sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : North Sails: Working with Classics in an Aramid Age
North Sails: Working with Classics in an Aramid Age

'The recently restored J class, Endeavour, sailing off Falmouth with a suit of 3Di sails'    J Class Association    Click Here to view large photo

In the Aramid Age of Sailmaking, grey sails are becoming an increasing sight amongst harbour and club racers, as well as on the international racing scene.

The rapid take up of the new technology of 3Di has surprised even North Sails’ NZ Designer, Burns Fallow. 'Two years ago we would have had ten 3DL sails for every 3Di. Now it is about even.'

The distinctive grey coloured 3Di sails are being put together in North Sails Pakenham St loft - just over the way from Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour - action central for many international sailing campaigns and superyacht fit-outs.

Less obvious is the steady flow of massive J class sails out of Pakenham Street destined for the 120ft plus classics of the 1930’s but now enjoying a resurgence of racing in the traditional regatta venues in Europe and East Coast USA .

In the first half of 2012, sails have been built in Auckland for five of the octogenarian genre - Lionheart, Endeavour, Rainbow, Valsheda, and Ranger.

Matt Smeaton (left) and Burns Fallow (right) unroll a J class jib blank in the North loft in Auckland -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
The size of the J-class mainsails are impressive – 500sq metres - about the size of a modern residential section. The spinnakers are double that at close to 1000sq metres, and are made in the same Pakeham Street loft. Each J class sail is individual with differences between the two being on the rig dimensions, or the type of inventory required. Some carry two overlapping jibs, others just one.

'It is like ordering a custom Ferrari and wanting it in two months time', Burns Fallow explains.

'The J class is certainly a beautiful boat but they certainly don’t rest on their laurels, and when these guys race, they do so extremely competitively. They are at the same level as the TP52’s and the likes. You have a group of owners who are successful business people. They all want to win, and they are all used to winning.'

'3Di is quite a different product from 3DL which we’ve had since the early 1990’s and started in the 1992 America’s Cup, and was then used extensively in all the America’s Cup through to 2007 and even 2010 with the soft sails that were used by Oracle and Alinghi.'

'The 3Di product was actually developed about five years ago by Alinghi, and was originally a black sail, but because of a lack of development time, they could not race with it.

'After the 2007 America’s Cup, Norths came to an agreement with Alinghi, to continue development and what we have now is the characteristic grey coloured sails that are right through most grand prix racing fleets.

Why grey sails?
Edge of a 3Di sail showing the filaments going to the unfinished edge -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
The grey is in fact just a surface colour, and the sails can be any colour required. The first five Volvo boats that carry North Sails are all coloured, including Telefonica which has blue sails. Puma has black sails, as does Abu Dhabi, Groupama is green and Camper is white.

'You can have the surface any colour you like, but it is what is inside that is doing the work.'

The sails actually have a thin semi-translucent white outer layer, and the grey appearance is triggered by the combination of that outer colour and the black of the carbon inside. With 3Di sails there is no mylar or other film that is inherent in the older technologies.

'Building a 3Di sail is much more like building a boat, you have unidirectional filaments. It is much more complex structurally, consequently it has less stretch, and more of the wind’s energy is transferred into the boat.'

The 3Di sails are built as a moulded blank in the North Sails facility in Minden, Nevada and shipped to the loft for finishing and fitting.

Most of the actual process involved in the manufacture of the 3Di blank is very different from the 3DL, with the common point being the final stage where the sails are left to cure on the mould before being rolled up for shipping or air freight.

Internal construction
The 3DL construction consists of twisted filaments laid from edge to edge in each sail structure -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
Like the 3DL sails the 3Di’s arrive in the North’s loft as a rolled up blank.

There the difference stops. 3Di’s construction offers a lot more options including fitting the battens inside the sail itself, rather than the traditional external attachment method. Burying the battens into the sail is both smoother on the outside, reducing drag, but allows a lot more reinforcement to be built internally into the blank in each batten area, before the whole construction is surfaced.

Although 3Di is being used extensively in the Volvo Ocean Race, with all the top five boats using 3Di the trickle down effect is well underway. Locally, NZ’s largest one design keelboat class, the Young 88, have several competitors using 3Di.

'It’s certainly getting into the mass market very quickly,' says Fallow. 'Pricewise they are 10-15% above 3DL. Not a huge step, but in my experience 3Di is easily as big a jump as 3DL was over panelled sails from the early 90’s.

The key advantage of 3Di is that it is more stable from a structural perspective.

'The layup of the tapes inside 3Di can be varied much more than with 3DL or any string sail. With string sails you have to go from one corner to another or the edge of a sail,' Fallow explains.

