How The Sailmakers Stole Our Money
This is a cautionary tale about how we ordered sails from a reputable sail manufacturer, paid in full, and 21 months later, we have no sails.
This is not a video we wanted to make. We were really hoping there was a reasonable explanation for why our sails were never delivered or why our money wasn’t returned. But unfortunately, the more we learn, the more shocked and disappointed we are. The writing is on the wall: We are out of a substantial amount of money and we aren’t getting the sails we paid for.
We feel we have been scammed! And we need to warn the sailing community so hopefully, no one else ends up in a similar situation.
In this video, we share the sequence of events, the sailmakers we ordered from, and what we’ve learned from this experience. (Video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/wjSNtWbx8oI)
We are happy to say the whole debacle has come to a close. Full story here: ▶https://youtu.be/MzJO9GYHBLE
Here is the court case I mention in the video: Quantum Sail Design Grp. v. Jannie Reuvers Sails, Ltd.
We Love South Africa! It’s very important to us this is clear. The last thing we want to do is create a negative association with South Africa and the sailing community in South Africa. Because aside from this one event, we have had nothing but positive experiences in South Africa and with the beautiful South African people we have met along the way.
🎥 CAMERA GEAR USED TO FILM THIS VIDEO
🙏 THANK YOU!
Ups, downs, and all arounds, we share it all. If you like what you see, there are lots of ways you can show your support.
Those names sounded familiar. Checked our records for unpaid invoices and sure enough some of these same persons seem to be involved with what used to be people claiming as being quantum sails south Africa and then ulman sails Capetown back in 2018. These same people bought quite a bit of stainless hardware from us in 2018 and never paid for it. Even saw them in person once and just got the run around about getting paid. Claimed we would be paid soon but that never happened. Heard indirectly that they pose as a legitimate sail lofts under a legitimate names but it is all just a fake image they present and they just take your money and run. My blunt opinion is that they are scam artists. Good luck ever getting anything from them. Been down that road before.
Very sorry to hear about what happened regarding Curiosity’s sails.
Your video is from 11/7/21. Today is 11/12/21 Hopefully you have more of a resolution regarding this unsettling crime.
The global Sailing Community is behind you as well as many others. You continue to move forward up to now without said sails.
Besides the 21 months, this might just turn out okay at the end! My fingers are crossed anyways.
Keep smiling and laughing and enjoy your natural surroundings. 👍
Hi guys, such a crappy situation. Hopefully karma comes back to you as you always go out of the way to help others (and cats too). Fingers crossed it works out for the best. Also every little bit helps so $10 coming your way. Luv the videos, stay safe and try and make it to Brisbane Australia at some point.
kia kaha. Heoi anō ko te oranga tēnei. E pouri ana ahau ki te rongo i o whakamātautau me nga kaiwhakangahau. He āporo kino torutoru noa iho i reira. some local te reo for you to ponder. nau mai ki a Aotearoa, ā, kia haere tonu tō akoranga me tō haerenga. enjoy your stay in aotearoa and may the winds guide you to your goal. er no pun intended
Wynns, in your travels around the world I think it would be interesting to investigate underwater living or testing facilities, if you can get access. With nearly half a million subscribers that may give you some sway getting permission.
One of the great things about the sailing community is that it is a community that tends to look out for one another, and it’s not just the boat owners, this includes manufacturers, boat builders, sailmakers, etc. We’ve seen recently how Lagoon, upon finding a problem, is working with owners to resolve the issue in as fair a way as possible. The same seems to be going on with One Sails. Finding out about a problem they step up and try to do the right thing. So kudos to One Sail and I’m sure the Wynns will be sending out praises of you and Dede De luca once they get their purchases.
David von Kroge
I saw that you updated your comment about you’re sail’s. I am glad to hear that they are working with you. I am not taking credit because I believe that it was you who got them to change their mind’s. I just wanted to let you know that I sent them an email and the company did respond with the same answer as you posted. I would believe that I am not the only one who did this. I am not asking for a thanks I just wanted to know people are on your side. Keep the videos coming.
