Marlow Ropes Q&A Blog with Leading French rigger Yves Marie Pilon
September 21, 2018 | posted by Jon Mitchell
Marlow Ropes have worked with leading French rigger Yves Marie Pilon for a number of years, and are delighted to work with him to rig some of the top skippers and elite race teams in France including Marie Gendron and her Mini Transat, 470 French Sailors Kevin Peponnet and Jeremie Mion, and Team Lorina who recently won the French Voile.
Ahead of Le Grand Pavois, La Rochelle, we caught up with Yves Marie to find out more about his work with the leading sailors. Yves Marie will be joining us during Le Grand Pavois La Rochelle for daily splicing demonstrations at 2pm and 5pm. Join us on stand O-34.
- Yves-Marie, please tell us about your background
I have been sailing since my childhood, starting out in the Optimist dinghy class. Here was where I learnt my seamanship and rope technique skills. At the moment I am sailing in TP 52 on Paprec Recyclage (since 2013) and also in match racing with Maxime Mesnil, where we are currently 5th on the world ranking.
I have had a rope workshop in Lorient for 1 year and prepare the highest quality ropes possible for sailing dinghies or sailing boats.
- When and why do you use Marlow Ropes products?
I use and buy only Marlow products and have done since 2011. I have been in direct contact with Marlow since 2016.
I think that Marlow does not compromise on quality and simply seeks to provide suitable ropes for every leisure marine application. Marlow is transparent about the composition of it’s products and that is what convinced me at first, they do not use a mix of materials in the core, which for me is a very important quality assurance. I appreciate that they do not mix Dyneema with other fibres to lower the price.
Some competitors’ ropes have very thick sheaths and a fine Dyneema core, in order to reduce the cost of rope. However, with Marlow, if the sheath is very thick it is to create a rope for a specific application such as the Excel Fusion or Matrix. Their ropes have a shorter braiding pitch which is an indication of quality and the wear resistance is greater than competitors. Marlow are known for their reliability and as a rigger, working with Marlow and their customer service is always easy.
I love the Marlow Grand Prix range because it allows me to choose exactly the mix of materials that I want and it is a very easy service to use. It makes it possible to create a very extreme rope for a specific use.
- Are there any products that you have particular feedback about?
The D12 is pretty amazing and very versatile. The quality of its’ braiding and size allows it to be very resistant to friction when used in deck hoists. Inside the cover it is particularly resistant to friction and can withstand multiple turns and work cycles in the pulleys. The lifespan of this product is excellent and better than others on the market.
MGP Furler 50 (24plait, Dyneema core) is really magic for the dinghies because it remains flexible. The cover has good grip and is hard on the winch blocks – having these two qualities in the same piece of rope is very rare.
The Excel Fusion is also quite special, and well suited for its intended use.
- Yves Marie, please tell us about the work you have done with winning skippers and French sailing teams
470 Peponnet / Mion
This is the first time I have worked on a 470, the crew used to choose and prepare all their ropes themselves. We have worked together to get the right lines for the boat and I proposed recommendations. The main objective was to reduce elongation, improve maintenance in the cleats and reduce friction in the hoists. We also wanted to increase the resistance of the cores, covers and thus the reliability.
Some of their small control lines are from the MGP range. We also use D12 max99 and the bungees now have the Dyneema cover.
The spinnaker halyard system is very specific in 470 and it can be difficult to maintain efficiency and ease of use. A custom MGP rope combined with specific seamanship skills and Dyneema allowed us to obtain a powerful new halyard.
I stepped in last year (2017) when they were not very happy with the Marlow Ropes they already had. I helped them to choose new, better adapted lines and after having already sailed in Diam 24 on the Tour de France in 2016 with my own ropes, I had a good idea of what is needed.
I developed all the standing and running rigging for Marie and her Mini 6,50 using D12Max SK99 and DM20. The MGP range makes it possible to manufacture halyards that are very strong and very thin and with little elongation. With Marlow we engineered a D12max SK99 core, (colour matched with the cover), with a cover made from Technora 75% and polyester 25%. This has been an interesting project on the Mini 6,50 and resulted in a very stiff and solid core, with a very strong cover that grips well in the blocks.