3Di jibs on Raging Hormones and Medium Dry (windward) - 2012 Harken Young 88 Nationals -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
3Di is made up of a series of carbon tapes that are 150mm wide. This allows a specific area to be covered with the tape, according to the structural engineering requirements, and doesn’t have to go all the way to the edge of the sail – allowing its construction to be optimised.

'The key difference is that all other sails are made from yarns, which are a group of filaments which are twisted together, and they retain some spring because of their twisted nature. 3Di is made from filaments which are laminated straight onto the sail with much less crimp. When load goes on the sail the filaments take the load immediately, as there is much less spring,' he says.

3Di sails do not have to be made of carbon, in fact some classes like the Volvo 70 rules prohibit carbon. Kevlar is used as the contraction fibre, but still using the same 3Di construction method.

Thick, strong corners
The difference between the other technologies and 3Di really becomes apparent at the tack, head and clew of the sails. With 3Di this is the thickest and strongest part of the sail, the edge of the J class sail at this point, with literally hundreds of layers of filament in the sail-corner building to a piece about the thickness of a finger, and as inflexible as a board.

The layered thickness of the head of a 3Di J class job -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
That thickness and stiffness soon reduces towards the centre of the sail – in fact within a metre on the J class sail, to the point where it is as thin and flexible as would be expected on a conventional sail, but of course very smooth, because all the reinforcing is carried within the sail itself, rather than being carried externally as is done on other constructions.

'The boats are getting bigger, and we used to talk about tonnes of load on a sail, now we are talking about tens of tonnes. There are 15 to 18 tonnes of load going through the corner, or focal point, of a J class sail.'

How all that load is transferred on to the boat has changed markedly as well. Gone are the massive stainless steel rings - replaced with smaller, lighter and much stronger titanium fittings.

Clew attachment on a J class 3Di jib -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
Corner fittings are still attached with webbing, but with 3Di the webbing is only to attach the ring to the sail, not add reinforcing, or spread load. All that is all contained within the sail itself. The sewing machines Norths currently use cannot go through anything thicker than a 20mm piece of plywood. All finishing in the thicker areas of the 3Di sail has to be done in the traditional manner, going back to when sails were made of canvas – stitched by hand.

'Since the arrival of Kevlar, sails haven’t got a lot lighter. But they have got a lot more resistant to stretch. That is really what is driving the development, not the overall weight reduction. We would rather add more efficient material to reduce stretch, and keeping the same weight, than remove material at the gain of some weight, but getting an increase in stretch.

Fallow moves over to a 3DL sail blank on the same floor, pointing out that the sail is made up of hundreds of filaments, which are in a spiral and don’t lay straight. He explains that the twisted filament analogy is analogous with a piece of laid rope. 'By going to the straight filament of 3Di, we take nearly all the spring out of the system.'

Any filament laid in a 3DL sail in a high load area has to be taken all the way to the other side of the sail, while with 3Di in the reinforcing material can just be laid in the specific area without the need to start and end on the edge of the sail.

The second part of this story will be published tomorrow...

J class sails at various stages of manufacture on the Norths loft floor -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

Valsheda sailing with 3Di sails - J class, Falmouth, England, June 24, 2012 -  J Class Association   Click Here to view large photo


by Richard Gladwell

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=98941

10:55 PM Mon 25 Jun 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

20 Dec 2011  Wednesday Night Blast: Pressing the 'Go' button
05 Dec 2011  Young 88s sharpen skills with North Sails Coaching Clinic
09 Nov 2011  North Sails run Coaching Clinic for Young 88 class - Video
06 Oct 2011  2011 North Sails Young 88 Owners Champs on this weekend at Bucks
26 Sep 2011  Yachting NZ:Yachting Digest for January - September 2011
22 Sep 2011  North Sails opens new loft in Wellington
03 Sep 2011  Skippers jostle for a view at the North Sails Wind Warrior Regatta
30 Aug 2011  North Sails Wind Warrior Regatta on this Friday at the Viaduct
24 Aug 2011  North Sails Scan - iPhone/iPad App now available in New Zealand
02 Jun 2011  Accolades for North Sails projects at World Superyacht Awards
MORE STORIES ...




