North Sails NEWS
CRUISING SAIL PERFORMANCE
It’s More Than Speed
North Sails is proud of our many successes on the racecourse, but did you know that more cruising sailors rely on North than any other sailmaker? At North Sails, we are passionate about performance. For cruising sailors, this means a lot more than just speed.
Based on this track record, you might assume that at North Sails we are solely focused on racing. But in fact, many of us at North Sails are cruisers ourselves. We have grown up cruising with friends and family, own cruising boats, and enjoy sailing adventures. Yes, we go sailing in our free time, just like you. Cruising is a big part of sailing and sailing is our passion. As a company, our history, traditions, and technology have given us the skills, experience, and tools to build the best sails in the world.
When we talk about cruising performance, we are not attempting to win the next race. Rather, we are looking to deliver a sail package that helps a boat and our clients achieve their full potential, and a safe, easy and enjoyable experience for everyone onboard.
The Right Sail For The Job
With so many boat and sailing style options, there are naturally many types of sails and materials to choose from. Navigating these choices can be overwhelming when looking at which sails will provide the greatest benefit for your cruising boat. A big part of buying a North Sail is carefully determining your needs and matching those needs to a sail type, cloth style and sail features. At North Sails, we take the time to look at all aspects of our customer’s requirements to determine the right sail for the job, whether it be cross-cut polyester or a 3Di molded composite.
Heel, helm and leeway are detriments to sailing performance and cruising comfort. A boat that heels too much is uncomfortable, excessive weather helm kills your boat speed and when sailing sideways (leeway) it takes a long time to get to windward. A sail needs to hold its aerodynamic shape across a wide variety of wind speeds and for a suitable lifespan. As sails stretch in more wind and as they age, they become fuller and lose their optimal shape. The resulting increased drag causes poor boat performance. At North Sails, we use sophisticated tools to match fiber modulus (resistance to stretch) with your boat’s righting moment. This allows our sail experts to select the cruising sailcloth that will hold its shape and provide optimal boat performance over a wide wind range and longer period of time.
Durability may be the highest priority of any cruising sailor. Breaking strength, structural integrity, UV, chafe, abrasion and flex resistance are all qualities that make for a tough and rugged sail. North cruising sails are designed and constructed with these factors in mind, and North cruising materials are engineered to stand up to extreme conditions. Finishing details such as stitching, patching and reinforcements are constructed to conditions encountered by cruising sailors. We are confident in our products and quality and stand behind every sail we deliver.
Getting out on the water should not be a hassle. Our sails are made to go up and down easy and furl in and out properly. Each North sail is custom designed and purpose-built to accommodate any sail handling system. We also offer a wide range of features to make sailing easier. Low stretch and high strength sails do not have to be excessively stiff or heavy. Our design and manufacturing techniques ensure sails that are lightweight for their strength and durability.
Correct Fit and Function
The 2D sizing of any sail are important features to the overall sail performance and durability. If attachment points are not correctly aligned, stress points are created that can wear and tear a sail. If the sail is not designed to fit the rig, chafe and abrasion can occur. Spreader, stanchion and radar patches must all be positioned and installed accurately. A sails design and construction is just part of a sails’ overall performance. At North Sails, we make sure every sail we build fits and functions correctly.
A cruising sail should have the right aerodynamic form, should be easy to trim and should perform well over a wide range of conditions. This is where our racing pedigree pays off. At North Sails, we know what makes a fast sail. We also know what makes a sail easy to trim and versatile over a range of wind speeds and angles. A North cruising sail has a designed shape to match your boat’s performance. North cruising sails have a wide groove and are easy to twist off, making trimming and driving more user-friendly.
Overall sail quality is the sum of components. Design and manufacturing rely on quality materials that have predictable and reliable properties. North Sails has pioneered the scientific approach to sailmaking. We test every roll and inspect every inch of sailcloth we use. We only partner with the best hardware and sailcloth vendors and if we cannot find materials that meet our standards, we make it ourselves.
Design and Engineering
Using the best materials and having the best manufacturing is not helpful if a sail is not designed and engineered to meet the demands of cruising. A quality cruising sail should be custom designed and purpose-built. North sail designers understand the dynamic nature of sail loads and the physical properties of sail materials. They take that understanding and apply it to sail structure with industry-leading design tools. North Sails is able to model all aspects of a sail- from 3D rig and deck geometry to flying sail shapes with FEA and wind flow analysis. At North Sails, the best designers work with the best tools to create the best cruising sails.
Even the best sails in the world need periodic sail care. At North Sails, our global network of certified sail care facilities has you covered wherever you go. We feel so strongly about great sail care, that we provide it for free for the first year of ownership. Whether you rip a sail on the dock or get caught in a storm, our free sail care offer is part of our promise to keep your sail performing well.
By meeting all of these high standards, a great cruising sail will provide great value. Buying a North Cruising Sail means more “Cruising Performance” and more enjoyment of your time on the water.