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Old 03-08-2015, 15:00   #1
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Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

Hi All,

I'm replacing all the line on a Swan 57 Ketch...every halyard, sheet control lines etc.

It would be great to work with a good and thoughtful sales rep at a manufacturer.

Any and all advice appreciated.

Thanks

Cliff
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:51   #2
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

I've been using Dynamic Sailor due to good prices on Sta-set, no tax, free shipping, great service. If you need a wider variety and more specialized stuff Rope Inc. may be your better bet, also competitive prices and great personal service, ask for Jack. You could use both but may get better pricing with one exclusively.

As for direct-from-manufacturer service, Rope Inc may be able to put you in touch with the brand of your choice, but I've not had the opportunity to go down that road, so can't say for sure. [edit] I see you're in Spain so these may or may not be good options since they're based in the US.

Best of luck and share some pics when you get her rigged!
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:14   #3
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

Cliff,

Most chandleries will have everything you need, but you may want to contact Swan and speak with them. They likely have the original order list for the boat and can at least provide you with that.

As for line selection.... Frankly it gets complicated, but if I were replacing all the running rigging I wouldn't even consider sta-set or the like. Go strait to high tech tapered everything. It will cost a bit more, but not as much as you may think, and on a boat your size the stretch reduction will be phenomenal.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:22   #4
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

Quote:
but you may want to contact Swan and speak with them. They likely have the original order list for the boat and can at least provide you with that.
Guess today you would use 'more sophisticated materials' compared to 1980 or so (when the Swan was built).

Regards,

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Old 04-08-2015, 16:03   #5
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
As for line selection.... Frankly it gets complicated, but if I were replacing all the running rigging I wouldn't even consider sta-set or the like. Go strait to high tech tapered everything. It will cost a bit more, but not as much as you may think, and on a boat your size the stretch reduction will be phenomenal.
Halyards, sheets and other running rigging all have different requirements and call for different types of line. Sta-set or the like still have a place.
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Old 04-08-2015, 17:05   #6
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

Cliff,
If you go to a chandler, like www.apsltd.com or www.mauriprosailing.com they have charts which suggest the best line types & sizes, per application, for various sized boats. And likely they'll prove helpful, as would a few calls to a few such places, if you need more specific advice.

On a boat that size, with her big loads, high tech lines, such as Spectra/Dyneema cored stuff or similar, are the only thing which makes sense really.
They have far better UV & chafe resistance, & when you do the math on cost vs. StaSet, it's tough not to save $, given the size differences required. That, on top of the longevity thing.

Plus, with the lengths of line which a boat like that uses for things, like say, halyards, you can't afford not to have lower stretch lines. Or you'll be forever adjusting them due to stretch. And in the process, wearing them out very quickly.

Some personal fav's when on a budget include:
~ Maxi-Braid Plus - A cored Spectra double braid, which gives a lot of strength per $ as compared to other high tech lines.
~ T900 - Cored Aramid/Spectra blend. The Aramid stops creep, the Spectra stops UV, & again, a lot of strength per $.
Both have been around for quite a while, & are well proven.

There are a couple of considerations though. If you currently have wire to rope halyards, there can be a lot of burrs & such, on the sheaves, & halyard exit boxes etc. Which would rapidly eat up purely rope halyards. So that needs checking.
As do the sheaves themselves, to make sure that they're of the proper profile to run rope halyards.

Ah, & if you're switching say, your jib sheets to high tech lines, you have to consider their attachments to the sails. As just tying such line types on is a no no. But there are plenty of pretty simple options to handle such things.

PS: If you're looking for good prices on double braids & such, these guys seem to be reasonable (better than most nautical suppliers anyway, knock on wood)
http://www.bartlettman.com/Tree-Clim...es-Accessories
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Old 04-08-2015, 22:47   #7
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Halyards, sheets and other running rigging all have different requirements and call for different types of line. Sta-set or the like still have a place.
Not on a big boat. Sta-set is the most expensive line available when priced $/MBL. Add in its poor handeling qualities, water absorption, abrasion characteristics, not it really doesn't have much of a place any more.
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Old 04-08-2015, 22:51   #8
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

BTW, for that much impending splicing, it'd pay off BIG to get familiar with the following tools.

