North Sails NEWS

May 7, 2019


What To Know About This Innovative Cruising Sail

cruising sail

Q: How is 3Di NORDAC different than my old cross-cut dacron sails?

A: 3Di NORDAC transforms the same trusted polyester materials of a traditional dacron cruising sail into a unified composite structure. Instead of seaming and stitching together panels of woven sailcloth, 3Di NORDAC sails are molded into a one-piece seamless sail. Like woven polyester, 3Di NORDAC sails are durable – but have better shape holding and shape longevity. If you like sailing your boat sail to its full potential, you will love 3Di NORDAC.

Q: I don’t understand how you “Mold” a sail? What’s the deal?

A: Your sail is built in its three-dimensional flying shape. All of the component materials are laid up and then fused on a full-size “mold” custom-shaped to your sail design. This process is different than cutting panels of sailcloth with curved edges and sewing them together, which is how traditional cruising sails are made.


Q: Why is a Molded sail better than a paneled sail?

A: All of the material is assembled in a precise 3D form, which means the sail will have a smoother sail shape. Also, a molded 3Di sail is better at resisting stretch and distortion because all the filaments are aligned with both strain and compressive loads. All of these materials are laid up in a multi-axis array and variable density. In panel cloth, you only have two directions that the fiber can be aligned. With 3D molded sails, there is an infinite number of alignments available to achieve the perfect shape and strength for the intended use. By better utilizing materials properties, 3Di NORDAC sails will go farther and faster.

Q: 3Di seems cool, but how do you know it will be right for cruising sails?

A: 3Di technology has sailed millions of miles over the past ten years, and over 3000 3Di NORDAC sails are in use around the world in the harshest sailing environments. We spent over two years developing 3Di NORDAC, using a scientific approach that enables predictable results. We stand behind our products and guarantee you will have great durability and great performance.

Q: I have heard Cruising Laminates don’t last long. Will 3Di NORDAC delaminate?

A: No. One of the key attributes of 3Di construction is that it is not a laminate and there is no mylar film. 3Di NORDAC is made much like a fiberglass sailboat, with a solid core of fused polyester. These spread filament tapes are bonded with thermoset polyester resin into a single structure that is heat, humidity, and UV resistant.

Q: What is the square pattern on 3Di NORDAC sails? Are these seams?

A: No, they are not seams. The outer layer of 3Di NORDAC is a special protective surface of spread filament polyester tapes. This layer resists damage from UV, chafe, abrasion, and flex. One side is oriented vertically, the other horizontally, creating the cross pattern. We think it looks cool, too.

cruising sail price

Q: How can I trust North Sails to build a great cruising sail? Aren’t you guys are all about racing and superyacht sails?

A: It may surprise you to learn North Sails has also been the world’s largest cruising sailmaker for many decades. While we occasionally brag about our racing success, many of our North Sails team grew up cruising just like you. We like to cruise and we know how to make great cruising sails. Also, one of the benefits of building sails for around-the-world racers and superyachts is that lessons we learn about durability are directly transferred to ALL of our cruising sails. 

Q: If 3Di NORDAC is such a great sail, how can North Sails offer them at affordable prices?

A: A few reasons. 3Di NORDAC is a smarter way to build sails. From a manufacturing perspective, it is like a “farm to table” approach. The materials are made into a complete sail within a single North Sails factory, with less processing. Woven polyester undergoes many manufacturing steps in a long supply chain and passes through different factories to become finished sailcloth. There are numerous embedded process and transport costs in woven dacron sailcloth. Since we are using the same base polyester fiber and making a sail in fewer steps, we can offer an affordable price and exceptional value. Also, we want to spread the word about what good cruising sail performance means. Get in touch today and Request A Quote.

Q: I love my new 3Di NORDAC sail. What should I do at the end of the season?

A: 3Di NORDAC sails require minimal maintenance, but it is always a good idea to take them into our service sites for an annual checkup. We will make sure there are no wear points, and repair any minor damage that may occur. Every 3Di NORDAC sail comes with 1-year free sail care, so bring it in at the end of the season.

cruising sail maintenance