After a late lunch back in the harbor, we parked near the Antigua Yacht Club where we would be attending a presentation by Andrew Dove who is North Sails for the entire eastern Caribbean. His talk focused on the development of sail making and technology from back in the 1800’s to the present. Andrew is a fascinating person and an engaging speaker. His talk concluded with a presentation of North Sails 3Di technology and their latest sail material, 3Di Nordac. After a video demonstrating the dramatic process at North’s Minden, Nevada plant, Andrew briefly introduced Joy and me as one of North Sails test boats for this amazing new material.
Just a word or two about how this opportunity became available to us. Joy and I attended the Seven Seas Cruising Association Gam in Melbourne, Florida, November, 2016. We sat in on a seminar by Zach Mason of North Sails on sail making development and technology. The presentation was a bit lengthy and often, highly technical. Joy was falling asleep, and she snapped up to say she was going outside to read her book. OK, no problem. Zach concluded his presentation by introducing North Sail’s 3Di Nordac technology, a sail making process that is poised to change the shape of cruising sails for the future, but the sails were not, as of that time, available to the public.
After the seminar I walked up front to talk to Zach about these sails. Our Genoa had blown up last season, and our North mainsail was 12 years old, well worn. I asked Zach when the sails might be available to the general public, and he began asking me questions about our boat, our style of sailing, how and where we used our boat. After a few minutes telling him about our sailing experience, Zach asked “How would you like to be a test boat?” Well, what does that mean, I responded. Zach promised to send me an email in a few days to tell me what that all would entail.
True to his word, an email from Zach popped up in my in-box a few days later offering me a new 3Di Mainsail and a 3Di Genoa built to my needs at an incredibly attractive price. When I showed Joy the email, she said, I know we weren’t going to spend any big money on the boat this year, but how can we pass this up? We couldn’t, so I placed the order, gave a deposit, and the sails were to be delivered to me in the Caribbean, wherever I wanted, with no shipping charges, no VAT, and no tax. The only hitch, I might have to have a few photos taken of the boat with the new sails, speak to a publisher or two, a few other fun things. Wow!
Andrew Dove of North Sails Eastern Caribbean delivered and installed our new Main and Genoa on February 7th, a somewhat blustery, but beautiful day. Getting to know him while we worked together to install the sails was a real treat. Andrew has had a lifetime of sailing and sail making, having designed and made his first sail when he was only 12 years old, quite an accomplishment. Once the sails were installed to Andrew’s satisfaction, Joy and I made a test run using just the mainsail in 28 knots of wind, and found that Ocean Angel would haul upwind with just the main at nearly 5 knots.