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Old 04-10-2010, 15:16   #1
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Backstays

Ok, took of the running backstay lines because they were green. The line is supposed to be white. Had so much dirt and algae that it was pathetic. Anywise, after washing them in a washing machine, the eyes on both lines came apart and the inner and outer parts of the rope were unraveled and fuzzed out to the max. The line is 1/2" double braid. What would be a good line to replace the double braid with? Whatever it is it will have to have another eye put in it. Any and all information is greatly appreciated.
WD
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Old 04-10-2010, 15:41   #2
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Time for new rope.

Our boat came with Dyneema lines for the running backstays, and they're still in good shape 10 years on. Dyneema is good here because it is lower stretch than polyester so much easier to regulate the constant tension you need for running backs. It is no big deal to put an eye splice into it, or have it put in.
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Old 04-10-2010, 16:08   #3
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Bear in mind that running backstays are, potentially, keeping your mast up, so it isn't worth scrimping to save a dollar on the tails. Rope ages, especially is it is exposed to the elements. I'd suggest replacing "critical" ropes such as runner tails every 5 or 6 years, minimum.

My trusty Harken catalog suggests 1/2" double braid has should have around 7000 pound breaking strength. Spectra cored double braid of 5/16" or greater exceeds this breaking strength.
Vectran cored double braid is even stronger.

My suggestion:
If you are on a budget, go for a decent quality 1/2" double braid. If you shop around, you should only pay about 70c per foot, or less.
If you have a bit more money to spend, go for 3/8" Spectra cored double braid (you could use 5/16", but it is a lot harder on your hands than 3/8"). You might pay $2 per foot.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:52   #4
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Iceman,

Are your running backstays truly "running", as in, removable? If so, I assume you have a length of line with block and tackle on the end of each? My running backs are vinyl-coated stainless with 4:1 tackle on each end made of 7/16" double-braid polyester (Sta-set). When I replace the vinyl-coated stainless (will be soon), I'll use 5 or 7mm Dynex-dux, which is $1.79 or $2.99/ft respectively. It is very strong, durable, easy on sails, can be (very) easily spliced, and light.

Dynex Dux - Colligo Marine

You can read more about Dynex Dux here.

If you don't want to go that route, use 7/16" or 1/2" double braid - but it'll degrade faster, stretch a lot more, whip around and make noise, and have a lower breaking strength (especially after a year or two of sitting).

Cheers,
Aaron N.
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Old 05-10-2010, 19:06   #5
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Soft wire or low-stretch synthetics (Spectra like). b.
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Old 05-10-2010, 19:17   #6
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Running backs must be low stretch. Like the advice above. Spectra-cored double braid would be fine. Or even bare Spectra braid. Eye's are trivial to make in the ends of hi-tech cores since the cover need not be involved.
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Old 05-10-2010, 20:34   #7
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Actually, I'm not clear if the OP is referring to the stays themselves, or to the ropes forming the tensioning tackle. If it's the stays, then the wire or dyneema or spectra cored double braid are all good. If it just the tackle, then double braid or spectra cored double braid seems best.

Cheers,

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Old 10-10-2010, 13:26   #8
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Sorry for being as clear as a mud puddle. Yes I meant the line portion of the stays. After all your input, I went with the cable portion as it was before and went with stay set for the lines.
Thanks to all for the education.
WD
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