Get a couple of Home Depot type shop/work knives with the retractable blades. Specifically, the type which have the blades where you can snap off a section of it when it gets dull. As well as set how much blade that you have protruding from the handle... for assisting in controlling the depth of cut in certain splicing situations.

Said knife impressed Brion Toss & Co. when I took it with me to one of their splicing classes, ages ago. Which was nice praise.

And speaking of Brion Toss, pick up a couple of his splicing wands. They make splicing any of the double braids, & HM's SO much easier. Brion Toss Yacht Riggers, Sailboat Rigging::Splicing Gear
Although I can't say that I have any understanding of the prices for the spare tip loops. As they're not tough to make, DIY style, vs. $4 per loop on their website.
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:04   #9
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Halyards, sheets and other running rigging all have different requirements and call for different types of line. Sta-set or the like still have a place.
Indeed. There's no single "best" rope for all purposes, even for a single type of line.

How you intend to sail the boat is also really important. Will you be racing? Or really high performance cruising? That will give you different choices compared to just cruising.

For halyards and outhauls, stretch is crucially important and some kind of Dyneema or Dyneema core rope will probably be best for that boat.

For sheets, though, you have a choice of different approaches for a boat like that. One way is high tech tapered lines with expensive shackles like racers would use. This will be much lighter and less windage, for a given strength and stretch value. Another way is to use oversized double braid, which can be tied on and which will be much nicer to handle. And much cheaper. For sheets, the only real disadvantage to this is windage and mass, probably not enough to be important on a cruising boat, even a "performance" cruising boat.

My boat was delivered when new with a mix of Dyneema and polyester double braid, with "racing" Dyneema used everywhere except for sheets, furling lines, and vang (sheet for the self-tacking staysail was also specified in Dyneema, as were the running backs). I have replaced almost all of the running rigging by now, and regret that I haven't been able to find a really adequate replacement for the lovely, very high quality 16mm double braid out of which the original sheets were made. I reluctantly retired those only this year, when they were truly falling apart. The new ones have a far inferior "hand".

The "hand" of your sheets is not just aesthetic -- it also affects how much control you have over your sheets when handling them. I lost my grip on a sheet in a storm off Bornholm last May and flogged (for a few seconds) my brand new carbon laminate jib as a result -- ever seen a grown man cry? Wouldn't have happened with the old sheets.

Keep in mind that "cruising" Dyneema with polyester covers is not as strong in practice as in theory -- because the core fits loosely in the cover and the cover will rip off in the clutch or in a knot. I am using this for my halyards, but it has limitations.

For furling lines, stretch doesn't matter, and strength required is far less than any rope you can buy. I don't know why people use Dyneema for these. Maybe there's a good reason, but I'm not aware of it. My boat has 12mm double braid polyester for furling lines, and I'm thinking about changing them to 10mm so that they will be less bulky on the drums. 12mm was probably specified because it's easier to handle, but you can't furl any of my sails by hand even if you're Hulk Hogan, so this is not going to be as important as avoiding pile-ups on the furling drums.

Running backstays, like halyards, need minimum stretch, so Dyneema is the thing here. A lot of people replace the wire part of their running backs with rope, as well, because it's lighter and less noisy. Before doing this, however, be sure there's no risk of chafe.
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:18   #10
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
BTW, for that much impending splicing, it'd pay off BIG to get familiar with the following tools.

Get a couple of Home Depot type shop/work knives with the retractable blades. Specifically, the type which have the blades where you can snap off a section of it when it gets dull. As well as set how much blade that you have protruding from the handle... for assisting in controlling the depth of cut in certain splicing situations.

Said knife impressed Brion Toss & Co. when I took it with me to one of their splicing classes, ages ago. Which was nice praise.

