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.


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

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.  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



T10 Backstay Update

The Tartan Ten is a staple of life at CYR. At this moment I have a T10 boom on the bench, and another strapped to the ceiling; there are 2 T10 backstays in boxes on my desk, a forestay just came off the swager, and there are 2 boxes of halyards and sheets on their way out the door UPS. T10s are the alpha and the omega around here! For every cool big boat project, there’s a dozen T10 bits, so I take them pretty seriously even when their owners come in looking for innovative blender solutions, or a shade of rope that matches their favorite beer can (both true)

Anyway, one of the specialty T10 products has been the fiber backstay. Proud to say that if you see a fiber backstay on a Ten it’s probably one of ours. One of the original pre-2010 backstays came in from the cold the other day, so I took the chance to see how it’s held up. This has 5 seasons of use including regattas, beercans and distance races. Pull test results will post shortly, but for now lets look at the condition.

The top eye is covered in chafe sleeve to keep it safe near the masthead crane. You can see this thimble is too large, as the eye has been crushed a bit by the top of the masthead crane. We started using smaller thimbles or no thimbles after 2011. The loads on this are light enough that a smaller thimble won’t distort under load, and even the pin alone would offer plenty of bend radius.

Here you can see what 5 seasons of the backstay flicker ring have done to the chafe sleeve on the backstay: not a lot This is a 3/16″ stock stainless ring, and it hasn’t made a dent in the backstay itself.

Here you can see where the top batten hits the backstay. The very first time we tried Dynex Dux as a backstay, the T10 top batten was fuzzing up the backstay on the first sail, so the chafe sleeve was added. The chafe sleeve is quite slick and tough, and the tight weave and stretching during splicing make it snag free. Very pleased to see how fresh this looks entering year 6.

We’ll break this soon and see how much of the rated 5T strength is left.

We broke this recently, and saw how much of the rated 5T strength was left…

The backstay broke at 5,640lbs, or approximately 53% of original rated strength after 5 years of normal/heavy use.  What’s funny is that that number is still stronger than the 1×19 wire it replaced.

J40 Solent Stay

Solent stay made using Dynex Dux, custom thimble Tball top, OBB Multipass thimbles bottom, 4:1 purchase, held to the deck with custom loop and fastpin. When in use a 4:1 winch driven purchase will tension the stay, which will support a jib on bronze hanks. When not deployed, the fastpin makes removing the stay quick, and the integrated leash lets the crew lash the stay tight to the mastbase.

1/8″ Dyneema Break Test Bracket: Quarterfinal Rd 4 Soft Shackle vs Brummel Splice

Here’s the last result from the quarter finals.  That’s an 1/8″ soft shackle with diamond knot on the left, and a pair of brummel splices with full buries on the right. They are in basket configuration to even things up with the soft shackle.

3718lbs break, and it was the soft shackle that failed.


1/8″ Dyneema Break Test Bracket: Quarterfinal Rd 2: Loop vs Short Bury Splice

This one was a bit trickier for the oddsmakers in Las Vegas.  We have a plain loop, formed by doing 72 diameter buries together, and the short bury splice.  This splice is pretty common;  it has a brummel to lock the throat, then a short (in this case 5″) bury.  It’s a common fault in 12 strand splicing to make the buries too short, either by not having enough room, or plain laziness.  Theres not much time saved, and I’m not sure that saving 4″ of rope is worth it!

The test has the loop in a single/vertical configuration, and the short splice in basket. This is to try and even the playing field, as the loop has 2 passes of rope and the short splice was obviously 2 single passes.

I was a bit surprised the loop broke first, although the result may have a bit of an * next to it, as the tope broke around the stainless steel quicklink, and not at the join or at the end of the splice.  Looking closer at the quicklink, there was a tiny steel burr there that may have given the rope a rough surface to bear on.  The 1/8″ Endura 12 has a rated strength of 2100lbs, so this isn’t out of line, but I’ve found NER Dyneema usually breaks well over the rated strength.

If the test was for anything other than fun value, I’d probably retest the loop after smoothing out the burr, but since this is just for kicks I let the result stand.  Please don’t tell the International Riggers Casual Break Testing Organization, the last thing I need is an IRCBTO cease and desist letter.


Winner: The Short Bury Splice*


Tylaska Dogbones

Metal or carbon dogbones are incredibly useful, strong and simple ways to terminate a line or integrate soft attachments. In the past I’ve either had them custom made from aluminum or steel, or cut lengths of steel or carbon. While this works, the custom ones are expensive, and the cut rod versions need lashing to keep them secure.

