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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Small Mods: Composite Tubes and Fibre Traps

Though the boat was already at minimum weight, we went through the exercise of 'updating' the basic systems and details as a first step to proving some of the concepts we are considering for use on the new A cat.

Despite the minimum overall weight rule, in reality the weight saving imperative still exists for three reasons:
1) Weight concentration. Saving weight in the ends, above the lowest point in the boat and in the moving components allows the optimum positioning of corrector weights and hence gives the option of optimising trim, balance and pitching frequency.
2) Saving parasitic weight frees up material that can be spent elsewhere in the weight budget, for instance in additional fibres to stiffen the platform.
3) There are voices afoot that the class minimum weight may be reduced as technological advances translate into most boats in the fleet carrying corrector weights around the racecourse.

So the 'low hanging fruits' were immediately identified and picked.
Following is a brief description of the principal changes.
They are all 'bolt-on' mods that can be easily retrofitted to your existing boat.
Get in touch with us if your boat is in need of similar improvements.

- The mainsheet system was updated. We modified the standard Harken set-up by replacing the single block mounted to the cleat plate with a 'Tie Light' block. This gets rid of the steel shackle, steel strap and steel spring. We also drilled holes in the steel components of the triple+becket ratchet block and the quadruple top block.


- Trap wires: Swapped steel for Dyneema. This is quite a straightforward swap for an easy 372g weight saving up in the rig and similar windage.
We are trialling a ball and socket trap 'hook'. The advantage is the safety of not having a protruding hook on your harness. The jury is still out on the practicality of the system.
First indications are that it is not as 'positive' as a traditional hook and ring. It also requires more precision when hooking up because the difference in size between the two components is smaller.
With this solution there is no adjustment in hook height but the bungee does keep the system tensioned when coming in onto the trampoline.


- The cross bar (drag link?) and tiller extension were swapped for carbon ones.
This made a perceptible difference to the 'feel' of the helm by taking inertia out of the steering system.
The tiller extension is wrapped in aramid to add a bit of toughness.


A carbon boom is underway.

Now begins the hard work of logging baseline values, and getting into the racing to identify the space for improvement and the needs of fellow skippers.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the information about the Composite Tubes and Fibre Traps. Really a great blog!!

    Composite Tubes

    ReplyDelete