View Full Version : 2007/08 North Sails Monofilm Quality

10th February 2008, 02:31 PM
Has anyone noticed any problems with the quality of the monofilm that North has used in the 2007 and 2008 sails? Minor creases are inevitable whilst rigging however with these recent North sails, the small creases in the monofilm seem very brittle and hard - certainly more than other sail brands.

I have used many brands of sails over the last 10 years but these recent North sails are odd. In fact one of my 2007 sails actually split after only about 20 uses from what looks like just the brittleness of the crease. Creases are unavoidable in sails but they have never caused me any problems before.

Just curious if anyone else has noticed this?

11th February 2008, 03:03 PM
So I guess the lack of response would indicate that nobody else has noticed anything of concern.

This is a good thing which means that I must be jumping to conclusions :)

11th February 2008, 04:34 PM
If you are referring to North's "white" film, please note that it is actually made of two films glued together with a white glue. This probably makes it stiffer, which is a good thing in order to gain stability; but it also makes it probably less crease resistant. Meaning that creases may form less easily than with classic monofilm, but will also be more fragile due to lower thickness of each film layer and the relative distance of the two films putting more strain on them.
By the way, who said "Creases are unavoidable in sails"? In my experience, I went from Maui Sails TR-2 sails that needed lots of attention while rigging and expecially de-rigging in order to avoid creases, to newer TR-3 that are almost impossible to crease (unless one decides to).

11th February 2008, 04:56 PM
Hi Geo,

No I wasn't referring to the white monfilm. I love that stuff and think the opposite ie that it is more resistant to creasing. With the two laminates it actually feels less resistant to creasing. It is the main clear monofilm which is most susceptible to creasing during rigging - especially with the no-cam sails like the X-Type that have tight luff curves but not a wide luff sleeve.

I expect creases which is fine .. no worries at all ... but just didn't expect they would be very hard & brittle creases and eventually fail as has happened once so far. None of my other sails in the last 12 years has creased and eventually split along a crease.

Anyway .. I think I might just be imaging this assumption because with the 80+ views of my question, nobody else has commented and had a similar concern.

11th February 2008, 09:00 PM
Maybe contact your dealer. There is warantee. Your case doesn't sound clear cut but if you're talking '08 sails, then you likely paid top dollar. I'd say it's reasonable to expect top quality and top service. What's to lose in trying?

12th February 2008, 02:33 AM
hi matt - where exactly on the sail has monofilm split apart? is it in the center of the panel or near the mast pocket?

12th February 2008, 03:50 AM
Hi Stingray,
Pretty much right in the centre of the main window behind the boom ... where you usually get a few creases from rigging. I am usually in a rush to get out on the water, so I dont take quite as much time as I should but I am happy to accept a few creases in my sails. Never been a problem in the past. However unfortunately in the newer North Sails, they seem to crease & create a hard opaque ridge - just an inch or two long. Which I guess kinda sounds normal except these feel harder, more brittle and a bigger ridge .... then an eventual crack or split!? It's just a bit worrying as I have a whole quiver of them!

12th February 2008, 04:08 AM
that is bizzare to have the sail split in the middle of the panel. i have x-type 7.3 (2007) but i didn' t get much chance to use it last season as i was usually either on 5.7 voodoo (2007) or 8.2 warp (2006). no problems with those sails (apart from mast sticking out of the top of mast sleeve of 8.2 - but that was cheap to repair). but voodoo is all xply and warp has a wide sleeve so not much wrinkling there. possibly north has used lighter materials for the middle panels to minimise weight. that might make the sails not only more exposed to wrinkling but also more vounerable to occasional hit by nose of the board when launching in waves or impact by harness hook. but i believe you have eliminated those possibilities from the list. anyways very unfortunate to have such problems. i will keep my eyes on how my xtype behaves this season. it would be interesting to hear feedback from those using dukes 5.9-6.9 as to how they hold up...

12th February 2008, 10:47 AM
Hi Matt,
I don't think you should worry about the rest of your quiver. It's very unusual for a North sail to fail in the manner you have described for no reason.

I have only ever owned North and have never had a crease that split or tear open. Yes i've had the odd crease appear from time to time (always my fault or through abuse by airport staff), but never had one fail. We all know that creases can be anything from almost invisible lines to hard, brittle, white sharp folds!

I currently own 4.5 and 5.0 07 ICE , 5.4 07 DUKE, 6.0 07 X-TYPE, 9.9 08 F-RAM, 6.8 and 7.8 08 WARPS, 9.0 and 11.0 07 WARPS, and am picking up my new 10.0 08 WARP today. I have no problems resulting from creasing in any of these.

