Warning: Declaration of ET_WC_Product_Variable_TB_Placeholder::get_available_variations() should be compatible with WC_Product_Variable::get_available_variations($return = 'array') in /home/boatgelc/public_html/wp-content/themes/Divi/includes/builder/module/helpers/WooCommerceModules.php on line 837
Sail Buying Guide - BWYachts Tattoo, Venture, and Mac Sailing Information



For technical questions about sails, please email to: info@bwyachts.com


Over the many years we have been selling MacGregor boats, and replacement sails for them, we have realized that few things are as confusing, and sometimes frustrating, as the sail shopping process. Bad information is rampant, and even competent well meaning sailmakers often give information that is confusing and not helpful, simply because they do not know the unique characteristics of your boat, or do not pay enough attention to how you want to use it. We have sold over 1000 MacGregor boats, and even more custom sails to sailors who use their boats in every type of sailing conditions, NO ONE has more experience or expertise than we do.

Before you jump ahead to the specific pricing and descriptions of the sails we offer, please take some time to read through our informational pages that will help you make an informed decision and, in the process, probably learn a little!

We have broken this up into a 4 step process that should help you work through the decision process.



For technical questions about sails, please email to: info@bwyachts.com

There are many options to choose from when considering a new sail. Deciding if you need a new sail at all is the first step. Buying new sails can improve your sailing fun more than anything else you can buy, but can be a total waste of money if you don’t need them. Several things should be considered in the decision, such as:

Are you primarily a light wind fair weather sailor, or do you like to push the boat hard in big wind?

In this sense, sails are somewhat like the tires on your car, If you don’t drive a lot and you don’t drive hard, they can last a long time, if you drive a lot, or if you drive hard, they wear out much sooner. If you sail a lot, or sail in heavy wind (especially if you aren’t quick to reef) your sails could be worn out in just a few years. Heavier wind sailing also requires that your sails be in really good shape to sail well at all, tired stretchy sails show their weakness first in stronger wind.

Do you do some casual racing or are you interested in sailing performance? (if you are a SERIOUS racer you already know this answer!)

Performance sailors replace sails much more frequently than casual cruisers, sometimes every year. NOTHING improves the sailing characteristics of any boat more than good sails, if you care that your boat sails better, this is the first place to spend real money.

Do you think your boat leans over more than you (or your crew) likes, slides sideways too much, doesn’t point as close to the wind as it should, or needs to be reefed sooner than you like?

As sails wear, they become less stiff and more stretchy, in simple terms, this causes them to be less of a proper airfoil shape and more baggy. When you get a puff of wind, a tired sail stretches and bags out, leaning the boat over and pulling it sideways through the water instead of accelerating it forward. The biggest thing most sailors notice about new sails is not how much faster the boat goes (although it does) but how much less it leans and how much more wind they can sail in without reefing.

Are your sails more than 5 years old?

While the original sails on your Mac can last a long time if well cared for and not used hard, most should be replaced sometime between 5 and 10 years unless you are not very concerned about how well your boat sails. We frequently hear people say things like “My sails are in great shape, there are no rips and the stitching is still tight”. In many cases this is the same as saying “the shock absorbers on my car are fine, they haven’t fallen off the car yet”. Sails are worn out when they no longer can make the boat sail properly, not when they fall apart.

Are your sails very “soft”:

New sails are crisp and crunchy, whether they are Dacron or Laminate sails, as they age they get softer and softer. Dacron sails are treated with resin that makes them stiff and hard seeming, this resin is also a significant portion of the stretch resistance of the sail. As the sail ages this resin breaks down, making the sail soft instead of crisp. A soft, easy to handle Dacron sail is by definition a stretchy worn out sail. Laminate sails are stiff, but less crunchy than Dacron when new, and don’t soften up nearly as much as they age. Laminate sails hold their shape quite well right up until they begin to fall apart. A tired laminate sail will begin to show spots where the Mylar is beginning to flake off, or areas where the layers of the laminate are beginning to separate, or “delaminate”, these areas will be soft and funny looking. A laminate sail with either of these symptoms is usually VERY near the end of it’s life, and the end usually comes suddenly!

Do you plan a long coastal or “offshore” cruise?

Extended cruising means you are likely to sail a lot, sometimes in conditions you wouldn’t normally choose to sail in, this can put a lot of wear on your sails and is a very inconvenient time for a failure. If there is any doubt in your mind, before you leave is a good time for new sails. However, do not wait until the last minute as there is sometimes up to a 6 week lead time if you are purchasing custom, not in stock, sails.

