When Durability and Performance Matter: Spectra Tape-Drive

Posted on 13-11-2013 by Adam Loory
Ocean Race 60, Ltd., offers ocean racing experiences on TOKIO II, the 60-footer used in the Whitbread Around the World Race in 1993-1995. Based in Helsinki, Finland, the boat can be chartered for day sails, day races and ocean races. When the company needed new sails for the boat’s powerful sail plan, performance and durability were the company’s requirements.

UK Sailmakers’ Tape-Drive sails made with a Spectra laminate and carbon fiber tapes won the day. Tape-Drive is the most durable laminate sail construction and Tape-Drive sails made with Spectra and carbon are the most durable of all Tape-Drive construction styles. Spectra is one of the world’s strongest and lightest fibers. Pound-for-pound, it is 10 times stronger than steel and up to 40 percent stronger than aramids. Spectra doesn’t break down from folding, is impervious to UV radiation, and it gets softer with use. This makes it a great material for performance cruising sailors or for those who want one set of sails for both racing and cruising.

The last picture in the gallery below shows a brand new 70-foot schooner with huge sails made with Spectra Tape-Drive as well. The sails on big boats get very heavy, so making them out of weight saving materials makes sail handling much easier.