Lighter weight membrane sails


Vittorio Urbinatti's GP 42 Sea Wonder with Millenium sails
 

Vittorio Urbinatti's GP 42 Sea Wonder with Millenium sails

We speak to Dede de Luca about OneSails' new Millenium product
While North 3DL sails unquestionably have the lion's share of the race boat market sewn up, a company in Italy is starting to get a foothold with their own type of membrane sails. With their manufacturing facility in Florence, OneSails has splintered away from the UK Halsey conglomerate in order to push their Millenium product. The company was set up by Marco Holm, Davide Innocenti and Gianni Benassi, but Millenium itself is the brainchild of engineer Pier Carlo Molta. Molta previously worked in the textile industry but is a sailor and for years closely tracked developments in laminated sails. It was he who came up with Millenium. While OneSails is only one year old with lofts in Florence, La Spezia and Verona - recently they have added two more lofts in Palma and Hungary - those involved have been sailmaking for more than 25 years and the Millenium product itself has been in development for the last five. "Before we could really push it we wanted to be sure about the longevity," says Dede de Luca, one of OneSails' 'men in the field', and a regular among Vasco Vascotto's crew jumping between America's Cup ( Mascalzone Latino) to the TP 52s ( Mutua Madrilena) to the Farr 40s ( Nerone). Millenium is similar to other membrane sails in comprising an encapsulated network of fibres. Where Millenium breaks new ground is that instead of being glued, the membrane or films sealing the fibres are fused together at a temperature up to 120°C and under pressure. The weight of glue might not sound much, but is in fact a significant saving. De Luca continues his pitch: "The first advantage is that you save all the weight of the glue and the second real advantage is that the carbon doesn’t absorb the glue, so it remains completely dry

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