Best wishes and happy sailing .
What a bummer! Hang in there. It sounds like it is being worked out.
By the way, who said they were reputable?
One word would be PayPal. Another way is credit card (as mentioned elsewhere) and another is making sure that you get that bank letter of credit worthiness (different names in different countries). Also, I thought the folks at SV Totem did sails.
I am a professional procurement instructor that teaches people who buy for the government. A major lesson to be learned here is never pay upfront for something that you haven’t received! A deposit is acceptable but wait till you have in hand what you ordered. It’s too late now for the Wynn’s but for the rest of you take heed!
I agree for purchases where that works. When it comes to purchasings sails, there is always a deposit upfront of 50% and then final payment due before delivery. Similar when you purchase a boat. You pay and then it gets delivered.
I agree with Nikki. As someone in accounting for a boat maker (whitewater rafts, not sailboats) nothing gets shipped until it is paid for unless you are a dealer or outfitter who has established credit. We do sell boats and other equipment to the government (NPS, NFS, BLM, BOR, even DOD) but the government enjoys the special privilege of being, well… the government. Their PO is going to get paid. This isn’t a case of buyer beware. The Wynns were swindled by some cool operators. The amount and depth of communication they had right up until the last payment was good indicator that they were dealing with a reputable business, and seemingly with the backing of a big international name like OneSails. I’m so glad that OneSails has stepped up to help the Wynns! Good show on their part.
Hey Nikki and Jason, I just saw your latest post about the sail maker in Italy reaching out to you to help support you, as well as hearing from Belinda.
I am crossing my fingers (and toes) that at the very least, you are able to get a full refund of all your money for your sails?!
Again, fingers crossed J&N for a good outcome!
There are many lawyers that work for contingency fees and may be willing to take you case forward.
If so, multiple suits in multiple countries in which these parties live or do business is warranted. Some countries have favorable laws supporting your claims.
It would appear both Sailmakers and especially OneSail are liable since the agreements between the two sounds fraudulent and they seem complicate in defrauding you and others and have a history of doing so.
Good to hear that One Sails CEO has taken notice! Overall, it was eyeopening to learn that a loft can represent a major brand without so much as a formal contract?!? What this says is that we should always check with corporate to ensure there actually is a relationship with the local loft or for that matter any local dealer. Sorry this happened to you guys, but at least your network can warn others. Also, your exposure will hopefully cajole One Sails into doing the right thing! Sad that they need such motivation though. As a side note, my wife and I were just talking about how posting a bad review on social media has become the new Better Business Bureau. It seems to be the only way companies listen these days. Good luck!!
This was certainly not OUR treatment of the Wynns. As you might suspect, we at OneSails were mortified to learn of the Wynn’s mishap with The Sailmakers. After waiting 21 months for their sails they contacted OneSails international just 12 days ago. I only learned of this yesterday. OneSails, who has not been associated with The Sailmakers since August of 2020, immediately went into action.
OneSails hired a lawyer in Cape Town and an investigator to go to the facility to see if the loft was active and to look for the Wynn’s sails. As you know, the Wynn’s are in NZ and OS headquarters is in Italy. None of the communications were by phone. The Wynn’s are working on their boat and there has been a time lag in their reading of our actions. They posted their video days after we had laid out the details to resolve their issue with The Sailmakers. The good news is that, thru our investigations, we’ve found their sails. With legal actions we have forced the hand of The Sailmakers and are now working out shipping details. If we had learned about this months earlier the matter would have been settled then.
