What about sails?

We're selling Dacron sail sets which include a Main and Jib with all the normal bells-and-whistles: leech-lines, tell-tales, one-hand stainless hanks, reef points, sail bags, great construction, etc! Shipping costs vary (even in the US now) and will be determined when you order. It is possible to order custom sets of sails in Tanbark or Cream/Natural, and even other colors. Tanbark or Natural is 15% over the standard prices and we can check on the cost of other colors for you as you require.

Back when we started using tarp sails, we had a few sailcars and decided to find out how much better the "real" Dacron sails were. A sailcar like our Vector is a great test, as they really wring out the bugs in a hurry! We found (after quite a bit of swapping around in different configurations) that the Dacron had a bit of an edge in lighter airs, but the tarps were much better as the wind picked up! I won't presume to figure out why, but over the years we have not felt the need to go with "real" sails very often. Our Weekender (with a nice set of Dacron sails) has been beaten by a Weekender with tarp sails, although that was likely weight differences in the two boats and skill!

The Dacron sails would be a much better choice if you were going on an extended cruise, but these boats a really more for short-term jaunts. The tarp sails really do work fine! If you want the longevity of Dacron, and the cozy feeling of knowing your sails are no longer something to think about, then you have that option. We like having the Dacron sails on our boats now, but never felt that the tarp sails were a disadvantage.

For those builders who are considering making their own sails from tarps, we are researching sources of high-quality tarps. We used to sell the tarps back in the early '80's, when they were hard to find in most places. Nowadays, one can find blue plastic tarps everywhere, but the quality has suffered drastically. We'll post information on tarp sources as we find them, but feel free to check with us for updates!
Each of our sailboat plans includes complete information and instructions on how to make your own sails easily and cheaply. When we first started selling sailboat plans in the early Seventies, we developed a method of making good sails using polyethylene sheeting. Over the years we have continued to improve this technique using plastic tarp material. A set of sails for the Weekender can be made for $50 to $75, and will last one or two seasons easily. You can have Dacron sails made (you can use your tarp sails as a pattern for the sail loft) and they are very nice, will last a very long time, and they cost around $800 to $1500, depending on the sail loft.