Haarstick Bay Sails – The Canadian Haarstick Sailmakers Production Loft
Once in a while customers ask me why I have the Haarstick name attached to my sail loft. I always start by explaining that it is a brand name for the group of Haarstick lofts, but that it means more than any sailmaker’s label in a very practical sense.
Let me explain why Bay Sails proudly wears the Haarstick name. I have had a long standing agreement with Steve Haarstick that I pay for his sail design experience, receive the use of his proprietary sail design software, superb sail cutting, and cloth testing. I don’t necessarily need these services from Steve, as we can handle design and plotting in-house as well as many lofts currently do. I could also use one of many other sail loft franchises or sailcloth makers that would provide me with similar services for a nominal fee. It is my experience however, that what Steve Haarstick provides me is very different from what any other sail designer or sail cutter is currently able to deliver.
1. Haarstick sail panels from the Gerber cutter are absolutely perfectly cut. I assemble 0.5oz nylon spinnakers with over 40 panels and they require absolutely no fairing. This is not the case with any other sail cutting equipment on the market. This perfection is the same whether it is a cruising genoa, a carbon mainsail, or a light nylon spinnaker.
2. Design expertise and reliable design software. Steve Haarstick’s approach to sail design is definitely not about pretty displays to show customers. The Haarstick design software does however generate sail designs that are consistently fast and easy to trim for all different types of sailboats.
3. Cloth testing. Other sailmakers don’t seem to care about this important step. I believe this is because their sail cutting and assembly accuracy are too low for them to notice how important cloth selection is. I know there is a difference, and it is too significant to ignore.
4. Repeatable racing designs. Our racing customers appreciate that when they need a new Lt/AP #1 that we can create an exact duplicate of the previous sail that they liked so much. One design sailors can put up a new main and not have to retune. This repeatability is only available with superb cutting, cloth testing, and skilled assembly.
I have owned and operated this loft for 12 years, and this year we have manufactured over 150 sails at our loft in Hamilton including:
Optimists, 55’ offshore cruisers, Access dinghies, Martin 16’s, Albacores, Sharks, Catamarans, Trimarans, Capris, Kirbys, C&C Cruiser/Racers from 24’ to 44’, J’s, Beneteaus, Jeanneaus, Mirages, Niagaras, Hinterhoellers, Nordicas, Halmans, Sirius, MacGregors, Catalinas, Tanzers, Melges 24’s, Nonsuches, S2’s, Pearsons, Whitbys, Folkboats, the list goes on. All of these sails were perfectly cut with the right cloth and an appropriate design. If I go all the way back to 1989 when Bay Sails began began the partnership with Steve Haarstick, perfectly cut sails are what we have come to expect every time.
These are the reasons why Haarstick is in the Bay Sails name. Our reputation is based on the quality of our product and service, and Steve Haarstick gives us the tools to meet those expectations.
Haarstick Bay Sails