Cuben Fiber Corp Acquired by North Sails
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Patrick Slattery
(Slats32) - F
Cuben Fiber Corp Acquired by North Sails on 10/24/2007 09:59:14 MDT Print View

Neither company’s websites mentions anything about it but a credible source says that it has happened.

I’m not sure if this will have much affect on the state of their manufacturing but it’s probably not good news for customers, or prospective customers, of their light weight spinnaker cloth. My guess is that North bought them so they can use the fibers in their load bearing thread sails and not spinnakers. They also have been using a Cuben-like spectra blend in their mega yacht sails for years so they’ll probably just replace that with the real stuff. Both those applications have no use for the backpacking community.

However, this also could mean that the stuff will be produced on a much larger scale, due to North Group’s deeper pockets, making the stuff cheaper for everyone.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see when more details of the deal are released.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
cuben sold off? on 10/24/2007 10:13:40 MDT Print View

crap looks like I better find a way to stock up until we find out :(

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: cuben sold off? on 10/24/2007 10:57:26 MDT Print View

New fabrics will come along that are better.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: cuben sold off? on 10/24/2007 12:15:40 MDT Print View

Chin up. So long as there's an America's Cup, and the Oracle stock price maintains Larry Ellison's lifestyle, there will be exotic spinnaker fabric.

If we could just get the sailmakers' remnants we could tarp every backpacker from Toledo to Timbuktu.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
America's Cup on 10/24/2007 12:18:32 MDT Print View

Rick when did America last win the cup?

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: America's Cup on 10/24/2007 12:47:08 MDT Print View

I think it was 1992, before they were beaten by the Italians

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: America's Cup on 10/24/2007 13:33:11 MDT Print View

Yup, it was last successfully defended in the States in '92. The next winner was Black Magic in '95, the Kiwi boat. IIRC that was the boat that sported the tippy-top secret winged keel.

The next Cup challenge will be in Spain, in '09. WWLD? (What will Larry do?)

Patrick Slattery
(Slats32) - F
Re: Re: America's Cup on 10/24/2007 15:57:49 MDT Print View

Sue

http://www.ggyc.com/GGYC's_Memo_of_Law.pdf

Patrick Slattery
(Slats32) - F
Source checks out on 11/13/2007 16:36:13 MST Print View

http://na.northsails.com/news.taf?_function=detail&news_uid1=370&_UserReference=7F00000146ED5E88322DF481BA5B473A32F0

Graham Williams
(crackers) - F
other fabrics... on 11/16/2007 02:53:05 MST Print View

There are at least two other fabrics currently in development, one of which should be in production by Q2 2008, that will blow Cuben fiber out of the water for UL uses.

The real problem with Cuben is that it's laid up by hand in 18" - 2 foot sections and then glued together, and it's just a terrible process with gross inconsistencies. The second problem is that they were using off label fishing line from China rather than real Dyneema or Spectra.

North is promising to fix both of these problems, and will probably be manufacturing a much better product within six months. That said, I think the patent is not going to stand up to the challenges brewing in the wings, and there will be commodity pressures on the material in the next year or two.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Cuben Fiber vs Cuben Tech on 11/16/2007 09:31:14 MST Print View

Hi Graham,

You sound just a little to glee-full about all of this.

Cuben Fiber vs Cuben Tech. Cuben Fiber goes to North Sails.

Cuben Tech is not included in all this and remains for all sales other than for Sail Makers. So for backpacking gear and other non-sail use, it seems that nothing changes.






Graham Williams
( crackers )
BPLRank: 0.27

other fabrics... on 11/16/2007 02:53:05 MST
There are at least two other fabrics currently in development, one of which should be in production by Q2 2008, that will blow Cuben fiber out of the water for UL uses.

The real problem with Cuben is that it's laid up by hand in 18" - 2 foot sections and then glued together, and it's just a terrible process with gross inconsistencies. The second problem is that they were using off label fishing line from China rather than real Dyneema or Spectra.

North is promising to fix both of these problems, and will probably be manufacturing a much better product within six months. That said, I think the patent is not going to stand up to the challenges brewing in the wings, and there will be commodity pressures on the material in the next year or two.

Graham Williams
(crackers) - F
Re: Cuben Fiber vs Cuben Tech on 11/16/2007 15:00:17 MST Print View

"Hi Graham,

You sound just a little to glee-full about all of this.

Cuben Fiber vs Cuben Tech. Cuben Fiber goes to North Sails."

Well, you're welcome to your interpretation of my words. That's the beauty of the internet, isn't it?

I don't make fabric, fiber or anything like it.

From my perspective as both a gear junkie and as a manufacturer, the more choices that are available to the market, the better. Personally, I want to see the largest variety of nonwoven products possible. I'm convinced they're the future.

The resources of North Sails will seriously increase the development of new stuff from the Cuben guys, and from what I've seen of upcoming products, Cuben is making the right business call. Furthermore, I'd much rather have a tested technical fiber than retasked fishing line in any product my life depends on. Or the lives of my customers.