Inhaulers

We first used these on J/109s last year when the class allowed the addition of an inhauler system, and since then I’ve gotten tons of questions, most of which are about whether they’re plastic or not, so here is some information and answers to popular questions.

Are they plastic?

I’m glad you asked, NO, these are not plastic. They’re aluminum with a very very nice hardcote anodizing so they look plastic.

But they look plastic, are you sure they’re not plastic? Can you check?

I checked, they’re really not plastic.

How big are they?

I’m glad you asked, I was worried you were going to ask if they were plastic again!

The dimensions are: Length 50mm, Width 35mm, Diameter big hole 19mm, Diameter little hole 9.5mm, thickness 19mm. They like inhauling and long walks on the beach.

Wait, so they’re plastic? 

I just checked again, no.

How strong are they?

Good question! No idea! However, given the materials involved I would say strong enough for boats whose jib sheets would fit.  10mm is safe. I have tried them on spliced, covered 11mm and had no issues, however a customer reported it was a tight fit on their 7/16″ Warpspeed, so check your sheets before ordering

Does it come with the rope?

This is just the inhauler part, price is for 1 inhauler. But we can do rope!

How much? 

Image result for j109 inhauler

NOT PLASTIC

 

 

Custom Built Ropes

If you’ve ever thought that a piece of running rigging was “almost perfect except for ____” you can fix it!

customropes

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.roperack

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.  backstay99

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. tripletaper36-7

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.marlowtech60

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!

Chicago Yacht Rigging: Splicing Clinics

For Chicago sailors, winter feels especially long.  A great way to break it up and get some sailing prep in,  take one of CYR’s splicing clinics.

December 3-4 Columbia Yacht Club

Splicing 102:  Over 2 days, receive an introduction to modern cordage and learn to splice it with Kristian Martincic.  Students receive a comprehensive splicing kit with practice ropes.  Splices will be the 12 strand splice, tapered rope, simple loop, reeving eye, plus useful variants and tricks.

$300 including supplies and splicing toolkits

Saturday 10am-4pm 12pm-1pm lunch break
Sunday 9am-12pm, Bears Game

February 18 Chicago Yacht Club

Splicing 101: On Saturday morning, get an introduction to modern sailing cordage and learn to splice it! Includes a basic splicing kit and rope, and learn how to make the 12 strand splice in Dyneema. Light breakfast provided, and students are invited to stay for lunch afterwards.

$75 including supplies and toolkits

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PROtect Tapes

PROtect Tapes supplies chafe protection and other tape and film products for the worlds best race boats.  Their products include the wing film on the foiling AC boats, but for the rest of us there are a few good tapes to have on your boat. In addition to the in stock tapes which can be purchased online, we can also special order anything from the PROtect tapes catalog as a custom order.

The basic go to tape is their MASK product, which is often called “millionaires tape” due to relatively high cost of the tape. For preventing damage though, it is worth it.  Used to both prevent chafe and reduce friction, it gets used all over the boat. The applications are endless, but think about using on running backstays, spars, ropes, spreaders, toerails and more.

For boats with Carbo Foils or Tuff Luffs and assymetric spinnakers, spin sheets burning holes through the foil are a serious concern. Adding a layer of HEADFOIL tape on the foil or over your existing aluminum or kevlar chafe guard reduces friction and adds another sacrificial layer of protection.

To protect sails, rigging and crew from cotter pins, a self amalgating rigging tape is needed. The WRAP product is easy to apply, and sticks to itself in all weather.

The CHAFE product is a heavy duty  film, thicker than the MASK product and designed to be applied to smooth surface.  It prevents impact and chafe damage, so is great for spars, cabin tops, spreaders and any place you need more protection and don’t need to conform or stretch the tape.

Splicing Kits

002kitNow available, comprehensive splicing kits!  For an upcoming rigging clinic, we needed to supply tools to perform a number of different splices.  In the past,  12 strand clinics have needed only a few tools tossed in a bag with some rope. This class was a bit more involved so we needed needles, twine, torches and other gear not usually in someones boat toolbox.  While figuring the kits out, several of our “regulars” said they would like one as well, so it made sense to assemble complete kits and have them available for sale.

The most complete kit is our Deluxe Splicing Kit with Selma Fids This is a CYR tool roll, with a set of 5 Selma fids (4-13mm, a Swedish fid, the D Splice splicing puller, the BEST shears for cutting rope available, whipping twine, needles, splicing tape, a butane torch, a little soft tape measure and even a permanent marker.  Selling now for $19520161018_090156

The kit _I_ actually use in the field, is the Splicing Kit: Deluxe with Single Fid. It’s the same as the above kit, but with a single Selma fid (5.5mm) instead of the full set.  That is because I don’t use Selma fids for much besides pulling core into cover, and instead use the D Splicer puller for nearly all my splicing.  I do expect the full set of Selma fids to be more popular, but if you’re willing to learn to splice without fids-instead using measurements based on diameter-this is the way to go!0kitsinglefid

If you already have lots of the gear above in your kit, and all you want is an upgrade in the key tools,  try out the Basic Kit. This is just the Clauss shears, a Swedish fid, and the D Splicer puller. Comes in a bag instead of the tool roll, but again, this assumes you have things like twine and neeldes on hand.01basickit

Order online, or the old fashioned way, and as always, feel free to ask anything about these or other rigging products. Kristian@chicagoyachtrigging.com

 

Beneteau 36.7 Backstay Update

IMG_20160407_095336We have a new material for making 36.7 backstays, a heat set Dyneema double braid made with SK99 that meets the one design specs (breaks at 4727kg or 10421lbs) but comes in smaller and lighter than any other available option, at 6.1mm and weighing a mere 12oz with thimbles.

