You often hear about the trickle down effect of products developed for the America's Cup, it makes great PR and reads well in the Social Media but so many times it never really makes it all the way to the smaller boats writes North Sails Ireland's, Nigel Young
I am happy to say that with 3Di it really has made it all the way down from America's Cup and Super Yachts all the way to the International Moth and everything in between. We now have a 3Di Film-less product available for everyone, not just the Grand Prix end of sailing.
Check out the latest Class to switch over to 100% 3Di Sails in the North Family. I have sailed the Melges 24 since 1994 and it's great to see that boat is now fully 3Di. Check out the latest news from Miami here: Melges 24 3Di Success on the Race Track
Here in Ireland, we delivered our first 3Di sail to the Kelly Family and the J-109 Storm way back in 2012. As a testament to the 3Di product and production process that sail is still in use today with Brian Jones and his team on the J-109 Jelly Baby. No major repairs have been done to that sail, only minor luff tape damage and some small chafe repairs, not unusual for an 8-year-old sail.
In the last few months, North Sails Ireland have supplied 3Di sails to 1720s, J-80's, Melges 24's and several other small one-off IRC boats. So it's not just PR its reality, 3Di really does cover every possible sail size out there for both Racing and Cruising. For the full 3Di Family of sails check out this link here
North Sails are now so confident about the lamination of 3Di that they offer a Lifetime Warranty against delamination on all 3Di products......Try asking your Sailmaker for something similar and they will be seen running for the door!
Here in Ireland, we have delivered hundreds of 3Di sails since the first sail back in 2012 and the overriding factor is how long they last. When I say that I do not mean their overall lifespan but the shape holding. The shape holding of 3Di is a product of many factors but one of the facts I like the most is this:
3Di Sails have double the fibre content of our old 3DL product!
3Di sails kilo for kilo in all up weight have double the amount of fibre when compared to our best 3DL sail ever made. So back in the 3DL days, a Jib weighing say 18kgs would have only just over 6.5kg of fibre in the sail. Roughly 35%.
The equivalent 18kg 3Di Sail has almost 70% fibre 12.5kg so it's very easy to see why 3Di Sails hold their shape so well. Think about that for a moment, 3Di has DOUBLE the fibre content.......
The fibres are what gives a sail its ability to retain the design shape. So more fibre can only be good for the long term shape holding of your sails.
As a rule of thumb, the plastic film in our 25-year-old technology 3DL sails and our current competitors' sails accounts for over 50% of the all up weight of the sail. If you then add light skins to make it look like a 3Di sail that adds even more parasitic weight again.
Plastic is not Fantastic!
Remember 3Di has no Plastic film.........We like to call the plastic film parasitic weight, it adds nothing to the sail in real terms except weight. Not only that it needs protecting so it does not crack hence all the additional films on the outside Taffeta's, Light skins etc...
3Di needs none of this as there is no plastic film in the sails and the greatest knock-on effect of that and the special glues we use is they cannot de-laminate and that is guaranteed.
Next time you are thinking about a new sail think about 3Di. Yes, they cost more initially but ask any one of our 3Di clients here in Ireland what they think and I know the answer you will get.
They cost more at the outset but offer much greater value for money in the long run. Less time in the service loft, more time flying in their original FAST design shape.
North Sails 3DL was 25 years ahead of the opposition, 3Di is light years ahead.