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matt12 10th February 2008 02:31 PM

2007/08 North Sails Monofilm Quality
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?

matt12 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 :)

geo 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).

matt12 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.

mike 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?

stingray 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?

matt12 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!

stingray 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...

JJay 12th February 2008 10:47 AM

Don't worry
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.

matt12 12th February 2008 01:02 PM

Thanks for the comments guys. I appreciate the thoughtful responses!

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