Carbon Rigging – Q & A: Hall Seamless Carbon Rigging (SCR)

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Our Carbon Rigging Q&A session continues this week with the following 10 questions posed to Hall Spars Inc., based in Rhode Island, USA.  Hall Spars, alongside their mast production, produces Seamless Carbon Rigging or SCR as it is more commonly known.

Rigging News: What is your product called?
Hall Spars: Hall Seamless Carbon Rigging (SCR). Hall SCR is available in round and SCR Airfoil. Additionally, SCR Airfoil is available in both continuous and discontinuous configurations.

RN: What are its applications?
HS: Sidestays, backstays, headstays, bobstays, tie rods.

RN:Where do you produce your rigging?

HS:SCR is constructed in Hall’s U.S. factory, located in Bristol, RI.

RN:What is the construction method?

HS:Hall SCR rod is solid carbon fiber, not bundled rods or loose fibers. Solid construction means that every fiber is linked together for maximum strength. There’s no need for an external sheath, so SCR can be painted or treated with clear-coat.
The proprietary construction process of Hall SCR (for which patents are pending) begins with pre-preg, unidirectional carbon fiber. The resin used is identical to our mast resins, and is supplied to our exact specifications. Our expertise with pre-pregs has proven instrumental in creating strong products with long life expectancy.
Using a computer-controlled process, the unidirectional fibers are wrapped in a continuous circuit, under precise tension, between two spools, creating the exact length of the stay. This process completes a discrete number of revolutions around the spools, laying the appropriate amount of carbon corresponding to the strength requirements of the stay. Keys to this process are Hall’s unique ability to align the fibers so they remain perfectly straight and the tight circuit due to our extremely narrow spool diameter.
After this process is complete, each end of the stay is fed through its end fitting. A small, CNC-created carbon-fiber wedge is set inside the loop end of the carbon fibers, and the stay/wedge is pulled securely into the end fitting. During the cure process, the carbon wedge combines with the unidirectional carbon fibers to create a seamless cone that fills the inside of the fitting. The simple elegance of this carbon-fiber cone is the key to SCR’s strength and is what allows us to use some of the smallest, yet strongest, end fittings available for composite rigging.
Prior to curing, the full length of the carbon stay is compacted in the same manner as our spars to ensure there is no air between the fibers. Finally, the stay is cured either round or in an Airfoil shape in an oven. The cure cycle is also identical to that used to construct our Seamless carbon masts.
Each stay is then proof tested to 150% of its MWL. After proof testing, all stays (except headstays) are coated either with clear Awlgrip or optional Awlgrip color.

RN:What are the benefits of that method?
HS: Our construction method ensures the carbon fibers remain straight. Straight fibers are key to
carbon strength. Solid construction also eliminates the possibility of trapped air and/or moisture
issues. And, because SCR is sold carbon, it resists damage from abrasion and impact in all but the
most extreme cases of mishandling.
In addition, Hall SCR uses only titanium connections with the carbon rod. Titanium’s inertness
prevents dissimilar metal rusting that results, for instance, when carbon is mated with stainless
steel. And at half the weight, Hall’s titanium end fitting are extremely small and compact when
compared to others on the market.
The benefits of the SCR Airfoil shape are quantifiable. In wind tunnel tests, SCR Airfoil averages
50% less drag than SCR round, and even less drag when compared to jacketed, composite
rigging (PBO and bundled carbon products).

RN:How long does it last in a lateral rigging capacity?
HS:Hall SCR has an extremely long life expectancy. The current maintenance schedule for Hall SCR calls for an annual visual inspection, and a full inspection (with rigging removed from the mast) after five years. The full maintenance schedule extends out 10 years.
Hall SCR round rod has Germanischer Lloyd (GL) Type Approval through a range of sizes. SCR’s promise of long life was confirmed by GL’s stringent 100,000 cycle fatigue test performed at
GL-stipulated maximum working loads (MWL).

RN: Your biggest boat?
HS: Baltic 112 Nilaya

RN: Your smallest boat?

HS: Evelyn 32 Bluto

RN:Which boat stands out from the crowd/most memorable and why?
HS: The first boat rigged with SCR Airfoil is the Mills 68 Alegre. Following the switch to SCR Airfoil, they dominated the 2010 season, with podium finishes at the Rolex Maxi Regatta, Copa del Rey, the Giraglia Cup, Rolex Capri Week, Regate Pirelli, and Palma Vela. In 2011, they won again at Giraglis and Palma Vela, and finished third in the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Any additional info you would like to share?

HS:The reliability of Hall SCR rigging is proven on the race course and in the blue-water miles covered by Hall-rigged boats both large and small.

Vela Veloce (SC52) was retrofit with a full set of SCR Airfoil in late 2010. In January 2011 they won their class at Key West Race Week. The next month they won the 600-mile RORC Caribbean 600 Race. 

The Baltic 112 Nilaya was launched in 2010 with full set of SCR. Following its launch in Finland, Nilaya has completed two Atlantic crossings and won the SuperMaxi division of the 2011 Rolex Maxi Cup.

The RP 65 Zaraffa upgraded to SCR and won their division of the 2011 Transatlantic Race.

SCR Continuous Airfoil

Hall’s SCR Airfoil continuous rigging is made by fusing the vertical and diagonal shroud elements to form a single, homogeneous piece of side rigging. We’ve completely eliminated the spreader hardware and stay terminals, reducing the windage and weight of the standing rigging package to its absolute minimum. The low-profile rigging shape as it passes through the spreader allows us to offer a minimum size, elegant spreader tip design.

Retrofit to Your Existing Mast

With Hall’s SCR Retrofit package, you get the SCR performance upgrade without any mast or spreader re-work. Hall offers SCR Retrofit packages for Navtec and other brand stainless rod rigging. The system is plug-and-play; simply remove the existing rod rigging and install our SCR package (including replacement tip cups) in the existing mast and spreaders. New rods can be installed in a matter of hours.

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