Innovation The Science and Culture of North Sails

 
 

 

Lowell North was already an accomplished sailor when he founded North Sails in 1957, having won gold at the 1945 Star World Championships. When it came to making sails, North combined his racing pedigree with a meticulous scientific approach and rigorous testing to ensure that the sails his new company was producing were better than that of the competition. Since then, the attitude of striving to make the best sails possible through the process of testing and engineering has stuck, and North Sails has become a dominant force in the world of sailmaking. 

 

No other sailmaker can match the experience and resources of the North design team...

• 65 sail designers representing over 350 years of combined experience
• 5 full-time software engineers dedicated purely to the development of our sail design software
• 28 years of leadership in computerized sail design.

A legacy of leadership...

• North was the first sailmaker to perform computerized structural analysis in sails.
• North was the first sailmaker to analyze upwind sail shapes with computer air flow simulations
• North was the first sailmaker to implement 3-dimensional computer modeling.
• North was the first sailmaker to develop and use an integrated suite of sail design software
• North was the first sailmaker to develop and use computer aided laser sail panel cutting, dramatically improving accuracy and consistency in sail production.
• North was the first sailmaker to test downwind sails using a “twisted flow” wind tunnel, which simulates differences in apparent wind speed and apparent wind angle between deck level and the upper part of the rig.
• North was the first sailmaker to develop an accurate wind flow modeling software for analysis of downwind sails. Virtual Wind Tunnel accurately analyzes stress, strain and wind flow at 100% scale.