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Old 19-08-2012, 20:51   #16
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

Where did you get someone to make the wire/ropes splice it for free??
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Old 19-08-2012, 21:23   #17
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

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Where did you get someone to make the wire/ropes splice it for free??
Not sure if your asking me? But the wire halyard I have is all wire, no rope spliced in. It came with a thimbled eye already swaged.

I should reiterate that while I don't mind the wire winch and I believe wire is a perfectly suitable halyard material, I would still prefer a rope halyard for the simple reason that I'd like to run it back to the cockpit. But the cost of replacing the winch and/or adding one to the cabin top was prohibitive in the face of all the other projects I have going on. When your options are limited, you do whatever works... I have a generic 'low stretch' rope for the spin/spare halyard, and I'll be using either vectran or sta-set for the jib halyard. Just waiting for the right auction on ebay to grab some on the cheap
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Old 19-08-2012, 21:56   #18
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

Running the main halyard aft along with all the other mainsail control lines wasn't cheap. To do the reefing, outhaul, and main halyard cost me close to a boat unit with deck organizers, rope clutches, stand-up blocks, etc. Fortunately, onlly had to buy one winch. Sitll, the best investment for ease of control of the main all from the comfort of the dodger. Good old Ebay made it a little less painful as I scored the spectra/dyneema line for the main halyard at a great price.

For most people, sticking with wire wouldn't be so cheap because they'd have to buy the rope and wire then pay to have it spliced. Those 'fortunate' enough to have the arm breaker reel winches don't have to deal with the splice.
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Old 19-08-2012, 22:16   #19
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I would go to dyneema or spectra we have rigged all wire halyards with this replacement. It works really well and you find a 6 or 7 mm dyneema has a huge breaking strain more than enough to hold up your sails. You can also use the existing sheaves just make sure they are clear of burrs and you can also use them on the traditional wire type winches. We did one with spectra on an old 44' ketch about 10yrs ago and the owner has only replaced recently because he didn't like the it was still in good condition. Mitch
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Old 19-08-2012, 22:44   #20
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

A) 316 what? There are a number of different types of wire, and strand orientation

B) why use sta-set? It's crap, and really expensive.

C) Could have used 3/16 amsteel blue at .60 a foot. Stronger than the wire, and no meat hooks.
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Old 19-08-2012, 23:18   #21
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

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A) 316 what? There are a number of different types of wire, and strand orientation

B) why use sta-set? It's crap, and really expensive.

C) Could have used 3/16 amsteel blue at .60 a foot. Stronger than the wire, and no meat hooks.
military surplus 304 7x19. Same stuff as the 20+ year old one it replaced. No meathooks or corrosion on the old one... Only reason I replaced it was because I know it's atleast 20 years old and I needed a good halyard to trust my life with while climbing the mast. It was the first one I replaced because it was the easiest.

I don't believe sta-set is crap, but I'm sure we can find many different opinions on what rope is the 'best'... the fact of the matter is I'm not racing my boat or trying to be like everyone else. I know there's better line out there, but there is always a cost difference that seems to outweigh the benefits in my mind.

I don't see any reason to directly replace 3/16 wire with 3/16 amsteel unless I was racing a lightweight boat and felt the need to save the extra pounds. I'm just not one to fix things that aren't broken. Obviously either one would work just fine, but wire is what it was, so I replaced it with wire.

Strength is really not a huge issue. The 3/16 wire has held up the main for the past 40 years, so I know I don't need anything stronger.

I'm not trying to tell people they should be using wire halyards. The OP asked a question and I just shared my opinion. There's many benefits to upgrading to rope, but it's an upgrade. Upgrades almost always come at a cost, and are almost always unnecessary. Directly replacing the wire halyard was the cheapest and easiest method I found, and I have no doubts about it's strength or durability. That and I'm also not afraid of the notorious arm eating wire winch
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Old 19-08-2012, 23:27   #22
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

Anyone care to opine on the durability of wire & rope spliced halyards? I hear the weak point is inside the splice where it can't be seen. Mine are at least 12 years old, possibly older. No visible corrosion, meathooks, etc. Wouldn't mind renewing with all rope to be safe but with a 63' mast it gets kinda pricey whatever type of line one chooses.
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Old 20-08-2012, 02:01   #23
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

Wire/rope halyards should never have the splice on or above the winch. The wire should be wrapped around the winch and the only thing holding the sail. The splice should be below the winch before the cleat. The splice isn't as strong as the wire and will be the point of failure if put in serious tension.

StaSet is double braid dacron. Good for sheets but too stretchy for my taste to be used for halyards. StaSet X has a straight, not braided, core, less stretch than regular StaSet, what they reccomend for halyards. X is still too stretchy for me and tends to be a bit stiff and not fun to use. Both of these lines are slightly over a dollar/foot, X being slightly more, in the West Marine Catalogue. When I say too stretchy, my test is not hauling up the sails but climbing the halyard with my Top Climber. Stretch makes for a lot of wasted motion ascending the mast with the climber.

