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Old 28-03-2008, 13:28   #1
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Lines, Sheets, Ropes and Colors

As in electrical wiring, is there any code, rhyme, or reason to the relationship between the function / purpose of a line and its color?

I am replacing several lines on my boat and if there is a sheet code, then I would like to follow it.

Thanks

Michael
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Old 28-03-2008, 14:19   #2
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I have not seen any guide that standardizes sheet / tracer colours. The exception might be for spinnaker sheets and guys which are usually red / green or red / blue. On race boats the various colours help keep the lines separate. I have an acquaintance who has a 1939 gaff rigged ketch on which most of the running riggings is black.

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Old 28-03-2008, 14:23   #3
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I don't think there is anything official. For myself I color the first reef line on the main green and the second reef line red the outhaul blue and so on. It's too confusing if they are all colored the same.
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Old 28-03-2008, 14:57   #4
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Why don't WE start a standardized colour code scheme for sheets (& halyards) ?
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Old 28-03-2008, 15:23   #5
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Why don't WE start a standardized colour code scheme for sheets (& halyards) ?

Thats a great idea! Lets make all the important ones red!

Then skippers can just scream: Pull the Red one!
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Old 28-03-2008, 17:04   #6
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I am surprised that sailors are so "laid back" that this has not happened before.
I suppose because most seldom sail another boat so the colors can be "personal".
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Old 28-03-2008, 18:45   #7
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I find using colored lines makes it easier to sort out and explain to say a crew member who doesn't know your running rigging. Our deck layout has 8 lines led to the cockpit from the mast, halyards, toping lift, reefing lines, out haul, vang. etc. If they were all white one could easily get confused since you can't actually see where they "go".

And it's prettier!
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Old 28-03-2008, 21:29   #8
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"Why don't WE start a standardized colour code scheme for sheets (& halyards) "
Oooh! Yes! And then we can patent it and license the color schemes to ropemakers and all get rich quick. [vbg]

Michael, I think most folks make some effort to use red/green on the same side as their nav lights when and if they can, which leaves blue and yellow for "other stuff". But mainly it is a question of "I need xx meters of xx millimeter line, what's on sale?" and you take whatever is in stock, in whatever pattern that rope is made in.

Unless of course you are a real Yachtsman, in which case the lines are all white, perhaps white and blue, and all those vulgar bright colors aren't allowed on your Yacht.[g]
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Old 29-03-2008, 07:54   #9
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I was changing my running rigging 2 years ago. I thought about color coding everything, so I could call out a color. Then common sense hit me. It was cheaper to buy all one color, white. This will cause people to learn the ropes so to speak, or a catastrophe.....one of the two. My wife says I am cheap. I use the word FRUGAL
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Old 29-03-2008, 08:15   #10
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Labels have been much more useful to me than colors for everything except reefing lines, all of which come out of the boom together at the gooseneck. Those are colored blue (1st), red (2nd), yellow (3rd).

Nothing runs to the cockpit except sheets, so all the labels are just below the exit points on the mast and aft of the exits on the boom.
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Old 29-03-2008, 13:46   #11
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Ok, thanks. I thought it might be the what is on sale (or what is laying around in an old locker), but then again I thought maybe there were some color scheme such as is with marine electrical wiring -- especially since the available lines and halyards at west marine were such a mix of colors.

Michael
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Old 29-03-2008, 14:42   #12
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I thought it might be the what is on sale
I suppose most of the ugly colors end up on sale but if they are different it works.
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Old 29-03-2008, 15:03   #13
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A color is a label.

Come one guys green means ??

red mean ??

Once you learn the colors you don't have to take your reading glasses to sort this out.

I think color coding is very smart.

How about when you have a pile of spaghetti and it needs to be sorted out and it's all white? This happens.
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Old 29-03-2008, 15:09   #14
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all our lines are either red tracer, green tracer or blue tracer. halyards and sheets blue, travelers and reef lines red or green
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Old 29-03-2008, 15:18   #15
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Surely there must be a standard colour scheme for all sorts of ropes, standing and running rigging that was used on the old sailing ships. There is no way anyone could have remembered or worked out which was which without such a scheme.

Couldn't we could just use that.
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