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

We’re talking, of course, about Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy, who make up one of two German duos in Nassau this year, along with 2014 World Champion Robert Stanjek. Polgar and Koy have been strong sailing partnership for many years now and finished fifth in the 2013 Star Sailors League Final with just Scheidt-Prada, Kusznierewicz-Zycki, Mendelblatt-Fatih and Negri-Lambertenghi in front of them. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Heading into a tropical Depression *Feature by Mike Scullin, Predictwind
The weather team at PredictWind have put together this prognosis for the next few days, looking at what lies ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet ... [more]  

Seven Australian Sailing Team and Squad crews are currently competing in five of the Olympic events at Abu Dhabi at the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. Next on the AST and Squad’s calendar is the World Cup in Melbourne, December 7-14, 2014. The deadline of Tuesday December 2nd for entries is fast approaching and organiser Yachting Victoria is calling for final registrations. ... [more]  

2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), starts on Saturday 29th November 1200 CET from Lanzarote, Canary Islands bound for Grenada, West Indies, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Abu Dhabi 2014: Smiles were present before racing at the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, on the waters off of the Corniche and around Lulu Island and back ashore upon the conclusion of racing. A north westerly breeze that ranged between 9-14 knots greeted the sailors across the four race tracks. The outside courses saw big waves to add some spice to the sailors’ lives. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel: Sailing against the wind and ramming into waves is not exactly comfortable. But it can get worse, because right now we are heading straight into a tropical storm. 'Tro-tro-tropical storm?' I stammer in fright to Louis Balcaen. The young Belgian sailor quickly makes it clear that I’m not the only one who is afraid of this particular weather condition. ... [more]  

The Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club, which has hosted three America's Cups and one America's Cup World Series, appeared on local TV, commenting on the apparent decision to award the 35th America's Cup to British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. In this replay of the video Commodore Chuck Sinks, deftly stays within the confines of not confirming that Bermuda has won the hosting rights. ... [more]  

Overall race leader, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has slipped in the Volvo Ocean Race having led for most of Leg 2, and won Leg 1. But as has been done before Abu Dhabi has caught up, and now playing storm-watch. ... [more]  

Mast track issues have dogged the Chinese Volvo Ocean Race entry, Dongfeng Race Team on Leg 2 on the 40,000nm round the world race. The problem is not fully repairable in the current upwind and bumpy conditions, and is certainly an issue of concern for Charles Caudrelier led team. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: The Traemeister's onboard gym session *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
On Board Reporter, Brian Carlin, claimed he did not know what a Gym before he set foot aboard Team Vestas Wind. And then compounded his issues by saying that he thought 'Gym' was pronounced 'Gime'. Fitness freak Trae has taken on the invidious task of getting the Irish OBM up to a passable fitness level, believed to be 100 push-ups. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Thanksgiving at Sea *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Although they may be far from home, old traditions aren't forgotten as the US crew aboard Team Alvimedica celebrate one of the great traditions. And the non-US crew partake of their first Thanksgiving, off the coast of Madagascar. There's some of the traditional fare, adapted for the Volvo Ocean Race, and some messages and mementos from home. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The official launch of Syd Fischer’s super maxi, Ragamuffin 100, will take place next Tuesday, 2 December 2014, at Sydney City Marine Complex, Rozelle. ... [more]  

The new application from PredictWind for Mac and PC is revolutionary for accessing weather data when offshore. Accessing GRIB files, Weather Routing, GMDSS forecasts and Satellite Imagery is now a simple task with the unique and user friendly interface. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Mapfre takes lead in Leg 2 as break point looms *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The latest position report from Volvo Ocean Race Control has given the lead in leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race to Mapfre (Iker Martinez). She takes over the lead from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker), who has led from soon after the start of Leg 2, a week ago. ... [more]  

Over 270 sailors from 38 nations have enjoyed a mixed range of conditions since their arrival early on in the week. The athletes have used the time to acclimatise to their surroundings, different sea states and a variety of wind strengths. But now, the practice time is over with racing across the ten Olympic and open kiteboarding fleets to kick start the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. ... [more]  

VOR 2014-15: Some of them also wake up in the middle of the night to check the latest position reports of Team Brunel. The crew is aware of that, including our skipper Bouwe Bekking. 'We are not the only ones looking out for the position reports. We know that the home front is eyeballing every move of us. Our wives, children, girlfriends, friends and supporters live this race as extreme as we.' ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final 2014: Among the ten Olympic series represented, Franck Cammas will be participating in the event for the first time aboard a Nacra 17, this time teaming up with the young, light Alizée Desbordes. Having remained in France to satisfy her professional obligations, Sophie de Turckheim will be following the performance of her favourite helm closely. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Bjorn Allansson (SWE), Briana Provancha (USA), Sofia Bekatorou (GRE), Lara Vadlau (AUT) and Anton Paz (ESP) have fully embraced the Abu Dhabi and Emirati life, grasping the opportunities available with both hands. 'There are so many welcoming and friendly people here,' explained Provancha at the opening press conference. ... [more]  

Leading sailing marine electronics manufacturer B&G has been appointed an Official Race Supplier for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15. B&G will also be providing full electronic navigation systems, tactical software and race support to the organisers of the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race, which began on the October 4th in Alicante, Spain. ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, then hear the replay below. Adventures of a Sailor Girl #31 - Pathways and passion! ... [more]  

Star Sailors League Finals: This Bahaman event is about much more than just sailing, however: it promises a blistering week of high emotion, passion and dazzlingly action that will deliver a unique display of sporting prowess from a slew of champions. All in an easy-to-grasp and see format that even non-sailing folk will understand perfectly. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Sweden to host World Series regatta in 2015 by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Artemis Racing and the City of Gothenburg are set to host an America’s Cup World Series event during the last weekend of August (28th - 30th) 2015. Racing will take place either on the Gota River close to the city centre, or at Långedrag, and the race village will be located in Frihamnen. ... [more]  

