double check the measurement.

what kind of sailcloth are you looking for?

jo anne ross
falmouth 26-7

I found it once but can’t seem to find it now…8-(
It’s new to the market and has yarns of Dyneema woven thru it. Very little stretch with out being a laminate with a softer hand to it. I had Doyle here in the islands make a Dacron jib for me. It is so heavily impregnated with resin it’s like trying to flake a spring!

found it. It’s by North Sails. looks really interesting. Called SRP Dyneema/polyester. I am also interested in their Oceanus cloth, which I beleive any sailmaker can use.

Heres a link North Sails | The Worldwide Leader in Sailmaking

and the Oceanus cloth North Sails | The Worldwide Leader in Sailmaking
althought it looks like 7oz is the lightest weight they make. hmmmm…

I, too, thought I wanted Oceanus, especially for the hand. But all, including North, warned me off. It is designed for square riggers and gaff mains’ls. So beautiful to feel, but not stable enough for bermudian rigs.

From what I understand, virtually all sails for North America are made in the same loft in Barbados now. The loft has guidelines of what each sailseller wants for technique and finish. Of course, the design work for the cut is very important, and that drives the computerized cloth cutting.

Like other cloth, the more the thread count the better and more expensive the cloth. With more thread count there is more stability over the long term and less need for resin. If you opt for the higher thread count, I’ve been told, you won’t see a lot of difference initially, but the sail will hold its shape longer than one with higher resin that is breaking down.

then select Dacron
then select Mablehead weaves low aspect

This, I’ve been told, has excellent hand and is long lasting and is appropriate for boats such as the BCC with low aspect ratio rig. It is what I’ll build my next from, I think, probably from another Sailrite kit. Making sails has turned out to be one of the most enjoyable and meditative aspects of “messing around in boats,” just below reading in a quiet anchorage.



You may want to talk to Nat Wilson. He is one of the developers of Oceanus sail cloth along with North Sails. Wilson Sailmaker is probably the best tradition sail loft in North America.

Nat Wilson, local East Boothbay profile:
Address: 15 Lincoln St.
City: East Boothbay
State: Maine
ZIP: 04544
Phone: 207-633-5071
County: Lincoln
Manufacturing Firm: Wilson Sailmaker, Nathaniel S.

Are you suggesting that that Mr. Wilson feels that Oceanus can be successfully used for low aspect bermudian rigs? I went to North Sails home office/loft in San Diego where I was at the time and got samples of Oceanus and talked to the staff. They were almost disparaging of the cloth, except for square riggers. Not dimensionally stable enough. Plus it is very heavy for its strength. A heavy displacement boat might be able to carry it, but at a cost in performance.

I’m certainly open to other, less racing-based, opinions. I could never understand why North would even be interested in such a cloth.

I have also asked Carol Hasse recently when in Port Townsend what she thought, and she agreed that it wasn’t appropriate for modern rigs.

Interestingly, an independent rigger there (who helped me redesign and rerig our boat) owns a classic Atkin double ender, 34 foot gaff ketch, built in the 50s. He even has all the paperwork (suit of sails: $300). He also has a perfectly preserved, never flown, cotton sail from a loft in SoCalifornia. I just wanted to go out and reef the sail is some heavy weather just to handle the material. So soft and flexible, with a tooth that didn’t just slide through your fingers or over itself the way dacron does. He showed it to Carol and she was gaga, especially over the handwork. Me, too.



All I suggested, see my post, is you may want to talk to Nat Wilson, no more, no less.



Forth those people on the East Coast, Delmarva area including chesapeake Bay, here is a specialist in handmade offshore sails:

Housley Sailmakers
7330 Edgewood Rd
Annapolis, MD 21403
Phone: 410 263 4913
Fax 410 263 2959

He has been in the business for at least 30 years, but has no website.

This is very interesting about the Oceanus cloth Donal. I called North and they told me the same thing re: best for square riggers.

But if you look at the photograph on there web page regarding Oceanus they show what looks like a very large gaff rigger hauling ass to weather with this cloth. She is not a SR, and I would be hard pressed to think the owner wasn’t interested in performance. This is just an observation boys and girls. Heres the link to that photo. North Sails | The Worldwide Leader in Sailmaking

I am really interested in the new cloth made with Dyneema. It’s made by Dimension Polyant and called Hydra-net. It has a soft hand and a bit better performance than rersin/dacron. Here is a link to the info on it.

They say it is great for tradionalists…that MUST be us :smiley:

I called Housley Sailmakers but the number has been disconnected. Hope he did not close his shop.

Housley Sailmakers, Inc

Current website and telephone number



My Bad: I think I had the wrong phone number; I’m sorry.


The telephone number you provided was Housley Sailmakers Baltimore number which is discontinued. You are not bad, just a human being and not a machine.

I had a very enjoyable conversation with Glenn Housley. I wished we would have had our main and staysail made by his loft. He is very knowledgeable and seems to be a great guy - very helpful.

Either our main was cut poorly or we need a mainsheet horse. When the wind picks up, the leech of the main flutters or falls off because there is not enough downward pull on the leech or not enough hollow cut in the leach, regardless, the leach flutters. I am beginning to think the main sheet, sheeting angle does not provide enough downward pull on the leech when close on the wind. Next time the sail develops flutter, I will rig a van near the end of boom and apply downward force to the leach. If the flutter goes away, the cause is a sheeting angle problem. If not, the probably cause is not enough hollow cut in the leach. According to Housley, the leach should have a 9" concave curve (max) for a 40 ft leech. I do not believe ours does.



Hi Rod:

Don’t you have a tensioning leach line?

Also, try slacking off the backstay and trnsioning the forestay.


We have a leach line. It helps to some degree but does not seem to remove the leach flutter completely. I will try slack off the backstay and add more tension to the forestay. I believe our mast is vertical fore and aft as well as to starboard and port but I will check it. Thank you for the suggestion.

I have never considered myself a great sailor when it comes to sail shape. We do OK, but the finer points of the art are somewhat foreign to me. In general racers have a much deeper understand of sail shape than I ever will.