History of the NACRA Sail Developement

History on NACRA Sails from Skip Elliott Sailmaker -----Elliott/Pattison Sailmakers

Skip was the original Sailmaker for the NACRA Catamaran for over 35+ years. He insisted on not compromising on sail cloth quality for the sake of color, but for using cloth that would give long life and performance. This would always be the best for the boats.  

Anyone can make low cost sails, but that was not our goal! Skip had our cloth vendor run special colored fabric to our specifications.  Our goal was to use the best sail fabric available and make a high quality, well designed sail. Today we see boats out sailing with 25 + years old sails and still having fun. These sails were built and designed to win and to last.

It started in 1972-73 when Tom Rolland came to Skip Elliott and asked him if he would be interested in making the sails for his Alpha 18 Catamaran. Skip had already been involved with Hobie Cat that started with the H-14 and later the H-16 then H-18 and H-20 Sails. Skip said yes and made the first set for the Alpha 18 which had great results. Then came the Alpha 15, a single hander, of which not many were made. It was also when the Rolland 36 came out. It had a plum bow and round deck ushering in a brand-new design and look.

 This was the start of the North American Catamaran Race Association or NACRA line of catamaran. First came the N-5.2, then the 18 Sq.  which later became the N 5.5 SL, and N.5.5 Uni. Then the N 5.8 and the N 6.0 follow by the Inter 18, Inter 17 and the Inter 20, The I20 was the first production cat to come with 3 sails; Main, Jib, and Spinnaker with the End Pole snuffer system for Spinnaker.

Skip along with Jack Young of NACRA combined forces, taking the production cat market to new levels. The first production cats to supplied with the best sail cloth /Yarn Temper Dacron in White and Colors/ Boomless performance sail plan / Deck Sweeper Mains / Bow foils for large, lower, and more powerful Jib / Light weight battens / Front End and Mid-Pole Spinnaker Snuffers system.  The next step for NACRA was to introduce to the recreational market the Boomless and Boardless Cats, the N 4.5, N 5.0, and the N 5.7. These boats were later updated to become the N 450 / N 500 / N 570 / N 580 with Sq. Top Mains / Simpler Jibs / Spinnaker Packages.

In the 1990`s, the new International Formula Class began to take over the world market of racing cats. NACRA jumped in with Morrelli & Melvin to design and build the NACRA future in the F-18 Class. Their first boat was the Inter- 18 with sails made by Performance Sails in Holland. The next NACRA F-18 mk1, had sails from Elliott / Pattison Sailmakers. Skip continued help design, develop, and produce all the original NACRA model sails for the USA market.