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Hi Bruce – is this an email response that you recieved from Mark Walsheim? If so, did to respond to ask his take on how little their emailed response to J&N helped to resolve the situation? “We’ll let you know if we can be more helpful” is not an analog for “we will send someone to the loft and find your sails”
I want to be fair to OneSails but this message send to imply that J&N are misrepresenting the willingness of OS to help them. It certainly implies that J&N posted the video knowing that OS Italy was attending to resolve the issue, which would be a misrepresentation by people that we trust.
I would encourage Mark to communicate with this community directly on this forum. If OneSails wants to demonstrate that they are worthy of a good reputation, let them do it directly.
Agree. They never sent any response of the sort to us. If they had, we would have never needed to make the video. The response that is being sent out now, was never sent to us at all, only to people who have reached out since the video was published.
Thanks so much for the confirmation Nikki. I was confused by this post as there was no context to help explain where it originated or what the intent was in posting it. I would have been surprised if you would have known about “actions in the works” and then posted this video anyway. That would NOT be the Wynns that we have come to know!
You might consider pulling your credit reports just as a precaution. Make sure there is nothing showing up that seems off. In the cyber-age, one can’t fully know who they are dealing with unless dealing in-person, face-to-face, and in cash. Not an easy feat for nomadic-voyageurs, during a pandemic even, in today’s world of online e-commerce. Email interception happens and voice synthetization is another tool that seems to be used in telephone interception. How do we know who we are truly dealing with in the modern digital era. As a confirmed victim of identity fraud, I’ve researched alot about this to try and understand, and it is overwhelming.
Great to see you stepping into sort out 😁
I think you should go after these thieves. Easy for me to say, I know. Hell, unvaxxed MAGAs who die of Covid have Go Fund Me’s opened in their name, so you could raise legal fees that way. Do lawyers not work on contingency in these cases? Does Quantum not share some portion of liability since they leased their name to the thieves? Is there a lawyer you can find who can at least give you a general idea on your practical options? Hate to see these assholes get away with this. I’ll certainly contribute to the fund. You have enough of a paper trail to establish your fraud case. For a lawyer in South Africa and Italy, this should be easy money. What about filing a complaint with South African prosecutors?
This is an horrendous story! Very happy to hear Belinda has finally reached out to you – hope something positive happens and it all gets resolved to your satisfaction
Big hug from Cape Town
If you need an English speaking lawyer that does work in Italy (for English speakers), get in touch. My cousin’s husband specialises in this kind of work and if he can’t help you, he’ll likely know someone who can. And he is a sailor! Good luck.
Hi, I went to go see Jan Reuvers in person ( as I stay in Cape Town, South Africa ) and see how I could assist.
I presume I saw Belinda Reuvers as well there.
He mentioned that he sent the order through today with Pronto couriers.
Please let me know if u have any hassles, as I can go make a turn there again.
Sorry to hear what happened.
Reza from Cape Town, South Africa
Hi, In my very humble opinion (I am not a lawyer), One Sails, the head company, must bear responsibility. Because from the very beginning of the story you relied on the prestige of the brand and that what made you think that you are in good hands. It is a good omen that you are now in direct contact with One Sails boss. I guess he feels what I feel and may find out a satisfying solution.
Absolutely true! The must bear the responsibility because their name is on the line.
Hi. You mentioned Quantum and that several biz-corps were set-up in Maryland(?) You are Americans, also. Perhaps consider filing a report(?) I have had to do same in Canada. When you mentioned your timeline, the names of Craig, Belinda, Jason, and Quantum, your case struck a chord of concern at my end. I found this for you to consider https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds. Seems they accept international-fraud reporting as well regarding alleged fraud matters. Because we all seem to be connected via IPs and cookies and algorithms I wonder if fraudsters find our clicks onto yours and other channels and sites useful in creating complex webs. Love watching you both. So very sorry you are going through this.
Did your web page get pulled down about the sail scam ,I can not get it to play .
