Baby's got new shoes and Cups has got a new sail! Winston and the Ullman Sail crew came through and delivered our new foresail … earlier than promised. Under-promise … over-deliver … works every time. We were originally quoted 3+ weeks, but Winston fit us into another less-hurried sailor's slot (thank you, Berserk), and babysat our sail through the entire fabrication process. He kept us in the loop all the way … plan approval, cutting, seaming, UV, hardware, QC.
We were hoping we'd see the sail by early next week, but with Winston's constant updates, we were optimistic we'd see it even sooner than the original estimate. This would give us time to check it out and still not have to rush to meet our extended visitor permit expiration date. When he called to schedule the delivery and fitting, we were thrilled. “Shall we pay the balance before the delivery?”, we queried. “Wait, till the sail is up and you're happy. Then we'll tend to the final payment.” Great!
We had also sent our mainsail over to Ullman for a quick once-over. We'd inspected it ourselves, but thought as long as they were fabricating a new sail for us, it wouldn't hurt to have the professionals check it out. They reported that the main was in fine condition, except a wee bit of chafe on the batten pockets … easily remedied.
The morning was clear and calm when Winston arrived with the sails. He and an assistant attached the new yankee and hoisted it up the furler. It was cut a skosh higher than the last sail to clear the bow pulpit rail, something that had irritated us about the last sail. It looked great, but was quite a bit larger than we imagined it would be. It was classified as a #2 yankee, but really it was a replacement for our old jib, rather than a replacement for the yankee, as we expected. Where did the communications go wrong?
Our new staysail, fabricated for us by Ullman in Durban, was exactly what we had ordered and has performed well over the 800 miles from Durban to Cape Town. In all deference to Ullman, I guess we should have known the exact measurements of the old yankee … what we thought we ordered. We had sent the yankee to them and asked for a quote on both the repair, as well as the fabrication of a new sail, a replacement with a couple of minor mods. They came to measure and evidently disregarded the existing sail measurements in favor of what they thought we wanted. Now what?
Well, we'll keep the new sail, of course, and get rid of the old jib. In the meantime, the old yankee is back at the sail loft for a rush repair. The checkout clock is ticking once again. Sigh! There's never a dull moment on this boat.