The fully battened Doyle StackPack, developed & patented by Doyle Sails founder Robbie Doyle more than 30 years ago and the more recent Doyle Cradle Cover, are two coveted products that have become a staple in many sailors’ inventory.
"When I created the StackPack, it was to make cruising easier with my own young family at the time," said Robbie Doyle. "It was so easy to use that the demand for it was overwhelming.”
The Doyle StackPack is a cover that is stitched onto the sail that includes a membrane that joins the cover to the sail, while the Cradle Cover is a sail containment system that is independent of the sail. The Cradle Cover was initially created at the urging of the Moorings charter company.
“Both products possess our second most popular feature - protection for the sail from ultra-violet rays - to the degree that the protection has proved so good that our service department often replace the StackPack cover long before a new sail is ever needed. Additionally, the Cradle Cover has long been a staple in the Caribbean charter sailing community,” noted Robbie.
The Cradle Covers and Stack Packs are built primarily at the Doyle Barbados loft. According to Doyle Barbados loft owner Jo Lammens, the Cradle Cover is the most popular product throughout the Caribbean, while the StackPack is very appealing to more serious racing sailors in her opinion. Jo has been with the Doyle group since its early days, running Doyle Portugal for 25 years and has now been in Barbados for six years.
"Doyle Barbados has literally cornered the market on the quality of the product. We are known for our high quality workmanship. I particularly think our superpowers here at the loft are on the cradle covers because we build ten cradle covers per week for our dealer network and our Doyle affiliated lofts in North America.”
Doyle Sails Cleveland and its loft owner Jon Duer agree that the outstanding quality and handiwork of the Doyle Barbados product adds to its popularity.
"I think Doyle builds the best sail cover systems and as an example, a lot of the others use heavy Dacron on the outside cover but Doyle Barbados will also incorporate the Dacron on the inside cover so with Dacron on Dacron there is a great deal of ease getting the sail up and down,” Jon said. “Additionally, they incorporate the same workmanship if it is Sunbrella material. Meanwhile, the handiwork from Barbados that goes into the webbing and the fact they use the No. 10 zipper instead of other types of zippers, the integrate pockets for battens that are round and full length gives it its straight openings and fine shape. The imitators just don't look as good or zip up as easily as our products."
Jon notes that for his Great Lakes customers, he has been selling both the Doyle StackPack and the Cradle Cover and can accommodate a vessel up to 65-feet. He added that he finds the sail cover system to be really effective for that family that is learning to sail.
"I had a father who wanted to get his a family into sailing. His wife agreed with his plan as long as he promised she could remain in the cockpit with the young children when they were on the water. That was the deal breaker. He owned a Catalina 30 and now that they have our cradle cover system in place, they go out every weekend and are really using it!" Jon said.
Jon also noted that with the Cradle Cover or StackPack, the added feature of the tide track, enhances the ease of lowering the sails and gives sailors the confidence to continue sailing through the decades. His own family owns a Tartan 37 and his father, who is in his mid- 60s, often sails it by himself using the Tide Track and Cradle Cover combination.
"Whether it is a Wed. Night thing or cruising, most of our customers want to get their kids excited about sailing. They come to the loft and we see the kids get excited and it has always been a passion of mine getting kids interested in this activity.
Ultimately, we want to extend peoples time on the water as much as we can because at the end of the day, staying active and being on the boat keeps people young."