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Molto Forte - Play the tape with OneSails

by John Curnow on 12 Dec 2013
Abeam of a J111 with OneSails 4TForte sails OneSails
You see it on sheet music. Words such as Allegro, Adagio, Energico or Vivace are there to tell you how the composer wishes you to play the very notes before your eyes. They set the tone, mood, flavour and ambience for the entire piece or movement.

Now just like any great Italian opera, our words, Molto Forte (Moll Toe For Tay), and yes, you do very much need the hand movements to go with it all, translate to very strong. In the case of OneSails’ 4T Forte™ technology, it is both terribly apt and uniquely fitting.

The first is easy to explain. This sail ‘cloth’ has as its core, a new fibre from the Dyneema® family and is elsewhere deployed in ballistics and robotics with great success. That the sails are constructed utilising continuous fibre methodology not only adds to this inherent tensile strength, but also brings along a basket of other desirable benefits.


As for being fitting, well OneSails is an Italian company. Just as with the great automotive marques that also hail from the long, skinny peninsula that juts out in to the Mediterranean, they are incredibly proud and passionate about their achievements and the brand itself. The play on the tape not only allows for the musical thread to be built, but also describes the very nature of the fibre, which is not round, but rather flat and in the form of a 2mm wide tape, a little like linguini.

Ben De Coster from OneSails’ Sydney loft explains further, '4T Forte™ offers better characteristics than high modulus carbon fibre. STR Solid Stripes™ are the flat bands that provide for the higher strength to weight ratio over carbon. The high strength makes our continuous, one piece sails quite unique. In addition to having greater levels of temperature and moisture resistance, they have a Mylar-free outer skin that is made from the very same material as the core. This of course means OneSails 4T Forte™ are the final word on UV resistance and why we provide a three-year warranty on all new sails.'


'Lower specific weight, low creep or stretch, and incredible strength are certainly great benefits, but we can truly talk about Green Sails. There are no glues or resins used when we mould the sails at 120°C under vacuum, which is when the tapes all get fused together into the one piece. As the base polymer is 100% recyclable, when you melt down the used sail at a bit over 140°C, you get material that can have another life in a different product.'

'Of course durability is amazing and flexibility is not an issue. Sunlight will not cause glues or the Mylar skin to breakdown and cause delamination, because they are simply not present. I fully expect our three-year warranty to expand as the sail technology develops even further', Ben added.

'OneSails the company is about new technology. They have been developing one piece (continuous fibre) sails for long time from tape drive to where we are now with the fully moulded and fused sail. Millennium sails was the previous material and was also resin and glue free but had a Mylar film.'


'Because the STR Solid Stripes is the core element of the construction matrix and do not need glues or additional coverings to hold them together or protect them, OneSails’ 4T Forte™ sails are lighter, which is both a bonus for the crew and means you have less weight upstairs. This could be as much as a 25% saving in mass.'

'So apart from being lighter and more durable, they come with soft corners and all the reinforcements integrated into the sail itself. One of our other distinguishing features is the microchip placed in to the sail itself. Apart from a picture of the first time it is used, stored on it will be the design data, when it was made and what batches of materials were used. Developments to come will include recording UV exposure and other sail management tools', said De Coster.

'The market has never seen this sort of thing before. Both Millennium and Forte have supply agreements with OneSails. The former will be providing a filament tape cloth in the middle of 2014, so we will be able to provide an exceptional range of quality products across many budget levels.'


'4T Forte™ was launched in October and there is a Class 40 vessel sailing now with a full wardrobe on board. We have just put our first sails on yachts in the Asia Pacific region. Windseeker is a Sydney 40 based out of Singapore and Celestial from Sydney are the first boats to enjoy these great sails. The latter has a new ocean main ready for this year’s Sydney to Hobart race.'


It is important to highlight that 4T Forte™ sails tolerate high humidity environments better than the competition. Bruce Anson from the OneSails' Singapore loft explains, 'Both the technology and the STR Solid Stripes™ material itself provide for the perfect result for sails in high humidity environments. This is because they are 100% fused together in the moulding process, without the use of glues or resins and the outer skins have no Mylar to be found anywhere at all.'

'The entire skin is encapsulated between ripstop ‘shields, which are UV, moisture, and mildew resistant as part of Onesails’ Multi Micro Structure (MMS™), which provides for a robust and reliable sail skin. OneSails are manufactured with the minimum of environmental impact and allow for realistic recycling options. All in all, Onesails’ 4T Forte™ sails are really purpose built for High Humidity environments', said Anson.


The people behind OneSails in the Asia Pacific region are Ben De Coster, Toby Munns, Caedric Reader And Bruce Anson. They are operating under the Workforce Marine organisation, which is the exclusive distributor for OneSails products for the Asia Pacific region that comprises of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Honk Hong Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and South Korea.

OneSails has been in Australia for two years and was born out of Evolution. 'Name changes have made it tough, but with OneSails we are getting some traction. 4T Forte™ with low stretch and unbelievable UV resistance is making some heads turn. You cannot break this stuff and it is strong in all angles. We have lofts in Asia, Australia and now New Zealand.'

Ben is 30 years of age, been around sails for 15 years and designing them for nine. He started with Hood, then went to Quantum, Evolution and now heads OneSails’ Australian charge. He used to be full time with Ludde Ingvall and his Nicorette program and runs the offshore program for Celestial. 'We do our designing here and then the raw membrane arrives for us to finish with tapes and pocket ends. After that it is off to the customer', said De Coster.

OneSails have specific services for super yachts, performance cruising, racing, classic and cruising vessels, also One Design fleets and Dacron sails. So get set to play the tape and conduct your own grand opera.

See www.onesails.com or call 02 8788 6610 for more information.

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