News - USA and the World

It’s hot, hot, hot in Miami for the third day of Star racing in the 88th Bacardi Cup and it is the last day the Stars will be alone on the bay, as tomorrow the remaining classes, J/70, M32, Viper 640 and VX One, will begin racing in the sixth BACARDI Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank. ... [more]  

If there was any takeaway for competitors in the regatta's first three races, it's that walking away with the title of Farr 40's Midwinters Champion is not going to be an easy feat. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam passed under 5,000 miles to the Barcelona World Race finish line and also crossed over their own outbound track. ... [more]  

Reflecting on his team’s performance on Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright said the youngest crew in the race had sailed its best leg to date. 'It was our most complete leg so far. But like all these legs it had its ups and downs,' said the 30-year-old Enright. 'From a navigation and tactics point of view, we stayed with the group and were hard-charging ... [more]  

Damian Foxall (IRL), one of the biggest names in offshore sailing, is joining Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) for the forthcoming Leg 5. Caudrelier and Foxall were on the Groupama boat that won the 2011-12 edition. The Irishman was the natural choice when Dongfeng’s skipper looked for an experienced sailor to bolster his line-up for the 6,776-nautical mile (nm) stage from Auckland ... [more]  

Marine industry experts from around the world will convene next week in the Volvo Ocean Race Village at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin for the fifth High Performance Yacht Design conference. This three-day technical conference, ninth to 11th March, is the latest for those who make it their business to push the performance boundaries of yachts both power and sail. ... [more]  

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is buzzing today with race crews arriving to register for the Gill Commodore's Cup. Over 2000 sailors are expected to take part and many of them have sailed their yachts to St.Maarten from neighbouring islands. ... [more]  

The competition for the 2015 Delta Lloyd Regatta looks promising. Especially the registrations for Laser and Laser Radial are well under way. International top sailors like Marit Bouwmeester (Laser Radial) and Bundock & Curtis (Nacra17) are up to the challenge in Medemblik from 24 - 30 May 2015. Races will start from 26 May onwards. ... [more]  

The 21 Swan yachts competing in the second edition of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean could not have asked for a more perfect start to the event's four scheduled days of racing in Virgin Gorda. After a rip-roaring race around the island accompanied by 20 to 22 knots of breeze and some serious waves, Swan 80 Selene was the victor in Class A (18.29m and above) while Swan 53 Music led yachts in Class B ... [more]  

Studio Borlenghi provide some of these stunning shots from Day 1 of 2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean. ... [more]  

It can be the most frustrating stage of non-stop round the world racing. After completing the difficult, stressful four or five weeks in the big south, there is an almost inbuilt expectation that, by comparison, after rounding Cape Horn and passing the Falklands milestong, racing up the Atlantic life should be a bowl of cherries. ... [more]  

2015 EFG Winter Cup - Miami is known as the gateway to Latin America. For Viper sailors, it may also be the jumping off point for points east. If you hailed from an island in the Atlantic Ocean, you probably did well at the Winter Cup. ... [more]  

EFG Bank Pan American Championship 2015 - Things are about to get hot in the Viper 640 class, with two Miami regattas in Miami this week, culminating in the EFG Bank Viper 640 Pan-American Championship held during BACARDI Miami Sailing Week, one of the Class’s major championships. ... [more]  

2015 RYC Midwinters overall by Luis Kitchen, San Francisco Bay
For the third year in a row Jonathan Weston aka Hot Donutz wins the RYC Midwinters in a competitive four day series. ... [more]  

2015 Squirrel Bank Regatta - Overall report by Andy Kopetzky, Southern California
Short close chop, hobby-horsing to weather and donning layers of foul weather gear was the order of the day at Del Rey Yacht Club's annual Squirrel Bank Regatta. ... [more]  

Without cutting edge design and engineering, no one wins the America's Cup. In pursuit of their goal, the British team has developed their own sophisticated 3D sailing simulator, modelled on those used by the world of motorsport. ... [more]  

OTUSA AC45 Turbo workout images by pressure-drop.us ... [more]  

Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean – A fleet of 21 Swan yachts, comprising an array of different models from seven different countries and territories will contest an eagerly anticipated week of action in the Virgin Gorda archipelago, the British Virgin Islands tomorrow, Wednesday 4 March. ... [more]  

Photographer Tim Wright captured some of these stunning shots at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 and along the course at St Barths, Barbuda and Redonda. ... [more]  

Gill Commodore's Cup - Entries on the increase by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
The Gill Commodore's Cup consists of one day of racing as a stand alone event, immediately prior to the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and is open to all boat categories taking part in the main event (excluding the Lottery Class). This year there is a record entry with over 70 yachts expected to be taking part. Several tight windward leeward races are planned for the fast performance yachts ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Ryan Houston from Team Alvimedica. He talks about wanting to sail on a Kiwi boat in the next race - how this race compares with the others in which he has sailed - how small gains seem to be paying well - the vexed issue of AIS on tactics, and more ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Dave Swete from Team Alvimedica. A product of the RNZYS Youth Program, Swete is on his second Volvo Ocean Race. He touches on the differences between the two programs, the impact that AIS is having on the racing and plenty more ... [more]  

