Presentation on Sailing the Northwest Passage

I’m giving a presentation on Sailing the Northwest Passage next Thursday, Sept 20 for the Tiddly Cove Yacht Club at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Non-members are welcome, doors open at 7PM, open bar, presentation starts shortly after 8PM. The Maritime Museum entrance is around the back/south side – not the main entrance, and there are parking passes at the desk at the back entry

10 thoughts on “Presentation on Sailing the Northwest Passage

  1. Hi Richard, looks like you have dynex rigging there, Love to hear some more about it and how well it works for you. The boat is looking great. Wish I could have made it to the presentation, but it is a bit far from Tasmania. By the way did you have any problems with the furlers freezing up on your way through the NW passage?



  2. Hi Ben,

    Thanks, yes Tasmania is a bit far :)

    I had no problems with furlers freezing on my way thru the NW Passage, however, concerns about how I could handle reefing if freezing spray had coated the furler was one of the reasons I decided to stop in Alaska in late November for the rest of the winter. Though I did have some opportunities last winter to go out sailing in freezing spray conditions to get practice with an ice-covered furler, I didn’t actually go out on those days (must be getting old :) ).

    As to my experience with Dynex Dux rigging, it has been mixed. Using Dynex Dux had a lot to do with nearly being dismasted in the Labrador Sea ( I originally went with Dynex Dux because the rigging wires were old and I thought that since weight aloft is never good, I’d use it instead of wire. I am no longer using Dynex Dux for shrouds partly because of the complications it causes with spreaders (needing to chafe-protect the rope), partly because, after unstepping my masts (for the first time) and learning how heavy they were, I don’t think the lesser weight of synthetic vs wire rigging is significant on this boat.

    I am using Dynex Dux for backstays, because:

    • * I have the stuff
    • * backstays are simpler than shrouds (no chafe issues with spreader)
    • * an insulated wire tied to it receives radio signals well without the need for a backstay insulator
    • * with the hose or tubing that I put over the Dux, there is much less sail chafe than there would be with wire

    I think one could, for much less money, cover painted galvanized wire with hose or tubing (I am under the impression that most plastic hose has chlorine or chloride in it and is bad for stainless–but I’m no expert on this) and get the same chafe reduction effect, which is what I probably will do whenever I figure that it is time to replace the Dynex Dux. At the moment, I just retension the backstays annually to compensate for creep.

    Good to see you are blogging again, BTW.


  3. Hi Rich,
    I found your blog while researching Dynex Dux. Very interesting, great pictures! I’m trying to get real info on the product not marketing hype but real stuff. Would you agree that the stretch and/or creep of Dynex put undue load on the lower steel shrouds? Did you size the Dynex for its creep factor? What was the Dynex diameter used? My Valiant 40 has rod rigging (which I need to replace before a circumnavigation) it is silent, is Dynex windage noisy? Would you recommend Dynex to a friend?

    Thanks a lot from Germany

  4. Hi Patrick,

    I keep meaning to write up the technical details of what happened when I almost lost the mainmast. Thanks for the reminder :).

    To answer your questions, I believe the constructional stretch of the splices of the Dynex Dux put undue load on the lower steel shroud. Also, I didn’t have enough pretension. The Dux was sized for strength similar to steel, I believe, not creep (at the time I bought the stuff, the scuttlebutt on rigging forums was that it had no creep at all [not true], so I don’t think I ever discussed creep with the vendor). The sizes were 11mm & 13mm, which were replacing similar sizes of stainless steel.

    I have no experience with rod rigging, so can’t compare to it. There is wind noise. Whether there is more wind noise than there is with wire, I don’t know.

    Would I recommend Dynex Dux for sailboat rigging? :). It would depend–its still not a widely-used material, and experience with it is limited. In my case, if I had known how heavy my masts were when I was re-rigging, I would have stayed with wire, as the weight difference in the rig in total doesn’t seem that big on my boat. A different boat could see that differently. There is much appeal in being able to carry a coil of rope as spare, and just splicing it to size when needed, then stretching it and installing it. But stretching and then installing is not so easy to do correctly away from a shop (I stretched it on the lawn of a yacht club by tying it to trees and deflecting the middle, then rowing it back to my boat and hoisting it aloft, and I suspect I didn’t get it tensioned properly, thereby allowing constructional stretch to happen in the splices). Re-tensioning Dynex Dux annually to compensate for creep is an additional maintenance task one must do. It chafes much easier than wire, so I mostly put hose on it now, which is good for the sails to rub against, but makes for larger diameter/more windage. Not all spreaders can be modified to handle the much larger diameter of Dux and chafe protection, so they may need to be replaced.


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