Will I get a big performance boost from upgrading my sails even if my factory sails are still fairly new?

While obviously there is more to be gained by replacing worn sails than new ones, this is still a very worthwhile upgrade for some sailors. Our Coastal Cruise, Performance, Offshore, and Custom sails will all offer improved boat speed, a greater wind range without reefing, and a better ability to point close into the wind than the stock MacGregor sails. Simply put, the factory sails are fine, but like the factory supplied sails on nearly every new boat sold, they aren’t the best you can get. To use the car tire analogy again, your new car doesn’t come with the highest performance tires available unless you are buying a high end sports car. Also like car tires, there are some tradeoffs to get the highest performance possible, we will try to explain these tradeoffs when we talk about the specific sails we offer.





For technical questions about sails, please email to: info@bwyachts.com

Dacron: The most basic and most common material used for building upwind sails. Dacron is actually a brand name for the Polyester (or PET) fiber. Dacron is easy to handle and fairly durable in terms of abrasion and careless handling. Dacron sails will last a very long time before they actually fall apart, but will not keep optimum sail shape as long as more modern fibers or laminate sails.

Nylon: The standard material for spinnakers and other downwind sails, all of the downwind sails we offer are nylon, or a nylon derivative

Woven: Any sailcloth that is made up of a solid weave of fibers running at right angles to each other like conventional fabric.

Laminate: A term used to describe any sailcloth that is made of multiple layers of different materials fused together under high pressure. Laminate sails can use Dacron or high tech fibers such as Pentex, Kevlar, Spectra, or Carbon Fiber as their primary structure. Racing laminates typically have an inner layer or “scrim” made of small bundles of fiber sandwiched between two layers of Mylar plastic film. These sails are semi-transparent and are strong and lightweight but must be handled somewhat carefully and do not tolerate abrasion or UV exposure very well. Cruising laminate sails usually add a thin layer of woven Dacron on each side over the Mylar (called a taffeta), this greatly improves durability and ruggedness, but does make them a little heavier to handle than a lightweight race sail.

Cloth Weight: Sailcloth (especially woven cloth) is usually described by weight, 5 oz, 5.5 oz, etc. While manufacturing differences from brand to brand make this weight per yard of cloth number less than exact, it is a good guide to how heavy, durable, and stiff a specific cloth is. Heavier is not necessarily better. Heavier sails will perform less well in light wind, are stiffer and more awkward to handle, and beyond a certain point really offer very little added life to the sail. While very durable, many people will find our offshore 6 oz mainsails more difficult to handle than they want, anything heavier will seem like trying to fold cardboard when you flake it and will likely not fit inside your standard sailcover due to it’s bulk. The MacGregor factory sails are 3.9 oz cloth, relatively soft and easy to handle and very unintimidating for the beginning sailor, but not as long lived as they could be. A 5 or 5.5 oz sail is a great upgrade for most sailors, if you feel you need a stronger or lower stretch sail than that, it’s likely time to move to a laminate sail.

Most cloth manufacturers use a “weight” numbering system for their various cloths that end in a common number within a cloth design group, these numbers do not necessarily exactly equal the published number. An example would be the Challenge Sailcloth High Modulus Dacron we use in our BWY exclusive sails, Challenge markets this cloth as 4.93 and 5.53, we round it to 5 oz and 5.5 oz to for simplicity.

Although we do offer mainsails and 100% jibs for some models as heavy as 6 oz, most coastal or inland sailors find these a lot to handle. We feel that the optimum sail weight for upwind sails on any of the trailerable Macs for most sailors is in the 5 to 5.5 oz range with some hank-on sails being lighter. All of our BWY Exclusive sails are either 5 or 5.5 oz with most mainsails and genoas being 5 oz and most Jibs being 5.5 oz, these weights give the best balance of performance, durability and ease of handling for each sail type. All of these sails will seem a little stiffer than your old factory sails, but not to the point of being unpleasant to handle This added stiffness will seem more dramatic to you if your old sails are quite tired, as they are probably as soft as bed sheets when they should be crisp.

Laminate cloth is not generally described by weight, but rather by strength modulus, a number that isn’t very helpful unless you are a sail designer. We try to provide an approximate weight equivalence number for the laminates we use to make it less confusing to know how the sails will handle. Laminate sails will be far stronger than the equivalent weight Dacron sail.


