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Old 16-03-2014, 17:18   #1
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New lines

Imagine: you come across the boat of your dreams at the price of your dreams, but it has no lines on board whatsoever. What lengths, diameters, strengths, materials, etc. do you use to outfit her?
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Old 16-03-2014, 18:20   #2
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Re: New lines

Lines are not a significant part of the cost of equipping a boat, not cheap, just not one of the really big expenses. Of course, the size of the boat makes a difference and you've given absolutely no idea what size boat you are talking or what grades of line you are wanting. 3/8" sheets can run between $.80 a foot to north of $3.00 a foot depending on how anal you are about weight and stretch.

Suggest you do a little research on your own. You can figure sheets at 1.5 times the length of the boat, halyards at twice the mast height plus 10' or so then pick the line you want use and multiply.
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Old 16-03-2014, 19:20   #3
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Suggest you do a little research on your own.
Well the point is merely to see if anyone has any nuanced points of view on the matter or has, through his experiences, picked up any fussy preferences along the way. I'm not quite asking how many feet I need. I talked to a guy the other day who was pretty vocal about his preferences, and I figure there's a loud bunch here as well. So let's have it.
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Old 16-03-2014, 19:25   #4
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Re: New lines

Since you are a New Englander use New England Ropes. You can get them everywhere and they make anything you'd ever need. Sampson is fine also but I prefer the "hand" of NER personally.
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Old 16-03-2014, 22:34   #5
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Re: New lines

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Originally Posted by NewEnglander View Post
Well the point is merely to see if anyone has any nuanced points of view on the matter or has, through his experiences, picked up any fussy preferences along the way. I'm not quite asking how many feet I need. I talked to a guy the other day who was pretty vocal about his preferences, and I figure there's a loud bunch here as well. So let's have it.
70' offshore boat or 25' weekender?

Daysailing or doubling the Horn?

Help us help you.

What boat and what kind of sailing do you anticipate? It does make a difference.
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Old 17-03-2014, 00:10   #6
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Re: New lines

FWIW - here are my choices for my 34' boat:

spin sheet 1/4 amsteel w cover at winch
Staysail sheet 3/8 LS
Main sheet 1/2 sta-set
Storm staysail sheet 7/16 sta-set
Trysail sheet 7/16 sta-set
135 genoa sheet 7/16 sta-set
reef lines 1/4 amsteel w cover at winch
traveller 3/8 LS
main haly 7/16 VPC
jib haly 7/16 VPC
stay haly 3/8 VPC
spin halyard 3/8 VPC
cunningham 3/8 LS
topping lift 1/4 amsteel w cover at winch
runners 5/16 amsteel blue
Preventer 10mm Endura 5/16 amsteel
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Old 17-03-2014, 08:27   #7
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Help us help you. .
So little imagination! The idea is that you tell me what it is you think is important to consider for your dream boat. If you need boat stats first, as if this were real, then...alas. I'm just hoping some considerations/prejudices are mentioned that I've never thought about before.
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Old 17-03-2014, 19:32   #8
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Re: New lines

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Well the point is merely to see if anyone has any nuanced points of view on the matter or has, through his experiences, picked up any fussy preferences along the way. I'm not quite asking how many feet I need. I talked to a guy the other day who was pretty vocal about his preferences, and I figure there's a loud bunch here as well. So let's have it.
Each one of us has nuanced points of view that have been developed through years of experience into fussy preferences. Because we are so fussy, we know that every situation calls for something very different from every other situation. So far people in this thread have explained that hand, size, stretch, strength and cost are important variables that will change based upon you, the boat, and how you use it. There are lots of catalogues online already that describe the attributes of all sorts of line. Is there a need to re-write them here?
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Old 17-03-2014, 20:24   #9
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Re: New lines

New Englander,

Think of it this way, on the maxi racer I worked for we had at least ten sets of spin sheets. Which ones we used had a lot to do with which spinnaker pole we were using, what sail, what the wind speeds were, inshore or off shore, and weather forcast. In my ideal race boat we would have both the budget and storage to do the same. On the other hand on a cruising boat who cares?

