North Sails LOFT NEWS
A LONG TIME LOVE AFFAIR WITH NORTH SAILS
Francois Bertheau Shares His Passion For Quality Sails and Sailing
Lifelong sailor Francois Bertheau has been a fan of North Sails technology ever since he’s owned a sailboat. His first set of sails were 3DL and he plans on crossing over to 3Di in the coming years for his Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469. He recently added a G Zero Gennaker to his collection after getting the last sails in production 2017, a 3DL Race mainsail and 3DL Race furling jib.
Tell Us About Your History with North Sails.
I’ve been 3DL since ’99, I think. I started the process and the guys basically are all looking at me saying, “Crazy, crazy. Why do you buy such a sail? Blah, blah, blah.” All of a sudden, everyone’s got them. So, it’s cool. I started it on the lake and it was Phillip at that time, that sold it to me. I bought 3DL sails for my boat and then my second set of sails on my Jeanneau 42. I was the first with a full jib and battens in my jib.
We thought it was pretty efficient and that’s where we saw the sails were pretty efficient because it was on my 42 that I had a 124 percent jib and then we made in 105 with more square foot on the 105 than I had on the 124. I did the last five years with those 3DLs on my 42 and then when I changed my boat to the 47, then it was the same dilemma. Miro says, “What do we do? We do 3DI or we do 3DL?” I say, “I love these sails so much and they’re beautiful, I’ll probably do that.”
From a beauty contest, they’re good lookin’ sails, and I think it makes the boat even nicer!
This would be the last set of 3DL sails that North would be producing. After that, it’s all 3Di! It was my last opportunity to buy the 3DL sails and I did, just because it was what I was familiar with and figured I’d stick to it while I could. It was so funny- this weekend, I was coming back and the guys at the marina came back and said, “Francois, your boat looks so good. Those sails look so amazing.” Everyone is telling me that the sails look amazing.
How do you think the performance is helping the ease of cruising?
If you look at the performance of them, they’re amazing. I have a cruising boat. It’s not a yacht and I don’t pursue to try to beat the J/122s and things like that but I look at my boat, the way we structured it and the way it sails, from a cruising boat, it’s probably the fastest cruising boat on the lake right now. I’m not a bad skipper- but those sails are helping a lot with boat speed.
It’s amazing. The fact that I have a 105% on my jetty with a full roast is I’m able to get more square footage than an overlapping jetty on it. However, when sailing, I sail alone all the time, alone with a 105, when I tack, it’s so easy to tack because you go from one tack to the other with a couple turns on the winch and the sails move over right away.
How is the Code Zero? Is it Living Up to Your Expectations?
I’ve used it, but not much. I’ve used it twice now and it is beyond my expectations. In three knots of wind, going three knots upwind. I had a 50 degree angle. The sail is beautiful. It’s working really nice. Very, very efficient and well cut.
What Do You Appreciate Most About Your Sails?
The North Sail designers are amazing in the way they cut the sails. We had done a medium job on the 42 because we didn’t have the specs at that time. We didn’t have many specs on it because it was one of the first boats like that. The main sail is unbelievable. The cut is slick. The sail designers did a fantastic job and of course the cloth makes a difference, but the designers that cut the sail are very efficient.
How Long Have You Been Sailing?
I’ve been on a boat since I was three weeks old. I joined the junior squadron at Mount Seymour’s Yacht Club at 10 years old. I started sailing at 10 years old. I was on the sailing team, the racing team, at Mount Seymour’s Yacht Club when I was 15 with Jerry Lewis. I did a lot of sailing at Mount Seymour’s Yacht Club when I was young and racing. I ran the races for three summers there, it was my summer job, I ran all the races at the yacht club. I was race committee. I’ve spent a lot of time on the water and plan to continue.