SEAL MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGY
The latest innovations from the GUNSAILS R&D department, all united in a 4 batten Compact Wave sail.
The exclusive construction of this wave sail is based on a 0.7 mil sandwich film with strategically placed Technora fibres between. The orientation of these fibres is designed to absorb the extreme forces generated by waveriding. Each individual Technora fibre is aligned according to a calculated design pattern and directs the forces acting on the sail to exactly the right position. This construction allows unique reactivity and a direct sail feel of the Seal Membrane. The necessary window area would normally interrupt these load path, but the special 3-part window design means there is no break in the fiber direction and the tension on the clew can be directed radially and evenly into the sail without interruption.
The additional X-Ply and Dacron panel on the mast sleeve allows the neutral profile to develop just the right amount of drive. Thanks to the flexibility of the material, the sail has excellent damping characteristics outside the power lines and, despite its directness, gives a soft and comfortable ride.
The new Seal membrane is probably the most innovative sail on the market today and forms the basis for future GUNSAILS developments.
The membrane is made of a thin sandwich film and a heavy duty Technora fibre in 1670 dtex. Technora is a high modulus performance fiber with a tensile strength 3 to 4 times higher than polyamide. It has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, excellent heat resistance and is virtually fatigue-free. This results in a long, stable lifespan. Due to the dense mesh of the high-tech fibre, the film can be much thinner than a normal X-Ply sail, which leads to a weight saving.
A window must be inserted for the necessary inspection. Our sail designer Renato Morlotti opted for a 3-part window design in order not to completely interrupt the load paths. The bars between the windows do not cause a complete break in the fibre running direction and the tension occurring on the clew can be directed radially and evenly into the sail without interruption.
The new clew claws are easy to handle and additionally stabilize the centered position of the clew. They are two stable plastic claws screwed to the clew, into which the rope only has to be hooked.
The Carbon Tack Plate has a large surface for direct power transmission and unbeatable durability. Two carbon plates are screwed to the sail foot from above and below. On each side there is an easy running roller which is connected to an axle. This makes it easy to tension the sail. The position of the rollers can be changed by repositioning the axle. This allows the profile in the lower part of the sail to be varied and adapted to different conditions. Rolls near the mast => the profile becomes flatter, rolls further away from the mast => the profile becomes deeper.
SURF MAGAZIN INTERVIEW WITH PIETER BIJL
The team around sail designer Renato Morlotti has constructed the Seal model in noble membrane technology. Pieter Bijl was also significantly involved in the development - in the german surf magazine interview he reveals the background. At the boot show in Düsseldorf it was the eye-catcher par excellence - the GunSails Seal in membrane technology. We have already tested the new model on the North Sea and Baltic Sea. You can read a testimonial in surf #4-2019.
surf: Pieter, after the Freerace sail Bow you now conjure a sail with membrane technology out of the box - that wasn't necessarily to be expected.
Yes, we want to continue to develop new and innovative products.
surf: So the Seal wave sail is now available in two designs?
The outline shape and profile of the Seal and Seal Membrane are the same. However, the feeling of the two models differs fundamentally due to the different materials used.
surf: In what way?
The membrane consists of films between which high-quality aramid fibres are embedded. The material gives the sail a certain absorption and high driving comfort, but remains extremely reactive. This means that you get a sail that looks soft and absorbing on the one hand, but returns to its ideal shape in a flash, for example when pumping. This combination of absorption and response speed is unique and makes the sail feel very light.
surf: How high is the weight compared to the normal construction?
The Seal Membrane is a bit lighter, but not designed for pure weight optimization. We don't want to go the way of building an extremely light but fragile sail. Durability is not an issue to negotiate for us. The light feeling when sailing with this product results more from the reactive, firm behaviour of the sail than from the actual weight on the scales. Low weight on the scale can only be achieved by leaving it out - with membrane sails this means that the films and fibres have to be made thinner. We didn't want that. The fibers we integrate are extremely dense and tear-resistant. A hole in the sail does not tear, the durability compared to normal materials is significantly increased.
surf: The trim rolls sit on plates applied on both sides. What is it all about?
The trim rolls on the luff are fixed to the sail bottom with two carbon plates. This is extremely stable and can in fact not break out. You can also move the rolls two centimetres in the direction of the mast or outhaul. This drastically changes the characteristics of the sail. If you move the trim pulleys to the rear, the sail profile becomes a bit deeper, you get a more powerful characteristic. Mounted at the front, the bending curve is altered and the sail becomes flatter and more neutral.
surf: The trim forces might be a bit higher, but you only use two rolls!
Yes, these are a bit higher. Since we use extremely large and low-friction rolls, the extra effort is limited. In addition, in loop-and-go mode, you can simply hang up the rope and don't have to thread the luff anymore, which saves time when rigging.
surf: Any other models planned?
First of all we will limit ourselves to the Seal model, which will be available in spring 2019. Large freeride sails would be extremely expensive with this material.
Action pics by Samuel Tomé
cm / Ø
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SEAL MEMBRANE ON DEMAND
The SEAL Membrane is only available in a limited edition and can not be ordered via our webshop. If you want to feel this unique and direct windsurfing feeling, you can request the SEAL Membrane via the contact form.