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Old 27-10-2005, 17:08   #1
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Lines, ropes, running rigging?

I want to replace most of the lines on my boat and have been looking for sources. Does anyone have a favorite source? I get concerned when West Marine is one of the cheapest sources?

Has anyone used the various types of climbing rope for their boats? It seems like the specs on some of the double braid I have seen are the same or better than the corresponding "boat" lines. Is there something I should be aware of?

Thanks for any help, or suggestions.

Keith

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Old 27-10-2005, 17:46   #2
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Line sources

Other than WestMarine and Fisheries Supply, here in the NW, I have used Annapolis Performance Sailing, apsltd.com, to buy line in reels. This can be a good deal because if the order is sufficiently large you get free shipping and don't pay local taxes.
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Old 27-10-2005, 17:56   #3
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I like Defender. Give them a call with your requirements and get a quote.
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Old 27-10-2005, 18:12   #4
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Ebay

I would take a wander through ebay. There are some good deals, some not so good but most better than WM. Take a look http://cgi.ebay.com/Samson-Solid-Bra...QQcmdZViewItem

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Old 28-10-2005, 04:30   #5
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My suggestion is to first download the .pdf catalog for Recreational Line from Samson - http://www.samsonrope.com/home/recma...logs/index.cfm It is a good reference and allows you to compare, by line type and dimension, the performance of their line vs. e.g. New England Rope's products sold by WM.

Then visit Defender's website (www.defender.com) and do your shopping with an eye both to how much you can spend for a given line purchase and also the price difference between the sources you are considering. E.g. I think Samson's XLS line is a great choice for someone on a budget that still needs performance, I've been very pleased with it over time and while in constant use, and its far better value than comparable NER products sold by WM.

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Old 28-10-2005, 10:33   #6
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My experience with Sampson XLS matches that of Euro Cruiser.
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Old 28-10-2005, 13:36   #7
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Isn’t Samson’s “XLS” merely a 2-in-1 braided polyester rope, wherein a braided core is over-braided with a cover braid, hence the terms ‘double braid’, ‘braid on braid’, and ‘2 in 1 braid’. First the braided core is constructed, then a second rope is braided over it to form the cover or sleeve.

This differers from the 8-Strand plaited ‘Octoplait’, or ‘Brait’, etc, wherein 8-strands are intertwined as four pairs of strands - with two pairs turning clockwise (right) and two pairs counter-clockwise (left) in a maypole fashion .

Polyester mooring lines (anchor & dock)?
Please explain your rational, Rick - I know you have one .

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Old 28-10-2005, 16:57   #8
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For folks near NC (or not) I have been doing the same - replacing all running rigging. I use http://www.Layline.com. The sales people are sailors and you can talk technical with them as required. They ship fast to me here in VA, but I'm sure they will ship any place.

For sheets I went with Marlow Braid. It's a bit stronger then normal yacht braid and it has a nice feel. Marlow is a British rope part of Ronstan. It has a tight knoby feel to it that glides through blocks well but also grips too. I use the 1/2 inch for jib sheets and 7/16 for the main and staysail sheets as it fits the cluch and winches. Since it is so thick I don't go high tech to reduce the stretch. They make a nice yacht braid that is pretty reasonable. About the same price (or less) as XLS and about 10% stronger. Anyone on a budget should check this line out. It's a popular to buy it and save the cover and reinsert some of the fancy high tech cores on performance racing boats.

For halyards I'm going with New England 3/8 Sta Set X as my previous were all old rope to wire. Since the sheaves are smooth and in good shape switching over is a snap and cheaper as the rope to wire splice is about $50. The Vectran splices are about double the cost of a yacht braid splice. My old rope to wires had 1/2 inch yacht braid and I prefer the thickness in my hand but in high tech 3/8 is pretty good for most medium sized boats. The Sat Set X Plus is tad stronger (more money).

It's a good idea to talk to the folks and play off the cost with the thicknes. A thin line just does not feel good in your hand but you don't want to spend the big bucks for thick high tech lines unless you are into performance racing. So you balance the budget til it does not hurt so much on the hands or the wallet.

