North Sails LOFT NEWS


One Sailors Story To 3Di NORDAC

rankin nordac

Dave Rankin grew up sailing at a young age with his family in PEI and has kept that passion for sailing going throughout his life. From J/24’s to Albacore’s to his FinnGulf 33, Dave has always loved cruising and racing. Last year, it was time to upgrade his mainsail for his FinnGulf 33, Dave shares insight as to what led him to go with North Sails 3Di NORDAC.

How did you get into sailing?

Now as far as sailing goes, I started sailing when I was pretty young. My family, there’s two parts of my family. One part in the East and they’ve been sailing for many, many, many years and the other half of my family was here on the lakes. Sailing was not quite as important to them as it was back East, but certainly sailing lessons and then belonging to the Hamilton Burlington Sailing Club when I was pretty young was certainly something that started me off in the right direction. Every summer I would go out East and sail with my cousins and then come back here and sail on Lake Ontario. So I was pretty, pretty lucky.

Were you mainly doing cruising when you went back out East?

No. No, no. All racing. It was all racing out of CYC (Charlottetown Yacht Club), that’s where my cousins and uncle and aunt they’re all members. That’s the exposure sailing from an early age was getting that kind of influence and then coming here, staying in Ontario and sailing with family, I guess from my teens. Then of course with Hamilton Burlington Sailing Club I was able to race Albacores and we had an Albacore fleet there. 

Would you say that if you had to choose between doing weeknight racing or long distance racing, let’s say, because you’re heavily involved in both, do you have a preference of one over the other or do you enjoy both equally?

I enjoy regattas with windward/leeward racing probably more than distance racing. That may be because of how I was brought up. You might get three or four chances during one day of racing, whereas on a distance race, you only got one chance at a start and if you get fouled well then that’s quite damaging throughout the entire race or it could be the difference between first or last. But I think as one grows older and becomes less agile, your feelings could change. The other thing is dependency on crew, which can get harder to figure out if you are doing a distance race. For example, with the J/24 , there were challenges with getting crew organized because we sailed with five people. The time available for the boat was key for all the different crew members. It worked for when we’re pretty young. But as one gets older, it’s difficult to keep accruing the right number of people at the right times.

What do you think are some suggestions or ways we need to adapt to getting more people involved?

I think from the top North is more advanced. It has more of an opportunity than other sailmaker has provided. And the reason I say that is because North’s technology is what is driving newer, faster boats. So I think the cloth that North is developing is really better to attract more youth and to attract a different type of caliber of sailor. The types of cloth that they use generates foiling technology. This high-performance aspect is what attracts young sailors. I think staying ahead with technology and offering technology through new cloth and new types of designs of sails is really something that a company like North can contribute to the sailing world. I think, to be honest, I mean there’s lots of discussion about attracting more youth into sailing. That’s one thing for sure that has to happen. But at the same time you’re doing part of that just by offering new technology.

Would you say that that technology helped influence your decision to purchase the 3Di Nordac? Or was it more of you really needed a main sail?

It was both. My main was nine years old and it was a North mainsail. It was in good shape, but it was nine years–almost 10 years old. And it was heavy. So I wanted something that was lighter to hoist and that in fact had better shape with reef points. So yes, for sure it was an easy decision for me to go with the main and the next in the lineup is actually the headsail. I contacted North Sails expert Pete Colby because Pete had it on his J/30 and I just wondered about his view on it. So he got back to me and let me know how things were going with it. Because he had it for a year and a half I think at that point. He was really happy with it. I know him well enough to know that he would tell me exactly how he felt. So I thought, well that’s a good investment for me to make with the boat, for sure.

Would you say that it perform right to your expectations, or exceeded or it’s just exactly what you kind of needed?

I’ve only had it for one season really so I’m still playing with it but I can tell you Shelley’s happy with it. It’s a good sail. I have high expectations for it after hearing different comments. At this time, I can say that my new sails meet my expectations and in some cases, it exceeds them!

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