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Old 11-07-2014, 16:06   #1
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Replacing halyards and jib sheets

I currently need to replace the 7/16" jib and main halyards which are 127 and 109 feet. I'm also tempted to replace my weathered, but still useable twin 54 foot long 1/2" jib sheets that do not have self-tailing winches. I'm thinking about using a single 109 foot 7/16" line instead of two 1/2" sheets ... so that in the worst case scenario I could use the new jib sheet as a back-up halyard (fits the sheaves). Since I still have the two useable 1/2" jib sheets, they can serve as backup.

I'm not concerned about the 7/16" sheets for strength, but in ease of handling verse 1/2" (is there that much difference?). Also I've never used a single line for a jib sheet ... if I whip both ends, what's the best way to fasten to the clew cringle?

Since I'm asking questions, is there a "better" 3/8 inch line to use for my Harken furler that can better handle the foot traffic and rubbing on a "very sandy and abrasive non-skid" deck and always being exposed to the sun and weather?
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Old 11-07-2014, 16:11   #2
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Re: Replacing halyards and jib sheets

I do like 1/2" better than 7/16 for the hands. But it's doable for sure. I used 1/2" on my heavy 30 footer.
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Old 11-07-2014, 16:57   #3
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Re: Replacing halyards and jib sheets

Rich C,

Go to the chandlery and try the two sizes and see what fits your own hands the best!! Of all of us, you are best able to tell about yourself.

In terms of a guidline, we don't use anything smaller than about 3/8" (furler line)...but both of us have small hands.

Ann
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Old 11-07-2014, 17:14   #4
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Re: Replacing halyards and jib sheets

For attaching one long line to the clew, you just poke the middle through the grommet, then pull the ends through the loop made by the middle. Beware: it will be very tight. It took us 15-20 minutes to loosen the knot.

The reason we found out is that there was just way too much extra jib sheet sitting in the cockpit. We cut off at least 15 feet. Perhaps the previous owner had the same plan as you?
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Old 11-07-2014, 17:18   #5
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Re: Replacing halyards and jib sheets

> what's the best way to fasten to the clew cringle?

Best? Everyone will have their own opinion, but I find that a larkshead and soft shackle has many advantages.
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Old 11-07-2014, 18:04   #6
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Re: Replacing halyards and jib sheets

If you have a furler with a sail that you almost never remove, use a single line with a Brummel splice at the clew in the middle. The Brummel splice won't hang up on shrouds, etc and will make tacking way easier.

I used 7/16" for the sheets. It's large enough to easily hand but makes a way smaller coil or lump in the sheet bags.
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Old 11-07-2014, 19:03   #7
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Re: Replacing halyards and jib sheets

We've had a single line sheet with a lark's head through the cringle for decades. Can get tight and be tough to untie, but because of the diameter of most bolt ropes and the cringle it usually doesn't get too tight to open.

Only disadvantage is if you want to use the sheets on multiple headsails. Switching them when put on this way can be a pain. If you're only using a single roller furling jib, and or have a separate set of sheets for the other headsail...
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:48   #8
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Re: Replacing halyards and jib sheets

I would use the higher dia sheets any day. So much easier on your hands.

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Old 12-07-2014, 13:41   #9
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Re: Replacing halyards and jib sheets

I appreciate all the opinions, of course I can't say there was a consensus on many things. :-)

Since we've handled 7/16" halyards for years without complaint, I think I'll give the single "halyard length" jib sheet a try. Worst case is that I'll have a spare halyard and can replace the jib sheets with 1/2" again if we really notice a difference. As for tying it to the clew, I may give the much hyped soft shackle a try along with a modified lark's head. If I move the knot a few times a year maybe I can even keep move the winch wear up and down the line?

I talked to a rope guru for the 3/8" Harken furling gear that the line is cheap enough to just replace it every few years and use the old line for the dinghy, lashing, etc.
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