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Millionaires Tape - What is it?

by Kerri Robson 6 Mar 09:00 GMT
Millionaires Tape - What is it? © PROtect Tapes

PROtect Tapes produce a broad range of protective tapes for racing, cruising and super yachts, and have been providing effective solutions for chafing, abrasion and wear since 2008.

A team of professional sailors, the young company combine sailing experience with specialist polymer and adhesive expertise, securing PROtect Tapes' position as a leading marine tape manufacturer.

Whilst we recently explored PROtect Tapes' fresh new venture (compostable bow stickers!) over on our blog, 'PROtect Mask' - or 'millionaires tape', as it is known in sailing circles - has been a staple in rigger's pockets for a number of years.

Endorsed by Olympic sailing crews, world champions and IMOCA teams (amongst many more), the name 'millionaires tape' originated from the perception that PROtect Mask was expensive in comparison to alternative tapes on the market.

However, its widespread adoption and continued high demand amongst professional riggers continues to suggest that it is worth every penny, with 'millionaires tape' remaining one of PROtect Tapes' best sellers.

Achieving 'holy grail' status, 'millionaires tape' refers to one specific model of 'PROtect Mask' PMG050 and PML050 (in two colours: grey and light grey). Both are manufactured via compression moulding, producing a thin (50 micron) highly tensilised skived synthetic fluoropolymer called PTFE (which is the same material as Teflon).

This material boasts several properties that make it perfect for use as a rigging tape: 'millionaires tape' has the highest per unit strength, toughness and high temperature resistance of any PTFE product, with an extremely low coefficient of friction which is one of the only materials that a gecko can't stick to!

In addition, the non-stick, slippery surface of the PTFE tape is extremely resistant to abrasion; durable and strong, the tape is chafe resistant, weather resistant and water repellent.

The tape's adhesive is a high temperature silicon adhesive. Silicon adhesive has a higher temperature breaking point than acrylic adhesive (as is commonly used on other tapes), doesn't leave any sticky residue on the rigging and despite its aggressive hold - is easy to remove when necessary. The tape can also stick to itself and therefore layers of tape can be applied quickly, easily and securely.

As a result, the properties of this tape make it the perfect solution for a host of wear and tear problems. It is easy to apply, store and carry, plus the applications are almost endless!

Examples of applications include:

  • Everywhere you would usually use electrical tape - e.g. to keep ropes organised
  • For splicing, loops, strops and soft connections
  • For wrapping parts where salt build up can occur (the slick surface is easy to clean)
  • To prevent damage on the boat - e.g. from sharp protrusions or places of impact (such as where blocks hit the deck)
  • To prevent wear and tear on expensive sails - e.g. tape rigging where there is contact with the sails, and reduce wear by providing a friction free surface to ease the passage of the sails on a tack or gybe
  • To minimise friction and lubricate specific parts of the boat e.g. tape all uneven or irregular surfaces
  • To protect running rigging against chafe e.g. provide extra cover and protection from shackles, turnbuckles, lifeline fittings, spreader ends, etc. (the tape is stretchy and bendy, so wraps tight and doesn't prohibit movement!)
  • For wrapping around a tight radius where there is not much room - e.g. spreader end fittings
  • On everything! e.g. running rigging, bobstays, strops, standard rigging, spreaders, turnbuckles, exposed cotter pins, forestay, backstay, runners, spars, toe rails, batten pockets, head foils, etc!

... No wonder it's the riggers choice!

Can't wait to get your hands PROtect Mask? We stock 'millionaires tape' in grey and light grey, and it is available in three sizes: 25mm x 10m, 25mm x 33m and 32mm x 33m. Custom orders are also available. Visit upffront.com to shop the range.

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