And speaking of Brion Toss, pick up a couple of his splicing wands. They make splicing any of the double braids, & HM's SO much easier. Brion Toss Yacht Riggers, Sailboat Rigging::Splicing Gear
Although I can't say that I have any understanding of the prices for the spare tip loops. As they're not tough to make, DIY style, vs. $4 per loop on their website.
That's great advice. Not trusting my own splicing, I bought all of my new running rigging from Spencer Rigging in Cowes and had them do it. The total bill was probably double what I would have paid if I had bought the rope online and done my own splicing. Very worthwhile to take a class, and acquire the tools mentioned by Uncivilized, and PRACTICE. Wish I'd done that.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:01   #11
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

I think that a bit of (objective) light needs shedding on some of this. Especially for those who are a touch less informed, & or haven't done the math in terms of comparing the cost effectiveness, & safety applications of the various types of lines out there. High tech lines have revolutionized things for a reason, & are here to stay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Indeed. There's no single "best" rope for all purposes, even for a single type of line.

How you intend to sail the boat is also really important. Will you be racing? Or really high performance cruising? That will give you different choices compared to just cruising.
Examples of what line to use, based on type of sailing, size of boat, & a few other factors can be found at any reputable Chandler, or with a line manufacturer proper. An example of the former is found here Line Resources | APS - Free Shipping Over $50 at Annapolis Performance Sailing.
Where the pro's & cons of each line type, for every application are listed for the potential buyer.

Also, here's something which isn't necessarily in these use charts, but will make you think.
In something as "lowly" as a reefing line, do you want minimal friction, & the absolute best chafe, & UV resistance that you can get? Likely so, & a lot of folks out there, including some of the most famous cruisers, use Spectra/Dyneema for this exact application, for those reasons. It winds up being cheaper in the long run too (otherwise they'd have binned it).

For halyards and outhauls, stretch is crucially important and some kind of Dyneema or Dyneema core rope will probably be best for that boat.
Yes, very true. Especially so, the bigger the boat & loads get.

For sheets, though, you have a choice of different approaches for a boat like that. One way is high tech tapered lines with expensive shackles like racers would use.

Shackles for high tech line are cheap & easy to make for it, out of it itself, for a couple of $ each, tops. For example Better Soft Shackle
Though you can purchase all kinds of spendy shackles, soft & hard, if you like. But new, KISS, DIY ones are being developed all of the time, including by one of our CF advisers, Estarzinger. And some of the development & testing of such is on he & Beth's site, here Load testing

Plus, such soft shackles are a bit more friendly on the noggin than a knotted up piece of 18mm Dacron, given that they, & the sheets attached to them weigh about 1/4 (dry) that the equivalent strength of Dacron does. And they don't absorb water... Thus, in the real world, weigh 1/2 again less, on top of that, most of the time.

This will be much lighter and less windage, for a given strength and stretch value. Another way is to use oversized double braid, which can be tied on and which will be much nicer to handle. And much cheaper. For sheets, the only real disadvantage to this is windage and mass, probably not enough to be important on a cruising boat, even a "performance" cruising boat.

By going to high tech sheets & shackles, one can cut the weight several fold, easily, & still retain the same strength. Some of this is due to needing a Dacron line of twice the diameter of a Spectra cored line, in order to achieve the same working strength once the Dacron is knotted.

BUT, by needing to go to the much larger size in Dacron, if one looks up the prices, it becomes apparent that in a good number of instances, the Dacron line will actually cost more per foot/m for a given application, in terms of strength equivallency. Especially so if one factors in it's greatly inferior resistance to UV, chafe, & stretch (internal abrasion), resulting in a far shorter life than something Dyneema based.

My boat was delivered when new with a mix of Dyneema and polyester double braid, with "racing" Dyneema used everywhere except for sheets, furling lines, and vang (sheet for the self-tacking staysail was also specified in Dyneema, as were the running backs). I have replaced almost all of the running rigging by now, and regret that I haven't been able to find a really adequate replacement for the lovely, very high quality 16mm double braid out of which the original sheets were made. I reluctantly retired those only this year, when they were truly falling apart. The new ones have a far inferior "hand".