For technical questions about sails, please email to: info@bwyachts.com


Headsail Size by Percentage: Headsail size is generally described as a percentage of your boats foretriangle area (the triangle made by the deck, mast, and headstay). A 100% sail fills the entire triangle, but does not extend past the mast, anything more than 100% extends past the mast. The higher the percentage, the larger the sail is. While there are some other variables due to changes in design as the sail gets larger, a 150% sail has about 50% more sail area than a 100% sail.

Headsail Size by Sail Number: Sometimes headsails are described by their number within the sail inventory, especially on race boats. This system avoids confusion by eliminating the percentage description of the sail altogether. The #1 is the biggest headsail, the #2 next, then the #3 and so on. As a general rule a #1 would be a 150% to 153% Genoa, a #2 would be a 130% to 135% Genoa, a #3 would be a 100 to 105% Jib, a #4 would be about 85%, and a #5 would be a storm jib. The #3 is also sometimes referred to as a “Blade” because it is designed for upwind work in fairly heavy wind and is cut very flat. The 100% Jibs we sell are not cut as flat as a blade because they are designed to work well in a much larger wind range, giving a more all purpose sail.

Crosscut: A sail with the seams running horizontally across the sail. The most simple and basic (and least expensive) construction, still used on most woven Dacron sails.

Radial (or Tri-Radial): A sail with the panels cut so that they radiate out like slices of a pie from each corner of the sail. Radial cut sails allow the sailcloth to be placed so that the loads on the sail are better aligned with the strength of the cloth, this allows lighter cloth to be used while maintaining performance and durability. Radial cut designs are much more common when using laminate cloth as the design gains are bigger, and the added cost is more easily justified in a more premium sail.

Mainsail Slides (or Slugs): Small plastic slides that are attached to the mainsail with webbing or plastic shackles. Slides can be fed into the mast track when you rig the boat and then kept in place with a sail stop or mast gate cover. Slides make raising and lowering the sail quicker, safer, and easier, and allow the option of running your main halyard aft to the cockpit so you can raise the sail without leaving the cockpit.

Bolt Rope: The rope sewn into the edge of many mainsails to allow them to be fed directly into the mast or boom. All Mac mainsails come from the factory with a bolt rope and no slides. These sails need to be manually fed into the mast every time the sail is raised and dump out of the mast onto the deck when they are lowered. While there is a very small performance gain to a bolt rope sail, most non racers (and some racers) find the convenience and safety of sail slides to be well worth it.

Loose Footed: A mainsail that is attached to the boom at the corners only (no bolt rope on the bottom of the sail), this lets the sail have a better airfoil shape all the way to the bottom and makes the outhaul easer to adjust, All BWY exclusive mainsails have this upgrade.

Shelf Foot: A feature on some mainsails that allows the sail to hold it’s shape all the way to the bottom almost as well as a loose footed sail. These sails have a section of lightweight cloth that matches the airfoil shape of the sail sewn to the bottom edge so that the sail is not pulled flat to the boom.

Ropeless Foot and Luff: Historically most sails have been built with a rope sewn into both the luff and foot of the sail to allow it to be fed directly into the mast and boom. Unfortunately the rope adds weight and bulk to the sail and worst of all, they shrink up over time and reek havoc with sail shape. With sail slides and a loose footed design, this rope is no longer needed. All BWY Exclusive mainsails use reinforced Dacron edge tapes that eliminate the troublesome rope.

Cunningham: A ring pressed into the luff edge of a mainsail just above the tack. This allows a block and tackle to be used to pull down on the sail to flatten it as wind builds.

Jackline: A system that allows the sail to be easily reefed without having to remove the lower slides from the mast.

Power Head: A mainsail that is wider at the top than a standard sail. These sails have more “roach” area outside of the triangle formed by the mast and boom. On boats with fixed backstays the difficulty of tacking the sail past the backstay limits the amount of roach that is practical. On the 26M you can add as much sail area as you want since there is no backstay, all our 26M sails have more roach than a conventional sail, we also offer a flat top sail for the 26M

Flat Top (or Square Top) Mainsail: These sails can be used only on boats without a fixed backstay. Flat top sails have more sail area than standard sails, but more importantly they have much more chord, or width, at the top. On a traditional triangular sail the top several feet are largely useless because the sail gets so narrow that it produces nearly no power in that area, by making the top of the sail much wider it produces lift all the way to the top. Square top sails work like adding several feet to the mast height without adding nearly that much sail area.

