Quality starts with sail design
Every sailmaker likes to boast with the high quality of their product, something that sets their sails apart from the rest. While modern machinery, finest materials and craftsmanship certainly contribute to the end product, design is the essence of quality.
Sail design is influenced by such parameters as headstay tension, mast bend, sail corner loads, fabric stretch, apparent wind angle & speed, righting moment, rig fractional ratio and many, many more.
At the core of every WB-Sails design lies our proprietary BoatBase, which consists of sail measurement and performance data for more than 7000 boats. We have developed and refined the BoatBase during 15 years to a unique quality design tool for sailmaking.
Consulting BoatBase is the first and most important step in the quality process of every WB-made sail. Every new sail begins it's life at BoatBase, which allows the designer assess the character of the boat and its performance at a glance.
BoatBase has been developed to minimise guesswork involved in the design and to guide the designer towards a high quality product. BoatBase automatically draws sailplans, estimates loadings and graphs performance curves in a way that is easy to read and understand.
With the wealth of information about a particular boat, the designer proceeds with a 3D-model of the sails & the rig. The starting point is usually an existing model of a nearly similar boat, which is then fine-tuned to suit the demands of a particular design. Depending on the project, this 3D-model can be a basic one with a simple wireframe representation of the sail, or a most elaborate, rendered model of the complete boat.
From design into reality
When the sail design is ready, the second-most important step in the quality process follows. The designer completes a specification sheet for the sail, containing all the fittings, measurement details, materials and descriptions of the various production steps.
Much of this data come from BoatBase, others, such size and location of spreader patches, for instance, from the 3D-saildesign software. Some data call for judgment & experience accumulated over the years by the designer.
All specsheets are saved in the production database, where earlier designs can readily be browsed, all the way back to 1988 when WB-Sails started with its first Filemaker database.
All parts of the sail, panels, batten pockets, reinforcements, sail numbers & logos are cut with the laser.
With the specsheet in hand the sailmaker's job becomes much easier, turning out into mostly assembly. All important design decisions have been made before the sail is cut, so the sailmaker won't need to get creative in his job.
R&D to support innovation
Within research & development projects, more elaborate aerodynamical analysis or elasto-structural studies and real world prototyping can be performed. These are usually done in conjunction with one-design sail development programs, but ultimately benefit to the quality of all design work done at WB-Sails.
Over-engineering is bad engineering, but at WB-Sails we tend to lean a little on safe side when it comes to reinforcements & fittings. Best handy craft and highest quality materials are sometimes spoiled by bad design.
Quality starts with design.