Gear: Rigging, Sails, & Deck Hardware

Standing Rigging

Stainless Steel Standing Rigging

This is the the traditional rigging used on most boats.  It works with roller furlers for head sails.  1 x 19 standard stainless steel is the most common style of wire used.  Wire comes in at the lowest cost and life expectancy is very good with regular inspection.  It will last 8 years, though there are boats reporting 20 years.  However, if you sail a lot, then time isn't the factor, and SS wire may only last 15-25k nautical miles depending on use and region.  SS Wire has more stretch and elasticity than synthetic, therefore it is lower performance. 

Stainless Steel Stays

Synthetic Standing Rigging

Synthetic rigging is a great alternative to SS Traditional wire. There are four primary materials used for synthetic stays: Dyneema (Dynice Dux), Aramid, PBO cable, and the new kid on the block, carbon fiber rigging.  All of these materials are significantly lighter than going with meal wire, coming in about 60-80% lighter. 

As for strength, the tensile breaking strengths are around 10-50% higher than SS wire if you use a comparable diameter. 

The newer synthetics offer very low stretch performance characteristics.  Synthetic rigging lasts about the same as SS wire; both should be replaced after about eight to ten years or at about 25K nautical miles sailed, whichever comes first.  Mostly likely, for us, it will be the miles not the time as we plan to sail over 125,000 nautical miles over thirteen years (or more).

Synthetic Standing Rigging

Running Rigging

Running Rigging

These lines include the mainsail halyard and sheets, jib halyard and sheets, genoa halyard and sheets (if we have one), and the parasailor halyard and sheets.  Halyards will be made of Dyneema for its low stretch characteristics, while sheets will be a thick Polyester line to allow a little stretch and a comfortable grip. 

Running Rigging

Deck Hardware

Garhauer Deck Hardware

We plan to use this brand for all our blocks, plates, sheaves, shackles, rollers, fittings, clutches, mounts, deck organizers, cam cleats, stanchions, and even our boom vang.  We like the Garhauer German quality, price, and 10 year unconditional guarantee.

Garhauer Deck Hardware

Tylaska T12 Snap-shackle

Excellent for the Tack of our parasailor.  This Snap-shackle uses a small release line that is tied off (loosely) to a cleat, if you release the guy on that side this smaller release line will go taught, pulling the switch on the snap-shackle and releasing both the guy and sheet attached to the tack.  The sail will then only be held at the Head by the halyard and down at the clew, allowing the sail to depower and be easily doused by the sock, even in a higher wind condition.

Tylaska T12 Snap Shackle


Built as part of the kit
The nice part here is that our boom comes as part of the Schionning Designs kit and we just put it together!  Not only that, but it is flared out so that the sail will flake nicely without our having to add rails and the lazy jacks will be further apart so they won't catch the battens as easily.

We plan to add a boom vang (Garhauer) rather than go with a topping lift.

Solitaire boom


Precision Sails Main Sail

Here is a Precision Sails Laminate main sail.  Because we are a performance boat, we may choose to spend the extra money to buy a laminate sail.  Here is a quote about these sails from the Precision Sails website:

"The main difference you will see between a Dacron and a laminate sail is in the shape of your sails when you tack and how this impacts on the performance of the maneuver. With a Dacron sail, you will notice when the breeze is first captured it will likely expand the sail, stretch the fibers, and then it will move back into shape. This effect will reduce your overall performance out of the tack and your speed out of the maneuver. A laminate sail is a very hard-hitting construction and doesn’t adjust as much through the change. So, compared to Dacron sails you can expect more speed out of your tack, therefore all-around better performance. But this added performance often comes with a higher price point."

The other issue with laminate sails, besides the higher price, is the longevity.  Typically, a laminate sail will only last for 5 to 7 years, while a Dacron sail will last around 10 years.  However, during those 5 to 7 years, the laminate will retain its shape, keeping your performance boat, well, performing.  The Dacron will slowly lose it's shape and perform worse than when it was new.

We have not made our decision on this yet, and will likely see how much of our build kitty is left by the time we have to order sails.

Laminate Sail

Precision Sails Self-Tacking Jib
This will be our self-tacking, triangular head sail.  The track and car are located up on the cabin roof, in front of the mast, which is set back a few feet on the Solitaire 1490.  The sail will be on a roller-furler attached at the base of the bow sprit.  Our jib will be used in strong winds.  If we have an issue with our parasailor, we can also use this jib a wing on wing configuration with our Code Zero.


Precision Sails Code Zero

This type of sail is a type of large jib or stay sail which extends past the mast and so overlaps the mainsail when viewed from the side. The Code Zero is used in lighter winds, or as a wing on wing configuration with the jib.

This sail will typically be kept stowed, but when in use, it will be on a continuous furler mounted out toward the forward tip of the bow sprit.


Istec, Wingaker, or Oxley Parasailor (or Parasail)

This big, light wind sail can be set without use of a spinnaker pole.  A pressurized wing performs like a soft batten preventing sail collapse.  There is supposed to be some aerodynamic lift from the paraglider type wing, though that usefulness is debatable. 

However, when a gust of wind hits it will vent through the slots in the sail, which acts like as a pressure relief valve and, hopefully, keeps your sail getting blowing out.  This also reduces stress on rig.  It is smooth opening and easy to hoist and lower by use of a sock and Tylaska T12 Snap-shackle. 

Better yet, these sails may be swung around to nearly a beam reach (see pic).  This makes them even better than a wing on wing set of jibs as they can handle more angles when sailing downwind.


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