Full Battened: A mainsail with battens that run horizontally all the way across the sail rather than being just a couple of feet long at the back edge of the sail. Some designs use two full battens at the top to support the roach of the sail (especially on power head and flat top sails) and partial battens lower in the sail. Full battened sails can be easier to stack on the boom and are quieter when tacking in heavy wind, but are somewhat heavier.

UV Cover: A strip of UV stabilized Dacron or Acrylic fabric sewn to the edge of a roller furling jib or genoa to allow it to be left on the furler without a pull up sock to protect it. Sewn on UV covers make life very simple (no sock to put on after you get back to the dock), but add to the weight of the sail which hurts light wind performance, shorten it’s life somewhat, and do not provide dirt and abrasion protection while trailering like a sock type cover does. We recommend White UV Dacron for the sewn on cover as it adds less weight to the sail than acrylic and has much less detrimental effect on sail shape and performance as the sail ages.




For technical questions about sails, please email to:info@bwyachts.com

For most MacGregor and Venture models we offer both 100% Jibs and 150% Genoas. We will make recommendations as to which is likely the best option for each specific model, your sailing style, and the wind conditions you sail in most. We do not offer 130% or 135% Genoas, as these in-between sized sails simply do not work well on any of these boats because the mast shrouds are attached all the way out at the hull. The wide shroud base makes it impossible to properly sheet these in between sized sails for proper upwind sailing.

For most models we offer both hank on and roller furling sails. All furling sails can be reefed (by rolling them up part way) for windier conditions, but a reefed sail will not have as good sail shape as a smaller sail used full size.


The majority of MacGregor boats sold since the mid 1990’s are already equipped with roller furling systems. Fewer older boats came equipped with furling, but some have be retroffited. Until 2007 most used the CDI FF-2, after that most use a new furler built in house by MacGregor (this system fits the 26M only), and a few may have Schaefer Snapfurl (originally built using a CDI patent license). All of these systems work well and are very reliable, but each has it’s strengths and weaknesses. If you are considering purchasing a furler, feel free to contact us at info@bwyachts.com to discuss which would be best for you. All of these systems use the same sails.

PROS: The two obvious advantages of furling are the ability to roll and unroll the sail without having to leave the cockpit at all, and the ability to roll the sail up partway (reef it) to better match sail size to the conditions as the wind increases. Roller furling makes sailing easier, safer and less stressful. A furling 150% Genoa can be rolled down to the size of a working jib or storm jib and a 100% Jib can be rolled down to a storm jib, eliminating the need for a sometimes challenging trip to the foredeck to change or lower sails in windy conditions. Our offshore grade Jibs and Genoas feature a foam luff pad which helps the sail keep proper shape when reefed, although there is a small penalty in sail shape when not reefed. In general we do not recommend a foam luff other than for true offshore sailing.

CONS: While not dramatic, having a furler on the boat does make mast raising a little harder because it adds a few pounds of weight. This is especially true if you don’t use the mast raising system. While modern furlers are very reliable if properly installed, anything mechanical can fail or jam, although containing a sail on a jammed furler is not much harder than containing a hank-on sail on a windy day. A larger sail reefed down will not have as good shape as a smaller sail used full size, so if optimum performance is an issue to you, you still have to make the Jib VS. Genoa decision.

100% JIB:

PROS: Very easy to tack, only a few feet of sheet needs to be moved in each tack, with a little practice you shouldn’t even need to use the winches at all. Because this sail sheets to the tracks or leads (depending on model) inside the shrouds on the cabin top, they can sheet very close to the wind, which allows you to pull the Mainsail in tighter as well. Most MacGregor boats will point as much as 4 to 5 degrees closer to the wind with a Jib than a Genoa. This is a HUGE increase in upwind efficiency and greatly reduces how many tacks it will take to get upwind.

CONS: Will not give as much power as a 150% Genoa in light wind. Upwind, the loss of power is more than made up for by the improvement in pointing ability in all but very light wind on most models. Downwind and reaching the difference is more noticeable in light and even moderate winds. The decreased downwind performance is more likely to cause a desire for a spinnaker.

