Working onboard a racing yacht is not only physically demanding but does also require material that is highly reliable and strong. Lines made with Dyneema ® have a superior strength-to-weight ratio which means that they have a smaller diameter and lower weight at the same strength. Dyneema ® offers other characteristics that help to boost the performance of any racing yacht: Lines made with Dyneema ® are up to 30 percent lighter than LCP- or aramid based lines of the same strength and have only half the weight of polyester lines. Lines made with Dyneema ® do not absorb water and float on water due to the low density of Dyneema ®. These characteristics improve the performance compared to conventional lines substantially and help the crew to operate in a more efficient and thus successful manner.
Dyneema ® is the world’s strongest fiber™: It is successfully used to stop bullets, tow tankers, protect workers, assist surgeons and in fishing. The material’s superior strength-to-weight ratio is only one of reasons why almost all teams in major regattas like the America’s Cup, Vendée Globe and the Volvo Ocean Race rely on lines made with Dyneema ®. Other reasons for that are Dyneema ®’s superior splicing properties compared to lines made from other fibers, its incredible softness compared to steel wire or other materials, and its ease of use with blocks and sheaves. For these reasons it is now being used also more and more by recreational sailors.
High dynamic loads in race yachting and sailing require running rigging that is competitive in every aspect. Dyneema ®’s incredible strength enhances the yacht’s or sailing boat’s performance – even in the toughest environments. Dyneema ® is a low-weight fiber and thus reduces the load above the waterline and a multiple of this saving can be taken off the keel. Even the smallest weight savings in such competitive contests can be crucial to performance. Equipment made with Dyneema ® is not only lighter due to Dyneema ®’s low density but also smaller with regard to diameter due to its superior strength-to-weight ratio. Further, Dyneema ® does not absorb water what leads to substantial weight savings in an aquatic environment.
The crew needs to have full control over all equipment at any time during the race in order to achieve the perfect sail trim and perform at the highest level possible. Ropes made with Dyneema ® have very low stretch due to the high modulus of the fiber. This low stretch increases the control over the material and almost eliminates energy absorption. This maximizes the accuracy of the running rigging.
Every part of the sailing boat or the yacht, every piece of equipment and every member of the crew has to fulfill their duties in order for the race to be successful. Therefore the ideal equipment has to be reliable in every situation no matter how difficult the environment or how hard the race is. The reliability of the equipment is not only crucial for the success of the crew on the sailing boat or yacht but also for its safety during dangerous phases of the race. The unique, superior, and well-known combination of properties of Dyneema ® make it the most reliable fiber in the harsh conditions in race yachting. Its tension and bending fatigue characteristics ensure that lines retain their shape and form. Its resistance to stretch and wear is superior to other materials used and its resistance to chemicals, UV and salt water are critical components of its unmatched reliability.
Dyneema ® has been used for a wide range of products in yacht racing but also in sports yachting or sailing industry. Its high performance and durability make it the ideal material, in technical and economic terms, for a wide range of activities like running rigging, performance cruisers, super yachts or sailing boats.
PBO (Zylon ®) Rigging is a breakthrough in standing rigging technology — a custom-engineered synthetic cable system developed as a practical drop-in performance enhancement that replaces wire or rod rigging. Now any sailboat between 22′ and 50′ can take advantage of the substantial performance gains of PBO rigging. PBO is really dependable as it has over 10 years of proven longevity on standing rigging under the harshest conditions. PBO cables are not only stronger, but lab tested to demonstrate a fatigue life over 3 times that of wire and 6 times that of rod.
All professional sailing and yachting racing teams participating in the America’s Cup or Volvo Ocean Race nowadays use Zylon rope covers to protect their rope cores made with Dyneema ® SK78 or SK90. This has to do with the fact that Zylon® can withstand very high temperatures. But not only that! It is a well kept secret that Zylon ® releases very gentle and quit on the winch which makes it much more difficult for the opponent to know when you are going to attack.