Dillon Francis Oberholzer dillonfrancisoberholzer@gmail.com

 Tape-Drive - Cruising Genoa

Dear viewer, having been in the Sailing Industry for 27 years, I work with Doyle, North and UK Sail Lofts internationally, as well as a few local lofts scattered around the world.

Purchasing a specific sail for your boat is a personal transaction and you need to feel confident with the advice you you are receiving.  I always work closely with my client and the company who builds the sail.

The expertise and services I personally offer are the re-cutting, re-designing, measuring and installation of a new or existing sail or suit of sails.  If there are any furling, reefing or rigging faults, these I normally pick up when inspecting and measuring and will advise of any upgrades or changes necessary or available.


These I normally refer to Mark Plough who owned a UK Sail Loft and now has 4 Sail Lofts on the East Coast (USA) including a Doyle Sail Loft in New York. His Name, reputation and expertise in this field is unsurpassed. He is also a really nice man who runs an awesome business and always has time for interesting projects.

For hand leather finishing, or a molded full batten main that slides on a double track system for a 110 foot mast you are welcome to speak with me regarding your custom design requirements.

Double Taffeta               Cross Drive              Tape Drive               Radial Cut              Down Wind            Std.Dacron

Double Taffeta               Cross Drive              Tape Drive               Radial Cut              Down Wind            Std.Dacron

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A Waterline Yachts 50 with Tape-Drive carbon Spectra performance cruising roller-reefing genoa and mainsail. Notice the 3 reef points that include sets of tapes to carry the reefed luff loads.

A Waterline Yachts 50 with Tape-Drive carbon Spectra performance cruising roller-reefing genoa and mainsail. Notice the 3 reef points that include sets of tapes to carry the reefed luff loads.


TAPE-Drive / - Cruising Genoa

Tape-Drive is strong enough for years of cruising enjoyment as well as has the performance needed for club racing. Above are Tape-Drive Carbon Spectra sails on a Contest 44. The main is an in-mast furling sail with vertical battens

Tape-Drive Spectra Cruising Main Sail with 3 Reefs. Click to enlarge. 

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In Tape-Drive sails the skin laminate is uniform throughout the sail.

There is no differential stretch or shrinkage from panel to panel as commonly experienced in sails produced with traditional sailmaking techniques.

Also, there are no load-bearing seams to creep, distort, or worse yet, fail.

As a result, Tape-Drive sails are acknowledged by many as the durability champions amongst laminate sails.


Holds Its Shape

Since 2001 Dillon Francis Oberholzer has been dedicated to improving and refining his Tape-Driven sail construction system.

Tape-Drive sails truly earn the tag line “fast sails that last.” Sailors around the world know that

Tape-Drive sails are the longest lasting laminate sails. Whether cruising, club racing or ocean racing,

Tape-Drive is the logical choice for boat owners who value durability.

What Is Tape-Drive?

Tape-Drive is a two-part construction process in which the structural strength of the sail and actual skin that defines the sail’s three-dimensional shape are separate and distinct elements.

This process marries a grid of high-strength, low stretch tapes – the structural strength—to a three-dimensionally shaped membrane—the skin—made up of broadseamed, cross-cut laminated panels.

The tape grid carries the primary structural loads of the sail, while the skin produces aerodynamic lift and handles secondary and tertiary loads.

The tapes radiate across the sail with heavier concentrations at computer-predicted, high-load areas.




Depending on the size of your boat and its sailing requirements,

Dillon selects the appropriate sailcloth from a wide variety of laminates made by sailcloth manufacturers for the Tape-Drive construction system.

These commercially made laminates include scrims made of aramid, Spectra or polyester yarns. Professionally made laminates do not delaminate. 


A Tape-Drive cruising genoa with two reefs. Click to enlarge.

A Tape-Drive cruising genoa with two reefs. Click to enlarge.

Extra Durability With Taffeta

While very strong,  Taffeta sails are made more durable with the addition of a finely woven polyester taffeta layer laminated to one or  both sides. The taffeta layers don't add strength to the sail, but they protect the film layer from abrasion, which is a great benefit for cruising sailors. Taffeta comes in white or grey. 

Matching Mainsail features

Available with:

  • Reefs

  • Loose Foot

  • Cunningham

  • Telltales

  • Draft Stripes

  • Sail Numbers

  • Leech-line Options


  • Power-head

  • Full Battens

  • Furling Mains

Other Options:


  • Lazy Cradle

  • Lazy Jacks

  • Dutchman

  • Sail Cover

Foil Shaping / sail fabrication


Once the size and boat weight has been calculated  the foils for a given wind condition is then formulated and integrated into the mold for the sail.

Down wind sails have a different shape to up wind etc. 

Batten designs  and  pocket forms to fit existing hardware is incorporated into the lamination and fabrication of the sail.


Stitching sails and finishing 


All sail are stitched at some point or in their entirety. Keeping ones machines well tuned is a function of the loft machine mechanic. As this is a dwindling business there are fewer and fewer machine mechanics. So much so that the manufacturers of the sewing machines do not have service departments or personnel to tune the machines. I have had to learn the machine I have owned and operated in order to keep staff working. this normally means 1-2 hours ever night checking the machines after staff have left.




The  headboard is one of the most important parts of your sail.

If the angle of attack for the halyard is not set correctly you main will loose its shape and function incorrectly. 

I like to inspect the mast head, stand off and shiv set up when measuring for the sail. Maximizing the efficiency of a sail is paramount to the functionality a sail offers. 

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These links take you back to the individual design information pages




Dillon Francis Oberholzer


Having owned and worked in leading American Marine companies until 2015 Dillon Oberholzer sold his businesses and moved from the USA  to Guatemala to further his work in Marine Bacteria Remediation. 

This in turn led to the development of SJC where his skills have been put to the test in incorporating modern  state of the art  manufacturing processes integrated with local hand woven products, all protected with "BMS"  Bio -Static, Anti Microbial, water resistant finishes.

Our CAD and technical abilities allow our clients to order products online within fabrication tolerances of 1 mm per 10 meters of final product manufacture.

Precise - On Time - Economic Solutions


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