It's a small matter for cruisers, but each time a sheet or control line stretches, the energy being used to stretch that line, is energy being taken out of the equation of getting you to your destination. Be it a halyard, sheet, outhaul, or...
Which, bottom line, also negates some of the purpose of quality, well shaped, & or high tech/performance sails. AKA money is being cast aside with each puff of wind.

The "hand" of your sheets is not just aesthetic -- it also affects how much control you have over your sheets when handling them. I lost my grip on a sheet in a storm off Bornholm last May and flogged (for a few seconds) my brand new carbon laminate jib as a result -- ever seen a grown man cry? Wouldn't have happened with the old sheets.

One could easily suggest that this is a matter of familiarization & technique (or, simply an accident). For example, it takes a bit of time to adjust to a new vehicle when transitioning from an old favorite. Even if the new one is clearly superior. So some time is required to get the better performance from the new one.

It also needs to be considered that the above incident really didn't have so much to do with the line at all. But rather, how it was being handled. Because regardless of what it was made of, it's hand, or it's diameter, it'is the wraps of line on the winch drum, & the friction imparted by them, which hold the sail(s).
As on a boat that size, no one on earth could hold onto the sheet attached to such a piece of canvas, if they didn't have that friction.

Keep in mind that "cruising" Dyneema with polyester covers is not as strong in practice as in theory -- because the core fits loosely in the cover and the cover will rip off in the clutch or in a knot. I am using this for my halyards, but it has limitations.

If one takes the time to study on this, most of the limitations have been sorted out decades ago. And an abridged explanation of such is below, in the furling line explanation/education. That, & on any modern racing boat - see the VOR if in doubt (also below).

For furling lines, stretch doesn't matter, and strength required is far less than any rope you can buy. I don't know why people use Dyneema for these. Maybe there's a good reason, but I'm not aware of it.

This is diametrically untrue. Stretch & strength are actually both Huge performance, and more importantly, Safety factors, in roller furling control lines.

When your sail, partially furled, is hit by a gust, & you have beefy sheets, but only skinny, stretchy, furling lines, then that gust will cause the furler to unfurl slightly for a moment. Which results in a much baggier sail shape. This magnifies the heeling moment of the gust that much more. Kind of like switching back to your old stretched out sails, vs. new, well shaped, spendy ones, for a moment.
This exaggerated heel is also a loss in energy, which could, instead, be moving you forward, in lieu of sideways.

That said, more importantly, a furling line has to be able to withstand the same loads as a sail's sheet does. And if it's too small to bear the load, such as when it's gusting north of 25kts, & that line parts... Then you have a full sized, unfurled genoa, flogging around up forward. And if the wind strength is high enough, such a thing can, & will bring down the rig. Or worse, fully negate a helmsman's attempts to control the vessel, even if the engine is switched on (making it that much more "fun" for the poor bastard on the foredeck, who's trying to get the jib sorted).
Which, as Tarzan might say, could definitely lead to "Bad Juju".

I mean, think on how tough it is to corral a partiall unfurled genoa at the dock, which has come loose in a bit of wind, & the picture will become clear.

Ergo, undersized, & weak furling lines are to be avoided. They need to be every bit as strong as the sheets which attach to the sail on your furler, if not a bit stronger.
Especially as they live out in the Sun, & the elements 24/7/365. Where as, some, at the end of a day's sailing, will remove their furled jib's sheets, & put on an older one, to hold the sail in place at the dock. Thus protecting their good jib sheets. Not thinking of the furling line at all in this equation.

When it comes to optimizing space on the drum of a roller furler, you can step down in size, & bulk, by going to a high tech line of smaller diameter than a standard modulus one. And further reduce it's bulk by stripping the cover off of the first portion of it, & properly burying the cover into the core, in a full strength taper. Lock stitching it in place for extra security if you like.
Such techniques work on all of the racing boats out there who partially strip the covers on their lines, & the lines on their furlers are among them.

