Where the Art of Sailmaking is Still a Passion

About Calibre Sails


David Parr
Director

** Voted the Top Marine Company in Northland ! **

Calibre Sails makes high quality sails for both the racer and the cruiser. We also do sail repair at our loft.

Calibre Sails owner David Parr has been building sails and canvas products here in New Zealand and around the world for a very long time. He began his career at Hood Sails in 1975 and has been involved in every Whitbred Round the World Yacht Race since then. He has participated in five America’s Cup campaigns, working in a dual capacity as sail maker and crew member. His career has taken him to England, Japan, Connecticut and back to New Zealand. David also has an impressive record of coastal and blue water cruising experiences. Even today he spends many weekends racing and sailing with local sailing clubs.

Working side by side with his staff, David builds carefully crafted sails with safety, longevity and performance in mind. He works with a range of fabrics from the reliable, entry level Dacron to high end laminate fibres. Sail shapes range from the standard cross cut design to the intricate tri-radical cut. He also applies this same level of competence to all repairs and alterations.

The spacious, well-organized loft at Calibre Sails measures 315 sq. meter (3,400 sq.ft.). Working in a large, well-lit space ensures that sails are properly shaped and constructed no matter the size. The loft has state-of-the-art equipment including an integrated computer and plotter design system. Finish detail work is completed using the largest commercial sewing machine available along with several others.

Calibre Sails offers free pick up and delivery and a free evaluation of your sail inventory in their loft with you present. When choosing a sailmaker, keep David in mind. He is a sail maker first and a sales person last.

Calibre Sails has an in-house rigging service and is also an authorized agent for Southern Spars and Rig Pro. One of the worlds most highly respected Spar Manufactures and Riggers will now have representation throughout the Northland area through Calibre Sails Ltd. Please see our link page to access the Southern Spars website or contact us for more information and help with your rigging and service requirements.


David Parr
Director – Calibre Sails, Ltd

As director of Calibre Sails, Ltd., David Parr began his sailmaking career in 1975 and brings a lifetime of experience as both a sailor and sailmaker. The following is just a brief example of some of his experience in the business prior to starting Calibre Sails:

Titan Sailmakers in Whangarei, NZ – Sail Loft Manager

Stars and Stripes 2003 America’s Cup campaign - Sail Loft Manager

Team Nippon America’s Cup campaigns (1992 & 1995) – Sail Loft Manager

BNZ Americas Cup Challenge (1987) – Sailmaker

Hood Sailmakers – Foreman & Project Manager

Grant Dalton’s “Fisher and Paykel" Whitbread campaign (1989-90) - Sailmaker

Halsey Sailmakers – Mega Yacht projects:

Rebecca - 140 foot Frers Ketch
Team Philips - 120 foot Maxi Cat
Team Adventure - 110 foot Maxi Cat
Playstation - 125 foot Maxi Cat


Where We Are

We are located in Lower Dent Street, Whangarei. This is .5 km from the Marina Office in the Town Basin(same side of the river) and very easy to get to by foot or vehicle.The loft is in brand new premises with the ability to lay out Mainsails full size with a luff length of 20.00 meters and Genoa's with a luff length of 23.00 meters. Foot length's of up to 9.80 meters can be laid out.

Plant equipment includes an Adler 266 long arm machine with complete pneumatics and computer control. As per any professional loft all other standard plant equipment is included.

Find us using Google Maps

Products and Services

Calibre Sails is proud to be able to offer a wide range of products for both marine and industrial applications.

A description of each category is listed below and covers most applications. However given the nature of our sport and industry these are a guide only and we are happy to customize our product to suit the individual requirement.

We also offer a variety of canvas products.


RIGGING

Calibre Sails have been appointed authorized agents for Southern Spars and Rig Pro. One of the worlds most highly respected Spar Manufactures and Riggers will now have representation throughout the Northland area through Calibre Sails Ltd. Both companies pride themselves on the highest quality and passion for the marine industry. Please see our link page to access the Southern Spars website or contact us for more information and help with your rigging and service requirements.


REPAIRS

At Calibre Sails, we have the Service and Repair experience to help you with your needs, no matter what size your boat is; from a 160 foot Mega Yacht to 6 foot P-Class.  We have only fully qualified Sailmakers working on your sail repairs with a minimum of fifteen years of sail making skills.

What is our Service and Repairs team able to offer you?

  • General repair work and tidy ups on your sails.
  • Sail recut and re-shape work if your sails start losing their performance.
  • Retro-fit work (Full length batten conversions and boom furl conversions etc).
  • On-board advice and tips to help you enjoy your sailing experiences.

The most important thing for us to ensure is that your sails are safe and reliable when we return them to your yacht. We will help, free of charge, remove and reinstall your sails to the spars.


NEW SAILS

Calibre Sails ltd offer a range of new sail descriptions to suit the needs of the various sailors. These are:

CRUISING:

For the cruising sailor that is doing Harbour or limited coastal sailing only. Prime consideration is budget and longevity. Sails would include the following features as standard.

  • Top quality fabric used only. Two rows of zigzag seaming. Fan Patches. Leech cord. Foot cord. Leech Ribbons and Tell tales as required. Sail numbers if applicable. Roach profile to fit inside Backstay. Optional Full or partial length Battens on Mainsails (priced separately). Acrylic U.V Covers as required (priced separately).
  • Storage bag.

RACING

For sailors who are keen Club Racers but budgets are still key elements when purchasing sails. Fabric selection and construction will ensure great performance and still provide longevity. Sails will include the following features as standard:

  • Top quality fabrics used only. Depending on cloth selection (Dacron or Aramid) seams are sewn vertically and glued (Ultrabond) horizontally. Batten pockets made from the same fabric as the sail membrane. Fan Patches. All patches are engineered to be used in its correct wind range. Draft stripes (three). Tell tales and Leech Ribbons standard. Tell tale window. Leech and Foot cords are Kevlar or Spectra as applicable. Spreader Patches. Sails made to maximum Girths and sizes. Sail numbers.
  • Storage bag.

GRAND PRIX

For sailors who are doing major regattas and take their racing very seriously and within reason, cost is not a factor when purchasing sails. Fabric will be typically Kevlar, Cuben Fiber, D4 or similar.

Standard features are:

  • All seams are glued (as applicable). Patches to be a Plied and Fan hybrid construction. Mainsails are 1% over “P” measurement. Mainsail Tack radials (as applicable) to run from Cunningham as this will essentially be the Tack when sailing upwind. Three Draft Stripes, wider at Head and narrower at the Bottom. Tell Tale window. Tell Tales and Leech Ribbons. Leech and Foot cords Kevlar or Spectra as applicable. Overhead Leech Line on Mainsails and high clewed Genoas. Leech Line purchase systems and shock cord return. Sail numbers and country letters. Spreader patches.
  • Turtle bags for Genoas.

OFFSHORE

For the “Blue Water” cruiser who is on a world cruise and long offshore passages such as Trans Atlantic, Pacific crossings etc.  Crew will most often be short handed. Sails are manufactured to be the strongest and most durable sails possible. Standard features include

  • Cloth weights are generally higher than normal. Seam widths are wider and triple step seaming in heavier thread weight. Luff Leech and Foot tapes are wider and heavier including runners the full length of Leech on Mainsails. Oversize Fan Patches. Overhead Leech line with purchase system as required. Spectra Leech and Foot cords. Tell Tales and Leech Ribbons.
  • Storage Bag.

CANVAS

Cruiser's Cover

Calibre Sails Ltd would like to introduce our Cruisers Cover. The cover is designed and manufactured to sit behind the mast leaving halyards, winches etc. clear so that when lowering or raising your inflatable or using the halyards for other uses, there is no need to undo your cover each time.

It is simple and clean to help make your cruising more fun!


Here are just some of the other canvas products that Calibre Sails can make for your boat:

Steering Wheel Cover

Diesel Can Cover


INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS

Calibre Sails offers a range of industrial products and services. These include the following:

  • Shade Sails. Boom Covers. Yacht and Launch awnings. “Clears” for around Veranda’s. BBQ covers. Motorbike covers.
  • Banners.

We will happily provide quotations on any other customized product. We will be totally honest and let a customer know if we feel that their requirements may exceed what we believe we are comfortable with. We collaborate with the best specialist Canvas Companies to ensure that your requirements are met.

Contact Calibre Sails

P.O. Box 1618, Whangarei, Northland, NZ
Tel. (09) 430 0388 - Fax (09) 430 0399 - Cell 021 782 764

For a quote on any of our products, please fill out the following form
(One form per product please)

For general enquiries, you may simply email us at: dparr@calibresails.co.nz

Name:
Address:
Phone: Email:
Product Line:   Cruising Sails   Racing Sails    Canvas
Specific item: (choose one)
Boat Type: Boat Year: Boat Length:
  (mfr. & model)
Rig Dimensions: I J P E     Feet Meters
Please enter any other information

Some comments from our customers


Dear Waldo and Tom,

After a passage of 2055 Nm with winds between 10 and 35 knots, where all the reefs were in use. The passage to Cairns was made in 11 days. We also had a couple of days where we had to motor a bit because of lack of wind. The total motoring for the passage was 31 hours. The average wind speed was between 10 and 25 – 30 knots and mostly from the aft quarters, and we made very good speeds: 9 – 12 knots easily. I could have done more speed, but chose to settle for my norm of 200 Nm/ day. Also up-wind they perform very well where I do 9 – 10 knots, and beam reach 11 – 13 knots. I am very happy with the sails. They look to have the shape a wanted, and I really felt the difference from the old ones. You did a great job, and I feel confident that they will serve me for many miles, and definitely more than the 75,000 Nm the old ones did. Your skills, dedication, and experience made the difference. Thank you very much.

Best Regards,
Sven Aaen


Dear Waldo,

We just wanted to let you know how thrilled we are with the sails you built for us. The winds were fairly light yesterday but the sails set and performed beautifully.  Your craftsmanship is a joy to behold and we found ourselves looking up at them all day like we would a new piece of fine art on a wall.  At the end of day, the mainsail furled perfectly without any issues.  We have no doubt that these sails will serve us well in the years to come and, when it come time to purchase others for our inventory, we will happily come to you again.

We will be passing on our highest and most sincere recommendations for your work to anyone we meet needing the services of a professional sail maker.

Best regards,
Mark McClellen and Anne MacDonald
"Three Sixty Blue"


Dear Dave,

I am not big on letter writing however I feel that the service you have rendered to us demands some recognition above and beyond the payment of our account which might I say at this time, was extraordinarily satisfactory.
You might recall when I asked you to quote on the sails that I said that I had not obtained nor was I going to obtain prices from any other sail makers.
The reasons for this are fairly clear in my mind.

(a)     I needed a set of sails
(b)   I couldn’t afford a set of sails
(c)    I could not miss the opportunity to have a man of your ability and experience produce them.

This letter is just that, it is just a letter.  It is not a bullshit stereotype, press a button and out it comes, Dave’s a great guy letter.
I am endeavouring to (a) paint a picture of my experience (b) paint a picture of yourself as I have read you.
I am old school where my word is sealed with my hand shake.  There are not many of us left but I am pleased to say that in my mind, you are one of them.
Some people may ask why go to Calibre Sails when in this day and age, there is access to every sailmaker on the face of the globe.  The answer to me was very simple.  Having previously met you and done a small amount of business with you, the first word that comes to mind and the most important one to me is “honesty”.  I give you 10 out of 10.  The next word I think of is “integrity”.  I give you 10 out of 10.  The third word is “experience”.  I am not fully appraised of the depth of your experience however from my limited enquiry, it is fairly obvious that you have a vast knowledge of cloth and shape that can only have been achieved by someone who has had hands on with every facet of the industry from making the sails to using them in the highest level of competition.
We have just completed a 600 nautical mile ocean and coastal passage from Brisbane to the Great Barrier Reef and return.  I am pleased to say that your sails continue to impress me and the longer I use them the better they get.
I would say to anyone that is considering using your services as a sailmaker that they will truly get extraordinary value which exceeds the knowledge and experience to produce an absolutely state of the art cutting edge sail with the added advantage of being able to actually talk to the sailmaker involved in English.
Should anyone doubt the contents of this letter, then I would welcome their telephone enquiry so that I can confirm what I have already said.  NO, I am not a paid advertiser for Calibre Sails.  I am what makes them what they are.  I am a very satisfied customer.
I look forward to hearing from any potential customers by phone or email.