If you want to use the new high tech fibres you just have to understand that the splices get to be a PITA! So pay to have them done right unless you really are hell bent to learn the trade.
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Old 28-10-2005, 18:38   #9
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Sorry for the confusion Gord...

I thought that Euro Cruiser and I were merely pointing out sources and types of line, in general, to use. I didn't mean to confuse using Dacron applications with nylon applications.

BTW Steve Dashew points out that one might consider using polyester (Dacron in the USA) in place of nylon for an anchor rode when one can veer twice more polyester in place of whatever length of nylon might be used. This allows reduction of worry over chafe, less veering due to less stretch from shock loading (compared with nylon) at the end of a veer (sailing at anchor) and still have some stretch (due to the excessive length of the rode).

My advice against using double braid over plait or 3-strand nylon is due to a physics phenomenon not normally taken into consideration, especially in the case of mooring lines. Mooring lines are, in general, severely limited to the dock space available. the less space, the shorter the lines. Even a 30 per-cent increase in stretch under the same linear load produces a 77 percent increase in energy absorption. This increase in engergy absorption occurs over some finite time and is converted into momentum on the boat mass which is dissipated back into the water on subsequent movement against the water inertia. Let's say that you use nylon double braid which, compared with the 3-strand, does not absorb that extra 77 percent amount of energy. That energy is transmitted to the cleat and underlying material of the boat in a time period shorter by the amount that the 3-strand took to make that extra 30% stretch. Comparing the peak load at the cleat between the two cases can reveal a quadruple in tension (or more, depending upon the stretch of the double-braid).

Now I'm visualizing what happens when some jerk passes by boats at dock making a huge unanticipated wake (you are not even there to see it) and the boat, if unmoored, would merely lift up and roll over and back, no problem (except to the nice crystal wine glass that you forget to put away before taking that lovely lady back to her car). When tied down by a double braid nylon dock line now the boat begins to roll and fetches up against that fully stretched line and, if you were there, you would literally hear the pain of the line and deck where the cleat is mounted. Perhaps it pulls out entirely, perhaps the fiberglass (if that's what you have) cracks in a few places that you can't see.

This phenomenon was clearly demonstrated to me once in a lab where there was a huge granite table mounted on leveling airbags. A 200 pound block of steel rode on an air bearing (giving it essentially zero friction over the granite slab). You could push on the block of the steel using only your index finger and a few pounds of force. In only a few seconds of applying a constant pressure the block would easily move and leave your finger at a steady speed. If the block ran into a rail attached with a 1/4" bolt the bolt would shear off. If you let the block run into your index finger, however, and you backed up applying a few pounds again for only a few seconds the block would easily stop with no pain, little strain. This difference is the same as that between a low stretch dock line and a higher stretch one.

Now visualize the boat moored at a place like Monterrey Bay, Calif, where there is ALWAYS some surge. Notice that ALL of the boats at the dock have some means of absorbing the energy of the surge. Those that did not are either damaged or not there anymore. The continuous surge action against the boats quickly reveals what the calm water boaters have ignored with their big double braid short nylon docklines.
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Old 29-10-2005, 06:54   #10
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As per climbing ropes. I think you'll find them not very cheap at all. The ropes used for actual ascending are designed about as bad as possible for use on a boat. The ropes are designed to absorb huge amounts of energy quickly like when you fall a long way. They will stretch 33% or more and absorb a lot of energy but they do so at the expense of the rope. A rope that takes a long leader fall is generally retired ASAP. Conversely if you used a halyard rope to climb with and took a 70 foot fall you may not escape with your life. In a storm a climbing rope would self destruct quickly. 3 strand "gold line" is about as much of a rubber band as it gets too. They all tend to stretch too easily and deform under extreme loads like from a boat. They do better with people on the end of them.

Some of the other ropes used for other climbing puposes aka static line is in fact similar to the high tech fibres used on sailing ropes. In that sense they may in fact be the same but actually sell for more money.
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Old 29-10-2005, 19:33   #11
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Thanks for the info every one. I looked up all the different source. During my searches, I found something called Cajun XLE. It is about 1/2 as expensive as the Sta-set I was originally focused on. Has anyone had any experience with it?

