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Thread: Buying From Solway Dory

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Peterborough, England

    Default Buying From Solway Dory

    Before I start, I just want to say that I am in no way connected to Solway Dory professionally, socially or otherwise, though I have bought quite a few bits from them this year.

    I have also refrained from posting something along these lines just in case they put their prices up before I finished buy everything I needed, but I need so say something now that I am sorted.

    This year, after buying my canoe, I discovered the wonderful world of Solway Dory, a small company in the Lake District that makes most things devoted to sailing canoes, including some very special sailing canoes as well.

    Okay, why post something I hear you ask? Well as a dinghy sailor, I have been buying sailing gear since the 1980's and one thing I have come to learn is that everything & anything related to boats is expensive and quite often the quality is nothing special. So imagine my surprise when I discovered Solway Dory who sold me a fantastic professional sailing rig for around 200 plus around another 100 for a wonderful leeboard in beautiful ash hardwood, carved and shaped to perfection.

    Put it this way, a simple cover for my Enterprise sailing dinghy cost me the best part of 400 and a main sail & jib sail from my boat would cost nearly 1000 for just the sails, no mast or boom included. In a nutshell, I have no idea how they do it and make any profit whatsoever.

    I have just come back from Ashbourne in Derbyshire after a weekend with the family and spotted a pond yacht (Model sailing boat), very popular in Victorian days. I asked the shop assistant for the price and was told 300!! I said "Your joking right, I bought a full size sailing rig & solid ash leeboard for about that money!" and left the shop. After doing a little research tonight, the model yacht was priced about right as it turns out, yet further illustrates just how great value the Solway Dory rigs really are.

    Then there is the customer service & support that comes with SD. They have worked with me this year developing the products to meet my needs, adding lead weights to my original clip-on leeboard to help keep it below the waterline and on one of the sailing meets, even gave me a hand to mount the leeboard thwart to my canoe while everyone else was getting ready to go sailing!

    Then there is the trust element. Maybe they are a little too trustworthy. They were posting items out to me the same day I was posting my cheque to them! Most companies would wait until the cheque had cleared, or at least until it was received, yet these guys base everthing on trust. Makes you feel all warm inside. You know, like your dealing with someone in the family rather than a business or company.

    It's the kind of trading that it should be like in the days before someone ripped off them off. You know, "My word is my bond" and all that.

    Okay, maybe I was lucky and I sounded trustworthy over the phone or something, but I was impressed enough to want to mention it on here.

    I hope that in posting this, Solway Dory don't whack their prices up as a result, though take it from me, they probably should and it would still be worth buying compared to other stuff out there.

    You know when you buy something on ebay, you can leave some feedback of how it went, well if you read this SD, (Nice one, excellent quality, fast delivery, great service & V.Happy, A+++++)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Helensburgh, Scotland.


    I'd second everything that Steamerpoint says about Solway Dory. The thing that comes through about the SD guys is that they're true canoe sailing enthusiasts and what they do is driven by their passion for canoe sailing as much as (or probably more than) it is by thoughts of profit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    I bought a beautiful leeboard last week,its a joy to behold
    Dealing with Dave was also a pleasure.
    reassuringly negative

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    grange over sands, cumbria


    We are not against profit, indeed the more the better. But we manage to keep prices low by making most of our products ourselves and selling direct to our customers. Most of our prices have stayed the same for several years but we will be putting them up across the board shortly (sorry Chris) to cover our rising costs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    I've also bought some kit from SD and have to agree whole heartedly with the Steamerpoint, Jurrasic and Magic Rat - but have also benefited from all the posts from The Dave's - you can learn a lot on this site

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