It was a short 4 day busy trip to China for me and my son. We were there to meet our manufacturer for our 9.5m RB design.
The first day we meet the owner of the sail making factory. Straight away I was relieved to see the factory. He built the facility himself, it is huge! Purpose built for sail making. Inside I couldn’t count the amount of laser cutters and the sewing machines. Until now I have been using a CAD/CAM wheel cutter. The accuracy has to be mm perfect.
The factory has downsized, they have turned away the big customers/jobs in favour of more boutique type businesses like me. They prefer to have a small high quality workforce. Finding expert seamstresses is hard they tell me.
They give a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty and fully stand behind their products. They are totally confident in this.
They fully check the product before it is packaged. It has to made as agreed. Then there is wear and tear, how long should a sail last? For me I want a sail that can win the World Championship built strong enough to handle a storm. Once I’m onto a good thing I want it to last and last but I don’t want the sail to be over designed and heavy. All these things need to be considered.
The expert Sailmakers in the factory have suggested I use mast sleeve material in the luff pocket instead of X-Ply for increased wear and tear. I did notice rolling and unrolling the sail the X-Ply was less agreeable to this action. So I have agreed to this change but only for the leading edge and not the whole luff pocket.
I am considering changing the cams to roller cams. Roller cams rotate well. Gun sails use them in their world cup racing sails. The factory have their own roller cams I would just need to adjust the luff pocket. Actually a big job.
Battens are critical. I have used a range of suppliers to make the battens and I tried many combinations. We will recreate the battens using their in house batten fabrication and this will need to be tested. After market batten detail may suit some sailors.
I favour having no mast protector as I think it is more racing. We are going to trial a removable mast protector so you board has protection for training days.
The range of colours is vast in this loft and all dimension Polyant and screen printing is available also. I few people have given me feedback with regards to colours. Some want to not draw attention to them selves on the start line which I understand and some want to make windsurfing fully visible with all the fun of colours. What do you think? The factory has agreed to special one of orders for those sailors that insist on their own colour scheme.
I will go for max colour on this one. :-)
So I have decided given all these changes I will pay to make another prototype by their hand. This will be version 5. This will add 2 to 3 weeks hopefully less before production starts. I apologize for the delay.
Any updates I will post to this blog. Please contact me with any feedback.