Synthetic fibre rigging

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by chabrenas, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. chabrenas
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    chabrenas Mike K-H

    I know the Moths all use it, but can anyone tell me a bit more about Aramid and PBO fibre rigging on bigger boats?

    - has it been in use long enough to judge how durable it is compared to traditional materials like stainless rod or wire?

    - some synthetic fibre rigging has crimped/swaged end fittings, and some is custom-wound to length with end fittings integrated. Anyone have experience of the differences in characteristics?
  2. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    Taking my opinions with a grain of salt (I am currently using kevlar on one boat & wire on others), I've heard the PBO rigging is light, strong and susceptible to UV damage if the covers are breached. There have been lengthy discussions on Sailing Anarchy in the Dinghy, Gear and Sailing Forums. There were also concerns with abrasion damage.

    I've also read that getting the lengths set at the factory with factory fittings is the only way to go.

    This is all hearsay, your mileage may vary.

  3. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

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    Brilliant, Mate
  4. PortTacker
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    PortTacker Junior Member

    Yes, synthetic rigging has indeed been in use long enough, on everything from trailerables to high tech offshore racing weapons to world cruisers, to prove itself. Every racing yacht with any pedigree to speak has had it for years, it's on all the Vendee, Volvo, round-the-world record tris, etc. It's found on many small boat too, many Corsair trimarans have been fitted with synthetics. Most any new boat with a serious pretense of performance will be spec'd with it.

    Yes indeed it is viable. It works, and works very well.

    Yes, it is different than wire, and has to be rigged and treated differently. Yes, it has it's pros and cons.
    A few of the not-inconsiderable cons for the vast majority of us is that it's at least twice the cost of wire, does not last as long as wire, and you MUST do certain maintenance to it, or it doesn't last long at all. With proper care and feeding and a budget for timely replacement, it's great stuff. But only if you NEED the weight savings, in my opinion. It's really not for everybody.
  5. jmolan
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    jmolan Junior Member

    I recently re rigged my 34' Searunner Trimaran. I used Dunex Dux 12 strand SK-75 which has been heat stretched. I have a few links you can look at a lot of details. It will make wire obsolete, just watch. Normally, you do not get leaps like this in the sailing world that are not super expensive. Using Dynex Dux and fittings from Colligo Marine, my rig came in LESS than a similar SS rig. And at least 35lbs. lighter. Doit yourself, lighter, stronger, and less money. No worries about swages, corrosion, fatigue. etc.

  6. PortTacker
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    PortTacker Junior Member

    When it first became available it was more than 10x the cost of stainless, and not very durable and not entirely reliable. That was many years ago. IN fact only a couple of years ago it was still many times the cost of stainless.

    But I agree, I think it will become normal one day and stainless antiquated.
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