My smaller wave sails have seen some abuse over the last 12 months and are still holding together well. (countless wipeouts straight into the main panel have not resulted in any splits or tears yet,,,,,,fingers crossed. Yet there are many of the normal stress lines and wrinkles)

My X-TYPE has been used over 40 times and has done some traveling as have my race sails. (in and out of planes, trains and automobiles. Southern hemisphere to northern and back again, as well as countless road trips) In my experience creasing tends to happen during travel and transportation as well as rigging. (seeing my sailbag at the airport with 20 or 30 pieces of luggage piled on top is a horrible experience)

My old 05 R-TYPE had a small crease in an upper panel when i bought it,(a faint fold line of about 3 inches in length) nothing too serious. I kept a close eye on it over the 8 months that i sailed it, and noticed that it worsened over time despite my efforts to take care when rigging and de-rigging.
My conclusion at the time was that a crease is effectively the weakest point of any panel (It's like thick paper. If you fold it repeatedly in the same place, it will eventually tear without too much effort).
If any excess pressure while rolled or while rigging is received by the panel, the most likely place to degenerate further will be the weakest point,,,, the crease. (like re-folding the paper again)

I also love the white double layer monofilm used by north. The clear monofilm used in the main panels feels a little thicker than some other brands that my friends sail. Particularly with the race sails! Yet this extra thickness does not result in a more brittle panel. They have managed to find the right balance between flexibility (bending ability) and elasticity (stretching ability).

I have no wise conclusion on this subject other than the obvious,,,,, "no sail will last forever". And no manufacturer will ever have a perfect record with failures. I can say however that in my opinion north monofilm is as robust and longlasting as anything on the market today.

I agree with the other poster who suggested you take the sail back to the shop where you bought it from. You never know, they might at very least repair it for you.

Good Luck Matt, and enjoy the rest of your quiver.

12th February 2008, 01:02 PM
Thanks for the comments guys. I appreciate the thoughtful responses!

12th February 2008, 08:50 PM
Jjay - Have you noticed any allignment problems with you North Ice downhaul pulley. I have a 2007 5.3 North Ice. Great sail but the downhaul pulley "saws" the line making me replace it every few sessions or else "pop" out on the water. The dealer recently, under warrentee had the pulley re-alligned. It is better but still not as good as my 2006 North Ice 4.5 or my larger Retros which are perfect.

13th February 2008, 11:42 AM
Yep ... same problem for me big time with the 08 sails :( The Ice are not too bad because the downhaul tensions are low and you can just force the rope sawing over the edge of the pulley .... but the North RAM F8 ... the sails are almost useless because it is much worse. I really can't get enough downhaul hence the reason for my other post seeking good downhaul tools .. although with the chinook winch, I can see myself breaking the rope, base or downhaul tool with amount of force that will be required. All my previous race sails, I could downhaul just using a bar.

I am using the 08 North XT Pinlock extension, 08 North sails and 08 North masts. One would think that all North products would be compatible. I have tried rigging the rope in various different arrangements but it still kept 'sawing' over the pulley.

I have been considering purchasing a new extension, but I really dont think that is the problem. Not sure what to do. Having minimal downhaul really detracts from the performance of the North RAM F8 sails :( I can only just get enough downhaul to get out on the water and even then it is only when I increase the amount of extension so there is a big gap between the sail-pulley and extension-pulley. Any tips would be gratefully accepted!

13th February 2008, 12:36 PM
Firstly the min and max stickers on some(all?) of the early Ram F8 sails into the market were put on in the wrong place. The stickers were placed too far into the sail and its very difficult or extreme downhaul is needed to get near the max mark.
Suggest first to check if your sails suffer this.
Next buy a streamline extension. The pullies line up perfectly and no problem to wind on downhaul.

13th February 2008, 02:35 PM
Hi guys,

I've had the same problem with all my sails when using the North XT pinlock extension.
It's not too bad with my smaller sails, (less tension required). However, with sails of 9m and over, the tension on the downhaul rope cutting over the edge of the last roller of the sails pulley is simply dangerous!

I have snapped new downhaul rope on a number of occasions while rigging my 11m Warp (very frustrating). I then replaced the rope with the White NP RSX type (best cord money can buy) I was using the 42cm model set at 28cm for my 11m Warp however by setting it to 30cm I found it much easier to rig and tune. Adding an extra 1 or 2cm of extension stops the last part of the rope that feeds into the cleat from being pulled or cut across the roller too much. (interesting that we are talking about ICE wave sails all the way up to FW warps,,,can't be all the sails at fault)

I used the same XT extension so many times at such high loads of tension that the 3rd tack pulley on my 11m Warp (the one closest to the mast, which feeds the last line into the cleat) actually BENT INTO THE SHAPE OF THE ROPE!!!! NO JOKE AT ALL! Imagine how much tension it takes to bend a 4mm groove into the edge of a brass pulley!!!!! Then think how strong the NP rope is to bend the brass edge without snapping!!!! By the way, the groove made it possible for my rope to easily thread from sail pulley to extension cleat with no danger of being cut. (would never have thought of it on my own!)

