3Di Sail Technology
What is a 3Di molded sail?
The sail is a one-piece composite structure that is laminated directly in its 3D sailing shape. This allows for a much smoother and longer-lasting sail shape that distributes the load evenly across the structure. This technique is completely different when compared to traditional cut and sew windsurf sailmaking.
What is a composite sail?
A composite structure takes multiple materials and combines them in a way that the composite material is stronger and/or lighter than the materials would have been on their own.
Normally shape is built into windsurfing sails by using seams under the batten pockets. By using 3Di molding in North Windsurf Sails, we get two clear advantages: we eliminate the need for any seams and disconnect the shaping of the sail from the number of battens. So in a North WS 3Di sail, we can get equivalent or better sail performance with fewer battens, and less weight. This is why some North Windsurf sails will have fewer battens than you are normally used to in a similar type of sail. For example, the X-Over Power Wave sail has 4 battens instead of 5 in the key sizes. This does not mean you are missing anything, other than unnecessary weight.
No films, other than the windows, are used. Our sails are 70% fiber and 30% adhesive.
Are 3Di sails different from MemBrain sails?
Yes, MemBrain sails rely on bonding the two films together, with yarns laid between the films. They still use shaping under the batten pockets, and are still cut and sewn. So, membrane sails are made with traditional sail making methods and are not molded 3D shapes. On 3Di sails there are no films, they are molded 3D single piece skins, with no seams.
Why are the sails black?
Our adhesive used to bond the Aramid, Dyneema & Carbon Fibers has black additives for UV Resistance and chafe resistance. However, our R&D team is looking into the possibility of releasing another neutral-colored sail in the near future.
Will the black sails get too and melt in the sun?
We use thermoset adhesives. Leaving the sails out in the sun’s heat will not affect the structure of the sail. In the Volvo Race yachts, sails are left up for 80 days straight and cross the equator multiple times with no damage to the sails. Once cured, this resin is unchanged by heat, moisture, or UV rays – perfect for sails made to live in extreme conditions.
Where are the sails made?
North Sails has a molding facility in Sri Lanka where North Sails employees mold all of our windsurf sails. This is exactly the same machinery and production techniques used to make the world-leading America’s Cup & Volvo Ocean Racing sails are made.