As a primer, I would start with every line being single braid dyneema, or endurabraid. With a lot of the lines being partially cover or tapered. Some would be multi step tapered lines...

All the halyards would use halyard locks, so halayards would be pretty lightweight. Much, much smaller than normal for the size of the boat.
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Old 19-03-2014, 14:45   #10
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All the halyards would use halyard locks, so halayards would be pretty lightweight. Much, much smaller than normal for the size of the boat.
I appreciate the response. So it's your opinion that most cruisers have overly heavy halyards? By what margin?
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Old 19-03-2014, 16:37   #11
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Re: New lines

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So little imagination! The idea is that you tell me what it is you think is important to consider for your dream boat.
Imagination is not necessary. With boat type and intended use logic is the way to choose lines. Racers want low windage and strip covers off except where the line is in clutches. Cruisers want a comfortable hand. With today's choices strength isn't an issue. Stretch is, more so for the racer or a cruiser without a budget.

My new halyards will be Samson Validator SKB. Overkill maybe but not at the price I paid. The most logical choice under the circumstances.
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Old 19-03-2014, 17:40   #12
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Re: New lines

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I appreciate the response. So it's your opinion that most cruisers have overly heavy halyards? By what margin?
It very much depends... If you have halyard locks then pretty much any boat in the world could get away with 1/8" dyneema since the only load the halyard carries is the weight of the sail as it is hoisted. If you aren't using locks, then it is a much more difficult question.

First you need to understand the amount of load on the line. This SHOULD be the starting point for any line selection problem, but most sailors have no idea how much load is actually present, and drastically overestimate the amount of load.

So let's start with what we know, and work backwards based on the deck hardware on a normal 40' cruising boat.

Winch -Lewmar 44ST - MBL of 2,500lbs
Clutch -Spinlock Zr1015 - MBL 3,000lbs
Mast base block - Harken 1986 - MBL 1500lbs

So just from our deck gear that hasn't failed, we know that the maximum load can't be any higher than 1500lbs or deck gear would already be failing. And could never be above 3000lbs or everything would start falling apart. However a very standard halyard recommendation for a 40' cruiser halyard would be 1/2" sta-set x with a MBL of 10,000lbs. But I have seen recomendations go as high as 5/8" sta-set with a MBL of 15,000lbs.

Chainplates as an example are typically specced at a 5:1 safety margin, so why in gods name are cruisers running 10:1 on halyards. I really don't know, and have never understood it.

If we work with worst case scenario numbers and assumed a working load of 1,500 lbs, and a very conservative 5:1 safety margin that means we really need a line with a MBL of 7,500lbs, somewhere between half and 75% the strength of what can typically be found. So what line does this mean for our selection?

8mm endurabraid has a MBL of 8,100lbs
1/4" amsteel blue has a MBL of 8,600lbs

Either of these would be vastly superior than lugging around all that weight, water absorption, and cost of oversized lines.

So how much would each of these lines cost... Let's assume that our hypothetical 40' boat needs 100' of line for a halyard...

.....................cost......weight
1/2" sta-set....$239......8.4lbs
5/8" sta-set....$282....12.3lbs
8mm endura...$196......2.7lbs
1/4 amsteel ...$168......1.60lbs
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Old 19-03-2014, 17:48   #13
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Re: New lines

1/2" stayset about 0.99 at wolf's marine spring thaw last weekend, Benton Harbor, Mi. Home Page Nice folks - call them. I scored 5/8" X 600 ft full spool for 1.53/ft. You can also find full spool bargains on line. In our area, Torresen Marine and even WE$T marine sell the tail short ends off spools. These can be up to 90 feet and many different types - always 1/3 to 1/2 list price. I NEVER buy off the rack.
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