Mari Cha III has completed 5000 miles in just over a month of cruising with her new Doyle Stratis ICE sails, and her Captain Christian Lay has given us his take on how the new additions are performing under pressure.
The yacht was fitted with a full wardrobe of high performance ICE sails, created at Doyle Sails New Zealand's Auckland loft, and the 44-metre yacht has been putting her new sail inventory through its paces. With the light, durable sails,Mari Cha III has found no loss of stability in arduous elements, delivering better performance and longevity.
"One of the big things we have noticed is how much easier the sails are to use than our previous ones. They set really easily and hold their shape so well," says Lay.
"All the little details that we customised for this boat have made sail handling and manoeuvres, such as reefing, so much easier. The boat is very clearly faster. The service leading up to, getting hold of and then commissioning the sails cannot be faulted."
Doyle Sails New Zealand's Matt Bridge says the company enjoyed the process of producing the high-performance sails for the yacht.
"This was the first set of Doyle sails for Mari Cha III and working on such a well-known yacht was a really satisfying experience for us," says Bridge, superyacht sails coordinator, Doyle Sails New Zealand.
"There was also a nice synergy for us, given that Doyle Sails New Zealand's own Mike 'Moose' Sanderson, sailed onboard Mari Cha III during her record-breaking TransAtlantic crossing in 1998," says Bridge.
ICE is a new generation UHMWP sail fibre first applied to the marine industry by the Doyle Stratis team, and tests have shown an exceptionally high resistance to flex fatigue, with ICE retaining its initial shape longer than other sail membranes.
"Dealing with the mizzen staysails and big code sails is now really easy and we can get rid of the 900 square meter code 0, in about 10 seconds, which allows us to sail the boat harder and more aggressively with a smaller crew," says Lay.
"We have already done 5000 miles with them in a little over a month and had every configuration possible in winds up to 40 knots. There have been no issues with stretch, chafe or wear. We have pushed them downhill with boat speeds into the mid 20 knot region and then done big round ups in big breeze to get them down. The new batten system hasn’t broken one yet which is a big improvement for us."
"In short I think it’s fair to say that we are pretty bloody happy with them and I am now thinking about which other sails we need to buy for the upcoming adventures. Oh - and for the first time - we have some decent sail bags that are strong enough, big enough, which have enough hand holds and look cool with the names on," ends Lay.