Synthetic rigging

I had a long conversation with a local sailmaker. Besides looking at ways to attach the sails to the spars ( track, hoops, robands, simple lacing, … ), the question why the stays of the PocketShip are made from 4mm steel cable, and why the steel shouldn’t be replaced by a 4mm line of Spectra ( or Dyneema, or the like ), was the most interesting. This material is stronger, lighter, cheaper, easier to handle, and it is soft ( it will not wreck the paintwork ). The idea of using thin ‘plastic rope’ instead of steel wire in boat rigging is actually not that strange. It has been used for years mainly on boats for racing, but the technology is equally suitable for other boats. It seems that tradition (?) often dictates what material goes where. I have heard that some sailing boats have masts made from aluminium nowadays. I raised the question of using synthetic rigging on the forum … let’s see what the people have to say.

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