Use of carbon fibre in stanchions
Yachting Australia recently considered the use of carbon fibre in stanchions and whether the limitations on its use should be applicable to cosmetic or decorative uses.
Boat owners and clubs are advised that Interpretation 6 which provided for this has been withdrawn effective from today. Until such time the Special Regulations are amended, carbon fibre shall not be used in pulpits, stanchions and lifelines.
The issue highlighted that there has been significant advancement of composite engineering and carbon fibre applications in the past 10 years. Carbon fibre is now used very extensively on boats as hulls, spars, rigging, sails, steering wheels, pedestals, tiller extensions and galley sinks – without any restrictions.
Investigations found that ISO 15085 for small craft man-overboard recovery systems does not restrict materials in the construction of stanchions and in doing so does not preclude the use of carbon fibre. The ISO 15085 does however provide deflection and ultimate failure loads for stanchions, defining the performance outcomes required of the equipment.
Yachting Australia is considering amending the wording of SR 3.12.7 to provide for the use of carbon fibre under certain conditions in accordance with ISO 15085. The detailed proposal can be found on the Yachting Australia website at /specialregs.