Sorry to have your sail purchase into a total scam. This should be a lesson for anyone wanting to deal with this type of licensee business. May there be a large enough backlash the licensee might get the message to clean up their act and stand behind their business as what advantage and assurance do potential customers have. Deal with established sail lofts. Sailing Sophisticated Lady order new sails directly from a manufacturer. Due to the Covid-19 the manufacturer worked with them and got the sails to SSL in Panama.
Hopefully, other Sailmakers do not have such insane terms & conditions of sale. An amazing read of this company’s insanity
Just wild ( e.g. “The Buyer is required to settle payments on the agreed deadlines, even though the sails could not be inspected and tested.
The non-compliance with the terms and conditions of payment frees the Seller from any obligation to deliver”) and obviously even after proper payment they refuse to deliver!
Do WIT (Whatever It Takes) to HOLD THE COMPANY ACCOUNTABLE!! You have many many MANY people ON YOUR SIDE!!
Agree. Whatever you can do.
Nikki and Jason, my heart so goes out to the two of you for what you have endured with these scammers and essentially criminals, who cause a huge mistrust amongst everyone in the sailing community. It is so wrong that they have done this to you and to others, and might get away with it (in the court system)!
I am so glad though that you and other sailors film and put out all of the buyer beware shows, and show us what it’s truly like to sail the world! I learn something new with every show, whether that is something that is frustrating, good, bad, ugly or fantastic!
Thank you both for doing what you do, and for taking me along for the journey!
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Why don’t you file criminal charges against them in South Africa? That might get their attention. Sounds like they are guilty of grand theft robbery.
I’m so sorry this happened to you. Making this vid was a good idea. I hope it gets shared widely enough in the sailing community to put a real cramp in those people’s “business model”.
I’m shocked that HQ in Italy said only that they’re sorry and can’t help. If those people were operating under their aegis they have *some* responsibility, surely? That’s like if McDonald’s washed their hands of any liability because some farmer sold the bad meat.
“What’s the takeaway guys?” My thoughts:
First – very upsetting story and sorry that this happened to you.
Second – you still need new sails.
Third – I suggest you use the same company that Brian (SV Delos) uses: Precision Sails in beautiful Victoria British Columbia, Canada.
Of course there are also sail makers in NZ and Australia, but if you do decide to use Precision Sails I can personally vouch for them as I’ve been to their loft and a friend lives about 5 minutes away who could help with shipping. But with Precision you would not need any such help, so I don’t know why I even said that.
I loved the buyer beware episode, but am so sorry to hear about this! It’s one of those nightmare scenarios we’d never wish on anyone! I hope…and know it’s going to work out in some special way for you! Sails, stackpack, tramp, and more! – Matt, SV Cadence
Ugh. Sorry this happened. I hope things get better with the sail situation. Such a bummer.
I am from SAvand just watched your video. Can you send me your email address.
And I thought the windows would be the biggest issue! Please know that we feel your disappointment with the treatment you’ve received. I’m sure its difficult to maintain an honest perspective when facing blatant dishonesty. Regardless, I’m sure you will land on your (wet) feet.
Nikki/Jason, while we were not taken like you, we too have had some BAD experiences with sail makers and other purveyors of marine services. I won’t mention names because it is not relevant. But we have found some serious challenges in the sailboat maintenance community. All too often many vendors take owners for granted or believe if they own boats they can absorb the extraordinary costs associated. I applaud you both for doing a number of your projects yourself. We like you and many others do the same. We ask all of the right questions, do the research and then take them on! While we sometimes have more than two or three trips to a chandlery to get extra parts, we have the satisfaction of knowing we did the work and how it is eventually put together. While you cannot make your own sails, it’s times like these that really make us questions peoples/company motives. Especially when we invest hard earned money. Keep your chin(s) up! You both are doing a great service to the sailing community at large as you document and share the “real-life” challenges faced by us all. Thanks!
Your frustration over the sail procurement process must have been so difficult and stressful. Going to the Italian master company is most likely your route to compensation. Perhaps even a class action suit with all the poor sailors out there who have been caught up in this situation.
