A little about us -
Demon Design Sails is run by Engineers and hasnt got a marketing department or even a marketing budget ( unless you count this website- but thats taken us eons to get to...). This is for a very good reason- it doesnt interest us at all! What does interests us is sail design and sailing and this we share with you, we dont do marketing widgets and gizmos, we dont really do aesthetics unless they have close to zero impact upon the function of the design and we are not selling you a "lifestyle". What we do is good functional fit for purpose design!
Demon Design sails was established in 1984 by Sean Cox, a qualified Naval Architect, Aerodynamist and Structural Engineer who before starting Demon Design Sails earnt a crust designing Fighter aircraft for British Aerospace, working on projects like the Tornado fighter bomber. After leaving the design of fighter aircraft behind Sean took the then pioneering design tools and methodologies and applied them to sail design decades before anyone else, yes decades the hybrid finite element/paramatric modelling software Sean wrote for testing design ideas is still unsurpassed in windsurfing- he wrote the first version in the eighties.....He is also a talented sailor with internatinal titles in Moths and windsurfers to his name. Seans understanding of the theory and practice as relating to windsurf sails is pretty much unmatched in the windsurf world. Sean is based in New Zealand nowadays on his 500 Acre farm with its 1 and 1/2 miles of foreshore (its a fabulous place have a look here ,opens in new window)
Matthew Burridge, who runs the UK end of the sailmaking is a qualified Design Engineer, with specialisation in Computer Aided Design and Manufacture and is responsible for all of the development work of Demon Design sails, the overseeing of the producion of the sails, the wave sail program over at www.5-oceans.com (including design, development and testing) and the design, development and testing of the 5-oceans mast system.
If you take a look at our sails you will see that we use radically different sailcloths to most production sailmakers. The cloths we utilise are high-tech laminated cloths developed for the yacht and dinghy market. The main advantages of these high-tech and expensive cloths are lightweight, durability and stretch resistance. The main drawback is cost(they are very expensive) and the extra work involved in designing with them. Laminated sailcloths are not all created equal- the high tech cloths we use are constructed with a structurally load carrying fiber scrim(or net) which is sandwiched in between two lightweight Polyester films with UV inhibiting adhesives. The fiber scrims can be made up of many different materials but we normally utilise Aramids(Kevlar,Twaron and Technora), Polyester and a modified polyester called Pentex.
Our experience with the design and utilisation of high end fabrics stretches back to the 1980's. Interestingly Demon Design were making sails with Technora laminates in 1994, a full decade before you saw them introduced by other windsurf sailmakers. This experience allows us to build lighter more dynamic and intelligent rigs, using the fabrics natural grains and bias stretch. The reason our race sails are 10% faster than the competition is pretty simple- they are designed to be so!
The design of the sails is all done on computers nowadays, other than a notepad for scriblling on next to the keyboard, there isnt a scrap of paper involved in the process.The primary tool is Autocad, a 2 dimensional draughting program which is very widely utilised throughout industry.
Its a very powerful program but that said if there is something it doesnt do that we need then it has its own internal programming language that allows us to write routines, more usually for the simplification of the more mundane tasks.
We also utilise a couple of 3D parametric modelling Computer Aided Design (CAD)packages, not usually for the sail design itself but rather for any fittings that may need moulding. (One thing should be made clear here- CAD is often held up as this wondrous thing and used as a marketing tool by all and sundry, CAD this and CAD that. In fact CAD is only really a glorified drawing board and calculator, it does not "think" for itself and will only do what the operator tells it to. It is a fantastic tool for a good designer, but it is only a tool, it will not make a bad designer good!)