Case Study12 Dec 2023

Hetairos Gaff Lock Upgrade


The 200+’ Superyacht Hetairos, a symbol of innovation and performance, partnered with Rigging Projects Ltd for an ambitious upgrade just before the Superyacht Challenge Antigua. The collaboration aimed to improve Hetairos' mainsail handling by integrating state-of-the-art headboard cars supplied by Rigging Projects Ltd. This case study delves into the seamless integration process, ensuring optimal performance just in time for the prestigious Caribbean regattas and beyond.

Project Overview:

Hetairos sought to elevate performance with another incremental increase of mainsail size, requiring an improved hoisting and lowing system to confidently handle the vast main and mizzen sail. Rigging Projects supplied their biggest Gaff Lock and Self-Locking Headboard cars to date. The main mast system is designed around a staggering 45T max working load, with the mizzen capable of handling 32T. Challenges included coordinating third-party components, compatibility checks, minimizing downtime, and delivering and installing in a tricky part of the world on a tight timeline.

Collaborative Planning:

In a collaborative planning phase, Hetairos' crew, Southern Spars, North Sails and Rigging Projects Ltd meticulously planned the integration. Rigging Projects provided detailed specifications, ensuring compatibility with Hetairos' existing and new 3rd party supplied hardware.

Antigua Superyacht Regatta Deadline:

Delivering in Antigua, two weeks prior to the 2020 Superyacht Cup certainly added to the pressure and challenge. Three Rigging Projects technicians required 5 days to install a total of 7 sets of pawl pockets, lock sensors and self-lock activators on the two spars. The installation was strategically timed to conclude just prior to the Antigua Superyacht Regatta and the arrival of new sails. This required meticulous planning to minimize downtime and ensure Hetairos was ready for the prestigious event. The successful integration showcased the efficiency of the collaboration and the commitment to delivering within tight timelines.


The collaboration between Hetairos and Rigging Projects Ltd resulted in an successful upgrade. The Gaff Lock system has reduced pre-hoisting setup time by over an hour. The crew can safely hoist from deck without the requirement of climbing the mast to plug the sailpate into the car. In addition, the crew can now reef, a frequent occurrence when racing, with complete ease and speed due to the new Locking Cars. This, above all validated Rigging Projects’ systems, resilience and reliance under real-world sailing conditions.