Much like spool shackles, these make all the sense in the world… once you’ve seen how they attach!  A loop of line is passed through the grommet on the sail, then the dogbone is passed through the loop.  When pulled tight, the loop cinches onto the dogbone and stays fast. 

Continuing their tradition of high quality versions of existing tech, Tylaska has introduced their line of dogbones in aluminum and stainless steel. With working loads from 650 to 15000lbs, there a dogbone for every application here. CYR is stocking select sizes, and will be using these in a number of upcoming projects. Uses for Tylaska dogbones include termination of sheets, halyards and control lines like outhauls, custom loop shackles, bobstays and more. Also in stock are CYR’s range of custom stainless/aluminum dogbones for high loads.

Studio Gang exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago

In the middle of CYR’s busiest season ever, an opportunity came along that was just too cool to pass up!  

Chicago-based architecture firm Studio Gang was presenting an exhibition of their work at Chicago’s Art Institute, and they came to CYR for a very rigging themed part of the project.  They’d created four “rope rooms” made from steel rings and rope. The designs were taking cues from past designs and buildings, and needed to be secured to the ceiling of the gallery.  Initially they wanted to go with steel cables, as was traditional for this sort of thing.  We had a meeting to sort out costs and dimensions of turnbuckles and cable, and I happened to bring a piece of New England STS-75, just to provide an alternative.  Once they saw the dyneema sling next to the clunky swaged cable (or-gasp-rope clips per the drawing) their eyes lit up!  The dyneema was lighter, easier to install and cheaper. Most importantly the slim white rope would be far lower profile compared to steel cable and turnbuckle, and where it was visible it would blend in with the rope rooms themselves.

Once we’d decided on going with cordage, CYR had to find a way to make the assemblies to a tight length tolerance, ensure no stretch and still provide a way for the architects to level the rooms to the floor once installed.  Enter the lashing thimble!

CYR has been using thimbles for adjusting fixed assemblies and low travel/high load purchases for years.  Initially it was custom machined and anodized rings, and now Antal and Tylaska are making these in volume for great prices.  So long as these are applied properly (please no more spin sheet turning blocks!) they’re fantastic products.  The right length was critical, as well as having zero movement once installed, so they were made and prestretched on CYR’s testing bench.  Each sling was taken to 1500lbs to remove the initial stretch. As part of the package we prooftested one assembly, and provided an install demo and photo instructions.  The installers loved it, and were blown away at how fast and easy it was to work with, getting our parts in took less than a full day!405418_10151187498952502_1706797292_n.jpg (720×960)

After a quick inspection during installation, it took a few weeks before I was able to see the finished product.  It’s a real pleasure to see CYR rigging in such a unique location, and the rooms look great and fit with the rest of the exhibit well.  The architects seemed very interested in the capabilities of Chicago Yacht Rigging, and are going to visit the shop and North Sails loft soon, hopefully we get more exciting projects from outside the the boating world!  Here are a few more images, and be sure to check out the greater exhibit now through February! 

New Dogbone Loops

Soft attachments are here to stay, and finding their way onto just about everything that floats!   One of the coolest bits of gear to come from the movement is the dogbone loop. Essentially a covered loop with a peg they make a wonderful high strength connector.  Used to replace stainless shackles, they can offer real improvements in weight and strength, with side benefits of greater articulation and less damage to gear.  As part of a snatch block or floating block system they give you just the right amount of flexibility to align under load.

The existing options are mostly cut pieces of stainless or carbon, which works ok but can shake loose.  I wanted to try a shaped dogbone that had some security designed into it, and this is the first draft.  Works really well size and handling wise, with it keeping captive in the small end of the loop, and being shaped to fit into the open end easily, but not shake free.  The real question was load testing, and so far we’re blown away at the numbers from even the smallest/weakest size, being at least 10tons.  The “at least” comes from the fact that the 5/16″ dyneema initially used in the test failed first in every single test, so I’ve switched to the full-on covered loops that would actually be used on the boat in order to get proper numbers.  For now it’s pretty safe to say that even the size 0 pegs are going to have a working load of 5T.  More to come on this soon!

Pile O’ Soft Attachments Pt 2

This might be the first year CYR has sold more soft attachments than stainless, and I say bring it on!

Above we have 2 different sizes of Equiplite snatch blocks(4 and 8 Ton), a number of carbon dog bone loops (6 Ton) , and a thimble ring hitch loop (2 Ton)

If you want to try soft attachments on your boat, get in touch with CYR for custom and off the shelf solutions for high strength/low weight/easy articulation connections today.