Image credits: LOOP Products
LOOP Products are a German firm who pride themselves in sailing hardware innovation. Formed in 2005, the LOOP Products range is the brainchild of Kohlhoff GmbH – to learn more, read our previous blog here.
In this blog we look at the trend towards lightweight, flexible sheet lead solutions and why the LOOP Woggle is working its way to the top of the pack in high load situations.
Flexible, adaptable line / sheet leads
Sheet deflectors, tweaker lines, barber haulers, in-hauls, outhauls… there are many applications onboard which require a loaded line to be deflected, to achieve the correct sail clew location or lead into a cleat.
Image Credit Paul Kohlhoff
With the introduction of single braid Dyneema® and low friction thimbles, creating lightweight systems to optimise your line angles has never been easier. Single braid Dyneema® is super strong and very quick and simple to splice. The low friction thimble is spliced into the end of the lead line and the loaded sheet/line is run through the centre. These systems are so light that they can be permanently installed, so they are always available to make minor adjustments to optimise trim.
Regardless of what you actually call them, lash thimbles, ferrules, low friction thimbles are really useful for relatively low load applications because they are small and lightweight. As loads increase however, a better strength to weight ratio can be achieved using low friction, solid rings. Here the lead line is spliced to the ring and the load line then runs through the centre.
Ronstan Thimble Karver Titanium Ring
The downside with rings is that they have a relatively small contact area with the loaded line, and a relatively tight radius which has a couple of implications: a) it is quite an aggressive contact surface which can lead to rope damage and b) the loaded line can grip onto the inside surface of the ring increasing friction.
Enter the LOOP Woggle
To combat these obvious downsides, as load line increase, LOOP Products developed the LOOP Woggle. This is a classic example of the type of cool, niche products which are often developed within the marine industry.
The LOOP® Woggle is a heavy duty sheet deflector made of hard anodised aluminium. They are available in 5 different sizes and different shapes for SWL from 1000 – 6000 kg and control lines from 10-14mm. See the table below.
The simple secret to the LOOP Woggle is its length and gentle internal radius.
The increased contact surface reduces point loading and damage to the rope. Whilst you might think that this larger surface would increase the friction, the gentle radius actually provides a much better surface for the loaded line to run over. The interesting thing with a Dyneema® covered line is that friction actually reduces as load increases. The exact reasons why, are best left to the material scientists, but the result is that under higher load the longer contact area allows the Woggle to slide over the line more efficiently than through a ring with a large internal radius.
One unique application of the LOOP Woggle, that we are aware of, is on some TP52 forestays. These high-performance composite fibre forestays are built with a Woggle permanently installed on the cable. It is free to slide up and down the cable but constrained by the end fittings.
Its purpose: it acts as a tack shuttle. The tack of the headsail is attached to the Woggle and once the sail is hoisted a tack line is used to adjust the luff tension in the sail i.e. it acts as a floating tack.
Even with the very high sheet loads, the woggle ensures that the composite cable is undamaged, and it will actually move up and down the stay, under load.
The LOOP Woggle is a simple, clever, cool little product which has evolved to make the most of modern materials and create lightweight onboard systems.
More information or need a quote?
If you have any questions about sheet deflectors or you would like to get help with any aspects of the deck layout of your boat, you can contact us at email@example.com or via our Contact Us form here