Not a wire in sight


Ted Rogers' detailed explanation of the composite rigging on his International 14.
Following our Experts question on using PBO for standing rigging in a dinghy , San Francisco based International 14 sailor, and Daily Sail reader, Ted Rogers sent in this detailed account (pictures below): I've been using Vectran for all shrouds on my I-14 for about 18 months. The primary drivers to switch from wire were cost, ease of replacement, and it facilitated rigging a new mast with bonded fittings that didn't require any holes in the tube. The primary cost of wire shrouds on dinghies is not in the wire but in the end fittings and swaging, often $15-20 per end, which on a 14 with uppers, mains, and lowers, and a forestay quickly adds up to $200-300 for a set of shrouds. Most of the 14 rigs further require the shrouds to be swaged in place, after the wire is fed through the spreader tips. At venues like the Gorge, or Bermuda, where we had our last Worlds, lack of transportation or distance to the nearest rigger can make a wire failure an un-recoverable mishap.In 12-plait Vectran, even at $1 per foot (4mm), material for a set of shrouds is about $100, splicing a new shroud takes less that half an hour with minimal tools, and the splice can be passed through the spreader tip if necessary. About 18 months ago I bought a Bieker mast as a tube plus parts, to assemble myself. As a mechanical engineer, the thought of drilling and cutting holes for t-ball fittings in a perfectly pristine carbon tube was too much to bear. So I made up some very low profile carbon tangs, bonded them in place, then shackled on Vectran shrouds. Having dispensed with nearly every bit of stainless steel in the rig, the new rig is 20 lb all-up. My old rig was 28

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