I mean if the Volvo guys can make a piece of tapered (cover), high tech line last many thousands of miles, under rediculous loads, all while getting s**t hammered without ANY remorse or relief, then I think that such lines & techniquies will hold up on cruising boats. And in point of fact, they have & are.

My boat has 12mm double braid polyester for furling lines, and I'm thinking about changing them to 10mm so that they will be less bulky on the drums. 12mm was probably specified because it's easier to handle, but you can't furl any of my sails by hand even if you're Hulk Hogan, so this is not going to be as important as avoiding pile-ups on the furling drums.
This would be a mistake. See above.

Running backstays, like halyards, need minimum stretch, so Dyneema is the thing here. A lot of people replace the wire part of their running backs with rope, as well, because it's lighter and less noisy. Before doing this, however, be sure there's no risk of chafe.
When it comes to, strength, cost, & longevity (including chafe & UV resistance) of lines in the real world, consider this. Commercial cranes use Dyneema to lift loads weighing hundreds of tons, for thousands of cycles, as said cordage is safer & cheaper than rigging wire.
And the largest of commercial vessels have long since swapped their wire docking cables (lines) for ones made out of Amsteel Blue, & similar, for the same reasons.

Dacron still has a place, it''s just needs to be objectively judged per the application, & the facts.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:19   #12
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I think that a bit of (objective) light needs shedding on some of this. Especially for those who are a touch less informed, & or haven't done the math in terms of comparing the cost effectiveness, & safety applications of the various types of lines out there. High tech lines have revolutionized things for a reason, & are here to stay.



When it comes to, strength, cost, & longevity (including chafe & UV resistance) of lines in the real world, consider this. Commercial cranes use Dyneema to lift loads weighing hundreds of tons, for thousands of cycles, as said cordage is safer & cheaper than rigging wire.
And the largest of commercial vessels have long since swapped their wire docking cables (lines) for ones made out of Amsteel Blue, & similar, for the same reasons.

Dacron still has a place, it''s just needs to be objectively judged per the application, & the facts.
A lot of good information here, and certainly Uncivilized knows a lot more about the new types of rope than I do.

I would quibble, however, with the argument about furling lines. Why in the world should they be as strong as your sheets? Your sheets act directly and must bear the whole load of the sail. Your furling lines act through the mechanical advantage of the furling drum, and even in an emergency, will never have even 1/10 of the loads your sheets have to bear. This seems wrong to me.

As to furling lines stretching -- first of all, this is only even theoretically possible when the sail is reefed. Second, even when reefed, the forces on the sail are acting backwards through the mechanical advantage of the furling drum, and so are very small compared to the forces on sheets. I can't imagine that furling line stretch could be a significant or even measurable performance issue on a cruising boat (on a Volvo racer of course could be a different story).

I do "get" the beauty of low stretch rope, conservation of energy, and all that. I love low-stretch rope. But I don't think it's needed everywhere on a cruising boat, and maybe not at all on some cruising boats (except halyards of course). For some things, a less slippery, larger diameter, softer rope is better, at least for cruisers. In my humble opinion anyway.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:23   #13
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

Try the Rope Warehouse, New Bedford, Ma. They have everything and are very knowledgable sailors.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:32   #14
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
For furling lines, stretch doesn't matter, and strength required is far less than any rope you can buy. I don't know why people use Dyneema for these. Maybe there's a good reason, but I'm not aware of it.

This is diametrically untrue. Stretch & strength are actually both Huge performance, and more importantly, Safety factors, in roller furling control lines.

When your sail, partially furled, is hit by a gust, & you have beefy sheets, but only skinny, stretchy, furling lines, then that gust will cause the furler to unfurl slightly for a moment. Which results in a much baggier sail shape. This magnifies the heeling moment of the gust that much more. Kind of like switching back to your old stretched out sails, vs. new, well shaped, spendy ones, for a moment.
This exaggerated heel is also a loss in energy, which could, instead, be moving you forward, in lieu of sideways.

