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Something for every boater

April 30th, 2018

quantum loft Something for every boater

The Quantum Sails Seabrook team discusses the designs for a custom sewing project. From left: Rese McLaughlin, Farley Fontenot, James Berry, Alan Woodyard. Photo by Brandon Rowan.

It’s no secret that the team at the Quantum Sails Seabrook loft share your passion for all things sailing and boating. We take pride in working as a team and in the services we offer; going far beyond new sails.

Many people don’t think about swinging by their local loft unless they need new sails or [gulp] they need something repaired. However, there are a vast number of services beyond setting you up with a handsome new set of sails or your annual service that you may not be taking advantage of to help you get where you want to go, even if you prefer powerboats.

Quantum’s high standards don’t stop at our sails, it extends to every person that puts the green Q on their business card. Our team members are truly experts in their fields and work together every day to help you with any need, big or small. Here are some of the ways you can use your local experts to meet your next challenge.

woodyard sail Something for every boater

Quantum Sails Seabrook Loft Service Manager Alan Woodyard fabricates a canvas boat cover for a local power boat.

CANVAS AND CUSTOM SEWING PROJECTS

Quantum designs custom canvas for sailboats and powerboats and even for on-land projects for companies such as NASA. We come to your boat, meet with you and see what your needs are via private interview. The pattern and frames are then custom created to your boat. We finish the job with a personalized installation and work to make sure everything is finalized to your exact standards.

Our canvas is sewn with SolarFix PTFE Thread which is guaranteed for the life of the fabric. We create every kind of canvas need for boats such as biminis, enclosures, hatch covers, dodgers, sail covers, and Roller furling covers. We also make sun shades for parks, ceilings for museums, and ceiling shapes for our local library and churches.

A specialist in advanced fabrication techniques from the Hood Marine Canvas School, Alan Woodyard will make sure your new canvas is the perfect solution for your boat.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SAIL FOR THE CONDITIONS

Reachers, runners, Code 0s, jib tops, genoas, windseekers, and staysails—that’s just a tiny sample of the type of sails that can make up your inventory. How do you know which one to use and in what conditions? And does the sea state matter? Ask us to come out for a sail and help you build a crossover chart to get the most out of your sail inventory so you have a better chance of winning that top regatta or a successful weekend sail with the family. Don’t forget, if sails are sun rotted, or too stretched they won’t do you much good, we can also help make sure everything is in tip-top shape for when you need it.

Quantum Sailmaker James Berry puts the final touches on a sail repair project.

PROLONGING THE LIFE OF YOUR SAILS

We take great pride in helping you prolong the lifespan of the sails you already own. Regular sail maintenance and evaluation in the offseason can prevent a costly sail repair later and will help your sails last as long as possible. Additionally, before you open your checkbook for a new sail bring your sails to us to look over. There might be some adjustments or repairs we can make to buy you some more time, particularly with our Precision Recuts. Precision Recuts give new life to your sails by restoring up to about 90% of their original shape at a fraction of the price of a new sail.

DIALING IN THE LUFF CURVE FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE

Take a picture of your mainsail and genoa when it’s brand new, and hold onto that for future reference. As a sail ages, sail cloth naturally stretches making the sail deeper, which in turn makes it less efficient. It’s great if you have the budget to replace your main every few years, but it’s not always necessary. A small adjustment can make all the difference in performance.

Quantum Sail Scan powered by VSPARS is a simplified version of the very powerful VSPARS real-time sail-scanning tool used on grand prix programs like Quantum Racing. Any photo uploaded to the program creates a digital version of your sail, allowing us to analyze the flying shape and determine where it may need to be recut. It’s a good idea to have the luff curve on your mainsail and genoa evaluated every three to five years.

These photos can be taken to your loft for tips on adjusting your trim and rig settings to get the best flying shapes.

ON-THE-WATER COACHING

Many of our customers are first-time boat owners. We’ll deliver your sails, and then go out sailing with you to get it set up and trimmed for performance. We’re available for on-the-water coaching to help you dial in crew work and communication. Farley Fontenot, the co-founder of Quantum Sails, has coached everyone from the J105 Local North American Champion to the 2018 new Swan 78 from Hamburg, Germany.

BUILDING A CUSTOM SAIL REPAIR KIT

Your sail repair kit should be unique to your boat and type of sailing. We’ve got a good starter list, but spend some time talking to the team at your local loft and we can line up the perfect kit for you. They can also give you tips and tricks on how to handle the most common repairs you’ll likely see during your adventures or regattas. You can also check out our photo guide to some common repairs and how to fix them.

