The new millennium has seen miracles in sailing. Hard on the heels of flying dinghies came flying America’s Cup cats followed by flying single handed ‘round the world boats. How has this happened? In a nutshell it came about because advances in design and phenomenal materials has enabled boats to be incredibly light. Light enough to fly.
Strangely, these advances have flown by most sailmakers. Every year sails made by various lofts go through our shop for service and repair, minor and major. Nothing amiss there, sails will always need a little something here or there. But what shocks us over and over is how heavy the sails are. It’s often ridiculous.
We aren’t missing something here. We make our assessment based on the evident intent of the sail. A light #1 is judged as such. A 1/2 oz spinnaker, same thing. A mainsail, the same. We judge a high tech as a high tech sail and a Dacron sail for what it is. And most of the time the sails are much, much heavier than makes any sense. When did weight stop being important?
Yeah, yeah, we know some lofts say their racing sails are light. Perhaps but only in comparison to their normal sails. They emphatically are NOT lightweight compared to sails that are appropriately and carefully designed and built.
Z Sails is not a factory. We're not about volume. We are all about careful design and construction. The difference is dramatic.