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Old 19-11-2022, 12:28   #1
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Climbing rope for traveller control line

Except for the original article in Practical Sailor, I haven't found information from anyone who has actually used climbing rope for their traveller control lines.

Has anyone done this? Did you stitch a loop or knot it at the traveller car? Are you happy with it?

Thanks,
Andy
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Old 19-11-2022, 12:48   #2
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

It was always my understanding that climbing rope was made to stretch so as to absorb the shock of a fall, which is exactly the opposite of a desirable feature of rope intended for use as running rigging on a sailboat.
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Old 19-11-2022, 13:00   #3
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

You are correct but there was an article in Practical Sailor about the traveller being one place that a cruising boat could benefit from stretch in the line. It would help absorb the shock load from a poorly executed jibe. Other than that article, I can't find anything from someone who has actually done it.

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Andy
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Old 19-11-2022, 14:22   #4
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea View Post
Except for the original article in Practical Sailor, I haven't found information from anyone who has actually used climbing rope for their traveller control lines.

Has anyone done this? Did you stitch a loop or knot it at the traveller car? Are you happy with it?

Thanks,
Andy

Me. (I wrote the article) In my case an 8 mm UIAA 1/2 rope was the correct size. I got the idea from Starzinger. I used it for ~ 8 years until I sold the boat. No problems.



The article on sewing eyes is here:
https://www.practical-sailor.com/sai...ad-of-splicing


It was a sewn splice, covered with rigging tape.



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Old 19-11-2022, 14:33   #5
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

Thanks. Yes, I did watch your sewing video, which was great. In fact thanks for all the articles you've done. Interesting that you got 8 years from it. I was expecting it might need more frequent replacement, so that's good news.

I was wondering if there were other people who also tried it. Perhaps not.

I guess it's worth a few-$ to find out for myself next season.
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Old 19-11-2022, 15:20   #6
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

I have not read the article.
It may point this out.
There are both static and dynamic climbing ropes. Dynamic are designed to stretch, static not.
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Old 19-11-2022, 15:37   #7
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

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Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
I have not read the article.
It may point this out.
There are both static and dynamic climbing ropes. Dynamic are designed to stretch, static not.

Yes, two kinds. I used a UIAA 1/2 rope, which is a dynamic (stretchy) classification, used either in pairs or for glacier travel. It was a retired ice climbing rope.


They are not like a bungee cord, just slightly more elastic than nylon double braid. There are actually two limitations on stretch in the standard; one at body weight and the other at fall loads.


Whipping twine is pretty UV resistant, but it still pays to cover the sewn splice, for both UV and chafe. Tape is easy, heat shrink is a better, and tubular webbing will last as long as the rope.


I like traditional splices, but there are several advantage to sewn splices that some times recommend them:
  • You can splice rope constructions that are other wise impractical to splice. Climbing ropes are one of these (the cover is tighter than marine ropes. Marine rope covers have to be easy to open for splicing, and climbing ropes have to resist snagging on rock crystals).
  • You can sew old ropes that are too stiff to splice.
  • You have more control over the exact length. May cords on sails are sewn for this reason.
  • Easier to deconstruct for maintenance. Just snip the threads down the sides.
There are down sides:
  • The stitching should be covered. In most applications UV is the thing, so a thin covering is enough.
  • Dyneema does not sew or knot well--too slippery, but it splices dead easy.
  • Does not work as well with nylon at very high load (greater than 30% BS) unless special methods are used (some climbing ropes have sewn ends, so it can be done, but it requires very close stitch spacing and very tight stitches). The stretch plays games with load distribution. This does NOT apply to traveler lines.
Strength is equal if done properly.
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Old 19-11-2022, 15:42   #8
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

I was unable to find dynamic rope for my traveler. I ended up going with cheap Amazon single braid nylon, this product:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VDT2S6...p_mob_ap_share

It's been on the boat, a 43', for 3 years and 8 thousand miles. I believe strongly that it substantially reduces impact load in a gybe. While I can see it stretch in shock loading, I cannot see any motion while beating to weather, where an argument could be made against the stretch.

I would love to find 1/4 to 3/8 eight plait, as is often used for anchor lines, but they do not make that less than 1/2 inch. Three strand has the most stretch for marine line, but I don't want to deal with the twisting concerns. Double braid nylon is unacceptable for use anywhere on a boat, since it has minimal stretch and the whole point of using nylon is to have stretch.
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Old 19-11-2022, 18:18   #9
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

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Originally Posted by sailingharry View Post
I was unable to find dynamic rope for my traveler. I ended up going with cheap Amazon single braid nylon, this product:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VDT2S6...p_mob_ap_share

It's been on the boat, a 43', for 3 years and 8 thousand miles. I believe strongly that it substantially reduces impact load in a gybe. While I can see it stretch in shock loading, I cannot see any motion while beating to weather, where an argument could be made against the stretch.

