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Colligo Marine spotlight with Neal Petersen

by Colligo Marine 7 Aug 2021 13:16 PDT

"Innovation must lead to lasting improvement, reduction in cost and increased reliability. I trust what I get from John and his team at Colligo meets my threshold for this in their products and services. I will always promote good products to smart people who quickly realize opportunities." - Neal Petersen, Author, Adventurer, Business Keynote Speaker

Meet Neal Petersen

Meet Neal Petersen, an internationally known motivational speaker, award-winning author, visionary and entrepreneur with an amazing story. He was born in South Africa where he had to overcome adversity, and a physical disability. He was born with one hip joint and doctors said that he would not be able to walk. However, he proved them wrong!

At an early age, Neal found his passion for sailing. He was inspired by the book Sailing Alone Around the World by Captain Joshua Slocum. Through Neal's unwavering persistence and passion, he became a skillful sailor. He loved the experience so much that he decided to design and build his own boat and begin his solo racing career. In 1994 Neal entered the BOC challenge - a 27,000 mile yacht race, 9 months around the world, ALONE in the smallest boat, his cold-molded 38ft- which he lengthened to 40ft. He was dismasted in a fierce storm in the Southern Ocean. In 1998, Neal entered the Around Alone Yacht Race and was able to accomplish his dream of racing solo around the world, not to prove others were wrong - but to prove he was right to dream.

As an international keynote speaker, Neal empowers organizations globally to turn disadvantages into advantages and set-backs into opportunities through his life story. Feel free to check out more on Neal Petersen's story at

Relationship with Colligo Marine

Neal contacted John Franta, Colligo Marine's owner, to begin exploring how to make the changes on his boat. He started following Colligo Marine on social media and not only saw a good product, but one supported by a steward of society. Neal explains that he does business with people who have integrity and stand behind their products, but also good ethics and values.

Neal and his team were doing a major restoration due to damage that was incurred by two hurricanes. Neal needed to work things into his budget and timeline. An opportunity opened for Neal to to pick up the rigging from Colligo Marine and bring it back with him. Being that Neal had a limited time, Colligo Marine had all their answers for length and thickness, and agreed on attachment methods. Neal explains, "John was always there to work with me. I was able to do all the re-rigging myself while at anchor."

Neal and his team replaced the cap shrouds and the intermediates. With the new material they were able to remove a significant quantity of weight out of the rig, for the same dimension as wire, but increased their breaking strength three fold. They chose not to go with turnbuckles, but the block and tackle method, and this made tensioning easy for them.

The system John designed for Neal's set up is so simple, that he did not need a rigger. The product life cycle is the same as wire and when it comes to replacing the standing rigging after 7 to 8 years, Neal's expenses will be less. When they sailed the boat and Neal was able to easily tension up the lee side, then tack and tension the new lee side and got his mast exactly how he wanted it tuned. They explained that they had no creep.

For this refit we wanted to improve comfort and increase performance. We (Colligo Marine) offers weight savings aloft, failure point reduction, ease of installation and ease of inspection. We have reduced the number of potential failure points in the rig and improved their ability to inspect every aspect with the naked eye.

"Self reliance is invaluable and the Colligo system significantly increased this for me. It's proven success!" - Neal Petersen

For more visit

Neal's Current Plans

Currently, Neal is building a new company to encompass the post Covid world as a means of lifting people up.

Neal's catamaran is a composite semi custom design by Geoff Schoinning. In 2018, he underwent a major refit that included extending the transoms 2 feet to add more buoyancy astern as he increased the size of their tender and outboard engine, and put solar on the tenders arch. He needed to remove any excess weight where he could. He found some of that reduction from the rig, but also, he no longer had the loose leeward shrouds, due to the dux standing rigging. After the refit, he saw an improvement in overall performance and comfort. His goal is to leave the Caribbean after 2 decades and sail the Pacific.

"Investment is about seizing good opportunities and knowing when to make old systems redundant. I think the rigging industry may face challenges by being too slow to adapt, but the market will drive the changes. Creative sailors will make the adaptations." - Neal Petersen, Author, Adventurer, Business Keynote Speaker

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