Rigging Projects was requested to review the set up of the mast of the Gunboat 60, “Flow” and the subsequent management of the replacement spar and boom.

The boat was struggling with their power to weight ratio so, working closely with the client, a full study and report were conducted to ascertain how to achieve hull flying speed target at a lower apparent wind speed while maintaining safety margins paramount to these boats.

Once completed, the specification was put out to tender to the spar manufacturers within the industry. Lorima was selected to build the spar and new boom while Rigging Projects maintained overall project control throughout the construction process. The combination of the new spar, boom and rigging led to a weight saving of 285kg, with 180kg coming from aloft, even with an increase of the spar height by 2m. This was achieved by upgrading to Future Fibres EC6 and choosing to build the spar in UHMC (Ultra High Modulus Carbon).

The team then got the spar delivered to Saint Martin where we went about changing out the spar and boom for the client with an unstepping and stepping of the new mast handled in just one afternoon. Check out this video of the GB Flow Stepping.

The Rigging Projects team led the sea trials, collaborating with Jack Slattery and JB Brawn from North Sails, who supplied a full suit of 3Di sails. The mast was put through its paces, achieving all the design target numbers from luff curve of the mainsail to the predicted lateral fall off with the supersized A2’s and A3.

This was also the first time out for Rigging Projects’ new “RPG Lock” (Rigging Projects’ Gaff Lock) which is an optimised locking system specifically designed for locking headboards. The product worked seamlessly, allowing for the hoisting of the mainsail without any need for the crew to manually manipulate the headboard to connect with the car. Equally impressive is the fact that the headboard disconnects itself automatically when the car hits the top of the stack whilst dropping the main. There is no longer the need to expose the crew to danger on the cabin top.

Tobias and Nick then sailed with Flow for the Heineken Regatta to help optimise the use of the mast and give our input on the best sail combinations to make the vessel sail to her best ability.

The week was predominately windy, averaging between 18-25 knots so provided some challenging conditions. The new upgraded mast package performed extraordinarily well, with Flow managing to sail away from all of the competition, bar Fujin, in the regatta. This was a complete turnaround from the boat’s performance a year ago.

Rigging Projects also provided a completely new, custom set of running rigging to the boat as a major upgrade to optimise the weight and safety margins. Along with the rope package, further upgrades were made through both in-house designed and externally sourced hardware throughout the boat. This ranged from Longeron integrated cascade tackline system to supplying custom traveller sheave boxes and a number of parts in between.