Composite Rigging

Hi everyone,

Has anyone experimented with Composite rigging?

We are having some good discussions on our base about using fibers like “PBO” & “Vectran” and my favorite so far is “Technora” and will debut tomorrow as the backstay on my new IACC 120.

A typical shroud in s/s fishing wire is 3 grams.

Technora didn’t even tip the digital scale to 1 gram for a longer length.

I also offers less stretch (4% @ max breaking point) and is 8 times stronger than steel.

Just wondering as all the big boats now have gone that way and the technology exists for our application but has anyone given it a try?



Hi Jim, as most of us here are model yachtsmen as hobbyists, we do not have access to such exotics as you list. In fact most, if like me, have never heard of these products.
To be honest Jim the 2.5 grams you will save in weight on a IACC 120 class craft is not worth the extra cost and complexity of using such exotics, (in my humble opinion)
Of course, if you can score an offcut for nothing…then by all means go for it and please report your findings here for all to share.
I personally use “Spectra” and have it in many weights from 20-120 pound breaking strain.
I still use the nylon covered stainless fishing trace for shrouds so will be interested to learn of a practical replacement.

The most important thing to winning races is, not making mistakes on the water.
All the "Harry Flash dodah`s " will not make an ounce of difference when you tack into a knock and stall your boat, while the rest of the fleet sails away on a lovely lift.
Best wishes, Ian.

p.s. I also fly kites and am interested in your listings as possible “hitech” kite lines? I will do some research.

Hi Ian -

so we really can tell you to “Go Fly A Kite” - and it wouldn’t upset you? Good to know! :stuck_out_tongue:

Good to see your post - has been quiet for too long. Glad all is well.

Hi All,

Agreed that your sailing is what wins, but I am in a world that he whom has the best technology working onboard usually wins.
I am just bringing technology to a technology discussion after all!
It is well proven in the big boat world that there is a clear advantage in switching to composites.
The weight saving does begin to add up in an area that you most need it.
It is easily available from a good chandlery and it is used in the “covers” of the braided ropes and I am extracting small bundles from there.
There is 32 strands in one cover and if you buy a 1.8m length or so it should way out last s/s wire.

V1’s : 2 x 3g = 6g
D2’s : 2 x 2.5g = 5g
D1’s : 2 x 2g = 4g
backstay = 3.5g
Forestay = 3g

Total standing rigging = 21.5g

Now replace this with something that weighs a fraction of that so you can have more in correctors in the boat… Easily 15 grams more.

I have used a “soft” Vang arrangement on my Canting keel boat to save weight.
I have also used a Carbon fibre reinforced tape instead of a luff wire too.
This is another application for composite rigging!

Just throwing ideas out there!