A new twist...

Southern Spas

Southern Spars’ new ECtorque system has the capability to revolutionise cable headstay furling systems

Southern Spars and Composite Rigging, world leaders in composite spars, rigging and marine components, introduce ECtorque, a revolutionary headstay with pre-designed torque for roller-furling systems on yachts up to 120ft. ECtorque utilises Composite Rigging’s industry-leading ECsix carbon rigging in a furling headstay cable, completely replacing the need for a conventional system of headstay and foil. With ECtorque, headsails are hanked onto the stay rather than grooved in a foil.

Among the many benefits ECtorque reduces furling lag to a minimum due to the pre-designed torque, reduces weight and windage aloft by removing the headfoil, and costs as much as 15 per cent less than a conventional foiled system.

ECtorque is also the fastest furling stay in the world, with lag at the head reduced by up to 15 seconds compared with competing furling cables by eliminating at least 12 ‘start-up’ rotations. By dispensing with a traditional foil system, ECtorque is more than 50 per cent lighter than a conventional system with as little as one third of the aerodynamic drag.

ECtorque, the furling cable headstay, has many benefits compared to conventional headfoil furling systems:

  • 15 per cent lower cost than headfoil solutions
  • 51 per cent lighter than conventional foiled furling systems
  • 67 per cent less drag than conventional foiled furling systems
  • Furls headsails up to 15 seconds faster than other furling cables
  • The bundle of carbon-fibre rods gives the stay great durability, impact resistance and bending and compression tolerance
  • Longest stay life currently available
  • Stay flexibility allows for ease of use and storage • For use with all leading furling systems

‘Our ECtorque headstay is extremely convenient for furling, has the efficiency of a racing stay and the reliability of ECsix carbon rigging all in a single, economical package,’ said Stephane Luca, captain of the all-carbon 108-footer Inouï.

ECtorque can claim the same DNA as ECsix carbon rigging. Since 2003 ECsix rigging itself has been installed on more than 500 rigs, from 11ft Moth foilers to superyachts in excess of 200ft. ECsix rigging has successfully withstood the rigours of global ocean racing during the Volvo Ocean Race and has already proved to last more than 10 years.

Like ECsix, ECtorque is constructed from a bundle of smalldiameter pultruded carbon-fibre rods. This multiple rod construction delivers great impact, bending and compression stress resistance, and maximum safety. Even if strands are damaged by impact, the bundle ensures the stay remains strong. In fact, up to 25 per cent of the rods can be damaged without failure of the bundle. The bundle of rods also inhibits damage propagation, where a small crack in a large solid carbon rod can grow and necessitate complete replacement.

ECtorque stands out from similar cables made of PBO, Kevlar or solid carbon rod because the engineers are able to design the bias in the torsion elements based on custom specifications. It is also flexible and doesn’t suffer from compression when slack. This flexibility allows the stay to be coiled for easy storage when the yacht is undergoing service.

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ECtorque can be fitted to all the world’s leading furling systems and is available in a range of sizes from –52 to –150. It is ideal for upgrades to existing yachts and new builds alike. With the elimination of the headfoil, ECtorque allows crews to switch from cruising to racing mode and back without having to spend time in the boatyard removing or replacing the headfoil.

‘After a full season of racing with ECtorque we can’t imagine still having to drag around the weight and windage of a furling foil,’ said Danny Gallichan, captain of the Wally 100 Magic Carpet3. ‘The ECtorque stay meets our furling requirements without sacrificing racing performance.’

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