Two great suppliers of Rolly Tasker Sails in the United States now unite their businesses to offer an even better service. After 30 highly successful years in business, during which he has partly re-defined the way that sails find their way on board the customer’s boats, lifelong yachtsman and founder of The Sail Warehouse, Jim Johns, has decided it is time for his well-deserved retirement. His thriving business is now going into the capable hands of Michael Lipari of Southwest Sails who has already been a major supplier of Rolly Tasker Sails for several years.

Jim Johns, right, and Mike Lipari (left) toasting the happy merger


The Sail Warehouse

Jim’s business idea in sail-making was intentionally different from the traditional world of sail-making at the time, in the early 1990s. “A sailmaker would go to the boat, measure the rig, design and fabricate one custom sail, and then go back to the boat to deliver and install it. That seemed complicated and expensive to me.” For the production boat market, Jim thought, there was no need for all that extra expense. “The rigs were standard so It became more like the auto parts business. I started stocking replacement sails for common sailboats. Sails wear out just like car tires so it seemed like a good idea”, says Jim.

One of the keys to the success of The Sail Warehouse over the following years is the database of thousands of boats that he developed and constantly expanded and updated. The company always has an average of 1000 sails in stock, for most of the popular production boats in the US. Among these are Catalina, MacGregor, Hunter, Ericson, Venture, Pearson, Islander, O’Day, Ranger, Newport, Columbia, Chrysler, Balboa, Cal, Coronado, Cape Dory, Santana, Tartan and more.


The man who, back in 1993, instantly understood Jim’s new business idea was Rolly Tasker, the racing yachtsman who founded Rolly Tasker Sails and, during his lifetime, turned it into the global brand that it is today. “Rolly offered to send me around $40,000 of merchandise on consignment”, Jim recalls. “I jumped on that offer with both feet! Rolly was certainly a mentor in that way and it taught me a lot about helping to give a leg up for others that I’ve often remembered.” Jim also adds: “Our business relationship blossomed over the years and I learned to value the partnership of reliable and quality suppliers. Lord knows I’ve had my share of good and bad suppliers! Rolly Tasker Sails is the best of the best!”

 “Rolly Tasker Sails is unique in that they are an exceptionally good value, the company has a highly efficient production system, great quality control and accuracy, and probably most of all they are one of the most reliable suppliers I’ve ever worked with spanning over 40 years in several businesses.” – Jim Johns, The Sail Warehouse


Michael Lipari is a businessman and keen yachtsman who is racing at the local club level One Design and PHRF and has done so for the past 30 years. In 2009 he bought a new set of Rolly Tasker Sails for his boat. With these sails, he raced the boat over three years and racked up a winning record of 81 firsts and 1 second place. Then he sold the boat and the current owner is still winning with his now 12-year old set of Rolly Tasker Sails.

When the Rolly Tasker Sails dealer in his local area passed away, Mike seized the opportunity and became distributor for Rolly Tasker Sails in the area with a focus on PHRF and Club Race sails. “We have had  great success selling both the CDX Line and LiteSkin line, including many wins across multiple PHRF divisions”, he says.


Jim’s and Mike’s business models mesh perfectly.  Jim’s focus has been on cruising sails for popular cruisers while Mike has so far concentrated on selling to the PHRF racer. “I am excited, because my business was a great side business, while the addition of Jim’s business will allow me to focus 100 percent of my efforts on marketing Rolly Tasker Sails throughout North America”, Mike explains.

His background has been in marketing large national brands including Food Brands, Cosmetics, and OTC pharmaceuticals before he moved into online marketing for the Healthcare industry. Mike has also ran his own consulting company for marketing, new product development and small business innovation.


“In the future, we want to take the model that Jim developed for The Sail Warehouse, and include some of the higher end PHRF race sails to complement his focus on traditional Dacron Sails”, says Mike.

More info on both these websites: The Sail Warehouse and Southwest-Sails.