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Old 02-03-2017, 21:38   #1
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Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

Hello friends,
I'm finishing up the running rigging on my Kaufman 47 sailboat, everything has been changed sans these last few lines. I'm not quite sure what size and load capability these lines need to be. I have read the outhaul and reefs need to be as strong as the main halyard. I can understand that for the outhaul, but once you reef doesn't the load go down on the reefed clew? I know the wind is generally higher but the reduction in sail should over compensate for that. I don't have exact measurements of my main, but I think they are in the park of 57' luff and 17 foot give or take.

For the outhaul, I was thinking of using the New England Ropes Endura 12 in 3/8" because its on clearance on Defender for $.30 a foot (100' for $30, I'll make shackles out of the rest). It's way stronger than the 7/16" Endurabraid I have for the main halyard, but it's cheap and will offer great wearing qualities. For the reefs I was going to go with 3/8" Samson Warpspeed II. This has ~10k strength vs the halyard's 14500. Would this be acceptable or should I move up to the 7/16" with 14k?

The cunningham is a crapshoot. I don't know whether to use Samson MLX (which is what I have been using for the majority of things) in 5/16" or just get something like XLS Extra T. My cunningham will go from winch > turning block at mast collar > through mast ring > down to reefing hook. So it will need to be fairly strong to make that bend, which is why I was thinking about MLX. But I could always make a section of the Endura 12 braid to make the turn and the winch line would connect to it at some point. Essentially using the Endura as a strop.

If anyone who has a similarly size boat or knowledge of such can chime in to help that would be very helpful.

Regards,

Ronnie
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Old 02-03-2017, 22:16   #2
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

You really do want them to be strong enough so that you never need wonder if they are. Which, here are some factors that need to be considered.
- Any line, Spectra especially/included shouldn't be regularly loaded past 25% of it's breaking strength.
- Plus, for any sharp turns it takes/small radii it passes over, you can lose 1/3-1/2 of the line's strength.
- Your boat's a heavy one, & she also has big sails. Which, if you do the math for clew loads on your main in 25kts, & 30kts, the numbers are fairly high. And they needn't always be appreciably lower once you've reefed.
- Sometimes mains, even reefed, scoop up sizeabe quantites of water. And or suffer through accidental jybes. Both of which hugely magnify the loads on everything attached to them/attaching them to the rig & boat.
- Trying to re-reeve broken reefing lines through the boom while at sea sucks under the best of conditions.
- Reefing lines tend to suffer from more chafe than any other lines onboard.

For my money, I prefer to get some nice, stupid strong, color coordinated line for each reef. And then splice up short strops to connect onto the ends of the reefing lines proper, such that said strops reside in the high wear location of the reefing setup when it's in use.

For example, the strop for the 1st reef goes from the boom, through the crinkle/block, & back down 90% of the way to the boom. Where it's affixed to the reefing line proper. And the reefing line proper is what runs through the boom up to the gooseneck, or wherever your reefing lines get adjusted from.

This way when that strop gets to looking fuzzy/fugly, it's easy & cheap to replace it. Rather than having to buy a whole new reefing line. Plus there's the benefit that since it's Spectra, it's highly chafe resistant to begin with.
Make sense?

Also, by their nature, reefing lines both get shock loaded, & cyclically stretched a lot. And this type of stressor wears out lines in a hurry. So low stretch lines used for such purposes help mitigate this.
Which, such is also true of outhauls. For which I'm a fan of bare Spectra, just like with the above described strops.

PS: Extra chafe sleeving sewn in place before the wear starts is wise, as is the use of Maxi Jacket II, or RP25. And don't take my word as gospel on any of these things. Ring up www.APSltd.com they're usually really helpful, & know rigging.
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Old 02-03-2017, 22:39   #3
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
You really do want them to be strong enough so that you never need wonder if they are. Which, here are some factors that need to be considered.
- Any line, Spectra especially/included shouldn't be regularly loaded past 25% of it's breaking strength.
- Plus, for any sharp turns it takes/small radii it passes over, you can lose 1/3-1/2 of the line's strength.
- Your boat's a heavy one, & she also has big sails. Which, if you do the math for clew loads on your main in 25kts, & 30kts, the numbers are fairly high. And they needn't always be appreciably lower once you've reefed.
- Sometimes mains, even reefed, scoop up sizeabe quantites of water. And or suffer through accidental jybes. Both of which hugely magnify the loads on everything attached to them/attaching them to the rig & boat.
- Trying to re-reeve broken reefing lines through the boom while at sea sucks under the best of conditions.
- Reefing lines tend to suffer from more chafe than any other lines onboard.

