Sojana, Peter Harrison’s 35m lightweight racer-cruiser built in 2003, has had her rod rigging replaced by Future Fibres PBO rigging – a simple operation that took less than a day in Antigua’s Falmouth Harbour – and has seen her performance increase substantially.
Captain Marc Fitzgerald states: “The boat is noticeably quicker – we’ve just won our class in the Heineken Regatta only two weeks after getting the rigs back in the boat. We have more pace upwind and the most noticeable performance improvement is in a chop, where the boat hardly seems to lose any speed at all – we are really pleased!”.
At the time of her design and launch, over three years ago, Peter Harrison was aware of PBO but believed it was still too exotic and felt conventional rod rigging was a safer bet for extended cruising and ocean passages. The decision to throw the stainless steel rods away well before their scheduled replacement date was due to three factors: confidence in PBO rigging after its proven reliability in the past two Volvo Ocean Races, an enormous 71.5% weight saving (815kg shaved off her existing rigging weight of 1141kg) and, most importantly, the significant performance gains – attractive to savvy charter customers in a competitive market demanding leading edge performance.
According to the Farr Design office and their Velocity Prediction Programme, the weight saving in the rig gives relatively small gains downwind of about 0.5 seconds per mile but an impressive four to ten seconds per mile gain upwind, a fair amount of which is attributed to the reduction in inertia. A more comfortable motion in a sea is a relatively unquantifiable yet significant knock-on benefit.
Sojana is currently competing in a series of regattas in the Caribbean before crossing back over the Atlantic to be in Valencia in time for the Louis Vuitton / America’s Cups and a busy Mediterranean summer season.
Performance yacht designers and builders worldwide are all recognising the benefits of PBO standing rigging whether new build or refit, from superyachts to series production sailing boats. Future Fibres has dedicated, fully-trained rigging experts to install and service its rigging systems worldwide.