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Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club LEADERBOARD

PROtect Tapes SPK: The Retro-Revolution

by Prinal Shah 15 Apr 2020 09:00 BST
PROtect Tapes SPK: The Retro-Revolution © PROtect Tapes

PROtect Tapes provide solutions for the owners, boat captains and race teams who recognise that protecting the boat and reducing maintenance plays an important role in enhancing performance.

They provide effective solutions to chafing, abrasion, scratches, damages, ageing and wear.

Their latest development is somewhat of a tangent from their core business, but they have used their materials expertise to come up with an environmentally friendly and innovative system for solving an old problem: wooling spinnakers! The PROtect SPK (Safe Packing Kite) was developed in conjunction with ex Americas Cup Rigger, Davide Fuzzi. In this article we will look at the key features of PROtect SPK.

How does this work?

The idea is simple - firmly and securely attach a series of ultra-lightweight buttons, made of recyclable materials, along the luff of the sail. They can be glued, sewn or screwed, or any combination of the three, at regular intervals. A V-shaped groove on one side of the button is capable of firmly retaining the thread used to constrain the spinnaker during the hoist.

The end of the thread is wrapped around the button then around the compacted sail and finally around the button again. There are no knots, reducing the time required to prepare the sail.

When the sail is set and the threads broken, they are retained in the V-Shaped groove, rather than falling into the sea, thus further reducing the environmental impact. The threads can be removed by the crew at the end of the race.

PROtect tapes have developed their own biodegradable and compostable yarn, specifically for this application but sailors "tried and tested" favourite, wool, will work just as well!

Key Advantages

  • Environmental friendly - All materials used for the SPK are recycled and recyclable
  • Reduces the preparation of the sail time
  • Low cost and lightweight
  • Wooling can be done single-handed
  • Standardised packing process and increased reliability

Check out the brand new PROtect Tapes SPK on the upffront.com website

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