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Old 22-04-2010, 11:18   #1
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Replacing Halyard

my main ,wire to rope halyard needs replacing ,so was thinking of opting for all rope ie dyneema.i am competant at splicing 3 strand and braid on braid,though have never tried dyneema, so theres 2 considerations, expense and splicing, But then looking at a copy of P B, a new chandlery just opened offering 12mm dyneema made by fse robline for£3 per M . Straight away you got to think ,its too good to be true . Has any one tried this brand? there must be a catch,in quality or something. one other thing,which knot do you prefer to use for tying shackel to dyneema if splicing proves to hard.
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Old 22-04-2010, 13:01   #2
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Are you a racer? If not stayset should be fine. Check the head shieve - you may need to replace it as the wire grove may be too small and it also may be worn from the wire and have burs that will cut the line.
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Old 22-04-2010, 14:55   #3
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I've just replaced my halyards with Yale Aracom T (3/8") at $2 per foot here in the U.S.. It's what the rigger recommended. So 3 pounds sterling per meter looks like a good price, assuming the Dyneema is comparable.
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Old 22-04-2010, 18:13   #4
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You don't need 12mm unless you have a really big boat. For most boats in the 35'-40' range Spectra/Dyneema in 4mm is more than strong enough. Not good for the hands and not a lot of slop for chafe but more than strong enough. These new synthetics are actually stronger, size for size, than the wire you are replaceing. You can either go to bigger line or add a braided cover to get a better size to hand and work in the jaws of self-tailing winches. In any case, 3/8" should be the maximum size needed.

You should check out the mast head sheaves to be sure the wire hasn't caused burrs that would cut the line.
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Old 23-04-2010, 02:20   #5
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Sorry for thread grab, but I'm facing the exact same situation, so maybe my question will be interesting for the OP too. I have never liked wire halyards, as the splice seems to me a dangerous weak point. I want to change mine for rope.

What do you guys think about "Liros 12mm Dynamic Plus 'Cruising' Dyneema" for a 54 foot, 20 ton cutter? Breaking strength is 4800 kg. The wire halyard it would replace has a breaking strength of 2780 kg. So it seems strong enough. But the old halyards had 14mm rope at the ends -- will the 12mm be too hard to handle on the winch? Any of you have any experience with this?

14mm rope is only available as Vectran (more or less the same thing, I think), and from Kingfisher. About double the cost of 12mm from Liros. And never seen a price as low as the one mentioned by the OP; the Liros costs about 6.80 pounds from Jimmy Green; the Kingfisher 14mm costs 12.79, all including VAT.

The 14mm will have more windage, and the difference in cost is huge -- nearly 300 pounds or $500 difference in price just for one halyard.
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Old 23-04-2010, 07:05   #6
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Iíve raced on lots of big boats with wire halyards but I agree and think that modern synthetics must be hugely better. I never liked the way a wire could go through the same size block as a rope. Old timers will tell you a block for wire is about 5 times the diameter than for rope. Iíve never seen a big enough block for wire at the top of the mast!
Even then, with a cruising boat do you need the very expensive Dynemma? Or would Spectra (not much cheaper) be OK?
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Old 23-04-2010, 09:37   #7
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I recently downsized all my running rigging to 7/16" (11mm) from 1/2" (12MM). The 1/2" was too fat and took up too much space. Don't think you'd have a problem using 12mm on any winch or self tailing jaws. The new synthetic lines are a bit slippery which is why most have a dacron braid jacket over the the Dyneema/Sprectra.

There is a difference in creep between the synthetics. Creep is elongation over time when the rope is under tension. One type of super synthetic is way better but can't remember which is which.
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Old 25-04-2010, 15:48   #8
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I have replaced are my wire rope halyards with Sampson Amsteel spliced into regular halyard lines. It is a lot lighter, and easier to work with. The splicing was easy enough that a beginner like me could make secure halyards...And the Amsteel is under 50c a foot.
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Old 25-04-2010, 16:12   #9
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I don't have any of the new exotics on my cruising boat; but from my racing days I seem to remember that knots in the sexy stuff reduced the strength by something like 80% - not TO 80%, but they LOST 80% when knotted. Brion Toss has several splices for exotics in his books - if you can do a double braid splice, I think you could handle these.
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Old 25-04-2010, 18:30   #10
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I have replaced 3 wire to rope halyard with all rope on Insatiable main, 2 x headsail).

If you do decide to change from wire to rope, make sure that you allow for replacing (or at least machining) the masthead sheaves. Firstly, sheaves for wire have a different profile groove than rope. Secondly, the wire halyard will generally abrade the surface of the sheave groove, leavng it relatively rough. If you don't change the sheave, it will tend to abrade your fancy new rope... chewing through it in record time!
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