That said, more importantly, a furling line has to be able to withstand the same loads as a sail's sheet does. And if it's too small to bear the load, such as when it's gusting north of 25kts, & that line parts... Then you have a full sized, unfurled genoa, flogging around up forward. And if the wind strength is high enough, such a thing can, & will bring down the rig. Or worse, fully negate a helmsman's attempts to control the vessel, even if the engine is switched on (making it that much more "fun" for the poor bastard on the foredeck, who's trying to get the jib sorted).
Which, as Tarzan might say, could definitely lead to "Bad Juju".

I mean, think on how tough it is to corral a partiall unfurled genoa at the dock, which has come loose in a bit of wind, & the picture will become clear.

Ergo, undersized, & weak furling lines are to be avoided. They need to be every bit as strong as the sheets which attach to the sail on your furler, if not a bit stronger.
Especially as they live out in the Sun, & the elements 24/7/365. Where as, some, at the end of a day's sailing, will remove their furled jib's sheets, & put on an older one, to hold the sail in place at the dock. Thus protecting their good jib sheets. Not thinking of the furling line at all in this equation.

When it comes to optimizing space on the drum of a roller furler, you can step down in size, & bulk, by going to a high tech line of smaller diameter than a standard modulus one. And further reduce it's bulk by stripping the cover off of the first portion of it, & properly burying the cover into the core, in a full strength taper. Lock stitching it in place for extra security if you like.
Such techniques work on all of the racing boats out there who partially strip the covers on their lines, & the lines on their furlers are among them.

I mean if the Volvo guys can make a piece of (cover) tapered, high tech line last many thousands of miles, under rediculous loads, all while getting s**t hammered, I think that such lines & techniquies will hold up on cruising boats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
My boat has 12mm double braid polyester for furling lines, and I'm thinking about changing them to 10mm so that they will be less bulky on the drums. 12mm was probably specified because it's easier to handle, but you can't furl any of my sails by hand even if you're Hulk Hogan, so this is not going to be as important as avoiding pile-ups on the furling drums.
This would be a mistake. See above.
EXACTLY, you've covered that all very well... IMHO, furling lines are among the most important bits of running rigging on any boat, few other failures can so easily lead to the destruction of a sail, or more serious damage to the rig... I'm always surprised at the short shrift cruisers often give to their furling lines...

Stripping the cover so that only the dyneema core lies on the drum is perhaps the biggest advantage, IMHO... Dyneema is so supple and slick, it wraps beautifully about the drum, one would have to try extremely hard to create an override or "snag" when using such line...

Here's the amount of 'extra' space left on my drum, and that's carrying a 130% genoa... With the cover left on that 3/8" Samson MLX, that drum would be filled pretty much to the max...


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Old 05-08-2015, 06:46   #15
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Re: Best Source for New Pretty Rope/Line

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
EXACTLY, you've covered that all very well... IMHO, furling lines are among the most important bits of running rigging on any boat, few other failures can so easily lead to the destruction of a sail, or more serious damage to the rig... I'm always surprised at the short shrift cruisers often give to their furling lines...

Stripping the cover so that only the dyneema core lies on the drum is perhaps the biggest advantage, IMHO... Dyneema is so supple and slick, it wraps beautifully about the drum, one would have to try extremely hard to create an override or "snag" when using such line...

Here's the amount of 'extra' space left on my drum, and that's carrying a 130% genoa... With the cover left on that 3/8" Samson MLX, that drum would be filled pretty much to the max...


Clearly some racer vs cruiser culture clash going on here

I hear what you're saying, but are you sure it's really applicable here?

If your high tech jib sheets have a 10:1 saftey margin --

and a simple 10mm double braid furling line has a 25:1 safety margin --

Would you be wrong to be using the double braid furling line? What's the risk?

Just because Dyneema is stronger, does it mean you really need a 50:1 safety margin? Especially when you're happy with only 10:1 with your sheets?

Doesn't seem rational to me. Don't forget the mechanical advantage of the furler drum.

I admit though that the stripped dyneema line on that furler looks awfully pretty And "pretty" was part of the OP's brief.
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