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New Standards For Woven Sailcloth

Made with Dyneema 


When it comes to stretch resistance, Nautosphere Voyager outperforms Hydra-Net by at least 50% and in most directions by much more. This can be seen in the chart to the left, comparing 1% stretch loads of Nautosphere Voyager 400 to Hydranet Radial 393.

One explanation is that Hydra-Net Radial, intended for radial sails, has Dyneema in its warp direction. Warp yarns generally have crimp and the Dyneema in Hydra-Net Radial is therefore never straight. Nautosphere Voyager, intended for cross-cut sails, has Dyneema in the weft direction,

and these yarns are perfectly straight, ready to absorb high loads.

But this is not the only explanation. A major contributor to this high level of performance is its extreme fibre density, creating a high mechanical resistance to stretching in non-fibre directions.


A high fibre density allows loads in non-fibre directions to be transferred to the warp and weft fibres, thereby taking loads off the resin. This is very visible in the 7.5 - 30º range where the forces are transferred to the Dyneema fibres.


This part of the chart also explains why cruisers can benefit from a sailcloth with very high stretch resistance. While 400 lbs or more may seem far more than enough for a cruising sail, the chart illustrates how the Dyneema fibres carry not only the primary loads along the leech of a sail, but also the secondary loads as far as 30º off the leech. A high resistance to stretching in these important directions is certainly desirable, also in a cruising sail.

NAUTOSPHERE VOYAGER ™ is setting new standards for woven sailcloth. Dyneema,® a strong and durable fibre, ideal for offshore and performance cruising, guarantees very little stretch. And that's far from all that makes Nautosphere Voyager stand out.


Cold-Setting, a new technology developed for fibre-reinforced sailcloth, is used to shrink the sailcloth far beyond what could be achieved with conventional methods. This treatment creates an ultra-high fibre density and therefore a fibre-based stability that is higher than in any other woven sailcloth that we have been able to compare to. As a result, Nautosphere Voyager relies on fibre-density instead of resin, both for resistance to stretching and, equally important, for recovery after stretching 

Fibre-density is not even the only difference that Nautosphere Voyager has to offer. Our patented shrinking technology is 100% uni-directional. We shrink in the warp direction only, leaving the Dyneema® fibres in the weft perfectly straight, free from any crimp, and ready to absorb high loads. This is very unique and Nautosphere Voyager has much higher resistance to stretching than any other high-performance woven sailcloth that we have had the opportunity to test against. 

But what really matters is its performance on water. During 2014 to 2016 Nautosphere Voyager completed a full circumnavigation on a Wauquiez 43, without any significant effect on sail shape. See here, what the skipper had to say when he returned. Since then, Nautosphere Voyager has been the preferred choice of boat owners all over the world, from the pacific coast of Canada, across Europe to Malaysia in the east.

We believe that Nautosphere Voyager is the best performing and most durable woven sailcloth yet developed. We back our claim by offering a 6 year or 25.000 miles manufacturer's warranty.*  This is your guarantee that your next sail will maintain a good shape for many years and many miles to come. Even owners of large yachts can now choose a cross-cut sail with peace of mind. Our warranty will keep you covered.

Nautosphere Voyager Cross-Cut 400 (407 g/m2)
Hydranet Radial 393 (403 g/m2)

Setting new standards for durability

It's often said that a high fibre density is desirable in a woven sailcloth because when the resin breaks down, it will still have mechanical resistance to stretching.

We believe that a better explanation starts the other way around: if the fibre density is high enough, then the resin can be soft and flexible. A soft and flexible resin just doesn't break down in the same way as a harder resin. This is the case with Nautosphere Voyager. It's durability is in a league of its own.

The chart illustrates the difference between a primarily fibre-based stability and a primarily resin-based stability. Nautosphere Voyager resists even very severe treatment, from both fluttering and impact, while the resin of Hydranet Radial breaks down until very little stability is left. After 6 hours of fluttering with impact, Nautosphere Voyager 400 still has a  bias 1% stretch load of 32 Lbs, more than even the starting point of Hydranet Radial 393, before any fluttering.

The reasons behind are several. First of all, a fibre based stability, allowing very little movement between warp and weft yarns, creates a better, more stable foundation for the resin. Equally important, with the loads in a sailcloth being carried mainly by fibres, we can use a softer, therefore tough and flexible resin. Sailcloth that rely on resin-based stability will require a harder resin that, consequently, will be more brittle and break down faster.

Test method: samples were cut to 2" x 18" before fluttering. The flutter speed was reduced to 15 mph (half of the speed used when fluttering without impact)  and a wooden board was placed horizontally, 50mm away from the attachment points. The strips were turned around half way into the flutter period, attaching the other end of the strip, in order to create an even treatment throughout the length of the sample. 

Bias 1% stretch loads, before and after fluttering with impact

Setting new standards for performance

Nautosphere Voyager 400 (407 g/m2)
Hydranet 393 (403 g/m2)

It is generally accepted that a radial panel layout is better than a cross-cut panel layout. But what if the sailcloth that is available for the cross-cut sail performs better? Is the radial-cut sail then still the better choice? Sailmakers can use the charts provided here as one input to answering that question. 

For example, a sailmaker can design two identical sails, one with a radial-cut panel layout and another with a cross-cut panel layout. For each area of the sail, the sailmaker can  now estimate, from the graph to the left,  how the two sailcloth would perform and compare them to each other.

For example, in a panel of the radial-cut sail, Hydra Net Radial 393 would have a 1% stretch load of 115 lbs, provided the panel is orientated with zero degrees (warp) along the main load lines of the sail. A Nautosphere Voyager panel, covering the same area of the sail but with a cross-cut panel layout, will often be orientated a little less than perfect, but very often within 7.5 degrees away the main load lines of the sail. With a 1% stretch load of 224 lbs, at 7.5 degrees away from zero, the Nautosphere Voyager 400 panel can still be expected to perform better than a radial panel made from Hydra Net 393, despite its less than perfect orientation.

In another panel of the radial-cut sail, the corresponding cross-cut panel may be orientated as much as 30 degrees away from the primary load lines of the sail. In this situation, a radial-cut panel made from Hydra Net Radial 393can be expected to perform better.

There is no quick answer to the question of whether a radial-cut or a cross-cut sail will perform better overall. 


In our experience, sailmakers will find that the larger parts of a sail, well more than half of the sail area, would perform better if made from Nautosphere Voyager. On top of this, Nautosphere Voyager has the advantage of very limited resin break-down over time. This will further shift the advantage towards Nautosphere Voyager and a cross-cut panel layout.

Radial cut or Cross cut sail?

1% stretch loads from 0 to 90°

The chart shows a comparison between Nautosphere Voyager 400 (true weight 407g/m2) and Hydranet 393 (true weight 403 g/m2) from Dimension Polyant. It should be noted that since Nautosphere Voyager 400 is intended for cross-cut sails and Hydra Net Radial is intended for radial sails, we are setting the main load bearing direction to zero degrees, thereby comparing the weft of Nautosphere Voyager to the warp of Hydra Net radial.

Click here for more details about our testing method. 

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