For many years our customers have asked us when 3DL sails will become available for smaller boats, one-designs. After all, 3DL is the sail product that has revolutionized the sailing world with its one piece thermo-molded shape. From the America’s Cup to the Volvo Ocean Race to the Med Cup and beyond it is a fact that more top-level races are won with 3DL sails. 3DL One Design sails are already making their mark. Just last Fall, one of our first 3DL J/24 genoas won the US Nationals and more exciting projects are in the works.
With the 3DL process the flying shape of a sail is formed over a mold in three dimensions as is the supporting yarn structure which runs in continuous passes from corner to corner and edge to edge. The result is a highly efficient structure that’s hold’s it shape better than all other constructions throughout the wind range. For a full description of the process of designing and building a 3DL sail please click here.
One of the most difficult issues with making 3DL sails for smaller boats, until now, has been getting the proper amount and distribution of shape in the larger molds that have been available to the One Design team. Smaller one design sails typically have much more curvature in some areas per square foot than sails for larger boats. To solve this problem North Sails made the large commitment last Autumn to build an entirely new mold just for small boat one design sails. This new mold has twice as many control points and a significantly more flexible surface than the next smallest mold in the North system. This is in order to accurately fine tune the shape of and give our designers the flexibility they need.
We at North Sails One Design are extremely excited about this project. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.