Diagnostic

Ropes and their colors!

Published on 01 june 2015 at 0h00

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It feels like a lifetime ago that sails were made of “cotton”, and that sheets and halyards were “elastic”. Everything has become rigid, nothing flexes, and everything is transformed into speed. Even better, fiber has expanded its kingdom into domains until recently unknown: shrouds, stays, guardwires, shackles and even cleats are now involved. Lightness, resistance, mechanical efficiency all combine as much as possible to replace metal which rusts, grates and jams, with these new “strings”… But you don’t need to be doing the America’s Cup or the Vendée Globe Race to benefit from the huge advances brought about most often, it’s true, by the crazy racers. How nice it would be to replace the shackles on your mainsheet blocks with Dyneema. Silence…
Did you know that there is more to be gained in weight by swapping your stainless steel rigging for Kevlar or PBO than opting for an expensive carbon fiber mast? But most importantly, the pleasure of being able to keep your luff tension tight! And then a bit of aesthetics does no harm: with assorted colors, sail handling can be easier, and your crew will thank you! All you need to do is use the right man for the job, so your cleats, sails, blocks and chainplates hold fast… But that’s another story! Let’s get back to the point, or rather to our cordage. There are many factors involved, and the possibilities are infinite, so let’s have a look at the main characteristics which need to be considered:
- The core: this ...

This article appeared in issue 142. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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