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Old 18-08-2012, 08:37   #1
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Wire vs Rope Halyard - Need to Make a Decision Quick

Ive asked this question before but always get mixed awnsers. My alberg 30 came with a cable haylard setup for the main. The cable winch is a pos(very bad design). So when that malfunctioned i started thinking about going to rope. Alot of people say rope is better, but also read about haylards fraying. Alot of people say they switched to cable and never looked back. I thinking maybey just leave the cable haylard and then just later on maybey add a rope haylard into the mix that way ill have the best of both worlds?? I cant put the mast back on the boat with that cable sheave in there if i wanna go rope(without serious mods that i dont have time for now as i already missed half the boating season) thats why i need to figure this out
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Old 18-08-2012, 09:00   #2
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

I have a wire halyard main. I like it. The winch is only dangerous if not used properly. You shouldn't have the handle in the winch when you do anything other than raise the sail. Other that one issue, wire makes an excellent halyard. It's everything the rope manufacturers are trying to achieve.

I'll probably change mine to rope eventually, but right now $30 for new wire instead of $130 for a rope, new winch, and a new sheave, makes all the difference for me.
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Old 18-08-2012, 09:02   #3
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

You got "mixed answers"? Here on CF? NO!

Here's my 2c. Wire halyards were originally used to minimize stretch. With today's super low stretch materials (some LESS than wire!) there is absolutely no reason to use wire halyards (unless your installation just simply precludes anything else -- which is unlikely).

My H33 still has wire halyards with rope tails. I plan to re-rig with all rope this season.

I would re-rig with low stretch line, like Sta-Set for example (yours is a cruising boat so you really don't need something more exotic). You will need to replace the mast head sheave and the winch of course.
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Old 18-08-2012, 09:08   #4
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

Not all sheaves are wire (or rope) only. Tartan was smart enough to use a combo wire/rope sheave way back before rope became the norm

You can look at it and tell. If it has a smaller V groove in the bottom of the regular sized U shaped groove, you don't need to replace it. Just need to get the right sized rope.
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Old 18-08-2012, 09:09   #5
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

still no rope has lower chafing resistance than wire, for now i decided to stick with wire, still though all advice is appreciated thanks,
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Old 18-08-2012, 09:18   #6
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

We replaced the wire/rope halyard with Dyneema last year. Used the existing sheave without any problems. What size rope are you thinking of using? we have 10mm (3/8") for the main halyard. Won't go back to wire.

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Old 18-08-2012, 09:26   #7
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

Modern cordage is pretty damn tough too. If you have a big chafing issue along the route of your wire then maybe there are other issues with your rig you need to correct?
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Old 18-08-2012, 20:12   #8
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
Not all sheaves are wire (or rope) only. Tartan was smart enough to use a combo wire/rope sheave way back before rope became the norm

You can look at it and tell. If it has a smaller V groove in the bottom of the regular sized U shaped groove, you don't need to replace it. Just need to get the right sized rope.
I already knew that lol i came across a forum on another site right before i made this post that talked about those tartan pullys and the guy gave the phone number of some supplier that might have more of them but i didnt save it in my favorites and cant find the site, that really is the way to go, a sheave that can do rope and cable, common sense really
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Old 18-08-2012, 21:46   #9
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

I haven't ever seen a wire only masthead sheave. From my first boat in the late '60s, they all have been fitted with combination sheaves. Have run rope halyards for way more than 10,000 miles of ocean cruising and have never had a problem with chafe or premature failure. Have used the supplied stock combination sheaves for the rope halyards and they've been fine. 3/8 dacron covered dyneema on my current boat has had virtually no stretch and has held up just fine including a TransPac. I don't use shackles, just tie the halyards on. Allows me to reverse the halyards and trim a little off to change any possible wear point at the mast head. Haven't noticed mucj if any though. Also, no shackle, nothing to bean me. Those shackles really sting when they nail you.
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Old 18-08-2012, 23:11   #10
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

10 years ago all my halyards were wire with rope tails.
I replaced them all with Spectra rope halyards, didn't need to change any sheeves...Spectra is low stretch and its less dangerous than wire.
I would never go back to wire
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Old 18-08-2012, 23:20   #11
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

Ditto, I would never go back to wire.
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Old 19-08-2012, 17:38   #12
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

The idea of using wire anymore.... I just don't get it. The only thing it has to offer is chaff protection, and frankly if you have a chaffing problem on a halyard, you need to fix it.

My current favorite is a tapered dyneema, like endurabraid. Less expensive than sta-set, less stretch, and much stronger.
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Old 19-08-2012, 17:46   #13
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

It cost me $30 to replace my 20+ year old wire halyard (that still worked fine). It cost a minimum of $130 to get the same length of dyneema that's going to last less than 10 years.

Chafe is a minor issue, but unless you get the very best of the best high-tech line, you can't compare the non-stretch and longevity of wire.

The only realistic improvements rope have over wire are the winch design, the weight savings, and the handling characteristics. And yes, those are all great things. I'd love to have all new vectran or dyneema halyards, but hey I'm cheap... 30 bucks to get up and running, or spend yet another paycheck on yet another overpriced and overhyped "upgrade". Whats not to get?
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Old 19-08-2012, 17:49   #14
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

What wire are you using that is that cheap. I would love a source of stainless wire at what appears to be 25-30 cents a foot.
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Old 19-08-2012, 17:59   #15
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Re: wire vs rope haylard need to make a decision quick

Found on ebay...

I think 30-50 cents per foot was the average I was seeing at the time. I'm talking about 100' pieces of 3/16" SS wire vs. 3/8" rope. I couldn't find sta-set for less than $1.00, and even then it was rare. The price has gone down a bit over the past year, but still, double the price for half the life
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