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Reassuring reinforcements for the Biotherm’s sails

Material has ten times the abrasion resistance of competing materials and an extremely low friction surface.

23rd May 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Victoria, BC, Canada


Aluula Composites has partnered with French sailmaker Incidence Sails to introduce a new generation of ultra-light, strong, and ready-for-recycling composite materials for use in sailmaking.

After two years of rigorous testing both on and off the water, Incidence is the first to commercialise Aluula Durlyte, primarily for critical sail reinforcements such as batten pockets, bolt ropes and high wear points such as stanchions and spreaders, but additional applications include decksweepers and sail bags. With ten times the abrasion resistance of competing materials and an extremely low friction surface, Durlyte will change what’s possible in both sail design and performance, its maker says.

Incidence Sails has recently supplied the IMOCA Biotherm race boat with the Durlyte sails for The Ocean Race – one of sailing’s greatest round-the-world racing challenges. Sailing for weeks on end in open ocean conditions, the Biotherm team regularly sails at speeds of 25-30 knots (55km/hr). With a decksweeper and various critical reinforcements made with Durlyte on the vessel, the initial applications of this material are proving to exceed expectations in extreme conditions.

 “Given the astounding performance impact Aluula has had on kiteboarding and wingfoiling, sailing is a natural next step,” says Dave Westwood, Aluula Composites director of partner innovation and design. “The combination of Durlyte’s extreme abrasion, tear and UV resistance coupled with zero water absorption make it an attractive choice for a technical sail brand such as Incidence Sails in reducing the weight of their sails while greatly improving durability.”

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