Frequently asked questions

What is the advantage of switching from wire or rod to composite cables?

Composite cables are designed to match the equivalent stiffness properties of stainless steel Nitronic 50 rod, so they will perform in the same way but they are twice as strong and approximately 80% lighter!

What performance advantages do I gain?

One of the main advantages of composite rigging is the weight saving. A reduction in weight aloft will reduce the centre of gravity of the boat considerably and give it more stability. This will result in a reduction of pitching, rolling, increased speed / acceleration and a general improvement in comfort and safety.

How do I choose the right core fibre? offers three main core fibre materials: Kevlar®, Dyneema®, and PBO. The relative strengths and weakness of each fibre vary with different cable types and applications. Recommendations for applications of each fibre can be found in the detailed product pages

How do I choose the correct cable length? offers a range of fixed length cables, from 12 to 25m with 50cm increments. With furling cables and aft rigging, exact length is not usually critical and if you measure your cable and it doesn´t fit exactly within our offered lengths, we recommend to choose the closest, shortest length. Standing rigging is, on the other hand always length critical and we recommend you contact upffront to discuss your requirements.

How do I measure my cable?

The measurement needs to be taken from the pin centre (or bearing surface if it is a lash fitting) at either end of the cable with an accurate measuring tape. While measuring, we recommend you put the cable under a reasonable tensile load (preferably 5% of recommended safe working load SWL) in order to keep it straight. Measurements of the end terminations are also important, such as the pin diameter, distance from pin centre to the end of the fitting and fitting thickness. Please click here for more measurement information:

What is the life expectancy of my composite cable?

The longevity of a composite cable is dependent on the core material type, style of use / abuse (!) and number of miles travelled. However, in general we recommend you contact your local rigger after a period of 4 years for a detailed service inspection.

What happens if my composite cable suffers chafing or any other obvious damage?

The most important damage to look out for is core fibre exposure. As long as the braiding cover protects the core material from the environment, the cable will not be in danger of breaking. To prevent chafing we recommend to look out for all the areas where the cable is likely to come into contact with sheets, halyards or sails and protect the braided cover with an additional layer of heat shrink material. In case of serious cable damage, please contact your local rigger for a detailed inspection and repair.

What are the recommendations for cable maintenance?

A minimum of at least one annual inspection is required by a professional rigger for adequate cable maintenance.

What are the recommendations for cable storage?

If the cables are being stored off the boat for a period of time, we recommend to keep them coiled in a low humidity environment and preferably in one of our Upffront rigging bags to keep them clean and prevent abrasion damage.

My cable is too big for the Upffront standard range, what can I do?

In case Upffront does not offer the cable type and specification choice that you are looking for, please call or email us directly and we will prepare a custom quotation to meet your requirements.