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Fully Continuous Fibre Rigging for Yachts

Navtec, the Lewmar rigging division based in Guilford, Conn., has announced the first application of its fully continuous fiber rigging. The 23 meter (75-ft.) carbon fiber spar for the Andrews 50', It's OK, was rigged with Navtec's newest PBO system.

In comparison to discontinuous rigging where each span is linked by tip cups, pins or special links, Navtec Z-System Ultra is the only continuous fiber rigging system that offers a number of benefits with no increase in cost. It allows all shrouds to pass over the spreader tips without termination. This means fewer parts - gone are thimbles, end fittings and pins at the spreader tip. The result: 10 percent rigging weight reduction compared to traditional PBO rigging, 20 percent less windage at the spreader tips, and faster installation and tuning.

"When Navtec first approached us with the option of continuous PBO rigging, we talked it over and decided it was a cleaner way to go," said It's OK designer Alan Andrews, president of Alan Andrews Yacht Design, Long Beach, Calif. "Particularly appealing was the fact that continuous PBO rigging involved fewer parts and fewer chance of failure. These are qualities we always look for in racing, or for that matter cruising boats: how do we reduce potential failure points?"

Andrews continues, "In the case of It's OK, Navtec continuous rigging has 10 fewer end fittings than discontinuous rigging making installation, tensioning and maintenance of the rig a lot easier. In addition, there's less windage because of streamlined spreader tips. We're considering continuous rigging for larger and smaller yacht designs. I don't see this linked to only one size boat."

Navtec Z-System Ultra is engineered to the exact specifications of the boat and manufactured using a custom built CNC machine maintaining a tolerance of only one millimeter over the length of the rigging elements. Navtec's team of designer engineers work closely with major riggers and spar suppliers to deliver the right solution for each application.

Navtec President Greg Smith believes that as the marine industry transitions to fiber rigging, the company is well positioned to develop new, innovative racing rigging that will make a critical difference in competition. "Navtec is a company on the move, one that has maintained a long reputation as a technology leader and innovative manufacturer of competitive racing equipment," Smith said.

"Now that we've proven the effectiveness of continuous rigging on the Andrews 50, we're focused on demonstrating its performance under intense competition on Open 60s."

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