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.