A system is only as strong as its weakest point. It’s a universal truth that applies to many things in life, and certainly to the world of rope holding. A racing team that’s always looking to make performance gains, by upgrading sails, spars or rigging or rope-holding equipment, should also bear in mind that as each of these modifications stiffen the system, so the peak dynamic loads on the line increase. Something has to give, unless you take the necessary precautions.
When considering rope holding, it’s vital you look at both halves of the equation, because the grip on a rope is dependent in equal measure on the characteristics of the gripping surface and the surface being gripped. In the design and development of jammers and clutches you also need to make your assessments in the context of rope manufacturers’ continued development of fibre and braiding technologies.
Good partnerships with the rope manufacturers are critical to Spinlock being able to develop the best possible rope-holding products, as head of the Special Projects Team, Charlie Carter explains: ‘Spinlock enjoy close relations with all the major rope manufacturers to make sure the two fields develop in sympathy with one another, the objective being that the customer is able to hold the load he needs, on the line he chooses.