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Sail to Shelter is committed to extending the life of all sails in innovative and unique ways. In spring of 2022 we submitted a proposal to Wilson College of Textile at NC State University, asking seniors to help us discover new and innovative ways to upcycle or recycle sails made predominantly of Dacron. Register for our newsletter for all the updates and latest news from the program.

Last spring we applied for the Senior Design Program at the Wilson School of Textile Engineering at NC State University. The creative brief was to take Dacron to the lab. Dacron sails are unfriendly to the mission of turning all sails into shelter because of their chemical makeup, complexities and impurities. 

I used the J/70 Class as an example of a super popular product with a great opportunity for a second life strategy. Great sailors blow through a set of sails every couple of years or less. What if we could take them all back and do something great with them? It helps us complete our mission to keep sails out of landfill. 

Not accepting Dacron sails felt like only solving half the problem so we submitted a proposal for this incredible opportunity and four awesome seniors picked Sail to Shelter. Like most people who have never sailed, it isn’t something you ever think about. You see a sailboat and you think it’s pretty… and it is, but it is sooooo much more!

Check out the prestige of this program. I am so proud to be in a lab relied on by consumer product giants like Nike, Prada and UnderArmor. Imagine having access to cutting edge technology and textile engineering specialists for an entire year. We are really excited around here! 

Dacron is being shipped to Raleigh from up and down the US East Coast. Thanks to Doyle, Ullman and Dimension-Polyant again, for coming through with the goods!. If you have an old set of dacron you would like to dedicate to science, please let us know! They need a dead fleet for all the testing they have planned. 

In the race for what to produce are items like blankets, blocks, flooring and building blocks. Stay tuned for what they come up with. Register for the newsletter below and if you have Dacron on the east coast, email


The next best thing you can do with your sails.