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Old 07-08-2017, 08:10   #1
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Sizing main halyard

I'm going to replace my wire halyard with an all rope halyard next trip I make out to the boat. As far as I can tell I think I'll be going with VPC line, as it seems a good balance between performance and cost.

However, I'm having difficulty identifying what diameter line to go with. I've googled high and low and can't find much. I found a chart here (Rope diameter, which one to choose?) which seems to indicate 10-12mm might be good for my 47' boat. I have a ketch with a "P" of 47.75. Anyone have a recommendation if 10 is OK or should I go with 11, or 12 even?
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:17   #2
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Re: Sizing main halyard

Nice choice in line - I like the VPC for my halyards as it is a nice balance between strength, low stretch, and cost. My initial concern is with your masthead sheave, which is designed for use with low-diameter wire. It will either jam or tear up your new halyard, or both, if you just switch out to all line.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:26   #3
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Re: Sizing main halyard

In addition to the concern that John_Trusty described, you need to consider matching the halyard to other fittings, such as the halyard rope clutch, if you have one.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:39   #4
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Re: Sizing main halyard

Thanks for the concerns. No rope clutch, yet, I was going to purchase one to match the line I purchase. The existing set up is a wire drum with a brake. All of the sheaves have dual profiles for wire/rope.

The previous owner switched the jib halyard from a wire/rope combo to rope only, which has been running fine for 8 years. He said all of the masthead sheaves had the same profile.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:49   #5
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Re: Sizing main halyard

Thats a pretty low aspect rig, so from a strength and stretch perspective 10mm VPC would be fine for you.

12mm would be more comfortable on the hands, but 10mm is perfectly workable.
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:49   #6
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Re: Sizing main halyard

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Trusty View Post
Nice choice in line - I like the VPC for my halyards as it is a nice balance between strength, low stretch, and cost. My initial concern is with your masthead sheave, which is designed for use with low-diameter wire. It will either jam or tear up your new halyard, or both, if you just switch out to all line.
I've sailed two boats more than 10,000 miles with rope halyards and the wire/rope sheaves in the masthead, never a problem. Inspect the sheaves in the off chance there is a bad burr that might chafe the rope, smooth it with a file/sndnpaper etc. and don't worry about it.

One thing I do which should be done on any boat is not use spliced shackles to attach the halyards to the sails. By tieing on the halyards, you can vary the wear points on the halyard each time you tie it to the sail, occasionally cut a foot or two off to vary the wear points even more, and end for end the halyard to even out UV damage.
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:51   #7
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Re: Sizing main halyard

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingunity View Post
Thanks for the concerns. No rope clutch, yet, I was going to purchase one to match the line I purchase. The existing set up is a wire drum with a brake. All of the sheaves have dual profiles for wire/rope.

The previous owner switched the jib halyard from a wire/rope combo to rope only, which has been running fine for 8 years. He said all of the masthead sheaves had the same profile.
You can use the wire rope winch with single braid exotic the same diameter as the wire. I'm not in love with reel halyard winches but if you don't mind the winch you could continue to use it.
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Old 07-08-2017, 13:48   #8
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Re: Sizing main halyard

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You can use the wire rope winch with single braid exotic the same diameter as the wire. I'm not in love with reel halyard winches but if you don't mind the winch you could continue to use it.
I already have the new winches. I hate the reel winches, they are going for sure!
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Old 07-08-2017, 13:55   #9
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Re: Sizing main halyard

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
One thing I do which should be done on any boat is not use spliced shackles to attach the halyards to the sails. By tieing on the halyards, you can vary the wear points on the halyard each time you tie it to the sail, occasionally cut a foot or two off to vary the wear points even more, and end for end the halyard to even out UV damage.
I agree, use a halyard hitch - .

You can use a dyneema soft shackle here rather than a metal shackle, so long as the halyard headboard has a quite smooth hole (still tie it on with the hitch).
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Old 07-08-2017, 14:11   #10
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Re: Sizing main halyard

If a halyard hitch is to be the go then it needs to be used with a thimble sized to fit the line or one of those shackles with a built in thimble. The bale of a snap shackle is too sharp a bend.



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Old 07-08-2017, 14:25   #11
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Re: Sizing main halyard

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Thats a pretty low aspect rig, so from a strength and stretch perspective 10mm VPC would be fine for you.

12mm would be more comfortable on the hands, but 10mm is perfectly workable.
Thanks for the advice. I found some 12mm VPC on eBay for a good deal (about the price of 11mm from defender), I might pick it up!

I saw in another one of your posts you mention "Silk" and "Hawk". You wouldn't happen to be the owner of boats of the same name who authored "Voyager's Handbook" would you?
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Old 07-08-2017, 14:43   #12
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Re: Sizing main halyard

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Thanks for the advice. I found some 12mm VPC on eBay for a good deal (about the price of 11mm from defender), I might pick it up!


nice

I saw in another one of your posts you mention "Silk" and "Hawk". You wouldn't happen to be the owner of boats of the same name who authored "Voyager's Handbook" would you?

well, my wife wrote the books. I was just the bottle washer. . . . But yes, those were my boats
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