The North Sails teams around the world have received a bunch of calls and emails recently. A quick Q+A has been put together to help provide you with information on where we are at during this crazy time. We also hope the information below provides you with a realistic outlook that we will eventually get back to some semblance of normal, and find joy in an activity we all love.
Are you still making sails?
Yes. At North Sails, we are taking all the recommended safety precautions to limit the impact of COVID-19 in our production facilities. One advantage of multiple manufacturing facilities globally is that there are several countries that we manufacture in which have had less effect from the crisis to date, while others have had quite a large effect and are currently in shut down.
The current situation is very fluid, and at this time, we are running essential operations at our sites when permitted, that will not compromise the health and safety of our staff and clients. All in all, we are up and running to the very best of our capabilities during this crisis.
Can I still get my sails serviced?
You can coordinate sail drop off and pick up with your local team in any open location. If picking up, please ensure invoices are prepaid and schedule a time with your North sales or service representative.
The phone is your friend. Call and schedule a time for pick up or drop off out in front of the building. We are continuing to arrange sail collections, deliveries and installations with clients by appointment. Please contact us to arrange your’s if your local area allows for this freedom of movement. Again, local regulations are different from place to place thus, so we have no global policy. We are completely reliant on our local teams to monitor and support this process.
When I order new sails, I usually come in to the office and go through all my details with my sales rep…can we do all this over the phone or the internet?
Absolutely. We will continue to provide our customers with world-class customer service via the phone, text messages, or virtual meetings. We can add in one of our designers to a call. The majority of our staff is working remotely and ready to answer your questions and support where possible. Contact details for your local North Sails team can be found on northsails.com.
I have ordered sails. When can I expect delivery?
At this stage, our facilities have been for the most part up and running. That said, we do anticipate some delays as countries, states and regions make moment to moment decisions whether the public must shelter-in-place or if people can continue to safely go to their jobs. There are also plenty of shipping questions at this stage with air and water transportation greatly affected. Currently we are handling all questions concerning shipping on an individual basis and recommend that our sales team stay in touch with their clients often.
So, the short answer to this question? We are trying to stick to our schedule but do anticipate likely unintended scheduling issues going forward and will work with our clients on a case by case basis.
I have sails on order but won’t need them when I thought I would. Will you store my sails until I need them?
Absolutely. We call this “Pay and Hold.” We will store your sails on our shelves for no charge. We simply get final payment upon sail completion as normal, along with a confirmation email from our client that the sail has been sold to them and we are keeping it until needed. We keep your sails on our shelves until the sail is needed and we know where to send it. We hope your sails won’t be on our shelves long and we will all be getting on the water soon!
I am considering a new sail purchase and hope to be able to use my boat and new sails by the middle of the summer. Can you make that delivery date?
At this stage, yes. Depending on the type of boat you have and sail you need, we have delivery slots available in late June, July and August, but be aware we expect quite a backlog of orders to push through so it will be safest to get your order into the system now, rather than relying on a rush request down the road. Again, this will be affected by the country, state, region and local regulations concerning our manufacturing facilities. I can say that when we are able to work within safety guidelines set by local authorities we are doing so at this stage.
How is North Sails helping during this crisis?
Currently, in many countries in which we have service and manufacturing facilities, we are working with local, regional, and national authorities to begin production of safety masks. Our North Sails colleagues in Italy were the first to start this process. “Cut and sew” facilities can help ease the burden of a shortage of essential materials like masks during a time of crisis. It is the priority of North Sails to utilize our skills and capabilities to help where we can.