Sweden’s Seldén is a big player in rigging. NauticExpo e-magazine discussed current trends and likely future developments with director of marketing Mats-Uno Fredriksson.
Since sailing is a very gear-intensive activity, continual development is crucial. This includes boat design, deck hardware, electronics and clothing. Ongoing changes cover every aspect of boating. The rigging is one of the most important and expensive elements of a sailboat. Since sailors spend a lot of time and energy handling sails, we wondered how new rigging features meet their needs.
NauticExpo e-magazine: What were the most fundamental changes in rigging over the last ten years?
Mats-Uno Fredriksson: The use of downwind sails with furling systems is booming. Top-down furling for gennakers and Code 0 sails with furlers have reached the market. The Code 0 is an ideal addition to modern boats with jibs and no genoa.
NE e-magazine: How do these changes affect the way we race and cruise, and the sailing experience in general?
Fredriksson: I would say it’s mostly about more speed and happier crews. The top-down gennaker furler is mainly a cruising product, but the furlable Code 0 is used both by cruisers and racers. Both make for fast, easy sailing.
NE e-magazine: How important are non-metal materials like Dyneema, Spectra and carbon in the development of new products?
Fredriksson: Carbon products have been around for 20 years, and we are one of many manufacturers. It’s a niche product. It’s very expensive compared to aluminum, but unrivalled for stiffness and low weight. For a serious racing sailor, carbon is the way to go. But for the major part of the market—the cruisers—carbon can’t compete with aluminum. Dyneema and similar materials are really taking over from polyester line in running rigging. Dyneema core is also very common for runners and backstays nowadays.
NE e-magazine: What do you think the next decade will bring?
Fredriksson: We will see an increasing focus on convenient sail handling solutions. For example, electric headsail furlers, furling masts and winches.