Update a week after I posted this: please see post #48 for the happy ending.
I really didn't want to have to resort to making a public post about this, but circumstances dictate that I need to provide Crusader with as much encouragement as I can muster. Here are the facts:
I asked for a quote for a new genoa from Crusader. I received the quote in December 2011 with options on cut and material. I then went to LIBS on the Thursday evening (12th January 2012) to discuss the three options with Andy and Paul. Having made my decision, I put down a deposit for £200 as part payment for a £3,700 Hydranet sail (and this is the important bit) on the condition that it was delivered in time for a planned trip on 2nd May. They agreed that it would be, having shaken hands on the deal.
On the 26th of March, having heard nothing, I contacted them to remind them of the 2nd May date and that the order had been made, and taken, on the basis of meeting that delivery date. I stated that I thought they were cutting it fine but in their reply of 2nd April they assured me that the boat would be measured 'in 2-3 weeks' and there would be no problem meeting the order. I pointed out that in the worst case this would leave them with very little time to make the sail and deliver it to my house. They completed measurements on 17th April.
I phoned them on 23rd April for an update and eventually paid for the sail in full on Wednesday 25th on the basis that it would be delivered to my house on Friday 27th. My wife cancelled an optician's appointment to wait in for the courier, but nothing appeared.
I had a series of phone calls with them on Saturday 28th (initiated by me, not them) and after much vagueness they confirmed that the sail was not finished, and that it had therefore not left the building... and that they probably should have told me, given that we'd confirmed a delivery date.
I have now been given a 'cast iron guarantee' that the sail will be delivered to me before close of play on Tuesday 1st so my trip is not ruined, but with no plan from Crusader as to how they are to achieve this. I have been told that I will get an update today, Monday 30th, but with so much vagueness to date, and with one failed delivery, I'm not confident. I'm in Scotland, which adds to my concerns about their ability to deliver on time.
I ordered from them on the basis that every thread on here about Crusader is glowing with praise, so I thought a little 'public encouragement' might help.
I have posted only facts. I will also post when the sail turns up, or if indeed it doesn't within the timescales we agreed.