I don’t know if you are aware of a “Letter of Credit” but this is a banking tool that importers use to procure from foreign businesses. It is a standard process and is used all the time. It minimizes the risk to the buyer.
I highly recommend you utilize this for any large valued purchase. Check it out on Google.
Keep your chin up.
Oh noooo… when you made mention of this issue recently, I hoped it was not related to the Quantum vs JRSails … very disappointing as a South African sailer ….. Here via grapevine that another is attempting to assist you, hope that goes better …. sadly I know the people involved …
Our family was taken when the bubble hit in 2007, we own 2 houses worth $400,000.00. We lost all. Time heals.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were going to live forever. – Mahatma Gandi”
If you paid with a credit card, you could dispute the charge with the bank, and get your money back. What would be a great video, is to go to the sail makers office, and confront them.
Lots of Scams unfortunately come out of Africa as there is no recourse to punish these unscrupulous folks
To bad major companies in Africa don’t work hard to correct this unfortunate track record but maybe they feel there’s more money in following the trend to rip people off. We were ripped off for $1500.00 by yellow pages scammed we thought we were paying yellow pages but we’re not
This company even had a Toronto address but it was a scam no recourse
You guys do not deserve this but the government in Africa should know you have tons of followers and should work on your behalf to correct this outrages theft
John, Africa is not a country. It is a continent with dozens of countries and those countries span the whole spectrum of what type of country. South Africa is a country at the far southern end of the continent and probably the most developed.
Lots of scams unfortunately come from all around the world and plenty out of the USA (hello Bernie Madoff) South Africa as a whole is not responsible for one business’s failings. We have had fantastic experiences with other South African businesses and this is the first time we have ever had an issue. Very sorry to hear about your experience with yellow pages and no recourse, that is soo frustrating.
I love that despite the serious headache and how easy it would be for you guys to throw blame out like a wide net, you don’t. It was the actions of a few unscrupulous individuals. I imagine everyone has been the victim of at least a small scam once or twice in their lives. I got hit by 2 different crooked auto mechanics over the years in the good ol’ USA. Every country has its share of bad apples. Best wishes to you both in getting this worked out. I can only imagine how frustrating this must be. Please keep at it. I have selfishly enjoyed your journey and am not ready to see it end 😉
Hear our industry players are working on a solution,,, I’m looking forward to you guys getting a good solution ….
Marc and Marti
My husband and I are curious whether there were calls or video chats with these three people?
Boy. That is tough. I am sorry.
You do have recourse through the larger company in Italy. The are wool gathering to try and limit their liability. Since the order was through them, they are liable for all subcontractors.
You will have to sue them in Italy where there main office is. Be sure to get legal advice in Italy as there are small nuances in laws. Of course an Italian lawyer is needed. I suspect that ordering in Vietnam will be less costly. The labor costs are lower there and there are good products. I am fairly sure that SeaWind cats can handle the order for you even though they did not make your cat. They are in Australia and most of their manufacturing is in Vietnam. I am sure they use salemakers in Vietnam. labor is the key factor.
You might also try China. The advantage there is the currency manipulations lower the cost of goods from China.
And as always, there are great sailmakers in US and Australia. You know more about this than I do.
Best of luck. Roger
Not sure if it can be useful,
-but I am in Italy and in case of need I can resource locally , very easily, a layer or a Legal Studio or whatever.
For Sail … no, that’s not my turf !!
You have my mail …
Guys sorry about getting scammed but I suspect you are one of many. I suggest you build a file containing all emails, a detailed statement of events, and financial transactions and report this to the police in South Africa. If you provide a detailed synopsis of the events and provide the evidence to support your claims it gives the police a great investigative jump off point to pursue these criminals. It probably will not result in a financial recovery but it will cause these criminals substantial aggravation. Unfortunately his type of thing happens all the time.