Doyle Sails Design Files // Stefano Nava

In the dynamic world of sailmaking, innovation and expertise are paramount, and Doyle Sails is a testament to both. As a beacon of excellence in the industry, Doyle Sails has consistently pushed the boundaries of technology and design. Amidst this backdrop of continual advancement, a designer’s role becomes crucial, not just in maintaining the company’s legacy but also in steering it toward new horizons.

Stefano Nava’s work is characterised by meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of the aerodynamics of sails. This expertise allows him to craft sails that perform exceptionally well under a wide range of conditions and integrate seamlessly with the overall design philosophy of the vessels they are made for. Stefano’s approach is holistic in approach, with him now sitting at the table amongst many Grand Prix and Superyacht discussions.

Stefano grew up in Eupilio, a small picturesque village in the North of Italy close to Lake Como, before moving to Genoa at 18 years old to study Naval Architecture at the University of Genoa. His love for sailing began early when he started sailing with his family in Croatia aboard their cruising yacht, and from there, he took the opportunity to join a Croatian sailing team on their Volvo 60 as they took part in various coastal and offshore races, including the Middle Sea Race and the ARC (Atlantic Crossing).

A graduate of the University of Genoa, Stefano continued to search for every opportunity to further his sailing career, so when presented with the opportunity to carry out a PhD in Computational Fluid-Dynamics applied to sails aerodynamics at the University of Auckland, he took it. It was during his time at Auckland University, that Stefano received a call from the design team at Doyle Sails looking for students to help with the operation and development of the FSI tools. After sitting next to some of the best sailors and designers in the world who form part of the internationally renowned Doyle Sails team, analysing countless results, Stefano began designing his first sails.

As a naval architect by qualification and as a sailor at heart, the fundamentals of sail design were in place. However, Stefano quickly realised that the level of technicality and detail applied to each sail alongside the innovative ideas being developed by the team were second to none. 

Fast forward 6 years and Stefano has now raced with many Grand Prix and Superyacht teams representing Doyle Sails, while also working around the clock finalising designs and ensuring the feedback loop between sailors and Doyle Sails is meticulously upheld.

“With every new build, there is an inclusive, circular process where all suppliers involved work collaboratively on all aspects of the design – this ensures that every component of these yachts is intrinsically linked and designed to meet all parameters of the yacht and its owner. At every iteration the details are narrowed until all the parties converge at a final design,” says Nava.  

“The most recent project I have been part of is the newly launched SW96 LIBERTY. Doyle Sails has had the pleasure of working with Southern Wind for several years and this particular project confirms our successful collaboration with the shipyard. In the process, our teams now operate in a very streamlined, efficient way with an understanding of what is required from all suppliers. This results in all parties delivering the highest quality and result.” 
“As the sailmakers behind Structured Luff technology, we take full advantage of this technology in the blade, which carries the Structured Luff fibre structure and design, allowing us to transfer up to 6T of load in the luff of the sail, flattening the shape and reducing the luff sag considerably to make the sail lighter and easier to handle across a wider wind range.  Stefano continues, “The Cableless Staysail and Code Zero are free-flying sails, which means they don’t need a torsional cable or an internal forestay to support them. This results in a greater ease of handling and stowage, with the overall set-up being lighter and “softer”. This style of sail design was the first iteration of Structured Luff sails, which continues to be found in most of our sail design.” 

Doyle Sails’ experience has been accumulated over years working on many maxi yacht projects, bolstered further by the integral part we have played as the sailmaker of choice to many Southern Wind owners across the 90 to 110 footers that have been recently launched.

ABOUT DOYLE SAILS //  Doyle Sails strives to deliver success through high-performance, high-quality, custom sails that continue to redefine the boundaries of sailmaking technology and innovation; whilst connecting sailors to inspire, support and encourage sailing.

Our obsession with sailing takes us to every corner of the world and onboard every yacht. We become part of teams, share in the adventures of friends and families, sharing our knowledge and experience with those with the same passion. Sailing is in our DNA, and we are the custodians of a legacy that has been supporting sailors for four decades and counting.

By sailors, for sailors.

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