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Old 18-04-2008, 08:22   #1
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Reefing lines BEST?

Hey all,
I have added a couple of new reefs to my main and am looking at options for reefing lines. I'd like to hear what people think about using Spectra or Dyneema line for this task. Does it have good chafe resistance? Or is it better to stick with a more traditional line type.
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Old 18-04-2008, 09:19   #2
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The Spectra or Dyneema line works well for halyards, outhauls etc., so I see no reason it would not work just as well for reefing lines. In addition, the lack of stretch in comparison to dacron would be ideal at the tack and clew, if you have single line reefing.

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Old 18-04-2008, 09:23   #3
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Thanks for the reply,
I was thinking the same thing. I guess my main concern is if it will fare well going through the eye on the clew of the reefing point. It is a high chafe area, and I though I heard something about these types of line not likeing to make really sharp turns. Have you heard this?

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
The Spectra or Dyneema line works well for halyards, outhauls etc., so I see no reason it would not work just as well for reefing lines. In addition, the lack of stretch in comparison to dacron would be ideal at the tack and clew, if you have single line reefing.

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Old 18-04-2008, 10:20   #4
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I use spectra on mine. Low stretch is a good thing.
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Old 18-04-2008, 10:50   #5
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If the clew grommet is smooth enough and if you can get the reef in tight enough, there shouldn't be that much of a problem with chafe. Do you have an adjustable track on your boom for the tack reefing line turning block? If so, then install pad eyes on the boom (on the opposite side to the track). If you plan on using the outhaul for flattening (as is a good idea), then you can install the pad eyes just slightly aft of where each reefing clew meets the boom when the sail is flat. Once you have done this, the reef will be very tight at the clew and there will be a minimum of movement/chafe.

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Old 18-04-2008, 12:25   #6
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I use Vectran. It means I can get away with a smaller diameter line for the strength needed. The results in easier to pull through the eyes on the sail.
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Old 18-04-2008, 12:36   #7
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Couple things: the line is small diameter so it will be hard on your hands and will slip in the clutch, you may need to add a jacket in some locations. You can also jacket the line where it goes through the reef clew for more wearability. Or you could strop it to carry the load.
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Old 18-04-2008, 13:27   #8
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Actually I've not found problems with ordinary double braid for reefing. With two attachments in jiffy reefing the stretch is divided in half anyway. The lines are oversized and slide though the gromets easy enough. The clews hang out in the sun a lot.
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Old 18-04-2008, 16:19   #9
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In my opinion you would want a little stretch in the line because in a gust the spectra may prove too strong for the sail and rip the clew out of the sail.
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Old 18-04-2008, 18:52   #10
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spectra and dyneema are the same thing just made by different manufacturers. I rock climb a lot and climbers will use either name to describe the stuff. Some really cool line is tech cord made by maxim ropes. It's 5mm and just as strong as spectra or dyneema.
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Old 19-04-2008, 00:57   #11
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You mean climbers use Spectra/Dyneema?/ I thought climbing ropes had to have a lot of stretch to reduce the shock loading in the event of a fall.
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Old 19-04-2008, 04:42   #12
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Bad logic there, If the gusts could rip a fitting out of a sail, it would rip out the sail slugs which are attached with some dacron webbing. The grommets are reinforced, including the tack fitting to carry the loads. Some systems use a rss eef hook for the mainsail tack! And that is not going to stretch@ Mine main has a ss cable on to a block and tackle inside the boom for the outhaul. That seems rather rigid too.

I use lines which I can handle and work on a winch which are 7/16" dacron on dacron braid. If they stretch they can be winched down. No biggie.
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Old 19-04-2008, 04:56   #13
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Defjef is correct about the strength of reef points on a properly engineered mainsail and, that larger diameter line (3/8" or more) is easier to handle. There is, however, still an advantage to using high-tech line for reefing - the lack of stretch. In heavy air you need your main to be as flat as possible and, while you can re-adjust from time to time, in this case (as with halyards and outhauls), less is more.

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Old 19-04-2008, 10:02   #14
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Ok,
So it sounds to me like a good idea. For those of you who are using Hi-tech line. What is its diameter? I have a mainsail with a 37' luff 13' foot, and minimal roach. Any suggestions?
Thanks.

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Old 19-04-2008, 12:58   #15
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Ah a subject I've been doing some work on.

I made my own new reef lines from scratch, I'm lucky to be able to 'play' and make what I like. I used a Dyneema core so they don't stretch and I get that saggy bellied sail. The cover is 50% Vectran for chafe and heat build up resistance and the other 50% is fluro Orange very visibility in yucky weather. 32fter and I use 10mm. I could use smaller but as mentioned I've gone a bit bigger for ease of handling reasons.

The lines been given a nice work out, went just as hoped and looks like brand new still. I'm a very happy puppy.

PS. Spectra and Dyneema do have slight differences but none that 99% of people would see in real life.
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