The Pirates of the Caribbean entry, The Black Pearl, was the first of the new class of Volvo Open 70 yacht designs to adopt running rigging made from Dyneema SK 78 fibers. The Black Pearl team used the rigging throughout the race and finished second. The first place team, ABN Amro One, switched a portion of its vessels rigging to the new material partway through the race.
The SK78 grade has improved creep performance and joins the family of Dyneema fibers made from super-strong polyethylene. The fiber is stabile under static loads for better performance and longer life in exceptionally demanding conditions such as the nine-month Volvo Ocean Race.
The Dyneema fibers sport a high strength-to-weight ratio and modulus along with resistance to abrasion and chemicals. Lines made from the fibers have served for years in yachting. They are 30 to 40% lighter than their aramid counterparts and half the weight of polyester. In addition to use in halyards and sheets, Dyneema SK78 can be used in backstays and standing rigging for performance cruisers.
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