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.

We have decided (and purchased) a stainless steel forestay from Sparcraft for use with our self-tacking jib roller furler. 

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).

We are going with Colligo Marine and purchasing their Dynice Dux four our shrouds.  As recommended by Colligo, on a boat our size, we are going with turnbuckles.  They supply all the needed hardware.  In addition, we are adding one of their Top Down Line Furlers to handle our screecher.

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. 

We went with Sparcraft for our running rigging, choosing the Southern Ropes higher end chafe resistant options using Yachtmaster, Super-T, GP 12, and Super 12, depending on the use.  Most of these have a chafe cover sleeve added to the working end of the line.

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


Our boom is coming from Sparcraft, in South Africa, and will be delivered in our shipping container with the catamaran kit.

• Inboard end to attach to mast gooseneck toggle.
• Inboard end with four (4) sheaves to lead boom lines to deck.
• Outboard end with four (4) sheaves.
• Radiused lug on outboard end for lashing attachment of fixed outhaul.
• Attachment facility on outboard end for boom topping lift.
• Mainsail clew strop and shackle.
• Two (2) attachments near aft end to attach Yard supplied mainsheet system.
• Integral track in top of boom for Yard supplied stackpack.
• Anodized natural (silver / grey).
• Trampoline Boom UPGRADE (see boom in image, left)

Sparcraft boom


Our mast is also coming from Sparcraft, in South Africa, and will also be delivered in our shipping container with the catamaran kit.  Like the one shown in the image (left) we are changing from a single to a double diamond spreader mast layout.

• 2 Halyards aft 
• Single sheavebox and side swivel for spinnaker halyard.
• Sheavebox and padeye for 2:1 screecher halyard.
• Standing rigging upper cap attachment to be an aluminium fabricated through bar.
• Aluminium tang to suit attachment of forestay.
• Single sheavebox below forestay attachment point for genoa halyard.
• Attachment tang for soft staysail stay.
• Sheavebox for staysail halyard entry.
• Single sheavebox for self-tacking jib sheet entry.
• Sheaveboxes and bar cleats for internal lazy jack control lines.
• Allowance for seven (7) halyard exit slots.
• Aluminium gooseneck bracket complete with swivel block to suit boom attachment and shackle for mainsail tack attachment.
• Two (2) padeyes, luff strops & snap shackles to reef mainsail luff.
• Rack for genoa halyard.
• Mounting facility for Owner supplied halyard winch on mast.
• Spinlock jammers supplied and fitted on mast for boom topping lift, spinnaker halyard, screecher halyard and staysail halyard.
• Aft control block to lead main halyard aft.
• Aft control block to lead jib sheet aft.
• Bale on mast with Sparcraft blocks to lead three (3) reef lines and one (1) luff line aft.
• Female type aluminium anodised mast heel.
• Anodised alloy male mast step.
• Mast step.
• Electrical exit
• Tri-colour / Anchor Light
• Deck Flood / Steaming Light
• VHF Antenna
• Windex
• Two (2) sets of aero-foil shaped, aluminium spreaders.
• Inboard ends to attach to mast via fabricated wraparound bracket.
• Spreader outboard ends to suit continuous single diamond configuration
• Diamonds to terminate in shroud terminal backing plates.
• Intermediates to attach to mast via fabricated throughbar.
• Flag halyard saddles on underside of first spreaders.

Sparcraft mast


Sail Material

The image (left) is of Laminate sails.  We are a performance/cruising boat, not a racer.  We are doing a 10-15 year double circumnavigation.  Therefore, cost and durability were important elements of our sail choice.  However, we did spend the extra money to buy one sail with CZ60 material, the screecher, which is the most critical when it came to retained sail shape.  Here is a quote about sails from a 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.

Screecher Sail

Ullman Sails

We decided to go with Ullman Sails and have made our purchase.  The Main and Jib are from their Endurance line.  Here is a blub from the Ullman website about these sails:

Endurance Series sails are our most durable product, specifically designed for offshore and passage-making cruisers. Each sail is constructed and reinforced to withstand the rigorous demands of long-distance sailing and prolonged exposure to the elements. The Endurance series is the strong, dependable option for the bluewater cruising sailor.

Strength in the Details

The standard finishing of Endurance sails are an upgraded version of Ullman Sails Navigator cruising sail. These construction upgrades make the sail stronger, which increases durability and adds more miles and years to your sailing enjoyment.• Multiple Rows of Triple-Step Stitching on Every Seam

• Over-Sized Patching at All Corners and Reefs

• U.V. Resistant Thread for All Stitching (seam coating is available)

• Double Leech Tapes

• Additional Reinforcements at Each Slide

• Flutter Patches at Leech of Every Seam

• Heavier, Stronger Slides at Battens and Reef Points

• Stainless Steel Rings with Webbing Load Straps

• Sunbrella U.V. Covers on Roller Furling Sails

Design and Construction

Every Endurance sail is custom designed by the Ullman Sails Design Team to make your boat easier to sail and handle as conditions change. Mainsails have additional reinforcement in high-load areas so you can keep your sails reefed over extended periods of time without damaging the sail.  

Sail Cloth (our choice for the Mainsail and JIb)

Woven Cross-cut Dacron: High-quality, high-modulus Dacron is standard in the Endurance Series. Dacron withstands exposure to the elements and high-wind flogging better than any other sail material, providing the greatest longevity of any sail. 

Mainsail - Endurance - Crosscut Dacron - High Roach Mainsail
We decided to go with an Endurance, Crosscut Dacron High Roach Mainsail.  We choose Dacron because of cost, since the laminate was just too expensive and won't last as long, which adds even more cost. 

