Volvo Ocean 65

The sails

The world’s leading sailmaker, North Sails, provide the sails for the new Volvo Ocean 65 one-design class.

Built by North Sails at their Nevada factory and finalised in Vannes, France and in Spain, the Volvo Ocean 65 sails will benefit from the experience and technology of the world’s leading sailmaker. North Sails works with a very advanced 3Di technology – a 3D moulding technique giving the sails a flying shape.

In 2014-15, each one-design Volvo Ocean 65 will race around the world with just 12 sails, a major reduction in the inventory from previous races and another significant cost saving introduced as part of the project.

Just eight race sails are allowed on board, with no (non-repair) recuts and only four replacement sails.

With the exception of the A3 and the storm jib, all sails will be built to varying deniers using North Sails’ 3Di process, using pre-impregnated tapes made of black Twaron Aramid and clear Dyneema SK75 fibres.

No carbon is allowed in the sail material as it blocks the signals to and from the satellites essential for communication and data transfer.

Production and delivery will be carefully controlled and a pre-race set of sails will be built and made available as the boats come off the production line every seven weeks.

Race sails will also be built in batches so that the same mould is used for the production of eight sails of one type. Each sail type will then be finished in the same loft by the same team in one go to ensure an identical shape and production quality.

Sail Inventory:

Total number of sails for the race: 11 + 1 pre-race storm jib (17 sails + 3 storm sails for a Volvo Open 70) 
Total number of sails onboard: 7 + 1 storm jib (7 sails + 3 storm sails for a Volvo Open 70)

Upwind sail area: 468 m2 (mainsail and masthead Code 0) / 296 m2 (mainsail and biggest jib)
Downwind sail area: 578 m2 (mainsail and A3 gennaker)

1 x Mainsail
Sail area: 161.4 m²
Material: 3Di, 27000 dpi
Details: 3 reefing points, 6 battens

Use: At all times

1 x J1
Surface: 132 m²
Material: 23800 dpi
Details: Installed on a fixed forestay with hanks. Horizontal battens including 2 full head ones.  
Use: The J1 will be used upwind in light to moderate winds (8-15 knots), and when reaching.

1 x J2
Sail area: 86.6 m² 
Material: 3Di, 32000 dpi
Details: Deployed with a roller furler with vertical leech battens. 
Use: Good for 13-25 knots. The J2 will be used upwind in fresh breeze and downwind inside the MHO or the A3 as a staysail – it can even be used downwind in strong wind. Unlike the Volvo Open 70’s J2, this one is furled and for that reason, utilises a halyard lock.

1 x J3
Sail area: 44.5 m² 
Material: 3Di, 32000 dpi
Details: Deployed with a roller furler with vertical leech battens.
Use: Good for 22-35 knots. Similar use than the J2 in stronger breeze. The teams will have to make the call whether the J2 or the J3 is more efficient as a staysail inside the A3 and MHO – they may even use them together!
 The J3 will be used inside the J1 and FR0 – it’s the genoa staysail. The J2 is too big for this application – it’s the spinnaker staysail.

1 x A3 (Gennaker)
Sail area: 420 m²
Material: Cuben fiber CN22/18
Details: Deployed with a roller furler. 
Use: The A3 is the only dedicated downwind sail used to sail broad angles, typically used at true wind angles of 120° and above. It is similar to the one used on a Volvo Open 70.

1 x Fractional Code 0 ("FRO")
Sail area: 235 m²,
Material: 3Di, 16800 dpi
Details: Hoisted to the hounds to increase reliability and improve compatibility between reaching sails. Sheets to the outrigger. 
Use: The FRO is a downwind sail used in fresh breeze (when the A3 becomes too big) and for reaching (when the MHO is too big). It will likely be used upwind in light breeze too.

1 x Masthead Code 0 ("MHO")
Sail area: 305 m²
Material: 3Di, 13600 dpi
Details: ---
Use: The MHO is a light wind sail (0-6 knots). It is also used when reaching in moderate conditions and downwind in strong breeze. 

1 x Pre-Race J4
Sail area: 29.7 m²
Material: paneled spectra S395 
Details: ---
Use: Good for 35 knots+. The J4 is the only storm jib available for the entire race. Also used as a staysail. 

An outrigger will extend 1.5m outside the hull either midships for the jibs or aft near the stern for the MH0, FR0 and A3.

For more information about North Sails visit the official website.