12 strands aren't new, far from it. Megaplait is a tweaked version of their Megabraid, a great dock
As a general rule
12 strands are a lot rounder and compress a bit much which isn't really what many of the Auto winches like. Haven't tried that one yet so can't say anything specific on it. Have tried others 12 strands but found the 8 plait is better. It's the 'chunky square type section' that the winches like. By that I mean the gypsy
has lots to grab.
The thing with 8 braids is the machine, it's big, slow, not very multi-use and costly to buy. I have suspicions NE don't have one so are trying another angle. Why do I suspect that? Purely as that is why Samson
came out with a 'new flash 6 strand' i.e. they don't have an 8 braider either and didn't want to buy one.
Re your fraying Bill. By fraying do you man big chunks hanging out or more a fuzzy type of a thing is happening, a bit like the outside of a kiwifruit (just 'kiwis' I think to you in the US). [or "peach fuzz" ~ Ed.]
If it is the kiwifruit thing that is perfectly fine, common as muck and actually a good thing for your rope
. It brings up a lot more water
when retrieving so cools the rope
better, this is good. You'll fine that the fuzzy often happens quite quickly then gets to a point and stops. It's nothing to be worried about.
If you have bits hanging out and cut all over the show, that is something to worry about. Often that is caused by a sharp bit in your gypsy
. The sharp bit can be tiny and often hard to see but can cause a lot of damage. You do need to suss your gypsy very closely if this is the fraying you have.
One other common reason for fraying is rope quality. There are a growing number that have fillers and other things that are just to reduce manufacturing cost. It does nothing good at all except for the manufacturers bank account. These ropes are likely to do anything. Some maybe fine but usually they aren't and fall apart easily.
If you buy a US made rope you should be fine, they aren't as dodgy as many others. There are lots of equally good manufacturers worldwide, we use Japan
for our 8 braids as the US costs are just silly in comparison.
As for the resisting fraying or snagging when used with mechanical windlasses, sales talk. 90% of the 8, 6 and 12 braids (talking quality made only here) use the same fibres just they are made into a differing shape. A 6 strands fibre will snag or abrade just the same as one in a 12 strand. There are ways to minimise this but everyone puts the rope into a place the winches don't like, that being 'hard'.
So No, I haven't tried NE's 12 strand but based on experience with a few others I have no reason to think it would perform any better than an 8 braid. If anything I think it would probably be a tad worse at times. Actually the 12S may flop into the locker a smidgen better but that's about it I'd say.
But if you decide to give it a go I'd be very very interested to get your feedback. You'd be bloody good to hear from having already been running the 8 braid.