The 44m iconic sailing yacht, Mari Cha III, has been recently fitted with custom carbon Doyle Stratis ICE sails to deliver enhanced performance and speed. Mari Cha III has completed 5000 miles in just over a month of cruising with her new sails and Captain Christian Lay has given us his take on how the new sail wardrobe is performing under pressure.

One of the big things we have noticed is how much easier the sails are to use than our previous ones – they set really easily and hold their shape so well. All the little details that we customised for this boat have made sail handling and manoeuvres, such as reefing, so much easier. The boat is very clearly faster. The service leading up to, getting hold of and then commissioning the sails cannot be faulted.

Image courtesy of Doyle Sails New Zealand

Dealing with the mizzen stay sails and big code sails is now really easy and we can get rid of the 900 square metre code 0, in about 10 seconds, which allows us to sail the boat harder and more aggressively with a smaller crew.

We have already done 5000 miles with them in a little over a month and had every configuration possible in winds up to 40 knots. There have been no issues with stretch, chafe or wear. We have pushed them downhill with boat speeds into the mid-20 knot region and then done big round ups in big breeze to get them down. The new batten system hasn’t broken one yet, which is a big improvement for us.

Image courtesy of Doyle Sails New Zealand

In short I think it’s fair to say that we are pretty bloody happy with them and I am now thinking about which other sails we need to buy for the upcoming adventures. And for the first time we have some decent sail bags that are strong enough, big enough, which have enough handholds and look cool with the names on.

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