Fibreglass vs Carbon Fibre: Which Tender Mooring Whips should you choose?

In this article, we will explore the key factors to consider when deciding between fibreglass and carbon fibre tender mooring whips.

Motor yacht Coral Ocean with her tender

Above: M/Y Coral Ocean with Shipyard Supply Co. Fibreglass Mooring Whips

Tender Mooring Whips for Yachts

Both fibreglass and carbon fibre are suitable choices for manufacturing tender mooring whips capable of supporting large loads.

Creating a secure and stable connection between two vessels, super-strength mooring whips allow a tender to be kept in an easily deployable position whilst minimising the risk of collisions, jolts, or damage from excessive movement.

Carbon Fibre Tender Mooring Whips

Renowned for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio and unparalleled flexibility, carbon fibre has swiftly become the optimum material for constructing mooring whips for superyachts.

Unlike conventional materials such as steel or aluminium, carbon fibre remarkably balances rigidity and elasticity. This unique characteristic allows carbon fibre mooring whips to withstand considerable tension and lateral forces exerted by water currents and wind while flexing to accommodate the movement of the vessel.

The effectiveness of carbon fibre lies in its structural composition. Comprised of tightly woven carbon strands bonded together with resin, this composite material offers extraordinary tensile strength, making it resilient against stretching or snapping under pressure. Simultaneously, its inherent flexibility ensures that the whips can absorb shocks and movements without compromising their integrity.

The marriage of strength and flexibility in carbon mooring whips ensures the moored vessel’s safety and security, and minimises wear and tear on both the tender and mothership.

Moreover, the lightweight nature of carbon fibre enhances the ease of handling and installation, making it a preferred choice for crew.

Fibreglass Tender Mooring Whips

Fibreglass is a composite material made of glass fibres embedded in a resin matrix. It has gained prominence in the marine industry due to its impressive strength and saltwater resistance. 

Moreover, one of fibreglass’s standout features in the context of mooring whips is its low thermal conductivity. This property means that fibreglass resists conducting heat or cold, reducing the transfer of temperature fluctuations from the surrounding environment to the mooring whip. This quality prevents potential damage caused by extreme temperatures, ensuring the stability and longevity of the whips in almost any weather condition.

In essence, fibreglass tender mooring whips represent a smart and reliable solution for boat owners seeking durable, resilient, and cost-effective systems for smaller vessels. 

Above: Shipyard Supply Co. Fibreglass Mooring Whips

Visual appeal

Fibreglass and carbon fibre have distinct physical appearances. Fibreglass typically has a flat colour – which at Shipyard Supply Co, we can match to any RAL colour of your choice. 

On the other hand, carbon fibre has a unique and visually appealing woven finish that is visible under a clear coat resin. The woven pattern of carbon fibre gives it a sleek, high-end look, often associated with strength and performance. This visible pattern adds a level of sophistication and aesthetic appeal to carbon fibre products.

Above: Shipyard Supply Co. Carbon Fibre Mooring Whips

Fibreglass vs Carbon Fibre Comparison Table

PropertiesFibreglassCarbon Fibre
StrengthGood strength; withstands tension and bending wellExceptionally high strength, superior tensile strength and rigidity
FlexibilityModerately flexibleHighly flexible, excellent elasticity
DurabilityDurable, withstands impacts and harsh marine conditionsHighly durable, resistant to wear and corrosion
WeightRelatively heavier compared to carbon fibreLightweight, significantly lighter than fibreglass
CostGenerally more cost-effective compared to carbon fibreHigher cost due to advanced manufacturing and superior properties
MaintenanceModerate maintenance requirementsLow-maintenance, less prone to degradation
Whip sizes4m | 5m5m | 6m
Rated to4,000 kg | 7,000 kg8,000 kg | 12,000 kg

The origins of fibreglass and carbon fibre

Fibreglass, also known as glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), was first developed in the late 1930s when a team of researchers at Owens-Illinois Glass Company discovered that weaving strands of glass into a fabric and then reinforcing it with a plastic resin could create a strong and lightweight material.

Fibreglass gained popularity during World War II when it was used in the production of aircraft and military equipment. In construction, fibreglass is commonly used for insulation, roofing, and as a reinforcement material for concrete structures.

Carbon fibre came a little later. First developed in the 1960s by researchers at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) in the United Kingdom, it was also a popular choice for meeting the needs of aerospace applications, such as wings, fuselage sections, and structural reinforcements.

Have questions not answered here?

Speak to our team.

%d bloggers like this: