Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dyneema Experience Chapter 4- in which we finally get our rigging and explain what all the fuss is about.

Is that not the loveliest thing you have seen in a while? It is to me. That my friends is a box full of the long awaited, much desired Dyneema cored running rigging from New England Ropes. I've worked harder for that rigging than I imagined and am thrilled to finally have it in hand, ready to be rigged.

In the latest Dyneema Experience Challenge, we are supposed to convince you to use Dyneema. Huh. I'm not one for a heavy handed sales pitch for products but in this case, we can tell you honestly why we so wanted Dyneema rigging for our boat. If that convinces you to try Dyneema- great, but truthfully we do believe in the superiority of Dyneema so I am able to write this with out feeling like I've sold out the blog and my dignity( or what's left of my dignity. Learning to sail is great for increasing humility).

There are a whole slew of Dyneema Experience participants who are racers and therefore very familiar with what makes Dyneema such a fantastic product for their application. But I'm not a racer. Never will be, that requires too much hurrying and scurrying and I like to take things easy. I'm most definitely in the cruiser camp and so what qualities Dyneema posesses that we will value are different. Cruisers haven't really embraced Dyneema as much as the racers. I think this is in large part because...well...cruisers  tend to be cheap ( I might be only speaking of us so don't be offended!) and a Dyneema core ups the cost of the line.When you are balancing a budget with the goal of running your boat year round every little bit of extra cash outlayed matters, so that extra expense has to add value.

Mark at the office with some serious Dyneema line.
It is used to anchor the Perdido platform he works
on to the ocean floor. It withstands hurricanes.
They are not playing around...Impressive!
I can truthfully say that had we not won a complete rerigging of our boat, we would have splashed out on Dyneema line at the expense of  some equipment that we would like to have that falls in the "Be Nice" category. The main reason for this is that Dyneema is the strongest fiber available. We want rigging that is strong and so less likely to fail. There are some trade offs we have to make in order to accommodate the increased strength- i.e. shackles and block size, etc. but for our application we want the strength and the increased longevity of the rigging that comes with it. Rigging with a longer life span is definitely added value.

There are some quirks we've noticed on our newly delivered as yet to be installed Sta Set X lines. Namely, this is some pretty slick and slippy rope. I'm not certain how we are going to deal with this but we will figure it out and let you know what we find. I do know that gloves are mandatory with Dyneema lines so if you are dead set against wearing sailing gloves, its probably not the line for you, unless you happen to like shredded hands. I suppose torn up hands would look "salty" and make you look kinda tough ( maybe even salty enough that you could get away with wearing a twee white skipper's cap without being laughed at) but again, I am into being comfortable so gloves it shall be.

One of the things we were most looking forward to was decreasing the diameter of our lines (which you can do with careful research into load capacities because of the strength of Dyneema). Unfortunately, New England Ropes either ignored our carefully researched line order or they just lost it. Either way, we have the manufacturers suggested diameter and not what we requested so we can't tell you if in fact going down in line size affects longevity or performance. I suppose we could send the line back and ask for replacement but I'm pretty sure we'd end up with Maura in college before we get the replacement.

There are many rigging manufacturers who use Dyneema core and if you are going to be paying the extra 
The line trolley Mark made from left over marine plywood is
no longer looking sad and forlorn with no line on it. Please note,
we did not request "green vomit" colored rope. That was
a surprise from our line supplier. :)
dosh for Dyneema, it makes sense to check with the manufacturer's site to find the right line for your  application. Some folks buy the wrong size line and then complain about Dyneema not living up to the manufacturers claims. The fault ddoesn't lie with the rope but with putting the wrong rope in the wrong application, so choose carefully.

We'll have more about the line later. This will be the first time we have ever rigged a boat by ourselves so not only should I have some illuminating information about rigging a boat with Dyneema but with the way I bumble through life I mean sailing it ,should provide some amusement as well. I think I'll make Mark climb the mast though...


  1. OH! But I LOVE the green vomit color! I painted my living room a slightly brighter/lighter color of green vomit! And it goes so nicely with the turquoise. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Most of the lines are working no where near spec for failure... and likely designed for stretch or handling.

    Pretty spaghetti is tastes good!