A new sail developed by Germany-based sailmaker Dimension-Polyant GmbH has shown its mettle during
a 4,300-mile race across the Atlantic Ocean, with no sign of wear at the end of the trial.
The newest sails in the company’s line of D4® membrane sails are made with Dyneema® SK78
high-modulus polyethylene fiber developed to provide improved dimensional stability. The sails were
used by racers Marc Emig and Bertrand de Broc, sponsored by the AST Groupe Française, in the
40-foot class in the Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre, France, to Salvador de Bahia,
Brazil. Dimension-Polyant plans a market debut of the new D4 sails in the coming year.
“After four years of development using Dyneema fiber, we have found that this material
significantly enhances the value of our D4 membrane technology,” said Uwe Stein, managing director,
Dimension-Polyant. “Dyneema further reduces sailcloth weight and boosts strength for optimal shape
retention, durability and performance. With the tremendous results of our sailcloth test during the
Transat Jacques Vabre race, we are fully confident about launching this new product next year.”
According to DSM Dyneema, the Netherlands-based manufacturer of the fiber, the custom-made D4
sails with Dyneema comprise two surface film layers enveloping layers of Dyneema fiber. Using a
computer-controlled machine, the fiber is laid over one surface layer in precise curved arrays
based on the sail design. The second surface layer is placed over the Dyneema arrays, and the sail
is laminated together using controlled heat and extreme pressure.
December 18, 2007