North Sails has begun using its new Rotary Mold apparatus located in Toronto, Canada to build it's 3DL line of sails. The advent of this new system brings 3DL sail technology to a broader range of boats. RM also eliminates the cutting production time and allows for greater uniformity in shapes compared with normal paneled sail products.

The Rotary Mold was developed by Bill Slyne of Industrial Evolution, Inc., who was also instrumental in the development of 3DL sails. The Rotary Mold will produce film and fiber laminates engineered for specific sail designs to best optimize strength, weight, and durability. Using principles of Gaussian curvature, the cylinder also allows shapes which can be reproduced with a very high degree of accuracy.

This combination of features will make 3DL technology within easy reach for boats ranging from 15 to 29 feet in length.

According to North Sails President, Gary Weisman, "Even including the time taken to place finishing details on each sail, this system may very well represent the most efficient sailmaking method ever devised."

North Marine Group Vice President Jay Hansen feels this project, which has been five years in development, has been worth the wait. "We're very excited to have developed this technology to the small boat and One Design market, but we've been careful to make sure we work out any bugs in the process. We're very excited to be able to start offering these sails to customers for the 2002 sailing season."

Production has already begun on sails for several high-performance and keelboat classes, with full capacity expected within weeks.