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North Sails NEWS

October 19, 2016


It’s More Than Just Speed

At North Sails, we are passionate about performance. For cruising sailors this means a lot more than just speed.

As a company we are proud of our many successes on the race course and based on our track record, one might easily assume that North Sails is focused only on winning races. The reality however, is far different. Our sailmaking history, traditions and technology have given us the skills, experience and tools to build the best sails for any type of boat and all types of sailing. Today, more cruising sailors rely on North than any other sailmaker in the world. In fact, many of us at North Sails are Cruisers ourselves. Growing up sailing with friends and family, owning our own boats and sailing with our own families is a big part of who we are as passionate sailors. Yes, we go sailing in our free time, just like you!

When we talk about Cruising Sail Performance and the “Power to Perform”, we are not talking about getting an extra bit of boat speed or winning the next race. We are talking about helping the boats we sail perform to their potential and about sails that provide a safe, sustainable and comfortable experience for everyone onboard. Here’s how.…

The Right Sail For The Job

With so many different types of boats and so many different types of sailing, there are naturally many types of sails and many different materials to choose from. These choices can be a little 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. Whether the right sail for you is thermo-formed 3DL Marathon or cross-cut polyester, 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.

Low Stretch

Heel, helm and leeway are the vampires of sailboat 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 draft position. The resulting increased drag causes poor boat performance. At North Sails, we use sophisticated tools to match fiber modulus with your boats righting moment. This allows us to select Cruising sailcloth that will hold its shape and provide optimal boat performance over wide wind range and over a longer period of time.

High Strength

Durability may be the highest priority of any Cruising sailor. Breaking strength, UV stability, structural integrity, chafe, abrasion and flex resistance are all part of what makes for a tough and rugged sail. North Cruising Sails are all designed and constructed with these factors in mind. Weaves, fibers and films are all engineered to stand up to intensive use and extreme conditions. Stitching, patching and reinforcements are all constructed to all encountered by Cruising sailors. We are so confident in our products that we guarantee our sail quality and lifespan.

Easy Handling

Going sailing should not be a hassle. Sails should go up and down easy and should furl in and out properly. North Sails are 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 two dimensional aspects of any sail are important features to the overall sail performance and durability. If the attachments points are not correctly aligned, stress points can wear tear the sail. If the sail is not designed to fit the rig, chafe and abrasion can occur. Spreader, stanchion and radar patches must be installed accurately. Sail 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.

Correct Shape

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 boats performance and the purpose of the sail. North Cruising Sails have the added benefits of a wide groove and are easy to twist making trimming and driving more user friendly.

Quality Materials

Sail quality is the sum of all components. Design and manufacturing rely on quality materials that are predictable and reliable in their 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

While using only the best materials and having the most sophisticated processes, is important if a sail is not deigned and engineered properly the results will not match the expectations. A quality cruising sail should be custom designed and purpose built. All of the key components should be designed to meet the intended use. Understanding the dynamic nature of sail loads and understanding the physical properties of the base materials is he first step in this process. Taking that understanding and applying it to sail structure is the next step. With industry leading design tools, North Sails is able to model all aspects of a a sail from 3D rig and deck geometry, to flying sail shapes with FEA and wind flow analysis. The bottom line is that better designers working with better tools create better sails.

Great Service

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. All of your sails design and service records are linked to the service sites, so there is never a question about warranty or sail history. We feel so strongly about great sail care, that we provide it for free for the first year of ownership. Weather 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.

Great Value

By meeting all of the standards above, a great cruising sail will provide great value beyond its price. North Sails provides more “Cruising Performance” per miles sailed and years of use than any other sailmaker. This makes us the highest performance and highest value Cruising Sail manufacturer.