130% or 135% GENOA: (The sail we don’t sell)

PROS: There really aren’t any. Often these sails are sold as “smaller and easier to handle than a 150% Genoa” but that really isn’t true. Having a slightly smaller sail doesn’t help much because you are still sheeting around the outside of the shrouds.

CONS: While in theory these sails provide a balance of the advantages of the Jib and 150% Genoa, in practice, on all Macgregor and Venture models (as well as a lot of other boats) these sails really don’t do anything well. They must be sheeted outside the mast shrouds so they aren’t easy to tack, but unlike the 150% Genoa, these sails do not extend far enough past the shrouds to wrap around them, so they are VERY limited in their ability to sail close to the wind. With a 150% Genoa, the shrouds fall into the “pocket” of the sail so you can pull the sail in much closer. While you will get a little more power reaching and downwind than a 100% Jib, it’s not enough to make up for the disadvantages.

150% GENOA:

PROS: Gives the most power in light wind, this is most noticeable when reaching or sailing downwind. Some models need this added power more than others. For some sailors the improved downwind performance of the 150% Genoa is enough to eliminate the desire for a Spinnaker.

CONS: Doesn’t sheet in as close to the wind as a 100% Jib when sailing upwind, which requires that you not sheet the mainsail in as far either to keep proper balance. Much more work to tack than a 100% Jib because you have to drag it past the shrouds, around in front of the mast, and all the way back on the other side. In all but very light wind it will always need to be winched in to sail upwind. Some people re-run the sheets on the 150% Genoa to lead between the shrouds if you are sailing it reefed to improve pointing ability upwind. This does help a little, but not even close to the pointing gain from the 100% Jib.


MACGREGOR 26M: The 26M has a taller mast and larger mainsail than any other trailerable Mac model and a hull that has lower drag than the 26X, as a result most people find the 100% Jib to be the preferred headsail. If you frequently sail in very light wind, less than 5 or 6 knots, you might want to consider the 150% Genoa. The optimum performance configuration for this boat in most wind conditions is a 100% Jib for upwind and an asymmetrical Spinnaker for downwind sailing.

MACGREGOR 26X: The 26X will point better upwind with a 100% Jib, but it takes more wind to make up for the added power of the 150% Genoa than it does on the 26M. If you often sail in less than 8 or 9 knots of wind and are more concerned with performance than convenience, you may be happier with the 150% Genoa.

MACGREGOR 26 Classic (Daggerboard or Swing Centerboard): These boats sail well with either headsail, so look at the pros and cons above to help make your decision. As a general rule, light wind sailors (less than 6 or 7 knots) would probably prefer the 150% Genoa.

MACGREGOR 25 / VENTURE 25: These boats sail well with either headsail, so look at the pros and cons above to help make your decision. As a general rule, light wind sailors (less than 6 or 7 knots) would probably prefer the 150% Genoa.

VENTURE 24 / 224: These boats have a longer boom and larger mainsail than other early models so they don’t need the sail area of the 150% Genoa other than for very light wind.

MACGREGOR 22 / VENTURE 22 / 222: These boats have a shorter (24′) mast than the larger models and are masthead rigged (the headstay goes all the way to the top of the mast) so the headsail is a larger portion of the total sail area. The difference between the 100% Jib and the 150% Genoa will be a little more than it would on the boats with larger mainsails, there will be a bigger gain in light wind performance with the 150% Genoa.

MACGREGOR 21 / VENTURE 21: These boats have almost as much sail area as the 22, but are much lighter, they really don’t need a 150% Genoa other than for racing, although they make great little race boats if you want to go that direction. Early model V21s had a simple 3 wire rig with no spreaders and the headstay only about 3/4 of the way up to the masthead. These boats were not rigged to run a 150% Genoa, just a 100% Jib which was very small due to the short headstay.

MACGREGOR 19: The 19 is a stiff, stable boat with a fair amount of hull drag and smallish rudders, it wants all the sail power you can put on it. Unless you sail in a very high wind area, almost everyone prefers the balance and performance of the boat with the 150% Genoa. Some very early 1992 models had a simple 3 wire rig with no spreaders and the headstay only about 3/4 of the way up to the masthead. Few of these boats were rigged to run a 150% Genoa, just a tiny 100% Jib. Many of these boats have been re-rigged to the newer masthead rig with spreaders. Sheet winches were an option on the 19, if your boat doesn’t have winches on the cabin top, you will need to add them to use a 150% Genoa.

VENTURE 17: This is a small lightweight boat, very few people find the need for a 150% Genoa.