As for the cut of the sail, originally we were thinking of a square top main (see image, left), but further research showed us that, in a Dacron fabric, that is not a good choice.  Also, a Square Top Main is a faster downwind sail, but a slightly slower up wind sail vs a High Roach cut.  Since we will have a Parasailor for 3 to 25 knots of downwind sailing, the only time we will use the mainsail downwind is if it is blowing hard, in which case we will be reducing sail, not looking for more! 

Also, a Square Top Main brings other hassles.  The angled batten (see image left) dose not furl nicely.  So, you have two options: 1) detach and attach the sail to the top car each time you lower or raise the mainsail, or 2) purchase a gaff lock that will help to attach and detach that car as you raise and lower the main.  That costs even more money.  Finally, a square top main gives you an odd sail shape when you are deeply reefed, almost a square.  So, for all these reasons, Ullman Sails suggested we go with a High Roach mainsail, and we agreed (see image, left, below).  Here are the particulars:

Ullman Main and Jib

Measurement Set 1 P: 16.75m | E: 5.7m | Roach: 69% | Area: 80.75sq m
Designed by USSA designer
Cloth 2Ply 40% 100% Dimension OC 398g MT 9oz
40% Dimension OC 308g MT 7oz
Batten Application 7 Full Supplied by S.A.
Reefs 3
Headboard Ring and lug
Reefblock Luff None
Reefblock Leech Low Friction Ring 28.20 20mm SWL 6400kg + 4mm spec 1.5m
Clew Block None
Sail Bag Drawstring Bag Heavy Duty (51m2+)

Ullman Main and Jib

Self-Tacking Jib: Endurance, Crosscut Dacron, furling jib.
Once again, we decided to go with Dacron for budget reasons on this sail.  It is also for higher wind applications, where reefing is needed since we will use our CZ60 screecher in lighter winds.  Our jib will be on a roller-furler, and use a track and car on the salon roof, in front of the mast, to make this a self-tacking jib (see diagram, right).

Measurement Set 1 I: 14.6m | J: 5.9m | LP%: 0 | LP: 5.9m | Area: 40.2sq m
Design requested Designed by USSA designer
Cloth Dimension OC 398g MT 9oz
Batten Application 4 Vertical - Short Supplied by S.A. Yes
Reefs 0
Luff Style No 6 Luff tape
Sail Bag Drawstring Bag 420D (0-50m2)
Options Rope Luff Flattener
UV Cover Sunbrella
Clew Block Seasure 04.92


Screecher (a light, upwind, sail) 
Since we have a Parasailor (see below) for light, downwind conditions we wanted a better upwind sail for lighter wind conditions. 

There were a few options:
1) Code Zero:  We choose not to go with a Code Zero since that is a jack of all trades sail for light wind.  That means it is OK for upwind or downwind, but not spectacular at either one.  The advantage is you can buy one sail and get both uses.

2) Racing screecher:  This sail is sheeted inside the cap shrouds (see image, left), where it can be trimmed to an inboard position of 9-12 degrees off centerline with a barber hauler.  It is more efficient for upwind sailing than the Code Zero, but not good for downwind sailing.  However, we choose to go with this sail since we have a separate downwind sail and decided to go with two sails, one for upwind, one for down, both efficiently designed for their specific use.  Of course, that costs a lot more.

Our racing style screecher will be designed and to handle the considerable loads of high apparent-wind angles and speeds.  We choose to go with CZ60 material so that it will maintain a flat upwind shape over time.  This is the one sail where we decided to spend extra cash for a better material than Dacron or Nylon as the sail shape is critical in light, upwind sailing.

This sail will be on a continuous furler out on the bow sprit, so we wanted it to have a UV strip to protect this expensive sail while it is furled.

Measurement Set 3 ISP: 15.65m | SPL: 8.1m | Area: 85sq m
Design requested Designed by USSA designer
Cloth: CZ60
Sail Bag Code 0 Single Zip 420D 2m
Options Furling Clew Velcro
Soft Clew
UV Cover Dacron 4.25oz
Anti torsion Line SOUTHERN ROPES 14mm + Solid Thimbles
Anti torsion Line Rope Clamps x 2

The image right is our sail layout, in general.  We haven't decided if we will add the Staysail yet, but it is an option for later.  The mainsail


Istec New Generation Parasailor

(Istec promotional text quoted below)

The New Generation Parasailor
Higher performance, greater stability, increased safety and more sailing enjoyment than ever - these are the characteristics that make the difference between ISTEC AG's redesigned Parasailor generation and its popular predecessor.

Higher performance
The redesigned hybrid wing - which has been filed for patent - combined with the flow-optimized sail body noticeably increases performance compared with the previous Parasailor model.

Greater stability
Compared with its predecessor, the unique hybrid wing gives the system more lift, is impressively responsive even at lower wind speeds, and increases the Parasailor's stability while having a spreading effect on the leeches.

Parasailor New Generation

Increased safety
The new wing design allows the wing surface to be reduced, making hoisting and recovering of the new Parasailor much easier.

More sailing enjoyment
Compared with the previous model, sailing enjoyment with the New Generation Parasailor already starts at 2-3 knots of true wind.

We wanted this sail because it handles a wide range of wind conditions, from low, call it 3-4 knots and all the way up to around 20 knots or so. it can also be pitched around to nearly a beam reach, like a asymmetric spinnaker (see image, right).   However, due to the 'wing' this can fly in lighter conditions without collapsing. 

Istec Side

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