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"Why is a Little Loft Making All Those 'Big Name' Sailmakers so Uneasy?"

This was the title of an article in a 1983 issue of SAIL Magazine. Doyle Sails had only been established about a year prior in the small town of Marblehead, Massachusetts by Robbie Doyle. An avid sailor and Applied Physics graduate from Harvard University, Doyle's love of wind, waves and water propelled him into the sailmaking realm where he would break it down to a science. In doing so, Doyle began studying the shapes and loads on sails and determined what was the most effective from an engineering approach. He would then go on to create computer renderings of the process and started laser cutting sails rather than hand cutting them. Doyle pushed on to develop new sail technologies that may sound a little dull now, but were exciting for the times. The inventions of 'The StackPak' the first complete mainsail furling system or 'Quicksilver' a roller reefing genoa that claimed to be the strongest sail construction on the market in the early 80's.

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Doyle Sails Inc, Marblehead, MA, USA circa 1986


Perhaps it was Robbie Doyle's scientific innovations that set into motion a series of events which would make Doyle Sails one of the fastest growing sailmaking companies in the world today. As a brand and organisation that prides itself on the ability to provide the best in quality and technology; they also believe in the importance of a personal customer experience. "Small Enough to Make a Large Commitment," was the tagline for Doyle Sails in the 1980's and while the latter may still be true, the company is no longer small with over 50 sail lofts spread throughout the world - there's no sign of slowing down.

One loft in particular has dared to take on similar philosophies to that of the company's founder by being at the forefront of research and development. As the inventors of the revolutionary Stratis membrane technology, Doyle Sails New Zealand have gone from underdog to unstoppable in their determination to push the boundaries.

(Image: Head Designer Richard Bouzaid and Founder Robbie Doyle onboard J Class yacht Velsheda during the 30th America's Cup in 2000)

In June 2017, Mike Sanderson and his leadership team of Richard Bouzaid and David Duff, took over the ownership of Doyle Sails International from Robbie Doyle. This new age of Doyle Sails will bring together all team forces to reach a common goal of global efficiency whilst keeping the important touch of local attention. However, it remains fundamental to the New Zealand team that the core values and reputation that have been built over the last 34 years under the direction of Robbie Doyle remain strong. The outstanding leadership team across all levels of the organisation will ensure that the brand evolves with the rapidly changing market. The Doyle Brand is moving forward from a foundation of strength across all of the businesses.

(Image: Robbie Doyle, Founder, and Mike Sanderson, CEO of Doyle Sails at the 35th America's Cup in 2017)


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