I would love to find 1/4 to 3/8 eight plait, as is often used for anchor lines, but they do not make that less than 1/2 inch. Three strand has the most stretch for marine line, but I don't want to deal with the twisting concerns. Double braid nylon is unacceptable for use anywhere on a boat, since it has minimal stretch and the whole point of using nylon is to have stretch.
Regatta Braid, made by NER, is a low-cost, relatively stretchy braided rope (12 plait) that would be ideal. It comes in sizes less than 1/2"
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Old 20-11-2022, 05:19   #10
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
Regatta Braid, made by NER, is a low-cost, relatively stretchy braided rope (12 plait) that would be ideal. It comes in sizes less than 1/2"
Regatta Braid is great stuff. I have it and love it. But it is Dacron, with nowhere near the stretch of nylon.

Regatta: 3.3% stretch at 20% of strength
Mega Braid: 12% stretch at 20% of strength
3 strand nylon: 16% stretch at 20% of strength

A key consideration in any line where high stretch is important, is to use the smallest line you can safely get away with. The mooring lines on my 22,000 lb 43 ft sailboat are 1/2 inch mega braid. Plenty strong, and much more stretch than 5/8 or 3/4 that many people use. I do have to be more attentive to chafe.
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Old 20-11-2022, 14:19   #11
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

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Originally Posted by sailingharry View Post
Regatta Braid is great stuff. I have it and love it. But it is Dacron, with nowhere near the stretch of nylon.

Regatta: 3.3% stretch at 20% of strength
Mega Braid: 12% stretch at 20% of strength
3 strand nylon: 16% stretch at 20% of strength

A key consideration in any line where high stretch is important, is to use the smallest line you can safely get away with. The mooring lines on my 22,000 lb 43 ft sailboat are 1/2 inch mega braid. Plenty strong, and much more stretch than 5/8 or 3/4 that many people use. I do have to be more attentive to chafe.
Sure, but three turns of regatta braid in a traveller will stretch more than the double-braid people usually use. People after performance use non-stretch in travellers.

I'm a little concerned that the OP is using his traveller as a gybe-absorber. That's not really its purpose, and I have to ask: is crash-gybing a habit for him, and if so, why not one of many varieties of boom brake?
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Old 20-11-2022, 15:15   #12
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
Sure, but three turns of regatta braid in a traveller will stretch more than the double-braid people usually use. People after performance use non-stretch in travellers.

I'm a little concerned that the OP is using his traveller as a gybe-absorber. That's not really its purpose, and I have to ask: is crash-gybing a habit for him, and if so, why not one of many varieties of boom brake?

I once used Spectra, because my old line was in tatters and it was donated. And it was exactly like jibing against a brick wall. Not good for the nerves or equipment longevity, but I'm guessing racers don't care. And yes I know how to jibe in control. This experience was what encouraged me to try climbing rope.


Even with nylon, the traveler won't move more than a fraction of an inch in a fierce gust, and that stretch isn't a bad thing even for a racer. It is only in a crash jibe that it stretches measurably, and even then only an inch or so. But that is enough to take the sting out.


No, polyester won't stretch enough in any weave IMO, but brait will be better than DB.
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Old 20-11-2022, 15:26   #13
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

We used nylon for the traveler line on our Cal40 for decades. It does a great job of softening the impact of gybes. It stretches a little in a puff upwind, but that's when you're easing the traveler anyway so there is no disadvantage. We originally used dynamic climbing line but found that it got crispy in the sun within a year. We then changed to solid braid nylon line from Amazon. It was softer, more flexible, stretchier, and lasted much longer. Cheaper too. There is a photo in the Cal40 article at http://honeynav.com We just used stunsail tack bends at the ends.
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Old 20-11-2022, 16:46   #14
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

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Me. (I wrote the article) In my case an 8 mm UIAA 1/2 rope was the correct size. I got the idea from Starzinger.
I got the idea from Jim Corneman, who originally got it from Stan Honey. Both of them were big transpac racers, both won their classes, and both use climbing line on their boats.

Stan used it on his own boat, I am pretty sure he did not on the big maxi's he navigated for other owners, pretty sure they used the most expensive line available lol.

We use it on Hawk for around 15 years, no failures or issues ever.
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Old 20-11-2022, 17:17   #15
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Re: Climbing rope for traveller control line

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I'm a little concerned that the OP is using his traveller as a gybe-absorber. That's not really its purpose, and I have to ask: is crash-gybing a habit for him, and if so, why not one of many varieties of boom brake?
Thanks for pointing this out. This will absolutely not be normal practice. Our goal is always to jibe carefully and without impact to the rig. If we have to "chicken jibe" to accomplish that, that's fine too. This would just be a little bit of insurance in case things go wrong.

Similarly we have a preventer, which is another form of insurance. Though with Hunter's swept back spreaders, I've read they can be less reliable.

I have read a lot about boom brakes and was pretty sure I wanted one. Then I saw some posts from users who said they are finicky and can give you a false sense of security. The issue seemed to be that it was challenging to manage the brake line tension so it allowed the jibe but prevented the crash. Especially if wind speed was going up and down. And even with the brake, I think I'd still want to manage the mainsheet and not just rely on the brake but since we always sail as a couple, I'm not sure how we steer, manage the mainsheet, and control the brake line tension. Perhaps this is all wrong and they work well. Not sure.
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