Stop TabsNorth Sails, the industry leader in innovation, has created a sustainable alternative to elastic bands or wool ties used to pack downwind sails. North’s Blue Book service procedure has added STOP TABS™ sewn on top of existing luff tape, eliminating the need for packing materials that inevitably litter the water. North’s convenient fix allows sails to maintain their performance while complying with ISAF’s environmentally friendly Rule 55.

“ISAF has made a bold, yet proper, move to protect the environment through the introduction of Rule 55. North is taking the initiative to provide sailors a better option with our new STOP TABS,” said North Sails president Ken Read. “As sailors, it’s our responsibility to consider the environmental impact our sport has on the ocean. An easy, multi-use fix is now ready for use.”

"We are very excited to see North Sails taking an innovative approach to this problem," noted R. Mark Davis, president of Sailors for the Sea. "Marine debris is a pervasive problem throughout the earth's waters and an important part of our mission is to educate boaters about this issue and how to reduce their impact."

North’s STOP TABS will be used to strap medium to large downwind sails for hoisting, providing green-minded and rule-compliant sailors a light and reusable option for ultra-fast downwind sets. STOP TABS can be supplied on new downwind sails or retrofitted to existing downwind sails, stitched onto the luff tape in even increments down the luff and up from the tack of the sail. The tabs use a quick-release process, allowing the sail to expand easily as it is sheeted in and fills with wind.

"Our sail care facility in Milford, CT has been practicing this installation for select clients. We are excited to now extend the option to sailors worldwide, " said North Sails sail care manager Pete Colby. "We've documented a separate installation process for a range of luff lengths, so all sailors can use STOP TABS regardless of what type of racing or cruising they enjoy.. North’s Blue Book sail care procedures have also been developed for work on non-North sails, allowing North lofts to retrofit all sails with STOP TABS."

View the STOP TABS in action:

All North Sails service locations follow North's Blue Book procedures, ensuring consistent workmanship worldwide. North Sails has shipped sail making supplies to Key West, FL to provide overnight sail care for teams participating in Key West Race Week. The new STOP TABS will be available at North’s Key West regatta service site, in addition to all North Sails lofts worldwide by the end of January 2014.