Spinnakers can be a lot of fun, add a ton of downwind performance, and are pretty and colorful, but they can be a little intimidating if you haven’t flown one before. Spinnakers come in 2 basic styles, the symmetrical (or racing) spinnaker and the asymmetrical (or cruising) spinnaker, here is an overview of the differences.

Symmetrical spinnakers, called such because both vertical edges of the sail are the same length, are by far the more complex to use, because they require a spinnaker pole on the foredeck. This pole needs to be supported to the mast with a topping lift, held down to the deck with a foreguy, and needs to be disconnected from the spinnaker and moved from one side of the boat to the other side every time you Jibe. If it sounds complex, you’re right, it is! Almost no one uses a symmetrical spinnaker on a Mac unless they are really serious about racing.

Asymmetrical spinnakers, called such because the vertical edges are not the same length, do not require a spinnaker pole at all because they attach to the bow of the boat in much the same way a non roller furling Genoa does. When you Jibe an asymmetrical spinnaker you simply ease one sheet, let the sail blow out around the front of the boat and pull it in on the other side. There are many marketing names used by various sailmakers for their asymmetrical spinnakers, including Gennaker, Spanker, DRS and others, they are all similar in concept. The term cruising spinnaker used to be almost universally used to describe the asymmetrical sail, but in modern times many race boats, up to the Americas Cup use them, so it is becoming somewhat less common.

Before you decide if you do or don’t want a spinnaker on your boat, lets go over the challenges involved, and the advantages that these sails offer.

All of these spinnakers must be hoisted up to launch and then lowered to douse them when you are through with them. This process requires some skill and practice to do smoothly if you don’t have 2 people to handle the sail (plus the driver). With some practice you can easily get it down to where you need only one person to handle the sail in reasonable wind. If you want to make setting and dousing the sail really easy, consider adding a dousing sock (sometimes called a snuffer) to it. With a sock, you hoist the entire sail up while it is still inside the sock and then pull a line to slide the sock up the sail so it can fly. When you want to douse the sail, you just pull the sock back down to completely contain the sail so you can easily lower it down into the bow hatch.

Jibing a cruising spinnaker is not at all technical, It’s just like a BIG Genoa (OK, there is a little more timing required), but it is some work due to the length of the sheets that you have to pull around the boat each time.

Asymmetrical Spinnakers can be used at any sailing angle from about 70 degrees apparent wind down to about 150 degrees apparent wind, depending on wind speed. The lighter the wind is, the closer to the wind you can sail it, stronger wind will let you go farther downwind while still maintaining good speed.

We offer two main options for asymmetrical spinnakers:

The MacGregor factory size spinnaker: Sized to fit the 26X and 26M with no modifications, but also works well on the 26 Classic and 25 if you add a halyard about 2 feet above the headstay to allow for the extra hoist this sail has. The new BWY exclusive version of this sail is a Tri-Radial design made with premium Nylite 90 cloth for great performance and durability. The standard color pattern is a Red, White, and Blue star pattern.

BWY Custom Spinnaker: Available in the standard factory size, a somewhat larger size designed for the 26M with the halyard moved up 2 feet and our compact bow sprit, and in custom sizes for other boats. Made with Premium Nylite 9 cloth for great performance and durability. These spinnakers are a Tri-Radial design for improved strength and shape, available in your choice of colors. Standard pricing is for any combination of up to 3 colors of your choice. Custom graphics are available, call for pricing.




For technical questions about sails, please email to: info@bwyachts.com


These sails are custom built in the United States to our design specifications and are available ONLY at Blue Water Yachts. The BWY staff has over 100 years of combined experience with MacGregor boats, we know what works!


At Blue Water Yachts we offer a wide range of sails from very basic and very low cost sails up to custom high performance cruising and race sales. All of these sails are a good value and we have tried to provide plenty of information to help you decide which sails are right for your sailing style and budget. On the sail pricing pages we have made note of the sails that we feel are a particularly good value, not necessarily just the least expensive, or the very best, but offering an excellent balance of cost and features for each specific boat model.


BWY EXCLUSIVE SAILS: Throughout our sail listings you will find sails listed as BWY Exclusive, these sails are custom built in Seattle to our exacting standards. Design features as well as shape and draft have be optimized to enhance the sailing characteristics of the various MacGregor, Venture, and Tattoo Models. We have chosen to include features that give the greatest possible value at each price point. While this designation does not indicate a specific grade of sail, most of these sails will be found in the Coastal Cruising / Performance Sails, or Custom Sails Grades.


