Image Credits: Gottifredi Maffioli
Family run, Italian rope makers, Gottifredi Maffioli, have an international reputation as one of the leading brands across the full spectrum of yachting lines from Olympic class dinghies, grand-prix TP52s and mini-maxis to the largest superyachts.
Led by their Technical Director, Luigi Maffioli, they have a vast range of very specialist cores and covers which have been carefully optimised for every possible rope application onboard. However, all this knowledge and experience has been condensed down into a well thought out, relatively small range of cruising lines which work across the full spectrum, from coastal day sailing to round the world performance cruising.
In this Blog we will take a look at this range in more detail and summaries the relative strengths of each line and their suitable applications
*All info is based on a 10mm diameter line. *Nominal 2019 RRP
Key Variables between products
The GM312 is the budget-oriented cruising line from Maffioli. Relative to the other options, The GM312 has a lower break strength. This lower strength means that for the same application, this line is working at a higher percentage of its Maximum Break Load (MBL) which impacts on product lifespan.
Lets take an example of a genoa sheet with a working load of 750kg: The GM312 (with an MBL of 1900kg) will be working at approx. 39% of its MBL. However, in the same application the Easytech (with an MBL of 3200kg) will be working at approx. 23% of its MBL. The greater the working load relative to MBL, the harder the line is working and the faster the line will fatigue. Therefore, in the same application a higher MBL line will generally last longer
Cover construction and Durability
Another key differentiator between the lines is the cover construction which plays a large part in determining abrasion resistance and general durability. A tighter, denser braid will be more resistant to abrasion. For example, technically on paper, the Easytech line looks like it would be more durable than the Silvertech due to the inclusion of the Gripower fibre added to the polyester cover. However, in fact, it is the much tighter braid of the Silvertech which means it will (generally) outperform the Easytech range. Some other manufacturers allude to the cover construction in their products names, e.g. referencing the number of carriers (16, 24 or 32) on the braiding machine, however with the Gottifredi Maffioli lines you have to rely on images or feel to understand the real differences between the lines.
Core material creates another primary variable. As with most manufacturers, the baseline core material for cruising lines is Polyester and Gottifredi Maffioli’s Polyester cores all undergo a special heat treatment, to create the High Tenacity (H.T.) Polyester, with a range of benefits such as increased strength, low elongation, increased durability and abrasion resistance. The top of the cruising range is dominated by Dyneema® for its high strength and remarkable durability but they cleverly use a blended Dyneema®/ Polypropylene core to bridge the gap, in both price and performance between the pure polyester and Dyneema® core materials.
GM312- A lightweight, budget orientated line with a lose cover which makes it very soft in the hand but limits its durability.
GM112- Falls between the very loose open braid of GM312 and T90 and has a large multi-purpose range. Only marginally cheaper than the T90, we find most customers prefer the performance.
T90- Low stretch and good abrasion resistance makes T90 & T912 the performance options in the pure Polyester range.
T912- A progression from T90, the T912 has the addition of a non-slip fibre in the cover to improve grip in halyard clutches.
Easytech – Together with Silvertech, these lines introduce a Dyneema blend in the core for that added performance while still being affordable cruising lines.
Silvertech – As discussed above the tight braided cover delivers an improvement in terms of abrasion resistance when compared to Easytech. This is a key mid-range performance cruising product for its all-round durability.
Softech – This is the top-end of Gottifredi Maffioli’s cruising specific products and acts as a cross-over to the Power range which is aimed at high-performance cruisers and racers. The uncoated Dyneema core gives high MBL but with a very soft feel, which is ideal for large cruising sheets.
For smaller boats and low use applications, the GM312 model is a good quality, affordable line. However, our primary all-round products would be T90 and Silvertech depending on the balance of individual project priorities between performance, durability and price. We would only tend to switch to Easytech or T912 to manage any specific halyard slippage issues.
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