North Sails, the worldwide leader in sailmaking technology is pleased to announce a revolution in Dacron sailmaking. For thousands of years, sailcloth has been made by the ancient process of weaving fibers into a finished material.
For over 60 years, Woven Polyester (Dacron) has proven to be the fiber of choice for cruising sailcloth – providing low cost and structurally durable sails. Today, Polyester remains a nearly perfect fiber for cruising sails due to its strength and environmental stability.
The problem with Woven Dacron sailcloth however, is that it fails to provide true value to cruising sailors. Woven sails lose their shape – far before their structural integrity is compromised. In short, their structural life and the performance life are out of balance. Cruising sailors are overpaying for poor performance and they are not achieving the enjoyment of experience they can have when their boats sail better through the water. Controlling your sail power with responsive sails is the hallmark of the North Sails Cruising Experience.
3Di NORDAC sails deliver this experience with less heel, less helm, less leeway and lighter, more easily handled dacron sails than ever before. 3Di NORDAC does this without sacrificing the durability that is so important to cruising sailors – by better balancing the structural and usable life span.
North Sails: why polyester works for cruising sails
Many sailmakers might argue that Aramid or Dyneema yarn deliver a “better” sail, and that polyester is too low tech and offers no interesting properties. North Sails believes polyester remains the right material for the cruising market. Here are some of the reasons we decided to work with polyester yarn:
- The early test sails proved that 3Di NORDAC construction makes a smoother sail due to the inherent greater elasticity and the absence of shrinkage
- Many cruising sailors want classic, beautiful white sails
- 3Di NORDAC uses material that the cruising sailor has grown up with and trusts, but we are using it in a revolutionary way
- High durability (UV resistant, flex, abrasion, toughness), soft, lightweight and forgiving handling
- Rugged external rip stop surface and no delamination (3Di has no mylar)
Product Testing 3Di NORDAC
After conceptualization, the product development engineers in Minden, Nevada spent several months working through product feasibility from both material and manufacturing standpoints. Many challenges were presented not least of which was how much differently polyester filaments behave in the spreading and impregnating process.
By mid-2016, sails were put into use on various mid-size cruising boats that were either owned or regularly sailed on by North Sails staff such as JB Braun, Pete Colby, Kimo Worthington, James Robb and Phil Williamson. To date over 35 sails have been built, all of which have met or exceeded our expectations.
Winter of 2016 saw our fullest and final round of testing. We now have sails in use in some of the harshest and highest use cruising conditions we could find, including charter boats in the Caribbean. As testing progresses, we will learn more about the sails and how they are received by our target customers in real word conditions.
North Sails Guarantee: Unrivaled Customer Service
For the launch of 3Di NORDAC, North Sails will be offering unparalleled guarantee and value to customers with personal consultations with North Sails cruising experts, professional boat measurement by North Sails technicians and One Year Free Certified Service with every purchase. As ever, cruising customers will be able to tap into the global and regional network of sail lofts.