North Sails LOFT NEWS


Expert Spencer Colpaert Shares His Goals For Sailing In Detroit

After moving around the country for the past seven years, taking some incredible opportunities to grow as both a sailor and sailmaker, I am very excited to be moving back to Detroit to continue my career in the sailmaking industry with North Sails. Along the way I had the chance to race in some of the top One Design classes like the J/70, Melges 24, 32, C&C30, and Farr 40’s, while also racing boats like the Maxi 86, TP52, Santa Cruz 70, and many other handicap classes along the way; and even some Classic Yacht racing on the R40 Gamecock, while I lived in Newport, RI. 

Over these past couple years I have been spending most of my time racing J/70’s down south over the winter months and racing TP52’s in the Great Lakes during the summer. For the J/70, I have been spending most of my time racing with Hanson Bratton from my home club in Detroit, Bayview Yacht Club, with a season highlight of our race win at Charleston Race Week in a class of 55 boats being the top one design class in the country. Our team has been sailing with Hanson for the past three years in both the J/70 and Tartan 10 classes, winning the T-10 North American Championship in 2017. The past two summer I have spent managing and racing on the TP52 with Phil and Sharron O’Neil on their boat Natalie J, also out of Bayview Yacht Club, and Chris Duhon on Mockingbird out of Columbia Yacht Club in Chicago. Having had great success with both programs working to fight off the newer built TP52’s racing both inshore W/L races and Offshore in the Mackinac Races. 

Moving forward with North Sails Detroit my plan is to focus on the grass roots sailing back in the Great Lakes. Be it local racing in Anchor Bay, helping to set up your boat for cruising with your family, or a boat owner looking to step their game up and bring home more wins, I want to help support local sailors in all dimensions of their sailing. You can most likely find me on a boat seven days a week, and I’m always around to help. 

The support I have seen from everyone at North Sails has given me great confidence that I have every tool necessary to support our customers at any level, from our local service staff of Mike and Bill (Bill was the one who first taught me the ins and outs of sail making when I started on the production loft floor twelve years ago!), to the design team, and management, there is not a question I can’t get answered or a piece of information that can’t be found. On top of all of that, we have a great new loft on Fonterra Dr. in Warren, MI that has been a dream to work out of. Being able to fit any size sail we need, even the Volvo 70 main we pulled out on the loft floor a few weeks ago, has been a dream. 

This fall if I am not out sailing with a customer looking at possible sail replacements, or what we need to do to re-cut a sail to make it back its original shape, you can find me at one of our many winter service sail pick up locations at Bayview Yacht Club, West Marine, Port Huron Yacht Club, or North Star Sail Club. I will also be out sailing the Fall Series Races in Anchor Bay out of North Star Sail Club. I am personally excited to be racing out of NSSC more now, as my fiancé and I are very excited to have recently joined the club becoming 3rd generation members.

I am available year-round for all of your sail care needs, and I look forward to seeing everyone on the water in spring 2020.

  • #GoBeyond