I order a set of Smyth sails for my hobie 18. Square top main. I am very happy with the performance!!!! can't say enough about how fast my boat is now. So much different than my stock sails. Worth the wait.
Yes.......Awesome sails... Extremeley powerful. Very durable.... They have been wet and in the sand so many times that I have lost count. I'm still working with Randy on mine (controlling the huge jib). The main has some serious draft. Incredible power.
Excellent open class sails.
Nacra 6.0 Express Smyth Pentex Main 190 sq ft (Square top) Smyth Dacron Jib 97 sq ft (no battens) Smyth Spin 425 sq ft
Sorry guys and gals, but the lovefest was a little too much. I have to chime in after reading the Smyth fan mail. My experience has been negative. After buying sails from Randy over the years, I had to switch because of his failure to respond. When I received no respone to emails and calls, I checked with a few friends and found out he cannot deliver in a reasonable time and is often too busy to pay attention to his business, a least for the smaller guy. There is no doubt that he designs fast sails, and I know you can't rush quality (fast food!). Also, while Randy has always farmed out the actual sailmaking of most of his sails to other lofts ever since he moved to Florida, I was told he now designs the sails and has them made overseas in the far east. (I suspect he makes some of them in his own loft.) I don't want to get into a political debate about that but I don't like it, and for a lesser price I'd rather have my sails made in the good ol' USA.
I have recenty ordered and received sails from Calvert, and have gotten excellent sails with superior build quality and great shape. Before ordering I actually talked with Calvert at length about materials and shapes. I had my sails within 5 weeks, made in Calvert's own loft.
I am sure there are many satisfied Smyth customers, and if you can wait I assume his end product is good, but there are other alternatives out there.
Agree......... Hard to get in touch with Randy. But he is willing to help out as much as possible. He likes to see his sails win races.
Delivery time is another story. I did the Mug Race last year with my old pinhead main (With duct tape covering a huge hole) because they forgot to bring the battens!! Needless to say I was a little upset that I could not use my new sail. Also I had to wait almost 3 months for delivery. I am still very satisfied though.
It is not as personal as it used to be..... Last I heard his sails were being built by Schurr Sails in Pensacola. Did they move to China? Or have work done for them in China? I do not know.
Yes it did take a while to get my sails 4 1/2 months. But Randy gave me a break in the price to make things right. I did call Calvert while I was waiting and he did have a very can do attitude. All I know is that my sails are very fast! I feel like I have a new boat.
It's great to hear that the newer sails are "better, faster", but how are they better and faster. Are they faster on all points of sail? Can you point higher, sail lower on downwind or is it purely speed? Has anyone done a drag race with a square top vs. stock sails? I understand the principles behind a square top main and they sound excellent. I'm thinking of supercharging my '82 TheMightyHobie18 with square top main and spin next year, but before dropping that money, want to make sure it's worth it.
I live in Idaho, and while we have quite a few cats, I don't have any with square top OR spin to compare to. Any first hand accounts would be appreciated. Also, I single hand regularly and want to make sure there isn't too much power (if that's possible) with the new sails. Any help out there would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
Because I can control the shape of my sail better, Yes I can point higher and run deeper. I also installed a 5 2 1 power downhaul for TheMightyHobie18 from murray. and that has help also. I have not sailed side by side a 18 with stock sails yet. But I have sailed with boats that I sailed with my stock sails. My speed is so much better. Is it worth it? $ wise. I would say my speed has increase almost 30 2 40 precent. My old sails were in pretty bad shape. My jib was streached real bad. After I race my first regatta I will make a post and let you know how it turns out.
Thanks, much appreciated. I have a 7:1 on my stock sail and that makes a huge difference. I know about blown sails, I still have my originals. My jib flutters when going upwind. I know, I know, it's time for new sails. I'm just trying to decide whether to go stock or square top. Good luck in your next race and I look forward to hearing results!
Thank you. "How do they compare?" Area: Stock: 264 ft^2(1); Jib: 75 ft^2(2); Main 189 ft^2(3)+ (2) Smyth's: 273.5 ft^2(4); Jib: 93.5 ft^2(5); Main: 180 ft^2(5)
These numbers come from a variety of sources: (1) From Performance Catamarans website and Rick Bliss (2) From Smyth's website (3) By subtracting the stock jib area from the total stock area (4) By adding Smyth jib and main area (5) My measurements (Using avg. end area method) Note: Smyth's site list the square top main as 189 ft^2 and the Jib as 97 ft^2. Another picture attached that show the differnce between the two mains. The stock is under the Smyth main.
Weight: I haven't actually weighted them. However, if you pick up both sets of sails the Smyth's set, main and jib, feel like they weight just a little bit more than the stock main alone. Less weight aloft, I believe translates to greater forward speed.
Shape: The Smyth's are much flatter through the bottom 3/4 of the sail. The first time we sailed with the stock sails, well actually it was the second time, I made the observation that the stock main looked like an old bath tub. Huge draft! The first time we sailed with the stock sails was our first time on the boat, it was in that transition period of the evening, between dark and damn its dark. We promptly capsized on our third tack.
Performance : I beleive there is no comparison. That is just based on feeling at the moment. We tried to compare with another 6.0, both of us with stock 6.0 sails. We were trying to compare boat preperation and basic setup differences, not the differences in sails. However, it didn't work out that day. To many variables for the other boat, mainly, not his normal crew, causing head-in-boat syndrome.
Rating: We take rating hits for the Square top main and the larger jib.
Controversy: A little. It seems that whenever someone sees the Smyth name on 6.0 sails the immediate reaction is Express. Our boat is a 1996 and it a stock NA. We also don't use a spinnaker. We have laid the sails out for all to inspect and compare to the stock set.
Conclusion: They are worth it! Worth the money and the rating hit.