North Sails LOFT NEWS
Customer Spotlight: Endeavour
It’s More Than Just Sails
Bill Bevan from Mimico Cruising Club, co-owner of J/105 Endeavour, shares with us the thinking behind switching to North Sails and why. Plus where he hopes to see the local J/105 fleet in a few years.
What factors contributed to your decision to upgrade to North Sails?
We had a previous sailmaker, the last two boats that I’ve had, the CC34 and then the J/105 since 2006, because I had a relationship with the individuals there. I was still learning the 105 so the sails were the least of my worries. That said, I got to the point where we got a lot of things under control so it was time to focus and remove some of the variables to find out what was really going on. North really supports the fleet well, so that was one of the factors also, the support that you guys have given the J/105 fleet for years.
I think the other side of it was who’s looking after us, we should look after them. That doesn’t mean you’re gonna go out and buy some kind of crappy technology just because they’ve been good to you. It’s great technology, so then I go to the sails themselves. I looked at what I had versus what others had and without buying one I kinda went, “You know what, this is sail shape.” That sail looked a lot flatter, a lot thinner since the mold, it’s shaped differently. So quite honestly, I went on Bjug’s boat that had one and said, “I wanna go, I just wanna see what it looks like” – and it was just like night and day.
I’m no expert but I kind of looked and said, “Okay, I like that a lot better.” I can see why some of these guys had better sail shape. Seeing others use them, actually trying that sail, whether it was that demo sail or going out with somebody else, I think that’s an important factor, actually trying the sail.
Any other aspects that lead to your decision?
The other important factor was the whole service side of it; repair, delivery and the organization. First of all, I just had a greater confidence that North Sails Toronto was a business I wanted to be tied to for the long term. I like the knowledgeable people, the connection the organization had to their global organization and the strength of that, versus say some other smaller lofts. The experiences I had heard from others from a service standpoint, not experiencing them myself, were positive. Bottom line though, for me personally, name and the confidence to move from another vendor was really around delivery of new sales. All our sails, 3Di Raw Medium AP Jib, 3DL Light Jib, MI-4 Jib and CM-1 Mainsail were delivered on time!
Have you always done One Design or is it more in recent years that you’ve done it with your co-owner Paul?
I’ve sailed One Design my whole life practically. I had a C&C34 for many years, prior to that I raced One Design in the Kirby 25 fleet. I don’t know if I could sail anything other than One Design.
There’s kind of a nice comfort to it in terms of it’s almost a level playing field with everyone.
It ends up being me, Paul, and the rest of the people that are on the boat. That’s one of the reason too why you look at who’s supporting the fleet and what are the preferred sails in a fleet, you have to get rid of that variable.
Did you grow up sailing or did you get into it later?
My parents sailed and raced, I can pretty well remember when I was very young my parents bought my brother and I a boat at the cottage and said, “Okay, go play.” We would take off and just be on the water on two boats all summer.
What would you say is your hope for the J/105 class locally to develop?
I think the 105 class is probably the strongest One Design fleet on Lake Ontario. We’ve got, what? 18 or 20 boats registered in fleet four, so that’s a very, very strong fleet. Our goal as a fleet is obvious: we’ve gotta continue to either A, grow or at B, at least not let it decline. I think what has to happen is, it has to stay affordable, we have to bring in youth, we have to bring in more women into the fleet and continue to have a good schedule. I think it was pretty exciting that there was, of the 18 boats that were at the recent Canadians, we had something like 10 women on board in various crew positions across the fleet.
I think the other thing North has done is they’ve taken a pretty active role in teaching the fleet how to make what they sell and how to make what they sell on the J105 work and work effectively. Geoff can relate and say, “On a J105 you should do this and this particularly because it’ll do this and this to that sail in this condition.” We’ve had a couple people from North talk at our spring lectures, so again, it’s that real connection to the fleet. You guys can relate to it to a J105, not just it’s a 3Di sail and it should do this. Rather, it’s a 3Di sail on a J105 and this is what it does. You guys have got it, not only for us in the 105, but other people at Mimico who deal with you guys, they get it. They understand the area, so that’s pretty important from a technical standpoint. It’s not good if the only guy that can do it is in San Francisco because a, you never see him or her and b, he or she doesn’t know our conditions really.