Mystic sail makers, racing, cruising, superyacht sails

About Mystic Loft

In 1984, Andy Halsey and a talented group of sailmakers purchased the Van Zandt sail loft in Old Mystic, CT, USA, The emphasis was on personal service and to create the best racing and cruising sails by true sail making professionals. Rob Scala, for example, while working for Halsey, developed the most advanced software for fabric testing, a system that provides information on how sailcloth will react under different wind conditions. This technology, along with new test procedures, played a key role in the development of "Cuben Fiber" sails, a key component in Bill Koch's success in winning the America’s Cup in 1992.

Halsey, from the outset, was deeply involved in big-boat racing. Andy's own experience includes three Americas Cups ('83, '92 and '95) and Halsey Sails have teamed up Whitbread RTW efforts (ROTHMANS in '89/90, FORTUNA in '93/94 and both Team EF and SILK CUT in '97/98) as well as maxi- and super-yachts. In recent years, Halsey supplied Super Yachts REBECCA (140’ ketch), ADIX (198’ schooner), SUMURAN (94’ ketch), SUNRISE (140’ ketch), EXTRA BEAT (112’ sloop), ARRAYAN (120’ sloop), PHILANDERER (130’ sloop), HETAIROS (145’ ketch) and others.

During the 1995 America’s Cup, Andy Halsey and Jim Lidgard, two competing sailmakers, held a number of meetings while both were in San Diego. Lidgard headed a New Zealand based group with a stellar record addressing similar customers (including America’s Cup competitors!) but on opposite sides of the planet. As Jim Lidgard said, before his death, "We found both companies had a lot in common." A joint venture made perfect sense, and their merger created a 16-loft network in a win-win situation for their combined clientele.

Halsey-Lidgard had been on the forefront of maxi multihull sail design and construction since building sails for the 110-foot catamaran TEAM ADVENTURE that sailed in The Race in 2000. Piggybacking on this experience, Andy’s loft made a full inventory of sails for Steve Fossett’s 125-foot catamaran PLAY STATION. With those sails, Fossett bested many records including the around the world record, which held up until this year. When PLAY STATION started that around the world contest, her 5143-square-foot Cuben Fibre mainsail was two years old. The same sail was used when the boat, re-named CHEYENNE, entered the Oryx Quest around the world race — that’s an incredible record of durability for a sail that is 134 feet on the luff and 53 feet on the foot.

Early 2010 saw the end of the UK Halsey merger bringing to close another chapter in the history of the Halsey Sailmaker name. Today Andy, along with his talented staff of sailmakers, is proud to join forces with Evolution, taking us into the future, with the same expertise and dedication of providing the best racing and cruising sails for all our customers.