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North Sails Experts comment on the new Melges 40

Last week North Sails joined the Melges 40™ team for sea trials in Dubai. The Melges 40 is the largest, fastest and only canting keel sailboat ever offered by Melges Performance Sailboats. North experts were on site to help with testing the above-the-deck package, including North Sails 3Di RAW™ sails, designed in collaboration with the yacht designer and sister company, Southern Spars. Ultimately working the boat through the range over two days of thorough testing, the group is happy to report the new boat has successfully completed sea trials with flying colors.

“North Sails has been involved with the development of the sail plan and class rules since day one. The company has been a great partner in this project and helped make it a big success. The “engine above the deck”  is so important for the performance of any sail boat, and what is most impressive is how spot-on the first set of sails are, right out of the bag.  A big thank you to the entire North team for helping make this dream a reality!

– Harry Melges, Melges Rep and North Sails expert in Zenda

With the launch of the new boat, Melges have embarked on their mission to redefine the highest level of windward/leeward one-design racing. Boat no. 1, owned by Melges Premier Performance, has been used for overall product development including fine tuning systems in an effort to finalize one-design Class Rules. Currently, new Melges 40 owners are sailing the boats for the first time, including Richard Goransson’s Inga From Sweden which uses a full North Sails inventory.

“I think it’s a great concept. There have been a lot of boats that use a canting keel (mostly offshore). So while the concept is not new, it is new to one design boats in the sense of round-the-buoys racing… and it will offer you a whole new understanding of the sport.”

– Cameron Appleton, North Sails Sail Development

The Melges 40 is different from what we have seen lately in the 40’ range.   It’s retractable bow sprit and twin rudders aim to offer more control for the driver, easier maneuvers in tight quarters and greater downwind speeds. The canting keel with centerline canard is push-button operated, keeping tacks smooth and simple.

Foiling catamarans are awesome boats in their own right. We wanted to create a platform that would maintain the purity of traditional monohull racing: around-the-buoys tactics with the thrill of speed and performance that the Melges brand is known for. Not just a speed race to the corner, but a boat that is fast, fun and easy to sail while still offering the maneuverability of a monohull to maintain the close fleet tactics we love.

– Harry Melges, Melges Rep and North Sails expert in Zenda

Learn more about North Sails 3Di on our dedicated product page.