North Sails 3Di NORDAC Sails

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North Sails has been making 3Di sails composed of layers of filament tape incorporating exotic high-modulus fibers for some time, and these have come to dominate performance sailing in such demanding venues as the Volvo Ocean Race and the Vendée Globe. Meanwhile, the default cruising sails for most sailors have remained the same woven polyester sails that first emerged on the market in the middle of the last century—until now. With its new 3Di NORDAC sails, North has combined the great cost-effectiveness and durability of traditional sails with the 3Di process by building them entirely in polyester, with polyester filaments set in polyester resin in the 3Di structural tape. Tape sections are laid out and vacuumed onto three-dimensional male molds, then heated to activate the two-part resin that holds the whole structure together. As with regular 3Di sails, extra strength can be built into the sail’s structure where needed without disproportionately increasing total weight by adding more tape. The straight fiber filaments also hold the sail’s shape much better than crimped woven fibers. The result is an affordable all-polyester sail that is lighter, less stretchy, more durable and more mildew-resistant than traditional woven polyester sails—a win-win for cruising sailors everywhere. $NA. North Sails, northsails.com

Back to 2018 Pittman Innovation Awards

February 2018

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