If you’ve ever thought that a piece of running rigging was “almost perfect except for ____” you can fix it!
We can work with rope manufacturers to build the exact right product for your application. The most common request is for special colors. If you have an aesthetic in mind, or need a unique look to identify a line, we can order pretty much any color or pattern you can imagine. Often this has been for odd colors (Think pink! Or orange. Or purple…) or custom patterns (we once had someone ask for a very high tech heat set core, but wanted the outside to look like Crystalyne) We can also specify the technical aspects of the rope, like strands, carriers, fiber thicknesses, treatments and materials.
A great example of a custom construction is our 6mm SK99 Heat Set Dyneema double braid. We wanted a very low stretch rope that met the Beneteau 36.7 class rules on backstays, but wanted to be as light and compact as possible. To do this, Alpha Ropes used SK99 core in a special braid, and covered it with an extremely thin Dyneema cover. This make a rope that was 2 sizes smaller, and much lighter than the other options. And just because they could, they used the new Black Dyneema to make sure this looks great for years.
We can also do special sizes. The 36.7 is again the inspiration here, as the mainsheet on this boat really needs to be perfect, as there is a lot of purchase and load. The 10mm we’ve used in the past is a little big and drags when easing. We asked Alpha to make us a very true 9mm for this application, and it works great for boats from a certain Shields all the way up to the 36.7. To make this a really special sheet, we can add core to make it a double or triple tapered sheet like our 36.7 GP Mainsheet This is where the loaded end of the sheet that sits in the blocks upwind is as thin, light and slick as possible to ensure minimum friction. From there the line grows to a larger and firmer rope. The bigger rope is nicer to handle, and holds in the cleat better. The rope then narrows again for the tail, which is less loaded and handled, and eases faster in addition to being lighter where it hangs over the side of the boat when running.
We can also get technical with the materials in the cover. Technora blended covers have become pretty common as sailors learn to appreciate their durability and grip. Most of the Technora blends are 50/50, but we can request other blends. This purple Tech blend from Marlow is closer to 60% and was a special order. The sky is the limit when it comes to materials, we have ordered up to 3 fibers in the same cover. To fit a specific application we can mix Polyester, Technora, PBO, Vectran and Dyneema to get the right wear, heat and grip characteristics.
If you have an idea for a custom rope, get in touch! The lead times are usually around 2 months, and we can do cut lengths to suit your exact needs (although spools will be a better value) So if you need a special size, performance or just want your rope to look right next to your canvas, think about custom!