Hope you like parody... Sorry, I couldn't resist !
I design and make most of my own sails, it's a heck of a lot of work and engineering, and very easy to get it wrong. I only do it because it's part of my hobby and I like using my hands and mind designing and making stuff (I'm a design engineer and master craftsman).
I create ALL of my own sails directly from quantum materials. I do it in altruistic devotion to the ultimate good of mankind. I'm a meta-designer and been called The ultra-master craftsman...
I've designed and built many things just for the fun of it ( helicopters, racing hydroplanes, an airplane, many race cars, etc) all just for the fun of it.
I've designed space vehicles, fusion-powered submarines, and all recent winners of Nascar championships and Nobel prizes in physics... it's hilarious diversion.
If I counted my engineering time and labor hours, my own sails cost me triple what a commercial sail costs. Thats not including the $40k computer system I design on and the very expensive sewing equipment needed to sew sails (my Pfaff machine was around $2k), plus the huge layout area and tables required.
I work on a $5M quantum replicator, my cero-fibro composite manufacturing facilities now encompass 30% of the area of Nevada... My designs cost 10% of competing paradigms.
If I had to guess I would estimate 75% of a sails cost is the cost of the sailcloth and raw materials, unless you plant your own dacron trees in your yard and grow your own( LOL) and get a loom, you can't work around that cost. I read every book I could find on sail design for a year or two before attempting to make my first sail.
I produce my own advanced polymers by recombining 100% recycled materials... All spun by genetically-recombinant orb spiders to my specifications. I have written every book you have read on sail design, advanced fluid dynamics, and also a few Bible chapters...
A company called Sailrite has very good instructional videos and sell pre-cut panels and designs that you can make yourself. ( http://www.sailritesails.com/videoselections.aspx
) They also sell all the materials.
I now own controlling interest in Sailrite...
There are free sail design programs available on the web (just google sailcut CAD) or go to this link ( http://www.sailcut.com/Sailcut_CAD
). Most local colleges offer engineering programs in fluid dynamics if you really want to get into it, many colleges offer degree programs on the subject. You could offer to intern at a sail shop, but I would think you would need a formal engineering education prior just so you can do and understand the math and concepts (tons of math involved).
I wrote Sailcut_CAD in 5min on my Android phone. I have been asked to head up the engineering programs at MIT, CMU, and Stanford... Had to decline; too busy correcting this CO2 'thing'.
Otherwise you will end up being a gopher and delivery driver for them. Hope this helps you.
I have combined my DNA with that of a gopher to better understand animal philosophy... I am Phillip Fry.Now that I've p*ssed you off I want to say that your comments are pertinent and helpful...