Bristol Channel Cutter "Angelsea" (Shanti)

Dyneema Synthetic rigging torture test

Chafe has always been a concern with Dyneema or any synthetic rigging


As a by product of Hurricane Earl, my synthetic rigging went through a real torture test. There have been continuous questions about how this new technology will hold up to chafe. People have visions of wild eyed Haitians with machetes cutting down there rig. And what about the main sail chafing on rigging during a down wind sleigh ride of a week or more duration? Well I have had my Dyneex rigging for almost a year and have seen no problems as of yet with chafe. I have been VERY satisfied with the rig so far. Of course I have not yet had the pleasure of a week or more downwind sleigh ride.

To the meat of this post, “The torture test”. During Hurricane Earl Angelsea was was pushed into the mangroves that were close aboard my port side. Please refer to the post “How I secure For a hurricane” for a close look at the setup. as the wind backed during passage of the storm winds of about 40-50kts out of the W to SW pushed my port side hard into the mangroves. I didn’t sustain any damage. But while inspecting the boat I noticed this …

Mangrove trees where rigging chafed against branches.

The Dyneema held up well.


I estimate that the wind blew from the W to SW for about 3 hours. And as you can see from the above photograph the rigging severely chafed the branches and even broke some off. The result … a little bit of fuzz or none at all on my aft lower or cap shroud that I estimate were taking the brunt of the load.

OK, nuff said about chafe!


3 thoughts on “Dyneema Synthetic rigging torture test

  1. Peter

    Hey Gary,

    How are you?
    I’m an FC22 owner. You replied to a post of mine re: BCC v FCC. I am really moving towards some serious upgrades on the FCC. One of these is the rigging. I was actually looking to see if it could be replaced with something lighter and I think that you are one of the few people I found who have done something like that. So, how is it going now? Can you share some of your experiences and thoughts with your synthetic rigging? I am thinking that the lighter rigging will really improve the stability and sailing qualities of the FCC.

    Eagerly awaiting your response,