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Old 02-11-2014, 14:08   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Annapolis, MD
Boat: Sabre 34-1
Posts: 159
Asym Sheets

I got a new-to-me asym this summer, and have loved it. The issue is sheets -- I've been using lines from my pile of spares, and while they have done the job, this winter I'd like to get "proper" sheets.

On my 34' boat, my sheets need to be about 75 feet (each) to do an outside gybe, and they need to be 3/8" to work in my self-tailers. That's a LOT of line to work with! About 1/2 of the sheet (36 feet) is there for the gybe -- it's never loaded. And another 15 feet is always on the sail side of the winches, but heavily loaded.

This screams out for high tech line with the cover stripped off for 35' on one end and 15' on the other end, leaving 25' of thick rope. A sweet setup for someone on a racer's budget, but expensive overkill for a cruiser.

While conventional double-braid (Sta-Set, for instance) leaves a really sloppy, messy core if you strip the cover, I've seen a lot of discussion on jib furling lines about removing the core from Sta-Set. I've never seen or used one like that, so I don't know what to expect.

SO, MY QUESTION: Can anyone comment on removing the core from double braid dacron for the unloaded "tail" of asym sheets? I realize that the loaded end probably can't be treated this way.

And, can anyone recommend alternatives short of high tech? APS has quoted me just under $500 for a set of high tech tapered sheets -- NOT! Three other off-the-wall options:
* Buy 1/4 double braid and some 3/8 cover (or strip from some 3/8 double braid) and add cover to the working portion. I'm afraid it won't "stick" very well, and end up moving around and bunching up on the winch.
* Buy 1/4 or 5/16, and snake a piece of 1/8 flag halyard (or similar) through the center to bulk up a portion. I'm afraid that will be hard to do and make a very stiff line (like the line near an eye splice)
* Buy 3/8 for the working part, and work in a piece of 3/16 or 1/4 into the end of the 3/8 in essentially a "long splice." I don't think the "splice" would have the minimal strength needed.

I'm probably over-thinking this and need to just go buy 3/8 and get over it. But thoughts would be appreciated!

Rantum Scoot
'79 Sabre 34
Mill Creek, Annapolis
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Old 02-11-2014, 21:33   #2
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Re: Asym Sheets

You cannot strip dacron line. Well, you technically can, but there are major issues. First you will cut the stength of the line by about half, since dacron lines are designed to carry half the load in the core and half in the cover. Secondly the core isn't treated for uv protection, so the line will deteriorate much faster than normal. Third, the core isn't woven in such a way to maximize chaff protection so the line will wear faster.

So while it's technically possible, no you really can't.

While stripping something like endurabraid is certainly the best option, and I think you are getting ripped off on price, there is another option.

Buy the right Amsteel for the load, then splice the cover piece from whatever junk lines you can find. Just strip the cover, toss the core and splice it in place. It won't have the nice pretty look of all new lines, but it will work fine.

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:16   #3
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Boat: Sabre 34-1
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Re: Asym Sheets


Thanks for the response. However, you have my intention backwards.

I'm looking at remove the CORE, not the cover, as is often done on jib furling lines. As you point out, the core on Dacron line is really crappy stuff when not covered.

As far as strength, you are right -- I'll lose half. But, on a line rated for 5,600 pounds (3/8 Yacht Braid), losing half means I'll still have 2,800 pounds on a tail that I'll be pulling in by hand. Losing half will still be far stronger than I need for that portion. In fact, it is probably far stronger than the WORKING end needs to be!

Amsteel is an interesting idea. 1/8" Amsteel is rated for 2,500 pounds, plenty strong and actually cheaper than the Dacron. And APS even sells cover-only at less than the price of cheap line. The problem is that a 3/8 cover requires 1/4" core, which is crazy strong (8,000 pounds) and double the cost of Dacron -- before you buy the cover.

But as I mentioned in my first post, the idea of covering a smaller line does sound good. A double braid, or even a hybrid like NE Ropes VPC (great stuff!) in 1/4" is plenty strong, and if it could be "bulked up" by a cover it would be great. But can you add a cover to a double braid?

But on further looking, perhaps the best answer is really different. New England Regatta is a 12-strand like the high tech lines (like Amsteel). The 1/4" is 2550 pounds, plenty strong. It may hold a cover nicely, and it can have the same cover splice as used on high tech lines. Or, as a 12-strand, it is hollow and could take a bulking core (flag halyard material). It does stretch a bit, but we are talking about an Asym sheet that never sees the loads of a guy, and stretch on the sheet on a spinnaker is a non-issue.

The real question, is the handling performance of coreless double braid line. Willl it be as sloppy and lifeless as coverless line?

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