Arriving initially in California to work on Charger it was sad as always to see the results of the heavy pollution in the Port of LA area. The light gray deck was almost black with downed diesel particulates and whilst the initial scrub got the show on the road- it actually took regular attention every day for the full two weeks before she was back to the kind of standard we expect.
It will be a great weight off my mind when these boats are all fully operational with captains, mates and chefs and can be kept properly maintained and loved all year. The first major job was to finish the interior paint out- the boats originally were finished inside just in their natural yellow Kevlar color becasue the Volvo racers wanted everything as light as humanly possible and the weight of the paint is totally unnecessary- for them…. For us however the paint represents a useful wipe clean surface and the reflected light it delivers into the interior is highly beneficial ?as that well known saying goes:
“Too many days in a cave-like race boat interior makes Jack a plate-eyed troglodyte.”
The next big problem to overcome was the running rigging. These Open 60 and Volvo 60 boats use a mile of rope each ? like literally one mile, so getting the right rope and making that rope affordable is a big deal to us especially when we have need for (Gulp!) three miles of rope across the fleet. To solve the problem we met with the extraordinarily helpful people at Pelican Ropes in Long Beach and discussed with them how to step up out of the realm of casual buyer and gain the benefits that come with ordering larger quantities. Now, before you all rush out to negotiate such deals with your rope manufacturer let me tell you- the phrase ‘larger quantities’ starts at about 2400ft or 1000m so its unlikely you can reap much benefit by trying to harangue Marlow, Pelican or Samson for a hefty discount if you tell them you are rerigging your entire C&C 35 BUT if you and your mates got together?? well?.. there?s an idea:)
Anyway, Pelican didn?t have exactly the line to fit our needs but they gave us an interesting option- why we didn?t we design exactly the rope we wanted to buy and they would build it for us. Lets just say our rigger Mr Dagenais-Gaw who was there with me instantly required new kevlar pants. And so it is that SRT rope has come into being: it’s ? inch or 12.7mm in diameter with a coated 12 strand core that makes for easy splicing and the ability to easily use the core for lashings. The line max’s out at 19,000lb or 8800kg breaking strain and is mostly black with colored flecks in it to represent the branding on the Spartan boats. The whole deal (3600ft fro now!) was cheaper than buying from West Marine and we have exaclty what we want for our boats- what’s not to love?