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Old 28-03-2010, 12:35   #1
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Best Line for a Mainsheet ?

without cost as a big consideration, which line on the market do you think is best for a mainsheet, that will be loaded up a lot?

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Old 28-03-2010, 20:17   #2
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Before refit I had wire meshed into regular sailing rope. I now have Amsteel that is combined with regular sailing rope before the winches. A lot lighter, easier on the mast and working well. How long will it last? Only time will tell.

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Old 29-03-2010, 08:38   #3
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For a mainsheet, XLS or equivalent double braid polyester will be fine.


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Old 29-03-2010, 08:44   #4
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Anything that is low stretch, somewhat abrasion resistant and easy on the hands.

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Old 29-03-2010, 13:11   #5
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I am using sta-set. It does stretch, but the amount is small. It will have a wee bit of give in a gust........i2f
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Old 29-03-2010, 14:41   #6
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Take a look at this:
New Yale ULS Yacht Braid - Cruising Rope - Pleasure Marine Ropes | Yale Cordage
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Old 29-03-2010, 15:06   #7
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I happen to believe that unless you are racing, and I mean serious racing, having a little bit of stretch in your main sheet is not necessarily a bad thing... introducing a little bit of "give" in your system helps to prevent loading "spikes" in gusts, protecting your sail slightly.

I use 10mm double braid - it is plenty strong enough, has a little bit of stretch, and is big enough diameter to be friendly on the hands.
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Old 29-03-2010, 16:18   #8
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I really agree with Weyalan. Stretch is not a bad thing if it keeps a sail from ripping out. Most people are so intent on having halyards that stretch less than the standing rigging and it won’t in a pinch.

I like anything like XLS or equivalent. Easy on the hands, LOW stretch and easily spliced, even when used. It’s nice to have a little extra line at the bottom when the halyard parts at the head! I have spliced new ends on XLS that was many years old.

Sta-set is harder to splice after it has been in use for a time.

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Old 29-03-2010, 17:40   #9
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G'Day Pipeline,

I too come down on the side of allowing a bit of stretch in the mainsheet, but not so much to protect the sail as the rest of the hardware.

We replaced the mainsheet and traveller control lines with spectra cored double braid (10 mm), and rejoiced in the great controll we had on sail shape. Then had an accidental gybe with a bit of slack in the traveller... the car crashed across a couple of feet and fetched up on the opposite control line with a big bang, followed by a lot of little noises as all the plastic ball bearings in the sheaves in the control line system split and fell out, looking quite like split peas! An expensive lesson for us...

We've still got the spectra line (cheapskates), but won't do that again.


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Old 29-03-2010, 19:37   #10
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For an uncontrolled gybe, the question is if a more stretchy rope would have prevented the damage... I am not so positive it would have.

We have very little purchase on our main sheet and use an electric winch. To keep line diameter down, we need rope that isn't very nice to handle (stiff, kinks etc). I am considering going to Spectra core with polyester outer braid where it meets the winch instead (the rest just the core and I agree that the Samson Amsteel Blue is pretty perfect for that.
If you have enough purchase, like 4:1 or better, I would select the regular yachting braid kind of line (standard polyester double braid), like I am using for the mizzen. This handles much better.


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