North Sails has introduced the latest application of their patented 3Di technology – a revolutionary cruising sail made of 100% polyester fiber. 3Di NORDAC is an innovative product that marries patented 3Di shape holding technology with the toughness and affordability of polyester sails. Tailored for small to medium sized cruising boats, 3Di NORDAC transforms polyester fiber into seamless, one-piece sails that North says are “uniquely strong, beautiful and long-lasting”.
Dan Neri, CEO North Sails, said: “We believe that great performing sails directly enhance the quality of the time our customers spend on their boats. This is as true for daysailing and coastal cruising as it is for voyaging or ocean racing. We looked at the products being offered for day sailors and coastal cruisers and saw an opportunity to do better. By combining the structural concepts of our 3Di molded composite construction process with the properties and good looks of traditional Dacron, we can now offer white sails that have a locked-in aerodynamic shape and stay flat as the wind increases.”
For thousands of years, sailcloth has been made by the ancient process of weaving fibres into a finished material. For over 60 years, woven polyester (Dacron) has proven to be the fibre of choice for cruising sailcloth – providing low cost and structurally durable sails. Today, polyester remains a nearly perfect fibre for cruising sails due to its strength and environmental stability. However, woven sails will lose their shape long before their structural integrity is compromised, leaving their longevity and performance life out of balance. 3Di NORDAC uses a composite process which promises increased shape holding capabilities and longer structural life. Cruising sailors will now enjoy sailing with responsive sails that offer more control over their sail power.
North Sails’ patented 3Di process spreads yarn fibers into individual filaments, pre-impregnated with thermoset resin, and laid into ultra thin tapes. The tapes are then interleaved in a complex multiple-axis array and thermoformed on North’s 3D adjustable molds in the sail’s unique flying shape. 3Di NORDAC sails are 100% polyester fiber, polyester thermoset adhesive, and a rugged polyester protective surface. 3Di sails have the properties of true composite structures, resisting strain and compressive forces in all directions.
Bill Fortenberry, North Sails Market Segment Manager, concluded: “Being 3D molded, the 3Di NORDAC sail is a more efficient use of materials and manufacturing, with high durability and toughness, including resilience to UV, flex, and abrasion. Along with the classic white look of traditional sails, 3Di NORDAC will ensure less heel, less helm, and less leeway for a better cruising experience. With 60 years of expertise in making Dacron sails, the science behind North’s development of top-end performance sails has been applied to the new product.”