MACGREGOR FACTORY SAILS: These were the sails that came with every new MacGregor and are no longer available as replacement sails. All upwind sails were made with 3.9 OZ Dacron in a cross cut design. Mainsails were built with a single reef point (actually the second reef, there is no first reef) and a bolt rope luff edge without slides. These sails are very lightweight and easy to handle, but do not hold good sail shape nearly as long as most of our replacement sail options. In our opinion these sail were also more “full” cut than they should be for optimum upwind performance on most models, even when new. These sails will last quite a while before they fall apart, but if you sail very much, or frequently in windy conditions, they will be soft and pretty stretched out of shape after just a few years.


STANDARD REPLACEMENT SAILS : For some models we offer very basic sails that are essentially the same cloth and build quality as the original factory sails. Typically headsails are 4.0 OZ Dacron and mainsails are 4.0 or 4.5 OZ some of the mainsails have 1 reef point but some do not have any reef points, although they do have luff slides. These sails offer the least expensive way to replace a very tired or torn old sail. In many cases going to our Upgrade Replacement Sails, or even our Coastal Cruising / Performance Sails is not a lot more money and really a better value if it fits your budget.


UPGRADE REPLACEMENT SAILS: A definite upgrade from your old factory sails or our Economy Replacement Sails, but still very reasonably priced. Made with high quality 5 OZ High Modulus Dacron in a cross cut design. These sails feature all stainless steel corner rings hydraulically pressed into the sail as well as larger corner reinforcements. Upgrade mainsails have at least 1 reef point (the first reef) and luff slides. While slightly heavier and stiffer to handle than the factory sails, these sails will last much longer, perform better through a larger wind range (your boat will go faster and heel less), and hold their shape better in high winds than the factory sails so you won’t have to reef as often. Mainsails are available with full battens for some models. Depending on model, roller furling jibs and genoas may be available with or without UV covers.


COASTAL CRUISING / PERFORMANCE SAILS: The next step up from our Upgrade sails, Jibs are made with 5.5 OZ High Modulus Dacron in a cross cut design, most Genoas are 5.0 Oz High Modulus Dacron. Made for more rugged use and longer life than our standard sails, with reinforced corner rings, heavier corner and reef patches, reinforced headboards, and double stitching. Mainsails use 5.0 OZ or 5.5 OZ High Modulus Dacron and have 1 or 2 reef points, luff slides, and on many models a modest powerhead design with 2 full battens at the top. On some models, roller furling Jibs and Genoas are available with White or Black UV sun covers. We feel these are often among the best values we offer.


OFFSHORE SAILS: The ultimate in durability for Dacron sails. Made with premium 6 OZ Dacron in a crosscut design for super durability under extreme conditions. Mainsails have 2 reef points, draft stripes and extra telltales to better visualize sail shape, sail slides, external corner rings with webbing and leather reinforcements, and triple stitching. Genoas feature a foam luff pad for better shape when reefed, external corner rings with webbing and leather reinforcements, extra telltales, and White or Black UV sun covers. These sails are quite heavy and stiff to handle (especially mainsails and non roller furling headsails) and are, quite frankly, overkill for most Mac sailors. If you feel you want this level of strength and durability, you should strongly consider our Custom sails which use laminate cloth that is stronger, lighter, and easier to handle.


CUSTOM SAILS: Our premium sail offering for cruising or racing. These sails use laminate sail cloth with a light taffeta on each side to provide the durability of a very heavy woven Dacron sail, but without the weight and handling difficulty. The laminate cloth used in these sails has the strength of 7.4 OZ woven Dacron but with the weight and handling ease of a 5 or 5.5 OZ sail. Mainsails and Jibs use a Tri-Radial design for maximum performance, smooth shape and a very racy look, Genoas are cross cut design. Mainsails feature 2 reef points, luff slides, premium RBS tapered battens (standard or full battened), draft stripes, cunningham ring, and heavy duty fittings and stitching. Jibs and Genoas are available hank on or roller furling. Can be ordered with White UV suncovers or your choice of Sunbrella Cloth colors, although at this performance level we recommend using a pull up sock type cover that provides both UV protection and damage protection while trailering without the negative effects on sail shape caused by sewn on covers.


%d bloggers like this: