What some of our customers had to say
“Martin van Breems and his company are conscientious business people who stand behind their product like no one Janet and I have had recent experience with. Their model is more European than American – to produce the best product they can and make a reasonable profit doing so, rather than focusing on how rapidly they can make a big bundle. And, they were gracious hosts to Janet and me while we were there – inviting us to use their dock and taking us to a distant supermarket to provision. Our experience with Martin and Tim made it one of our best days of the summer.
How did we come to meet Martin? Last year (2007), we had new full battened main and mizzen sails made with Dutchman furling systems. After installation, it seemed to me that things were not quite right. I took several photos and showed them to Martin at the Sail Chicago show where he goes every year. He was concerned with what he saw. We discussed what to do and I told him we would be in Long Island Sound during the coming summer. He invited us to stop by his facility at the south end of Norwalk Harbor, Connecticut, and said he would fix any problems at no charge.
That he did. As it turned out, the problems were with the installation, particularly with over-tensioned battens distorting the sails. Martin’s analysis and advice to shorten the battens saved our several thousand dollars worth of new sails. He also relocated some fairleads and gave me patient coaching and instruction on how to adjust the system properly. I mentioned to him that I had contracted for three control lines on the main and that the sailmaker had installed two without consulting me. Martin gave me the parts to add a third control, again at no charge.”
“At first, I wasn’t particularly interested in the Dutchman, but Dave Simmons at Hood suggested I consider it. As soon as I saw the video, it was easy to see how useful the system could be, and I told him to go ahead. Now that it’s adjusted, I’m quite impressed. Under any circumstances, we can drop the main fast without worrying about it spilling onto the side deck or overboard, or obstructing the helmsperson’s view. I have a traditional boat and aesthetics play a big part, so I was a little uneasy at first about how all these fittings would appear on the sail, but, in fact, they are very inconspicuous. I like the effect of its general visual transparency and the reduced windage, as compared with ordinary lazy jacks. It really is good system.”
“I thought the Dutchman was just another marginal gimmick, but most of the recent Santa Cruz 70s and 52s have Dutchmans, and all the owners love them. One is on the delivery main of Mirage, an all-out racing 70; one is on Hotel California II, a 100-percent-cruising 70; and one is on Chardonnay II, a day-charter 70 for 49 passengers. The system is really functional. ‘Fast is fun’ even when stowing a main.”
“Our boats are out every day in trade wind conditions. We’ve tried lazy jacks, and everything else. The Dutchman system is the only system that works. We’ve used it for four years now on our 25-boat fleet, from 35 feet to 65 feet, and all our new boats now come with it.”
“The Dutchman system lives up to its claims. When a Dutchman-equipped sail is lowered, it stays on the boom, and is immediately ready for sail ties or the cover. All of our customers with Dutchman systems are very satisfied with their choice.”
“Even though the Dutchman system costs twice what lazy jacks cost, it is so effective that our lofts strongly recommend it. We often see customers wanting to save money. They buy lazy jacks, get frustrated with them, and purchase a Dutchman system a year or two later. For most people, it’s the best system out there.”
“Our experience is that customers simply prefer the Dutchman. It’s now a standard option at North, and it’s the only mainsail control system we offer. It’s simple. There’s no lost performance. It looks great. And it works.”
“The Dutchman system fits in perfectly with the J Boats’ philosophy of keeping it simple and making sailing more fun. Most of the larger J Boat owner, from the 160 down to the 32, are sailing with the Dutchman and love it.”
“The Dutchman is simple, reliable, and, after years of refinement, it’s now a very well-proven system. I tested the Dutchman on my own Catalina, and have used every other system available. With a full-batten main, the Dutchman allows our customer to single-handedly drop and flake the main. We now offer the Dutchman as standard equipment on all our boats, from the Catalina 270 to the Catalina 470. Our customers are very happy with the system.”
“We’d been holding out for several years, for no good reason other than rebelling against the idea of holes in our sail. But when our local sailmaker, Aaron Jasper, whose conservative opinions we’ve come to respect, said he’d decided they were superior to lazy jacks, we made the move . . . [The] monofilament does not flap against or appear to chafe the sail [like lazy jacks and the system is] practically invisible . . . We heartily recommend the Dutchman Sail Flaking System.”