Hello Dave. The lines for the ballooner have two specific peculiarities. First, they have a soft sheath on the outside which makes them easy and comfortable to use. Second, and most importantly, it is a fairly stretchy, by design, cordage.
Once while in La Rochelle conducting a sea trial in puffy wind, the alleged new Amel boat buyers were hard core racers who were very successful around the buoys and were now looking to expand their horizons. They wanted to sail around the world as fast as humanly possible. When the ballooner was set, they were annoyed that the clews would not stay exactly where they were set but moved a few inches as the puffs arrived. I explained to them what my Amel colleagues had told to me, these lines were the “shock absorbers” in the system. Much the same as a boxing glove taking much of the smack out of a punch, the stretchy lines took the pop out of the puffs and limited the shock loading of the fittings on the poles. They laughed this off.
They did not take the plunge and buy a new Amel boat during that occasion in La Rochelle. I did sell them a used one several years later and they changed the ballooner control lines to skinny ones that did not stretch at all. The only good things about that situation were that replacement female fittings on the end of the short poles were still available from the original OEM producer and they didn’t discard the original ballooner lines. Oh, and the skin on your hands grows back quickly.
All the best,
JOEL F. POTTER ~ CRUISING YACHT SPECIALIST, L.L.C.
The Experienced AMEL Guy
UNSURPASSED AMEL MARKETING EXPERIENCE AND PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE
Office 954-462-5869 Cell 954-812-2485
I am looking to create a new set of the blue,red,yellow downwind pole control lines and am looking for information about this type of line and it's sourcing. Bills book calls it 'Tempest' but I can't seem to find any online references to this type of line and do not recall seeing it in any chandleries. Does anyone know what brand it might be? Also more generally is this type of line used for this application for any specific reason (besides the pretty colors) ie it's stretch or shock absorption attributes, making it important to replace like with like or less ideally could other types of line be used?