Line that has lower stretch gets more expensive as the stretch gets less. VPC is the next step up costing around a $1.50/foot. It's got a core of Vectran blended with poly something. Haven't tried this but have some that I'll be rigging as a back up halyard when I restep the mast. Seems like it would be the stuff for cruise'rs halyards.

Costs go way up to get the virtually no stretch rope with 100% vectran core. V 100 is $2.50 or so a foot and things can get even more expensive. These lines are probably overkill maybe even a massacre for the cruising sailor.

Wire on the other hand isn't a lot, if any cheaper if you can handle the stretch of VPC. 3/16" 7x19 wire is $1.75. Add the cost of splicing it to the Sta Set rope tail and you are getting close to the cost of V 100 with it's lower stretch and greater strength than wire.

The above are all New England Rope varieties in 3/8" diameter. The other rope manufacturers all make similar ropes at similar prices. Prices are from West Marine. Might do better shopping around or lurking on Ebay.
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Old 20-08-2012, 07:08   #24
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

it just seems like ill already be sipping my martini when the rope guy is still fumbling with his ropes tying them up ect, and i like how when you pull the main down the cable stays wrapped around the winch. I have enough crap to deal with and i HATE when i am the creater of the stuff. Like if i switched to rope then didnt like it then what. The cable doesnt go bad like rope thats the main factor. But it just seems like such a simpler setup with less loose ends to trip over. The worse thing is not being able to run lines to aft but is that extremly important? I havent sailed nearly enough to know these things! i guess i figures one would have to go to the deck to untie the said anyway, but maybe not with lazy jacks? i dunno
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Old 20-08-2012, 07:21   #25
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this is another problem im having. Sorry the pic is upsidedown but look at that crappy little rope pulley. that holds the boom up, needless to say i had a safety cable pinched onto my rear main cable. But as you can see the rope rubs on that nut that protrudes. It actually appears stock this way but i cant see them selling the boat this way. That pulley is about to break. I figured i would replace it with a pulley capable of holding up my weight(and im SURE thats gonna be an issue because i dont think west marine stocks one i would feel safe with). Problem 2 would be having to reuse that old U fitting that holds that pulley in place because its not a heavy duty one and i cant fit a bigger one in that spot, so maybe drill a hole and cut a slot in the mast, O the challenges. This is a tricky one no?

now im thinken about just going rope for the main but i have one huge question and that is should the large sheave in the mast be made slightly bigger so the rope protrudes further from the mast as now it only protrudes maybe a cuple millameters?
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Old 20-08-2012, 08:17   #26
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

If there's not a seperate internal sheave for the topping lift maybe you could fix it at the mast head and run it through a block at the end of your boom and forward from there to a clutch or jammer continuing through to a mast winch for adjustment . As for your halyard sheave remember your halyard will always be feeding off that at an angle to the headboard of your mainsail. Mitch
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Old 20-08-2012, 09:25   #27
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Wire/rope halyards should never have the splice on or above the winch. The wire should be wrapped around the winch and the only thing holding the sail. The splice should be below the winch before the cleat. The splice isn't as strong as the wire and will be the point of failure if put in serious tension.

StaSet is double braid dacron. Good for sheets but too stretchy for my taste to be used for halyards. StaSet X has a straight, not braided, core, less stretch than regular StaSet, what they reccomend for halyards. X is still too stretchy for me and tends to be a bit stiff and not fun to use. Both of these lines are slightly over a dollar/foot, X being slightly more, in the West Marine Catalogue. When I say too stretchy, my test is not hauling up the sails but climbing the halyard with my Top Climber. Stretch makes for a lot of wasted motion ascending the mast with the climber.

Line that has lower stretch gets more expensive as the stretch gets less. VPC is the next step up costing around a $1.50/foot. It's got a core of Vectran blended with poly something. Haven't tried this but have some that I'll be rigging as a back up halyard when I restep the mast. Seems like it would be the stuff for cruise'rs halyards.

Costs go way up to get the virtually no stretch rope with 100% vectran core. V 100 is $2.50 or so a foot and things can get even more expensive. These lines are probably overkill maybe even a massacre for the cruising sailor.

Wire on the other hand isn't a lot, if any cheaper if you can handle the stretch of VPC. 3/16" 7x19 wire is $1.75. Add the cost of splicing it to the Sta Set rope tail and you are getting close to the cost of V 100 with it's lower stretch and greater strength than wire.

The above are all New England Rope varieties in 3/8" diameter. The other rope manufacturers all make similar ropes at similar prices. Prices are from West Marine. Might do better shopping around or lurking on Ebay.
Nice synopsis of the options, Roverhi -- thank you. VPC seems to be at a pretty good price point vs. StaSet X. Then again, for sailors with roller furling the halyards aren't used much so the rather small price increase may not be worth it.
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Old 20-08-2012, 09:41   #28
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

Rope. Never had any issues with a rope halyard fraying. Easy on the hands, no "meathooks". Go to rope and never look back.
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Old 20-08-2012, 18:11   #29
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

When someone has to go aloft, it is not easy using a wire winch. It is the coming down bit which has the risk.
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Old 20-08-2012, 18:25   #30
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

I'm actually looking at a wire reel winch on Ebay.......I've had one before and want one again for handling the mainsail.
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