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Old 20-06-2016, 10:30   #1
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All black lines?

I am considering a large spool of black line to make all my halyards and both topping lifts(cutter ketch) I have hank on sails and it's easy to see where each line runs.
I have asked my friends and they have differing opinions so? ugly, bad idea, unsafe or it doesn't really matter?
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Old 20-06-2016, 10:46   #2
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Re: All black lines?

How well do the winches grip the rope? How well do you grip it? How strong is the rope? Will the rope degrade quickly in strength in the sun? What about when its wet? Is the line stretchy or high modulus?

Boats sailed for centuries with hemp line. Just my opinion but if you want to go cheap it will probably work but the results will likely not be as good as regular sailing line - your formosa is a big heavy boat with big sails.

It COULD result in a safety issue... for example a halyard or sheet snapping at the most inopportune time.
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Old 20-06-2016, 10:48   #3
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Re: All black lines?

Most coloured lines that I've tried, including the new high tech lines, fade after a couple of months exposed to UV. IMHO black lines are not ugly. If you are the one sailing your boat and know where each line leads then no big deal but if you're having lots of guests aboard you my get tied shouting 'no not that one, the other black one on the left'.
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Old 20-06-2016, 11:08   #4
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Re: All black lines?

Zboss-Proper line for halyards, only cheaper for buying a large spool.

Fading is a concern appearance wise. I read that black lasted longer than other colors? That may not be true I don't know.
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Old 20-06-2016, 11:21   #5
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Re: All black lines?

I have lines of different colors. When sailing I can tell which is which at a glance. That helps a lot, especially when I have guests aboard. Colored line does seem to get a bit chalky after a few years. I assume that the line you are looking at is from a reputable manufacturor. One other consideration: on my boat the size of different lines varies. For example, the topping lift is less diameter than the halyard. I imagine that you could also look for different characteristics in different lines. Again, the halyards might have less stretch than other lines. One spool might not fit all. Other than that, it seems a question of personal preference.
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Old 20-06-2016, 11:40   #6
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Re: All black lines?

I have worked on a few boats with every line the same color, I absolutely hate it. Yes you save a few bucks on a spool versus buying individual lengths, but don't do it. Black lines are fine, no issue at all with a black line or two, but you need the color coding to help identify which line you are grabbing.

As an example, my jib sheets are green, when there is a big pile of line together if I need to trim the jib I just have to clear the solid green line... My spin sheets are red, so when I need to trim the spin I can grab the red line.

Halyard lines are red flecked and green flecked, I bet you can identify which sail they go to without me telling you.

Mainsail sheets are blue, what color is the main halyard? I'll give you a hint, it's flecked not solid.

By breaking lines down by color it then becomes trivial to tell someone to release the 'blue flecked line on that clutch bank. Try doing that if they are all the same color.

At an absolute minimum try buying half spools in different colors, then dedicating one color per sail, jib one color, main one, etc. it's not quite as good, but it's a start.
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Old 20-06-2016, 12:52   #7
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Re: All black lines?

That might be a problem when all lines are run to cockpit, thou it's a mess anyway but having them same colour it's a must to have them properly coiled. Not a problem with sheets only to cockpit..
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Old 20-06-2016, 13:39   #8
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Re: All black lines?

The line on my furler is black and has been for ten years. If it has been bleached by the sun, I can't detect it.


FWIW, I prefer different color lines for everything. This is very helpful if you are sailing with someone else on board and you need to ID which line they should work with.
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Old 20-06-2016, 21:13   #9
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Re: All black lines?

Always use white line for a boat. Manufacturers put their floor sweepings into the hopper when they make black lines. Watch how they deteriorate.
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Old 20-06-2016, 21:29   #10
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Re: All black lines?

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Originally Posted by Seymore View Post
Always use white line for a boat. Manufacturers put their floor sweepings into the hopper when they make black lines. Watch how they deteriorate.
Almost without exception, all of the multi-million-dollar super yachts that come to Auckland moor with black line. I wonder if they know that?

FYI, I have a friend that is full-on color blind. Sailing with him as crew is a nightmare because all the lines look the same to him. A one-color rig is no different.

The supplier I buy line from gives me a discount dependant on the total length I buy at one time. So ten different colours is no different in price to one spool of the same length. You should discuss this with your supplier.

And the earlier comment that different lines are different sizes and different characteristics is also very relevant to me. Whatever the savings they are not worth the down-sides
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Old 20-06-2016, 22:29   #11
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Re: All black lines?

It would frustrate the hell out of me.. If ever you have crew on board its much easier to simply say "pull/release the red one". Rather than trying to explain where every like goes.
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Old 20-06-2016, 22:36   #12
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Re: All black lines?

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
Almost without exception, all of the multi-million-dollar super yachts that come to Auckland moor with black line. I wonder if they know that?

FYI, I have a friend that is full-on color blind. Sailing with him as crew is a nightmare because all the lines look the same to him. A one-color rig is no different.

The supplier I buy line from gives me a discount dependant on the total length I buy at one time. So ten different colours is no different in price to one spool of the same length. You should discuss this with your supplier.

And the earlier comment that different lines are different sizes and different characteristics is also very relevant to me. Whatever the savings they are not worth the down-sides
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Old 21-06-2016, 04:23   #13
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Re: All black lines?

Problem with black line vs. white for docklines, the black loses its strength sooner. We don't use nylon rode for halyards, preferring a lower stretch type of line for that application. The black looks lovely, kinda sexy, but is really vulnerable, and stretchy line is not the best for halyards. Bottom line is that I wouldn't do it, i think you will be dissatisfied with the results. Look for some other type of deal with your line peddler. If your total running rigging is greater than the length of a reel of one color, perhaps you can get him/her to give you reel price for a combination of colors of all the same tiype of rope. This has worked for us in the past.

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Old 21-06-2016, 06:57   #14
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Re: All black lines?

I use and love colored lines and the do fade and it doesn't destroy the purpose of having color coded line.. especially for the frequently used ones.

I have the spinnaker halyard, pole lift both black... the spinnaker sheets fuzzy green... and the main sheets red. Reefing lines are color coded as well... first reef blue, deep reef red and green.

White and flecked white lines are hard to distinguish. The color is well worth the expense. They last a very long time... faded... who cares?

Dock lines are braid on braid black nylon... the spring as red fleck... they are fine... don't show dirt as white ones.

Main sheet is black with flecks if I recall correctly.
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Old 21-06-2016, 06:59   #15
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Re: All black lines?

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Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
It would frustrate the hell out of me.. If ever you have crew on board its much easier to simply say "pull/release the red one". Rather than trying to explain where every like goes.

Of course this makes sense... but heck... who wants people who don't get it fiddling with control lines?
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