Material Technology Invented By Sailors

© Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race

Sailors racing in annual Volvo Ocean Race sail over 35,000 miles through treacherous storms and other unforeseen extreme conditions. Every year, the rules are refined and new technologies are discussed to keep sailors safer while also letting them go faster.

Leg 01, Alicante to Lisbon, First Morning on board AkzoNobel. Volvo Ocean Race. 23 October, 2017 Konrad Frost / Volvo Ocean Race

American sailor and president of North Sails, Ken Read, explains the technology his company has developed over the last decade that has changed the game for sailing and has since been utilized across different industries including aerospace and automotive.

Traditional laminated sails are made up of several layers and pressed together to create a strong, evenly thick sail made up of yarn and film.

3Di technology from North Sails

North Sail’s 3Di technology uses a light filament to create tape instead of yarn and relies on sophisticated software to calculate load balancing on for each sail. This allows the filament tape to follow the calculations and apply more composite material where more strength is needed and less material where less strength is needed. The end results is a custom sail that is more light weight and more durable than any traditional sail.

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