$396

There are several options for finishing the bottom end of this stay

-Eye Splice With Thimble (shown) this is for use with the stock Lewmar backstay block
-Harken Lead Ring: this is a low friction ring, that adds 1.3oz to the weight and $20 to the cost. Lightweight and strong, but does make pulling the backstay harder
-Harken Black Magic Block: A roller bearing block that gets spliced to the end of the backstay, adds 3.23 oz and $195 to the cost
-Karver High Load KBO Block: A plain bearing block that gets spliced to the end of the backstay, adds 3.2oz and $240 to the cost

Beneteau 36.7 GP Halyards

For Beneteau 36.7’s racing with high carbon sails, we offer upwind halyards to match.

Our best halyard uses a heat set Dyneema core with a Technora/Polyester cover. The heat set Dyneema is a durable lightweight core with very low stretch. The Technora in the cover gives improved abrasion resistance and clutch holding which is imperative with ultra low stretch sails. To further improve holding in clutches, we add an internal bulk to stiffen and enlarge the halyard where it is loaded in the clutch.

Our genoa halyard has a color matched chafe tip to protect the core where it exits the mast aloft.

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J/109 Bobstay and Inhauler Upgrades

 

The J/109 class association recently amended the rules to allow for 2 significant upgrades. The first of which is a Dyneema bobstay.  This is a rope stay that suppors the spinnaker tack fitting, and prevents the carbon sprit from bending and losing luff tension-or much worse-snapping.   I’ve adapted the self retracting bobstay that was originally worked up for the J/111, and made some tweaks.  The retractor pulls the bobstay out of the way and keeps it from dragging in the water. Without a retractor, crew need to go forward and lasso the bobstay and hitch it to the bow cleat. The current bobstay version retracts inside the pole, and requires the addition of a bearing installed in the bow.

The second upgrade is for inhauling the class jib.  Our version has 8:1 purchase, and some really nice lead rings for doing the actual inhauling.  These are a huge upgrade over stainless rings in terms of friction and wear on sheets.  This is available as a kit that comes with the inhauler rings, control line blocks, cleats with extreme angle fairleads, control line, purchase line,  all fasteners and backing plates.  The kit itself is discounted from the total price of the individual items and will be $615.  For an installed inhauler system, with all hardware throughbolted with epoxy plugs and G10 backing, $1100. If self installing it is critical that epoxy plugs and good backing be used for all hardware, but especially for the deck lead as the loads are considerable.

Please contact me if you have any questions,  having done this project I’ve picked up a few really important tricks.
Inhauler kit $615

 

 

CYR Boat Show Display Details

Our new mast display has been a great tool at the boat show for showing people different systems, cordage and hardware. Also a huge hit in the 2-6 year old demographic, as apparently little kids really like hoisting mains on a Battcar system: I think there’s an untapped opportunity in lightweight highly energetic crew out there that I just learned about…

For those at home, here are some of the neeat little tricks and bits from our display that you can use on your own boat.

Rope Treatments on J/111 Cordage

Cordage is available from riggers, stores and online, but what sets CYR’s rigging apart is the special treatments.  Quality materials are only part of the story, and we can improve performance and longevity with a few special touches.  Here is what we like for the J/111

Custom covers have moved from the GP boats into club race boats.  For the part of the line that gets handled, we have great options to improve performance. Fibers like Technora, Cordura and Vectran can be blended with standard polyester to improve grip on winches and clutches, as well as improving abrasion resistance.  They can be left natural (tan in the case of Technora and Vectran) or dyed black. I like tan for halyards since the lighter color takes marks better, and black for sheets.

This picture best illustrates what we can add to halyards to make them hold in the clutches better.  A good blended cover (here it’s Technora, Polyester  and Cordura) increases grip and reistance, but key is the size increase. A stiff core added to the inside of the existing ropes core makes the line larger-in this case right up the max size for the clutch cams-as well as stiffer.  The stiffness is actually more important than the size increase, as the line doesn’t flatten under load.  I have very good data on what the proper bulks and stiffness’ are for all the clutches used on race boats.

On the other end of the line,  chafe protection is another place we can upgrade a halyard.  Here is a Dyneema chafe tip on top of New England HSR core.  This saves the halyard tips from chafe and failure. A good way to determine if this will be beneficial is to look at the old halyards.  On the J/111 we’ve noticed that the jib and spin halyards show lots of wear on the stock Crystalyne halyards.  The jib halyard seems to get some forestay/foil chafe, and the spin halyards seem to get articulation chafe.

For the mainsheet gross tune, I really like a short tapered area for where the line runs when the fine tune is trimmed.  In addition to having a good clean block (the broken double in this picture was replaced with a Harken 57mm fiddle with a nice round forged shackle) the taper is extra low friction to make trimming and easing the fine tune mainsheet even easier.  The line is Alpha Ropes SSC which I think is a wonderful mainsheet as it’s light, taperable and has incredible handling due to it’s knobby cover and blend of Dyneema, Cordura and poly in the cover. Great line and I recommend it over much more expensive braids. 

For spinnaker sheets on assymetric spin boats, and jib sheets with inhaulers,  a tough cover is a must.  Here is a 9mm spin sheet with a blended Technora/Polyester cover.  The Technora is a very tough fiber that grips winches well. Depending on your winches we can also use fiber blends like Vectran, PBO and Dyneema, but the Technora/Polyester blend is going to great for most applications.