At the end of the day, anything you need from sails to advice, our entire staff such as Rese McLaughlin, a 30 year veteran of our loft with a focus on spinnakers and James Berry, our highly trained and experienced service tech, are here to help you every step of the way – so be sure to use our expertise to help you meet your challenges.

Tight Budget? How to get the most out of your current sails

March 1st, 2018

Tight Budget Image Tight Budget? How to get the most out of your current sails

Part of managing a sailing program of any kind–be it cruising or racing–is balancing the budget. From deck hardware to bottom paint and sails, something always needs replacing or fixing. Luckily when it comes to sails, there are a few inexpensive things you can do to help you extend that budget a little further.

1. GET YOUR SAILS INSPECTED

Sail inspections can bring to light not only torn stitches or tired webbing, but also use issues that may be causing damage to your sail. For example, broken stitching on the luff of the sail could indicate too much halyard tension or dimples in your spinnaker could be the result of crew pulling it down by grasping the middle of the sail instead of using the tapes.

Annual inspections should be part of every program with the goal of maximizing the life of the sail. Catching and fixing a few small problems (especially if the sail is older) can also prevent catastrophic failure on the water.

2. RECUT YOUR SAILS EVERY FEW YEARS

All sails stretch and lose shape over time and through use. If you’re experiencing the tell-tale signs of stretched sails–an inability to point, difficulty steering, or lack of power under sail–it doesn’t necessarily mean you need new sails. Many sailors don’t realize sails can be recut to bring back up to 90 percent of their original shape and extend their life at a fraction of the cost of new ones. Typically, one or two recuts can be done over the life of a sail. Recutting sails has been a common practice for pro programs for years, sometimes adjusting and recutting sails between race days.

You’ll want a handful of good sail shape photos to take to the loft along with your sail. And bonus points if you take photos of your sails on an annual basis! Click here to learn how to get the best shots and start your recordkeeping. If you’re curious about the recut process and benefits, click here for an article to shed some light on what you need to know about recuts.

3. HAVE YOUR SAILS PROFESSIONALLY REPAIRED

You might have saved the day with your quick fix when the spinnaker caught on a turnbuckle and started to rip, but did you remember to take it to the loft for a proper repair afterward? Onboard sail repairs are great when you need to finish the sail and get back to the dock safely, but they’re not meant to be a permanent fix. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget you have a few strips of duct tape holding part of your sail together when it’s packed out of sight and out of mind. As you can guess, ignoring damage will not end well for the sail or your budget.

4. CHECK YOUR RIG TUNE

If your rig tune is out of whack, it can significantly affect sail performance. Before you throw in the towel with your current sails, check to make sure the issue isn’t your rig. Have an expert sail with you to see what adjustments might remedy the problem. This is especially important for cruisers who don’t regularly tune their rigs for conditions the way a race program might. We have more information on that here.

5. CONSIDER SAIL ADD-ONS

There are a number of sail add-ons and updates that can help improve functionality and extend their lifespan. Reefing points, UV covers, and spreader patches are all on the list. Talk to your sailmaker about what modifications can be made to help the sail work better and make it usable for a few more years.

6. LOOK BEYOND THE SAIL

It is important to look at the health and setup of your boat’s entire system in order to get the most out of your sails. Not all systems are created equally, and having the right sail handling system for your needs will help reduce stress on the sails. Roller furlers are great for easily and smoothly using your headsail, especially if you have a novice crew or sail shorthanded. Mainsail handling systems, such as the Dutchman and an in-mast or boom furling system, can also come in handy and help to reduce wear-and-tear on your sail.

Of course, the right system needs to be in good shape. If the sail handling system is failing, you’re at risk of damaging your sail. Similarly, sun-rotted lines or finicky winches pose threats to sails under load, as do sticky tracks and tired blocks. Invite your sailmaker or local rep to your boat for help identifying problem areas or to discuss options for improving your sail handling systems.

You shouldn’t give up on your trusty sails just because you’re starting to experience performance issues or they’re getting older. Call your sailmaker and explore a few of these ideas before you open your checkbook to pay for a new set. If you decide a new set is the right solution, use this information and the expertise of your sailmaker to ensure your sails are setup properly and you’re using best practices and sail care services to maximize their lifespan and protect your investment.

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Contact Quantum Sails Gulf Coast at gulfcoast@quantumsails.com or 281-474-4168 to learn more about getting the most out of your sails. You can also visit QuantumSails.com for more great tips and tricks to help you meet all of your sailing challenges.