I really think cordage is a commodity item. It seems like there is enough information to make a decision base on the relative specs and price. Longevity and durability are the only things that appear missing. But if you are looking for double braided, polyester core line, one with the same or better strech and strength characteristics should be just a good as another. No?

I don't need racing type lines, I just need a set of lines that will due me several thousand miles and a few years. I don't race anymore, I just try to get there faster than the boat next to me.

Keith
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Old 29-10-2005, 22:08   #12
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NO!

I've been burned with "off" brands before with line. Don't buy any brand without someone on this forum recommending it. Quality can vary a lot with the whole process of manufacturing.
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Old 29-10-2005, 22:55   #13
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Re: NO!

Quote:
Rick once whispered in the wind:
I've been burned with "off" brands before with line. Don't buy any brand without someone on this forum recommending it. Quality can vary a lot with the whole process of manufacturing.
Last sentance is very correct but I'm not sure above the 'forums recommedations'. Most posters seem to shop in only a small geographical area i.e USA.

There are many many other top quality items outside this area. You might (in some cases 'will') find the prices are a lot better in some places as well.

The 'Global Village' is waiting out there and it holds many wonders, and to be fair, also huge piles of bollox :-)
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Old 30-10-2005, 03:53   #14
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”... cordage is a commodity item ...”
“... one with the same or better stretch and strength characteristics should be just a good as another. No? ...”


In a word - no - rope is not a commodity!

Yes, a line with the same specifications would be more or less equivalent - but ...

All of the specifications, we have been discussing, are based upon name-brand ropes (New England, Yale, Samson, Marlow, etc.). The desired attributes (strength, stretch, handling and chafe/abrasion resistance, etc) are achieved by combining the proper fiber or fibers with the appropriate construction and finishing techniques.

Rope is a highly technical product, wherein there is potential for a huge variance in performance due to materials & manufacturing quality issues.

All of the prime manufacturers provide proprietary information regarding the “quality” of their own ropes, but there are a few common themes:
Goto:
http://www.neropes.com/pleasure_marine/default.htm
http://www.yalecordage.com/html/pdf/...ne/high/15.pdf
http://www.marlowropes.com/cordage/yachting/design.htm

Tensile Strength:
The tensile strength is the load at which a new rope, tested under laboratory conditions, can be expected to break. Rope strength shown in the manufacturer’s literature is the approximate average for new rope tested under ASTM test method D-6268. To estimate the minimum tensile strength of a new rope, reduce the approximate average by 20%. Age, use and the type of termination used, such as knots, will lower tensile strengths significantly.

Working Load Limits (WLL):
The Cordage Institute specifies that the safe working load of a rope is determined by dividing the minimum tensile strength by the safety factor. The working load is a guideline for rope in good condition used in non-critical applications, and should be reduced where life, limb or valuable property are involved, or where exceptional shock, sustained loading, severe vibration, etc. may be experienced. A minimum safety factor, for non-critical loads is 5:1, wherein the Working Load Limit is 1/5Th the Tensile strength. In many critical applications (towing, hoisting, climbing, etc), this limit is increased to upwards of 15 or 20:1.

I recommend a minimum derating multiplier of Tensile Strength x 0.16 = Working Load Limit, a factor of between 6:1 - 7:1. This accounts for the recommended 80% initial derating and the minimum 5:1 Working Ratio.
In practice, I find it simpler and safer to divide the specified Strength by 10 = WLL

Sorry, not familiar with Cajun Trading Co ropes.

FWIW,
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Old 30-10-2005, 06:18   #15
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The analysis of the specifications is what I was refering to. If WLL, stretch, and Tensile strength are comprable can you make a determination on price. Many. MANY companies attempt to differentiate products with marketing. They attempt to give one the impression that their product is different. In many instances they are not significantly different. They order products from the same plants, they may make slight deviations in the building materials, packaging or look. But, the products are still sound.

The way I attempt to sort through this is to ask people with relavent experience. I generally know the branded product are serviceable, you tend to hear about it otherwise. The challenge is to find good product that is not well branded. It really helps to know of specific experience. If you used a product and it failed, or was not what you expected, which product and what was the failure REALLY helps. Me at least.

Thanks for all the input. It REALLY helps me and probably others that have similar questions in the future.

Keith
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