I have recently stopped using the XT pinlock extension for my race sails even though i found it to be one of the most reliable extensions i've used. (even though the cleat position was not well designed) I have now cut down the 40cm Carbon Extender to my required length and am using a simple race cup.

The reason the sail pulley doesn't rig perfectly inline with the XT extension is quite simple.
The XT has "oversized" plastic rollers which makes it easier to pull but moves the center of axis further away from the mast. The sails all have standard sized rollers. Also the sail and extension are at 90' to each other which is not normally a problem when the pulleys are of a similar size. And the last but most important bit of this puzzle is in the placement of the XT's cleat. The cleat is about 1.5cm!!!!! closer to the mast than the axis of the rollers on the extension.

Most other extensions will work perfectly with all North Sails. I'm convinced that North Sails were not designed on the XT extensions.

By the way, there have been other design oversights at North. Has anyone else had problems with the new generation of Platinum racing masts? The tail piece is very stiff indeed by fitting over the main tube of the boom instead of into it as is the norm. But one simple problem is that the tail piece needs to be hollow to fit "over" the boom. This means it fills with water!!! Carrying a couple of liters of water around in the end of your race boom makes sail handling a whole new experience.

Anyway, this must all sound very confusing and pointless to a lot of people. However if you have used the XT series with a North Sail you may have experienced this dilemma yourself. Oh, and I agree with the last poster about the RAMS Min and Max wind settings. Think of Min wind mark as Max instead.

Relax and go fast

P.S I also use the streamlined extensions for my Slalom sails.

13th February 2008, 05:00 PM
Wow ... I am lucky to find you helpful guys!! I have been thinking about posting a thread about rigging North sails with the XT extension but I felt it was too much of a stupid newbie question and I would get no replies so I didn't bother! I thought there must be a simple answer that I am overlooking and during the 15 mins I take to rig these stupid North sails with the XT that it would eventually click and I would realise the obvious mistake i was making (even after my 10 yrs of windsurfing experience). I am relieved that others have experienced the same problem.

I have the doc on the RAM settings but I am yet to check out my sails. I try to avoid using my RAMs because they are such a hassle to rig with the stupid XT extension.

I have already been making enquiries about buying the Streamlined extensions, so I think it might be time to invest in a couple and auction off the XTs & Power XT on EBAY :)

I will keep my eyes open for the NP RSX rope.

13th February 2008, 05:03 PM
Hmm .. oh and thanks for the tip on the Platinum boom ... that one is also going on Ebay soon!

For my next sail purchases, I am going back to Sailworks!

13th February 2008, 05:09 PM
A few questions: about the white monofilm I hear it was a second one glued in the first year (2006) and it was replaced by a thicker one in the next years (07 and 08), is that right?

For downhaul instrument I really "get in love" with the Power XT: superb work even with 8 meters sails! The best for my needs..

Ropes and extentions for formulas and bigger slalom sails: try the Marlow Formuline..

14th February 2008, 03:55 AM
Power XT works well with most sails but doesn't work with large size 07 & 08 North sails as the downhaul rope saws across the across of the pulleys creating intense friction and increased forces are required.

But yes .. I loved it previously with other sail brands.

14th February 2008, 01:35 PM
This is really frustrating ... just got home from work and it is a fantastic afternoon for a sail ... 18 knt seabreeze, sunny, warm .... but I really can't be bothered knowing the frustration that I will have with the North RAM F8 sails :( .... Particularly now knowing that I haven't missed anything obvious and that other people are also experiencing the same problem :(

14th February 2008, 03:43 PM
i just can't believe it that you wouldn't sail if it is sunny, warm and 18knts of wind... the sails can't be that bad...

14th February 2008, 04:05 PM
Hey Matt, I'm jealous!!!! sunny and 18knots!!!!!!
overcast and 2 knots here.

No need to get so down. All you need to do is set your XT 2cm longer than you would normally, then downhaul as usual. By setting the Xt longer you will release much of the excess tension. This should make downhauling the Ram (a bloody good sail) as easy as any other sail. The problem is only with the cleat position on the extension, not the sail. To rig the rope effectively for this particular extension I ,,,,,,,,,,

1 Feed downhaul rope knotted at one end through the center hole, starting at the end with the aluminium washer. (the knot should now be stopped against the washer)

2 When i'm ready to start rigging, I look down and should see the knot which stops my rope sliding through the center of the extension looking up at me. The rest of the cord is falling out of the center of the grey roller at the other end, away from me.

