Buying New Sails For Newport 17 Sailboat from Sailcrafters in St Louis Park, Mn.
The sails on my Newport 17 are 47 years old. It's beyond the time to take plunge and buy new sails for the Newport 17. The old factory sails were fine for learning, but I'm curious if new sails will make N17 more responsive on low wind days. I was told by Veteran Sailers that stretched sails will cause the boat to heel more as the sails are not performing properly. Our Newport 17 likes to heel a lot.
Our only local resource for getting new sails made in Minnesota is Sailcrafters in St. Louis Park, Mn. I was told by Carl at Sailcrafters that the owner, Tim's Sail Maker Loft is the only one left in the Midwest.
I dropped off the sails on 12/10/21. Carl told me he would have to measure my sails before he could write up the estimate. Under Carl's advice, I'll be getting 6 ounce Dacron Sail Material "Super Cruise" with Cross Cut Pattern Stitch. The sail material is cut by Sailrite.com and then shipped to Sailcrafters.
Carl emailed me estimate On Monday, December 13, 2021, 10:10:25 AM CST:
The new mainsheet is loose foot, which allows the sheet to balloon outward and capture more air, which makes it more ideal for sailing on low wind days. You need to add "outhaul" rigging to the end of the boom on Newport 17, so you can adjust the mainsheet position along the boom.
Are these new Newport 17 sails better than the old ones?
You can tell a difference immediately. When I raised the mainsheet at the dock, the new "Cruising Sail Cloth" reacts to the wind faster than the old sails. On the water and changing tacks. it took me a few times to get used to how much faster the mainsheet and jib capture the wind. The lighter material also easier to fold the mainsheet over the boom at the end of the day. I can wholeheartedly recommend spending the $1,300 for new sails for your Newport 17 sailboat. The colored cloth also updates the overall look of the sailboat.