Regards,
Mal Hewitt.

S/V CAVU
98 foot Sparkman and Stephan’s Cutter

Mobile:  Australia 040-889-4121
Email:   malandvalhewitt@bigpond.com
6th November, 2013.


Dear Dave,
I am not big on letter writing however I feel that the service you have rendered to us demands some recognition above and beyond the payment of our account which might I say at this time, was extraordinarily satisfactory.
You might recall when I asked you to quote on the sails that I said that I had not obtained nor was I going to obtain prices from any other sail makers.
The reasons for this are fairly clear in my mind.

(a)     I needed a set of sails
(b)   I couldn’t afford a set of sails
(c)    I could not miss the opportunity to have a man of your ability and experience produce them.

This letter is just that, it is just a letter.  It is not a bullshit stereotype, press a button and out it comes, Dave’s a great guy letter.
I am endeavouring to (a) paint a picture of my experience (b) paint a picture of yourself as I have read you.
I am old school where my word is sealed with my hand shake.  There are not many of us left but I am pleased to say that in my mind, you are one of them.
Some people may ask why go to Calibre Sails when in this day and age, there is access to every sailmaker on the face of the globe.  The answer to me was very simple.  Having previously met you and done a small amount of business with you, the first word that comes to mind and the most important one to me is “honesty”.  I give you 10 out of 10.  The next word I think of is “integrity”.  I give you 10 out of 10.  The third word is “experience”.  I am not fully appraised of the depth of your experience however from my limited enquiry, it is fairly obvious that you have a vast knowledge of cloth and shape that can only have been achieved by someone who has had hands on with every facet of the industry from making the sails to using them in the highest level of competition.
We have just completed a 600 nautical mile ocean and coastal passage from Brisbane to the Great Barrier Reef and return.  I am pleased to say that your sails continue to impress me and the longer I use them the better they get.
I would say to anyone that is considering using your services as a sailmaker that they will truly get extraordinary value which exceeds the knowledge and experience to produce an absolutely state of the art cutting edge sail with the added advantage of being able to actually talk to the sailmaker involved in English.
Should anyone doubt the contents of this letter, then I would welcome their telephone enquiry so that I can confirm what I have already said.  NO, I am not a paid advertiser for Calibre Sails.  I am what makes them what they are.  I am a very satisfied customer.
I look forward to hearing from any potential customers by phone or email.

Regards,
Mal Hewitt.

S/V CAVU
98 foot Sparkman and Stephan’s Cutter

Mobile:  Australia 040-889-4121
Email:   malandvalhewitt@bigpond.com
6th November, 2013.


"Scraatch - 6 month report on new Screecher from Calibre sails: Very worth while in the light winds of Indonesia. Setting with main from 75 apparant to astern. 8kt apparant on beam gives close to 6kt boat speed. 15kt on beam gave 100mile run in 12 hours. Remote furling ( facnor FX3500 ) allowed recovery from a 25kt blip.....Very satisfied."

Brian
s/v Scraatch


" We have enjoyed a great relationship with Dave Parr and his Calibre Sails team from very early in the restoration of Rainbow. As we contemplated the gaff rig, Dave Parr was part of the team that conceived the gaff sailplan and Calibre Sails have built all our sails. The design and workmanship is great credit to the Calibre Sails team. After 4 seasons hard sailing, through summer and winter in Auckland, the sails are still in good condition which is testament to the quality of the sails, the use of good cloth, and the regular review and service offered by Dave Parr.