Sail- 3 I take the cord and feed it through the CENTER pulley on the sail, from UNDER first back up towards me.

Ext- 4 Then I feed the cord DOWN through the the TOP roller (the one closest to the aluminium washer) MAST SIDE/or closest to the mast, then back up to the sail pulley.

Sail-5 Now I thread the cord through the LEFT side pulley on the sail starting from above or over then DOWN away from me. (not from under to over)

Ext- 6 Now I thread the cord DOWN through the SECOND or middle pulley on the XT starting on the backside of the pulley then feeding it up the MAST side of the pulley.

Sail-7 nearly there,,,,,,,, Now thread the cord through the sail pulley that is closest to the mast, starting from underneath first, coming out towards you,,,, then straight down into the cleat.

You are probably already doing it this way, but I thought maybe this might help someone somewhere.

Ok, on second thoughts, it would be a miracle if anyone can understand this complicated mess..

So here's a simple recap,

sail = 1st middle roller under to over.
2nd left roller over to under.
3rd right roller (closest to mast) under to over.

Ext = 1st down into mast side of top roller, then up far side.
2nd down into far side of second roller, then up mast side

Damn, explaining this online is much harder than i thought.

Anyway, no need to get frustrated, just,,,,,,,,,

relax and go fast!!!!!!!

14th February 2008, 04:09 PM
Beg, borrow or steal another extension and get planing ASAP.

I8 knots and sunny!!!!!!!!!


14th February 2008, 06:10 PM
Haha that was funny JJay!

I think I will read it slowly step-by-step when I have my RAM out on the lawn. I ended up getting out on the 6.2m for an hour so all was not lost!

I'll take some photos of the saw-extension next time I rig the RAM as well and they try to post them here. Probably tomorrow.

14th February 2008, 09:12 PM
Glad to hear you got out on the water.

Seriously, it took a few of us about a week of arguing over the right and wrong way to thread that #*+kin& extension. It quite literally drove me insane. But I assure you the sawing effect can be minimized with this rigging method and a few extra cm's of extension. So don't give up on North just yet.

Photos will help, so i'll keep an eye out for your pic's.


15th February 2008, 03:59 PM
Here's a photo but with such a small file size limit new North Sails extension ...'The Saw' .... may not be very clear.

The distance between pulleys is the minimum whilst I am still able to download fully. So the sail ends up sitting about 10cm higher on the board than what it should!

15th February 2008, 07:01 PM
Hi Matt, can see your pic only as a thumb. Don't know what i'm doing wrong but can't open the image. Can't quite make out how it's threaded. Can someone tell me how to open this image?


15th February 2008, 07:58 PM
Simply go here..


15th February 2008, 08:10 PM
Hi AlexWind, I keep getting a vBulletin message asking me to login!?
Have logged in about 50 times! Still get the same page coming back up.

17th February 2008, 09:29 AM
Still can't open the full sized image. Sorry Matt. Hope you could de-cypher, and try my system.

Relax and Go Fast.

17th February 2008, 08:56 PM
Oh.. we'll make this work!



18th February 2008, 12:29 AM
Thanks AlexWind it worked !!!

Matt, if you want to give it one more chance before you throw it in the trash,,,,
Here's what you need to do.
Unthread your rope completely.
Tie a single or double knot in one end of the rope.
Feed the un-knotted end into the hole that runs through the axle of the extension pulleys, Starting at the end which we can see in your photo with the steel washer.
(your downhaul rope should be hanging out of the center of the grey roller onto the grass)

Using your pic as a guide, follow these instructions,,,
up towards you through center roller on sail,
down into mast side,,,, then UP the far side,,,,,, of top XT roller
(the one directly behind the steel washer)

now left side sail pulley starting from top feeding down toward the grass
down into second pulley on XT,,,,,
(this time you will need to thread the rope down the far side,,,,, then UP through the mast side of the pulley)

now up towards you throough the right side roller on the sail
then down into the cleat.

I have competed and trained with 9,10 and 11m race sails with the XT rigged in this way.

If you still have trouble don't forget to leave an extra 2cm on the extension.

Good luck

P.S Thanks AlexWind R'n'G,,,,FAST

20th February 2008, 04:46 PM
Use metal rasp on the 3 roller edges to prevent line cuts.
I do belive that roller is removable.

I have noticed that monofilm is thicker than before
Stronger in use but mor fragile when riging the sail?