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Hall Spars NZ rig all three new Pac 52's with next generation mast

by Annaleis Shearer on 31 Jan 2017
- Invisible Hand on sea trials in the Hauraki Gulf, January 2017 Darren McManaway
Hall Spars & Rigging New Zealand has been selected by three of the four founders of the new USA-based Pac 52 racing class to design and manufacture the rigs for their new builds; Invisible Hand, Rio, and Bad Pak.

The masts represent the next generation in mast design from Hall Spars & Rigging New Zealand and result in improved performance.

“We are working to build a grand prix big boat class on the USA’s West Coast, so the boats have to be state-of-the-art but also measured so they can race boat-for-boat and not on handicap,” says Frank Slootman, owner, Invisible Hand, and one of the founder of the new class.

Established in 2016, the Pac 52 class use a TP 52 hull but have been modified with a taller rig, deeper keel and lighter engine for a reduced total weight. Some of the class, including Invisible Hand, are designed and built to also be offshore capable for races such as the Transpacific Yacht Race (Transpac). Existing TP 52s can be modified to fit into the Pac 52 box rule, measure in and race with the new boats.

“Hall Spars & Rigging New Zealand is top shelf and we needed top shelf to achieve our goal,“ says Slootman.


“The rigs fitted to the Pac 52s represent our next generation of mast which drive significant performance gains on the water,” says Dave Ridley, operations manager, Hall Spars & Rigging New Zealand. “Using an in-house technique, we are able to computer model sails onto a mast and test sail the boat before it is even made. This has led to the development of a stiffer lower section and a faired mast bend – the key to improved efficiency”.

“Invisible Hand has performed very well in New Zealand-based sea trials,” adds Ridley.

“Rio’s mast is in progress and will go to Dubai in February, while the rig for Bad Pak will go directly to California the following month. Several of the Hall Spars New Zealand team will fly to California for further sea trials and to step the masts for both Rio and Bad Pak”.


“Hall Spars New Zealand’s commitment to supporting the development of the Pac 52 class has been key – they have not treated this as just another spar project,” says Slootman. “Rather, they have embraced the brand, class and what we are working to achieve”.

“The existing Super Series boats have a specific and narrow design charter so we had to differentiate our variant both in term of brand ('Pac 52') and range of racing whether that is inshore or offshore,” says Slootman. “The offshore races involve long downwind tracks so the boats have to feature rigs, sail plans and stability that can take advantage of this”.

Hall Spars & Rigging New Zealand’s next generation masts are made from ultra-high modulus with the latest internal fittings made from lightweight materials and 3D-printed titanium. The masts have five locks and two locks in the high modulus boom for reefing.


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