Hailing Port: Lake Travis, TX
05/25/2004 8:23 PM Pacific Time
Responding to a question Al Gearing asked that was posted in the topic keel repairs. I thought the answer would be more relevant here.
The question was who makes a better set of sails for the Catalina 22, Bill Draheim (Gus Sails) or John Bartlett (Bartlett Sails).
The answer is a) I do not know since I have only skippered a boat with Bartlett sails, and b) it depends on what is important to you as a sailer.
Both of these sailmakers make a very good set of sails for the Catalina 22 and both have been well represented in the top finishers at our national championship regetta.
The decision I made came down to 3 things:
a) Were the sails competitive when the boat was sailed by a competent skipper? I like to race and if I ever become competent I didn't want my sails to hold me back. The top guys in my fleet use Bartlett, Gus, and North Sails, so that was what I wanted to look at.
b) Price. I am real value conscious. My wife says I am cheap.
c) Support. Will your sailmaker get on your boat and sail with you? Will he teach you how to get the most out of his product? Does he support racing or sailing in your locale?
That was important to me. Since I have a sailmaker in my yacht club who does all those things, I chose him as my supplier.
If you are not a racer, your criteria might be completely different. Price and durability may be more important to you if you are a cruiser.