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Old 08-08-2006, 04:20   #1
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New Rigging Advice

Ok, I am going to replace the running rigging on my catalina 27. I need some advice.

1) Halyards: What size line? What kind of line?
2) Jib Sheets: Size and kind of lines?

3) What's everyone's opinion of rope clutches???


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Old 08-08-2006, 04:47   #2
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what's you budget? are you racing?
1] anything from stayset to high tech...more high tech thinner the line you can use. check the cataline 27 sites for what works best.
2] jib sheets are typically 1.5X boat length and regular stay set or equivelent is all you need

3] work great -- if they are sized right.

S/Y Sirius
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:58   #3
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With sheets on a cruising boat one might argue that handling is almost as important as any other feature. I'm rarely wearing my sailing gloves when I need to be.

Rope clutches are great tools, convenient as anything, and the new ones are pretty easy on the lines. I just took all mine off and gave them away. I was tired of tripping on them.
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:59   #4
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:29   #5
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Just cruising....

Thanks for all the advice so far, I am digesting it! I should have mentioned I am just a cruiser, no real interest in racing. Obviously, I would not be good at it at this juncture anyway! lol

Thanks for the link, Gord, it's great!

Where do you guys buy your rope?
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:15   #6
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Aloha Ex,
For sheets, easy on the hands is the best feature and should be most considered. The size that feels good in your hands, not slick, is going to be way stronger than what you need for your size boat. So go with feel.
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Old 08-08-2006, 14:56   #7
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For halyards you want something with as little stretch as possible, so that you don't have to keep adjusting to keep your luff tension correct. The best material for this is called Vectran, but it is very expensive. Next best is Spectra, which is also expensive, but less than Vectran. If you really aren't too worried about sail performance, standard double-braid rope is fine.

On a 27 footer, I would estimate that 8mm would be fine for jib, genoa & spinnaker hayards, but 10mm might be good for main halyard.

N.B. if you want good performance, but want to keep costs down, use double braid for spinnaker halards, because luff tension isn't an issue.


As mentioned above, soft handling is one of the most important criteria for sheets. You could probably get away with 8mm sheets, but I reckon 10mm is easier on the hands. It is, however, IMO, worth having a couple of 6mm sheets for using with your spinnakers in light breeze, so that you don't end up dragging your loose clew down with the weight of the sheet.
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Old 08-08-2006, 18:42   #8

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I also have a 27' boat and replaced my running rigging this past spring. I ignored the charts and tables and purposely went with a larger diameter line on all the running rigging. This is easier on my hands, and I made this my primary consideration. In some cases I replaced halyard blocks in order to use the larger line.

It's difficult wearing gloves in the tropics (smile).

Rick in Florida
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Old 08-08-2006, 22:24   #9
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8mm can be hard to hold onto, especially if your crew can't seem to remember to take more than one wrap on the winch (OUCH). As halyards are generally hauled exclusively with the winch, and far less often, you can get the strength you need with lighter line, and this will reduce your windage, and topside weight. Keep in mind that a light sail will not trim properly if the sheets are too heavy, so there is a trade off. Especially with spinnakers
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:54   #10

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Rope clutches: Love 'em.

For halyards and sheets alike, what size fits nicely in YOUR hand? Odds are about 1/2" or 5/8"....and while you can buy thiner lighter hitech sheets, once it is too thin to grab and haul comfortably, the money is wasted IMO. I don't buy into skinning the halyard covers to save weight aloft, I'd rather protect the core.

If you will be running a 150 or light air genoa, consider a second set of light air sheets that are the lightest you can get, no matter how hard they are on your hands from being too thin.<G>

That Harken site should give you a lot of good advice. Once you pick the line...then size the locks to match, each rope clutch has a limited size range, as does the gear for everything else. You'll probably find the mast sheeves and other fittings are already going to limit your sizing.
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Old 09-08-2006, 22:59   #11
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When sussing clutches check whether they are good for the Hi-tech ropes, if you're going to use them/some. Some clutches don't handle them well i.e. don't grab the slippery new stuff.
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Old 13-10-2006, 10:58   #12
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Rope clutch query

Sir,yes sir.

Having sold a bazillion rope clutches.My experience is with Lewmar and Spinlok units. I have to reccomend Spinlok. The Lewmars levers and bodies seem to fail. The most important advice,I think, size accuratley for line size and provide a fair lead coming and going.

The waternut
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Old 02-11-2006, 08:58   #13
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I have to agree with several of the posters here. Insofar as halyards go, focus on low or no stretch. Consider going to wire halyards, keep in mind, with the C27 you’ll have to change the halyard sheaves at the masthead as well.

As for sheets, absolutely go with a bigger diameter that’s easy on your hands. Line stretch is less of an issue as you end up adjusting sail trim anyhow. Good advice here by others was keeping weight down and crafting up some light air sheets for the spinnaker. I’ll add some obvious advice, since you’re re-doing everything. COLOR!! Get different colors for each line and halyard. This helps keep the confusion down to a dull roar when you’ve got new’ish crew on board.

In planning your re-fit, draw it out and keep in mind you will most likely need to add fairleads, deck organizers and turning blocks if you want every line led aft. Every step of the way, remember avoid line chafe! I even have the boom vang and cunningham led to the coach house and can sail my C27 without lifting my lazy bum off the seat.

Later, eh!

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Old 13-11-2006, 13:36   #14
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I prefer 1/2" three or four strand polyester for all of my running rigging. Easy to grip and splice, great coil memory, wears very well and binds to itself on winches and cleats.

Particular preference is Posh or Buff Polyster from RW Rope.

I do not like line clutches as they nibble away at line in the places it is most often used, especially halyards.

Best of luck,
Aaron N.
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Old 13-11-2006, 17:29   #15
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Have used all the big name clutches and one stood out above all for using with spectra and that was Antal. some of these other clutches ripped the outside rope case off within weeks.

8mm spectra should be more than enough for main and jib halyard

10 mm double braid for kite halyard, d/b takes out some shock loads.

10mm double braid for sheets for jib, you can even strip the outside case of the rope for the first 15ft to save weight and help in light air.
A bowline is much lighter than snap fittigs and don't hurt as much if hit with.

we have even used 3mm VB cord for sheet ropes in light air to keep kite working while others around us had collapsed kites. Its won the Rum on more than one ocassion.

Be carefull of using spectra for sheets, have seen boats old fittings explode because the rope has no give and unexpected shock loads rip 'em out or blow 'em into little bits.

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