We will have no hesitation going back to Dave Parr and Calibre Sails for any additions to Rainbow's sail inventory."

David Glen
s/v Rainbow, 1898 Logan Gaff Cutter


"..Ken just wants to say a very big THANK YOU for making the best set of sails he's ever had. The genoa is PERFECT...and the main has never looked so good. The staysail just works like a charm and is cut perfectly as well! All hail Waldo! Thank you..."

Audrey & Ken
s/v Fast Forward


"Thanks for the good work on the main. I feel like I am on a Multihull finally!  We are now able to sail at a decent speed in even 10 knots of wind.  This is good since most of the trip to Minerva was at most 10 knots.It is amazing how much difference a slightly larger and flatter sail makes.  I wish I had it last year when we did 10,000 miles..."

 Rich and Jen
S/V Mystic Rhythms


" We trust you understand that we are on the way to leave the country and therefore we need to fine tune our route planning in regard to the weather. We feel quite confident with the new sails. Indeed, we are very happy with them and it was probably the best thing we did and we got in New Zealand !"

Rolf and Yolanda
S/V Moana


"Just a quick note to say how pleased we are with the Calibre sails we received for 'Vesper'.

As this project was completed in a very short time, it was crucial that we fulfill our sailing commitments as soon as possible. Your prompt and professional service enabled us to meet these tight demands.

The sails have been great right from day one. The extra work and detail put in to the in-boom furling mainsail in particular, ensured that the furling system has worked like clockwork right from the start.
Once again, thank you for a great set of sails and the extra miles that you put in personally to meet the world class standards that were required.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Calibre Sails to any prospective owner, skipper or project manager. "

Bob Graham
Design Engineer, Yachting Developments.
Vesper (Frers 95 sloop)


"....Staysail worked super:  18-25 knots upwind; jenny in good shape 25-30 knots downwind.  The main works just as you said: a couple of rolls upwind and let it out downwind.  Thanks for your help."

Jack Hoag
Ruling Angel - (80ft Richard Lazarra-designed sloop)

...then 15 months later...

" We are in Cairns, Australia ...doing a couple of small repairs...on the generator...on sails: Luff tape above the tack is being reinforced.  Sails are great!  Upwind, Jenny is wonderful.  Staysail works exactly the way you planned it.  The main is good.  The sailmaker here...brought the sail back with the comment: “Where did you get these sails made?  They are made really well!
Heading for the top of Australia and west thru Indonesia to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. We might go on forever. Performing sails make me happy. Thanks."

Jack Hoag
Ruling Angel


"... Just to tell you that your leachline system is very, very handy, that your sail is nice and strong, with the sunset behind it last night I could see all reinforcement parts through, perfectly cut and designed, you are a good sailmaker, please do write that in your ad..."

Jean Louis
Teba
- (68 Foot Custom Sloop)


"Dear David. We have been using the new sail a lot and I have to say the more I learn about it, the better we go. It gives me enough power without being too big, so I can tack in 20knts plus no problem. So it is versatile and efficient just as I wanted. Thank you for making me a great sail. Please receive my best regards"

Daniel Salama
Plentta Azual - (65ft sloop)


"We are definitely higher and faster than we have ever been with the new Jib. We need to go ahead and order a new Mainsail and Spinnaker".

Bruce Youvich  
E-5.9


"You have ruined my handicap! With the new sails, we are so much faster that we now look at line honors, but as we go along we are still getting some good handicap results as well"

Mark Gateland
Pohutakawa - 30 foot race yacht


"The quality of workmanship is far greater than we have received in the past".

Darlene Buckly
Splash Performace Class


"Really love the new Main, Genoa and cruising chute you made for our Beneteau. The quality and fit of these sails are really terrific, much better than the factory sails!"

Greg Davis
Kokopelli Too - Beneteau 393


"The new Mainsail is great plus on time and on budget"

Trey Fitzgibbons  
Mischievous - IMS 68


"Thanks for getting my service work done so quickly. The workmanship is excellent and your charges are very reasonable"

Jeoff Fontaine  
Saluki