Sails- Aftermarket options


New Member
Hi all,

I have an old '73 (I think, can't find a serial on it anywhere) that I'm trying to patch up and get a little better. This boat had a hard life, I bought it as a teenager and it had clearly (antifouling paint) been left in the ocean. I didn't really take care of it well or use it much but a cheap old little sailboat you can pull behind a cheap old little car and sail anywhere, that's the point, and I want to at least make it work right, maybe get a little bit faster (more fun).

I have two sails that I got with the boat, an all-white sail that I assumed to be a race sail because of the heavily reinforced tack/clew/head, but this is a very tired old sail, held together with some competent patches but mostly sail tape, and it needs more tape already. Grommets were half rotten so I'd assume this was also left on the boat in the ocean. The other sail is a red/white/blue, I'd assume recreational, covered in rust stains and weird fading, looks worse than the all-white one in my opinion so I've never used it. Both of these look to be OEM.

The boat itself is red deck, white lower hull with the white stripe on the foredeck (very nice combo, understated but sharp even in... rough shape, although I think the red hull/yellow deck is the cream of the crop), and I think it'd look very nice with some red on the sail. I got a gift certificate to Sunfish Direct so their red/white option caught my eye, although I haven't seen much for these sails poking around on here. I can't post links as a new user, it's their part 10012.

The other major option would be use the GC towards something else and get the RWB Intensity sail which people seem to like and is cheap. The reviews seem to be good although I'd have to put the logos on myself (same with SD) and if I'm being picky, I'd rather have just red and white.

Kevane has a red and white sail but it's almost the price of the SD sail and it's not clear if this is race or rec cut. Neil Pryde is a real name (I know it's not "the same" as their "real" sails) and has a good price, but not the colors I want and I've seen opinions both ways on these sails being flat where the Intensity sail seems to be pretty well-regarded as good value for money. There's The Sail Store, but this is 2x+ the Intensity sail for the colors I'd want and also more than the one I'd want from SD without the gift certificate.

Laser Performance: If it costs $150 more than the nearest competitor, it must be that much better, of course, it has the official logo. This isn't a racer and that would be $150 much better spent towards beer. The 2022 brochure shows red and white, though!

Major question: any "real" experience with the Sunfish Direct sails and are they worth it with a gift certificate (plus a bit of money), or would the gift certificate be better towards, say save toward a plane daggerboard down the line, get the Intensity sail (a bit more money again) this season, stick the Sunfish on (a wash) and live with the blue panel (not a tremendous sacrifice)?

Minor question: Disregarding the Intensity sail, is there any real difference between the aftermarket sail vendors who appear to make or source their own sails? Is there an advantage to a "generic aftermarket" sail over an OEM sail that was once quite nice but is likely now well past its prime?
Sunfish Direct sails have historically been flat, as have Kevane. Pryde did have a reinforced sail window that was hard to see through. Intensity is the cream of the crop, but they don't have much color choice, just red white blue or plain white.
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This trusted dealer advertised a (non-legal) red and white sail, shaped like the 'race' version sail:

I have the Intensity white sail and do well with at our club races against other Sunfish sailors, also have a new Neil Pryde sail, and another new one from our own Signal Charlie that I have yet to use.