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Old 23-11-2010, 14:58   #1
NDH
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Main Halyard - What Spec

In preparation for cruising next year I plan to replace the main halyard, at present we have braid on braid but our rigging guy says use cruising dyneema.

I accepted this advice without question until I got home and checked the prices on the web so the question is given the price of dyneema is 5x price of baid on braid is it that much better.

What do you guys use?
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Old 23-11-2010, 15:26   #2
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I just use braid on braid. After 5 minutes I have to retension the halyards due to stretch. One of my friends who races and wanted to reduce costs bought Amsteel Blue at a commercial fishing supply house. He bought a cheap single braid to milk over half of it so it will have an outside cover that will be easy to hold, work in cleats and be more abrasion resistant. Even though Amsteel Blue has UV resistance he raises the halyards to hide them in the mast out of the sun when he's not sailing. I'm fine with retensioning my halyards compared to the alternatives.

John
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Old 23-11-2010, 16:22   #3
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Recent review in Practical Sailor reviewing common lines. Provides information on chafe/wear, strength/stretch, handling, and cost.

If you're pricing out Endura Braid or similar, you can go down one size, since it's so strong. Still pricey, though. Sta-Set X (or its equivalent) is a solid choice.
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Old 23-11-2010, 16:51   #4
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You pays yer money and takes your choice.
Braid on braid (a.k.a. double braid) is fine... its cheap and reliable. The downside is it stretches and it is relatively low strength (compared to other exotics), so you end up using a larger diameter than if you went with exotics

Spectra is better than double braid - stronger and less stretchy, but also more expensive.
Vectran is better still, even stronger, even less stretchy, but even more expensive.

For a 40' boat you might be looking at, for a main halyard, 9/16 or 1/2" double braid, 7/16" or 3/8" spectra, 3/8" or 5/16" vectran...

Shop around and you can find some pretty big variation in per foot price, so don't discount going for a "exotic", especially if you are comparing a thicker 1/2" double braid to a thinner 3/8 spectra...

Bottom line, the more exotic lines will give better sailing performance - you will be able to maintain better luff tension, and will also give you marginally less weight aloft. If sailing performance (particularly upwind) is important to you, then maybe you should consider spending a little more on your halyard. If cost is the major factor, double braid will do the job.
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Old 23-11-2010, 16:55   #5
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Practical Sailor: PS Tests Running Rigging Choices
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Old 23-11-2010, 19:42   #6
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If you go with a core dependent line (where most of the strength is in the core),you need to stitch core and cover together wherever a clutch will be engaged. And use the proper eyesplice rather than a knot.
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Old 23-11-2010, 19:58   #7
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Sta-set X for me. Can often find a remnant for a good price (try Sailor's Exchange or Milwaukee Rigging) and it is lower stretch than double braid. Brion Toss has a special splice that uses less length than a double braid splice.

It does tend to hockle easier than double braid, so I only recommend it for halyards.
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Old 24-11-2010, 01:31   #8
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Thanks guys, given the price difference I think I am going to go Double Braid route and retension. I seem to be a constant fiddler with the sails so a bit more wont hurt.

I`ll remind myself we`re cruising not racing and how many extra beers I can have with the money saved!!
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Old 24-11-2010, 02:18   #9
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And you won't have to worry about dyneema specific knots and splices.
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