2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), starts on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote bound for Grenada, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean. All of the competing yachts are now safely moored in Puerto Calero Marina and last night an informal welcome drinks reception was well received with crew ... [more]  

2014 Chicago Match Cup - At the end of Chicago Match Race Center's sixth season, the numbers show how well CMRC reached both into and beyond the Great Lakes sailing community. CMRC hosted a total of 12 graded events from May to October. Of these, the five Grade Three regattas were the best attended featuring 23 skippers from nine countries. ... [more]  

2014 Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Tom Slingsby, Australian Olympic Laser Gold medalist, and member of Oracle Team USA, has signed up as skipper of Oman Air, one of two Oman Sail Extreme Sailing teams, for the final act of the Extreme Sailing Series in Sydney, Australia (11-14 December). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Big spread in fleet as Abu Dhabi leads *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) continues to lead the Volvo Ocean Race. She is the most westerly of the fleet as they approach the coast of Madagascar. In a video, Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker explains the weather hazards of the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final 2014: With a packed crowd of local dignitaries, VIPS and competitors, the ISAF President welcomed the world’s finest Olympic sailors and kiteboarders who will be battling it out on Abu Dhabi's waters. 'It’s a great honour for me to be here today because we have a very important regatta which will be the future of our sport,' explained Croce. ... [more]  

Sir Keith Mills GBE announced that America’s Cup Racing is to return to British waters when the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) takes place in Portsmouth 23-26 July 2015 and 21–24 July 2016. The second European location is expected to be Cagliari in Italy, where Luna Rossa Challenge have their base. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Brian's Gime *Feature by Brian Carlin, Team Vestas Wind, At sea
The irrepressible Brian Carlin, the On Board Reporter for Team Vestas Wind is on fitness program on board, under the watchful eye of race veteran Tony Rae. Today as my personal trainer, friend and fellow shipmate we accomplished a goal, 70 press-ups. I’m sure to some it maybe easy but I ask anyone of you right now sitting at your desk, hit the floor and give me 70 on the spot. ... [more]  

Two of the crew from Overall race leader, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing look at leg 2 and the race overall. Here are the latest blogs (unedited) from On Board Reporter Matt Knighton, along with an onboard video with Simon Fisher (navigator) musing on what is required to win the race, and skipper Ian Walker on how Leg 2 has panned out for them so far. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - A new deal for corinthians by Bruce Montgomery – Rolex Sydney Hobart media
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Since 1945 starters in the Sydney-Hobart have raced the equivalent of two circumnavigations of the world, almost 45,000 nautical miles. They have been drawn from the seven seas; they come from all corners of the world; they board boats that range from 100-feet supermaxis to boats littler larger than the Owl and the Pussycat’s. ... [more]  

2016 Hansa Class Combined World and International Championships - The International Hansa Class Association has announced that the 2016 Hansa Class Combined World and International Championships will be held in the Netherlands. ... [more]  

Most of the nearly 300 sailors on 216 boats in 21 classes in Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's 67th Turkey Day Regatta came to enjoy sunny sailing in mild conditions, which the weekend delivered beautifully. By tradition, the winners received turkeys, not trophies, but for a few others it was another important stopover en route to Rio de Janeiro and the 2016 Olympics. They hope. ... [more]  

St Barth Cata Cup - New winners on the Island
Star Sailors League Final -Interview with Robert Scheidt
USODA 2015 Nationals - Pensacola Yacht Club to host
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, an inspirational legend
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Inspiring the next generation in the UAE
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup – Albeau completes world title hat-trick
Volvo Ocean Race – Team Alvimedica pushing harder
Volvo Ocean Race – ADOR continues to inspire youth
Volvo Ocean Race – Team SCA’s super fan
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Abu Dhabi Sailing Instructions published
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Italian 49erFX duo ready for action
St Barth Cata Cup day 3
Volvo Ocean Race: Racing between a Rock and a Hard Place
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 24 Nov 0700 UTC
2014 RC44 Championship Tour trophy – Video highlights
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 23 Nov 1930 UTC
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 23 Nov 0748 UTC
Gladwell's Line: The America's Cup is now Bermuda's Cup? *Feature
VX ONE Winter Series - Norris and Family earn first weekend victory
RC44 Oman Cup - Nika wins and Team Aqua clinch their fourth RC44 title
18ft Skiffs: Club Championship, Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy - Race three   
Volvo Ocean Race: On board with Abu Dhabi - torn sail and where to go? *Feature   
2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Bermuda shines   
2014 Turkey Day Regatta – Day 1   
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Delphine Cousin officially world champ   
Volvo Ocean Race: A man's got to do what a man's got to do   
RC44 Championship Tour - A great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman   
Sail-World Team holds first Continental Conference at METS   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Open Formula Kiteboarding event preview   
Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet heads into the Southern Ocean + Videos *Feature   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Set to be an 'experience of a lifetime'   
America's Cup: Source named in Bermuda venue leak *Feature   
2014 RC44 Oman Cup - Challenging day + Videos   
Volvo Ocean Race: A bumpy, hard driving ride in the Southern Ocean   
EPA punts on renewable fuel standard   
Yates Cup: US supermaxi Rio100 wins first offshore race + Video *Feature   
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Men’s title race takes a twist   
RC44 Oman Cup - Consistency hard to come by   
Volvo Ocean Race - Discomfort takes over for Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race - Rapid change for Team SCA   


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