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Buying a new sail – how it works

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

Many people reading this may be familiar with the process of ordering new sails but to some it can be an exciting and sightly daunting prospect. These are after-all not impulse purchases and there are around 150 sail lofts in the UK alone making your options nearly endless.

A big part of the choice is making the right decision on which brand to buy from, this is a decision we had to make too when deciding who’s sails to distribute. Elvstrom sails stood out to us for several reasons not least because:

· They are one of the biggest sail lofts in the world. Scale is vitally important when building sails, for one if you don’t have a big loft, you can’t build big sails! Elvstrom can handle everything from dinghy sails right up to superyachts, all of their manufacturing locations are huge (below is a pic of one half of one of Elvstrom’s lofts).

· Technology. Elvstrom have invested massively into new technology such as their EPEX membrane sails and exclusive materials made from 100% recycled content.

· Eco focus. We’re not talking green washing here, Elvstrom take this stuff seriously and so do we at East Coast Kit. Besides the work they have done to source competitive fabric options made from 100% recycled materials, they also aim to reduce waist by using offcuts to build other products (such as bags), carry out extensive durability testing to ensure maximum life cycles for sails and power the Head office and main sail loft with 100% renewably sourced electricity.

· Expertise. Being founded by one of sailings greatest athletes is a great start but like all great leaders Paul Elvstrom surrounded himself with fantastic people with an unrivalled talent for sail making. This talent and learning process has been passed on and developed so that now the company has a world leading team and development process.

· Lead times. While every sailmaker would love to be able to deliver sails straight away to customers the reality is demand is very high and supply chains have never been more challenging. Having a big loft does allow you to have capacity to cope with high levels of demand and hold good stock of materials. Currently while there is a wait on any sails ordered we’re able to offer competitive lead times for new sails.

Ordering a sail

The first step is to call up/email or book an appointment (through the services section of the website) with East Coast Kit. We will look over your requirements and in consultation with Elvstrom recommend several options depending on your budget. For many boats we have the essential dimensions on file but in some cases, we will send out a member of our team to measure your boat/existing sails.

Following this a quote will be created for you to approve (we will also give you an up-to-date lead time).

From this stage the sails enter production, and we will keep you informed of the progress. Once completed the finished sails are then quality checked at our HQ in Denmark (this happens for all sails without fail).

Completed and checked sails are they shipped to our UK service loft in Hamble where they will then be shipped onto your nominated address.

As an additional service we can also fit the sails and provide tuning advice on and off the water to maximise the performance and life of the sails.

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