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Hi all, I am about to purchase a set of sails from Jeckells in the UK. They'll be sent to a friend's home in the U.S.A..

I'd like to know if there will be any extra charges (taxes, stamps, etc.) when the sails arrive to my friend's home. Besides that I'd like to know if Brit VAT will be applicable considering the sails will be sent overseas.


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Normaly,VAT is payed in the country of origin (or inside the European Union), so not in the US of A.
Now, for US taxes, wait for a citizen of this country...

Provided they label and ship them properly, your only fees in the US will be those paid to get them through customs, which are usually minimal. Your freight forwarder usually is the only entity you pay for everything on the US end.

We use the very favorable exchange rate and order all of our sails from South Africa, at a fraction of normal cost in the US (which is also how US lofts increase their profit margins.) The key is knowing what can be received "duty free" from what countries. Textiles, which is what sails are, can come from almost any country into the US duty free, so long as they are labeled as such.

Many thanks for the info. I'm going on with the operation. By the end of December I'll hopefully have them.

I would second South Africa for sails, especially as their currency has lost over 50-70% over the last 18 months. 

Have a look at Quantum sails in Cape town before you order..


Budget Boater

Could you share with which sail maker you use in South Africa?



Well...I have used several different ones over the years. That is because I have followed a person, Dallen Roos, from sail maker to sail maker. It appears that he is now with Ullman Sails in Cape Town, which is new since the last time I had sails built when he was at Quantum and Hood before that.

Realistically, any sail maker can do the work. Wharram wing sails are not special or difficult for a professional sail maker to build. The biggest problem any American or European will have is getting around the factory agreements that South African sail makers have with US and Euro factories: not to sell sails directly to the public (at local SA prices) if shipped to US or Europe. I get around this by using my company to have the sail makers brand label sails for me. So the sails might be made by Hood, Quantum, or Ullman, etc. but they have my brand on them. That seems to satisfy their factory obligations and agreements, and does not break their rules.

i have some frind they ordered new (standart) sails in captown last december. the went all over the palce to find the right sail maker. the sails they goot where on fitting, had to be changed 2 times and in the end the paied 30% less and use this  "lala" sail.

after spamding 10 month in south africa, i have to say that you should be very careful with this contry. the quality standarts are really not like in the US or europa.

 we got our first sail from Doyle sails in New zealand... they last only 4 years and the material was gone. the new sails we have now are from Lee sails. i made the messurment and send it to them. 4 weeks later, a perfect sails , made in a very good quality, was send back to Langkawie (amlaysia) where we have been in this time.

communication and service was great. they know how to deal with customs etc. allo cool. would do this anytime angain... the price of the sail was 30% less then i paid in NZ 4  years before.

i posted here somewhere a blog about this deal with lee sail..

 cheers hans

I didn't dare to speak about Lee Sails, in Hong Kong, (China, quality, reputation...) but I can now second Waka, since he has open the box. If they are not the best for competion, racing or regatta sails, they make very good cruising sails, and their price is far lower than the one in France, and I believe, Europe. It woth to contact them for a quote, I think.

I have had good luck with Rolly Tasker in Thailand, even after paying postage to the US.

I would give a word of caution for Jeckells as well, I think they are quite expensive and they do not hold their delivery times at all and then they tend to to forget something...

Is there anything better? Good question, it will depend on the sail plan, if you need Tiki type sails and have sample maybe you can find a sailmaker who can copy them locally.

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