Sail-World.com's New Zealand Editor caught up with Race Director, Jack Lloyd on the floor of the sail-loft in the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard. In this 15 minute interview, Lloyd gives his view of the progress made as a result of adopting the Volvo 65 One Design - with all boats having finished every leg (with one exception - Vestas Wind). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Image gallery - Tour of the Boatyard by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Yesterday Volvo Ocean Race threw open the barriers and let the media have an inside view of the Boatyard at the Viaduct Events Centre The area is open to the public (stay behind the safety barriers) where you can see the boats on the hard, and look inside the Events Centre which has been converted into a massive sail and rigging loft. ... [more]  

Artemis Racing took their development AC45 out on San Francisco Bay, yesterday. Videographer, John Navas was there to catch all the action on high resolution video. ... [more]  

The countdown to the 46th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar has begun in the bay of Palma from 28th March to 4th April. With less than a month to go until the start of the event, the regatta has already around 700 teams (667) from 59 nations representing the five continents. ... [more]  

2015 RC44 Championship Tour - With less than a month to go, eleven teams are eagerly anticipating the season-opener set to take place in Malta's renowned capital of Valletta, the historic 'City of Knights', from 25-29 March. ... [more]  

The 2015 US Grand Slam Series will take place within the month of August, beginning a couple weeks earlier and in a different order than previous editions. The Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club, Chicago Match Race Center, and Oakcliff Sailing organizers are pleased to announce that Requests for Invitation are being accepted now and all venues anticipate high demand. ... [more]  

A beautiful sunny Miami welcomed Star sailors to the first day of the 88th Bacardi Cup. One race is scheduled for each day of the 6-day event as part of the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank. With winds around 10 knots from the East, the racing area was set about 1 ¾ miles south of Dinner Key Channel. The course is set at 95 degrees with two-mile legs, which will test sailors ... [more]  

It’s been a month since the International Paralympic Committee publicized its decision to drop sailing from the slate of sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Since then ISAF has stepped up to lead the appeal for reinstatement. At US Sailing, we believe ISAF leadership is critical to our chances of overturning this decision, and we are pleased to see President Carlo Croce take this on himself ... [more]  

Top international photographer, Chris Cameron is working out of the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Auckland. ... [more]  

The first WWA Pro Card Qualifier presented by Malibu boats is set for March 22, 2015, hosted once again by Freedom Wake Park in Orlando, Florida. The WWA Pro Card events have been created to separate the top riders in the world and recognize them as elite. ... [more]  

NZ Rigging Supplied the Mast and Rigging package for Adrian Walters new Shaw 11 mtr 'Little Nico'. The mast is a High Modulus mast with internal locks on all halyards, internal mast jack, one piece Nomex cored box section boom, and composite rigging.cored box section boom, and composite rigging. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Easier miles at the front
2015 North American Hobie 16 to be held at Pensacola Yacht Club
2015 Hobie Mid-Winter East North America
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel faced big challenges – Recap Leg 4
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 – 66 best yachts and 600 mile thrilling race
ACWS Portsmouth ticket launch – Watch top sailors battling it out
E.E. Manning Regatta – NHYC kids hold it together in restless weather
2015 California Dreamin’ Series-Long Beach Stop – A close fight
Delivery of Phaedo3 MOD 70
Premiere Racing stepping aside after their 21st Key West Race Week
Sol having Serious Fun at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Barcelona World Race – 60 Days at Sea– Atlantic opens up for the fleet
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - Media Conference and more
Volvo Ocean Race: Iker Martinez returns to Mapfre as skipper
Miami Sailing Week – Bacardi Cup preview
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature
Farr 40 International Circuit - Plenty team hungry for more
Coast Guard continues search for San Diego sailor
Sonar Class has a new builder for Sonar
Rio officials probe source of fish die-off in Olympic waters
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - An island-wide effort   
Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race-Brasileiro ajuda barco espanhol a vencer quarta etapa   
RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition   
Eight minutes between Podium players as Spanish win VOR leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - fleet arrives in Auckland and the winner is   
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - the fleet approaches Auckland   
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 10 miles to Auckland finish   
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Third time lucky for happy Hap   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Finish - Auckland - Live Video and Updates   
Barcelona World Race - Neutrogena crosses Cape Horn with 40 knots wind   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Natty Rico will close the final night   
Barcelona World Race - At Cape Horn memories are made. and recalled   
Big winds for SCYA Manning Regatta at ABY Club   
Hutchinson and Roble honored at US Sailing’s Rolex Awards ceremony   
Finn World Masters Championships 2015 - Pre registration open   
Registration for the 2015 Finn European Championship is live!   
RORC Caribbean 600, day 4 – Classic Focus and Four Figaro II teams   
Hutchinson, Roble honored in New York as Best of 2014   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News





Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT