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There is a cautionary tale in here somewhere.  So, the wife and I have been busting our asses to get our Hitia 17 in shape to sail at the Hui Wharram this weekend.  For those of you who don't know, the wingsail modification for the Hitia 17 is based on the Tiki 21, but some final measurements for the gaff must come from the actual sail.  I'd received the sails on May 6th, checked to ensure that what was on the bag matched the tag that was on the sail in the bag, but did not remove and layout the sails.  You know where this is going, right?  When I removed the mainsail from the bag, to get my final gaff measurements, much to my surprise, I find out that the sail does not have the pocket for the gaff!  It is, in fact the standard sprit rigged sail for the Hitia 17.


The loft says that they built the following mainsail for me:


Mainsail Gaff Coastal Cruising with luff sleeve

3.8 oz US Dacron crosscut                                    

Luff 4.40: Leech 5.55:  Head 1.97:

Foot 2.40:  Clew to throat 4.70:  Area 9.50m2

Including 1 window and 1 reef 

This is also what all the tags say, but that's not what's in the bag.  So, at this pont, the factory is in denial, the dealer is confused, and I'm hearing all kinds of excuses, to include the sails got swapped, and someone else has my sail.  ...Right.  Oh, and since I had to take pictures.

I have great looking sails, but they won't work on my boat.  I am not pleased.

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This is now the beginning of the 8th week of my efforts to get my gaff mainsail issue resolved.  I've had numerous emails with the Rolly Tasker Sails GM, Mike Tasker, and have been told the design issues have been resolved.  I have been told twice that my replacement sail was in production and would ship by a given date.  Both of those dates passed without shipment of the sail.

Additionally, within the last week the U.S. broker for RTS, Dirk Sharland of National Sail Supply, has interjected himself back into the process.  He's been MIA since the 2nd day of this process, but is eager to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory."  Apparently, Dirk's idea of customer service is to now Demand that I return the incorrect sprit mainsail before he'll authorize RTS to ship my replacement.  I've explained to him that he is welcome to the sprit mainsail, once I've got my replacement in hand, but he refuses to authorize shipment.  I suspect his sudden interest in my returning the sail has more to do with him having a buyer for the sprit mainsail, than anything else.

Enough, I've already spent too much time sanding and finishing this boat while waiting for the correct sail.  Any more, and I'm going to feel compelled to enter it in a wooden boat show.  It's time to implement my original Plan B.  I've contacted a local loft and will drop the sprit mainsail off next week to have them modify the head of the sail and add a gaff pocket.

I guess the only positive thing to come out of this is I know who Not to buy my sails from for my Tiki 30.

Well it looks like you are having the last word on this discussion , though I doubt that is much consolation to you. But , you know, sea air is a great cure for all cares so I hope the next we hear / see from you are your launching photos!!

Safe Seas

David Baxter sails in Norfolk, Virginia gave us good service and made us good sails.  Ann and Nev


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