I have been a working sailmaker for almost 40 years. Hard to believe it’s been that long, but I started out rolling fabric and hand stitching corners at Elvstrøm Sails in Durban in the late ‘70s. That’s where I learned the trade. These days I know a lot more about sails in fact I wrote a big fat book on the subject called Maximum Sail Power - the complete guide to sails, sail technology and performance. I write for all the major sailing magazines. I only makes sense that I continue to sell sails.
The sailmaking industry has changed a lot since I worked for the big brand name sailmakers and their model of franchises, territories and tons of overhead is an old idea. It’s not cost effective to run a business that way. For my entire adult life I have had a global perspective on everything including where and how to do business. I have seen the world as my workplace and playground.
With that perspective I decided to open up my own business - Great Circle Sails - and sell to a global audience. The leads come through inbound marketing with my two blogs - Maximum Sail Power blog and the Great Circle Sails blog. It's a model that seems to be working very well. Most of all it suits my lifestyle. I can sit under a palm tree in the Caribbean or a ski lodge in Vermont and sell sails and interact with my customers who are from afar as Australia, Portugal and other far flung corners of the globe. I have Skype, the business is fully automated using online tools that for the most part are free, and best of all I have no overhead - none. What I save on overhead I pass along to you, my customers. You end up with a quality product that is a lot less expensive built in South Africa by one of the very best sail lofts in the world.
MAXIMUM SAIL POWER
A few years ago I wrote what was at the time considered the definitive book on sails and sailmaking called Maximum Sail Power. Many people heartily endorsed the book. Here is a sampling:
—Tom Whidden, President, North Sails: “Maximum Sail Power is a well-written book by a well-known sailor. It is a comprehensive guide to how sails are made and work for all levels of sailors. This book is a must-read for all sailors.”
—Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: “The mystery of how to obtain the best performance from your sails has been exposed. This book will be of inestimable value to the learner and experienced sailor alike.”
—Dame Ellen MacArthur: “Brian’s book covers what you need to know . . . He has written a concise book in language we can all understand—you can tell Brian has a passion for the sport and masses of experience to share in both sailing and sailmaking.”
You can download a free pdf copy of the book as my gift to you. Either click the cover or click here to get the .pdf.
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