Sailmaker (in Seattle) question

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Has anyone done any business with Ballard Sails in Seattle?
Considering a new sail, and some references would be helpful.
(a friend has stated representing them which prompts my curiosity)


Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Loren -

Ballard Sails does a lot of the racing sails for local fleets here out of Seattle. Alex Simanis (owner) provides excellent service, and they have a policy of treating every sail order like it's just as important as the next -- your basic dacron mainsail gets you the same level of attention and feeding from the staff as someone ordering a full-carbon #1 genoa. You could Facebook message the business and speak directly to the owner for a while about what you're looking for, for example. I know a number of people that work in the loft and they're all good folks as well.

That said, for being the local shop, they don't always have the best prices, and I have known a few people who have had quality control issues on some sails coming out of the loft. Similarly, some people swear up and down by Ballard and won't go anywhere else, but at the end of the day they are a small local loft and don't have the kind of repeatable "print-a-sail" quality of the bigger lofts...but there's not often a price difference to reflect this.

Of course it seems like literally every loft has someone singing its praises and someone who says they make the worst sails they've ever seen.

I asked Doyle and Ballard for matching quotes on my recent #2 and Mainsail replacements, and Doyle came out ahead in pricing and I am happy with the quality. I also have quote requests in for an A1.5 spinnaker to both lofts, once again.

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author

Thanks, Geoff.
I will take your word for it!
While it is possible that someday I might hand over my private life to "Facebook" I do not see it happening any time soon. :p


Member III
On my previous boat, I tore the leach line out of the UV strip after the UV strip has exceeded its working life. The folks at Ballard Sails had of fixed in days and I was happily sailing again.

All around positive experience for me.