For my money, I prefer to get some nice, stupid strong, color coordinated line for each reef. And then splice up short strops to connect onto the ends of the reefing lines proper, such that said strops reside in the high wear location of the reefing setup when it's in use.

For example, the strop for the 1st reef goes from the boom, through the crinkle/block, & back down 90% of the way to the boom. Where it's affixed to the reefing line proper. And the reefing line proper is what runs through the boom up to the gooseneck, or wherever your reefing lines get adjusted from.

This way when that strop gets to looking fuzzy/fugly, it's easy & cheap to replace it. Rather than having to buy a whole new reefing line. Plus there's the benefit that since it's Spectra, it's highly chafe resistant to begin with.
Make sense?

Also, by their nature, reefing lines both get shock loaded, & cyclically stretched a lot. And this type of stressor wears out lines in a hurry. So low stretch lines used for such purposes help mitigate this.
Which, such is also true of outhauls. For which I'm a fan of bare Spectra, just like with the above described strops.

PS: Extra chafe sleeving sewn in place before the wear starts is wise, as is the use of Maxi Jacket II, or RP25. And don't take my word as gospel on any of these things. Ring up www.APSltd.com they're usually really helpful, & know rigging.
Appreciate the advice, a few things I didn't think about in your considerations. I already planned on having differing colors for reefs: Black NER Endura 12 for outhaul, (I think I have two reefs. I have unfortunately only sailed the boat once before the rerig) Blue Warpspeed II for first reef and Red warpspeed for 2nd reef.

That being said, I should continue with the 3/8" Endura 12 for outhaul, then 7/16" Warpspeed II for reefs. That would keep everything comparable to the halyard when reefed. Also, with the extra Endura 12, I can make a bunch of long soft shackles or strops to connect to the reef crinkles(cringles?) this would prevent the possible chafing to the reef line like you suggested.

Does that sound about right?
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Old 02-03-2017, 22:46   #4
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

Here is the link to the Defender page for the NER Endura 12 line for $0.30 a foot.

New England Ropes Endura 12 Line

I think that's a pretty good deal.. Not sure why it's so cheap though. i may call them in the morning to make sure its not half melted or something

Amsteel AS-78 for the same size is $2.65 per foot...
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Old 02-03-2017, 23:02   #5
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

Sounds like you're on track. And as well, it's pretty easy to add a cover (jacket) to 12-strand Dyneema so that it can be used as a conventional line where it contacts winches, runs through clutches, etc.

I'm not sure what kind of life your boom's led, but with some that were built in pre-spectra times, there can be a lot of burrs, scored sheaves, & sharp edges near any & all line exits on booms. Such as their aft ends where the old wire reefing lines exited.
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:19   #6
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Sounds like you're on track. And as well, it's pretty easy to add a cover (jacket) to 12-strand Dyneema so that it can be used as a conventional line where it contacts winches, runs through clutches, etc.

I'm not sure what kind of life your boom's led, but with some that were built in pre-spectra times, there can be a lot of burrs, scored sheaves, & sharp edges near any & all line exits on booms. Such as their aft ends where the old wire reefing lines exited.
I have a Isomat boom with 4 sheaves and a outhaul car. The boom had line ran when I got it and I changed out all the sheaves as well.

Any advice on the Cunningham line? From the dyneema strop, should 5/16" MLX work for those loads or is that a little overkill?
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:08   #7
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

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I have a Isomat boom with 4 sheaves and a outhaul car. The boom had line ran when I got it and I changed out all the sheaves as well.

Any advice on the Cunningham line? From the dyneema strop, should 5/16" MLX work for those loads or is that a little overkill?
Cunninghams are "tweaking" lines. Five-sixteeths should be fine as long as it reaches the winch. Frankly, a lot of my answer would rely on my opinion of how much friction was in your mast track. If you have a full-batten batt-car system (which at that size I would expect), it's slippery enough to not have to grind that line to achieve the correct tension.

I put in a Tides Marine setup last year and went to Spectra cored Dacron-covered 1/2" halvards all around. Couldn't be happier.
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Old 04-03-2017, 18:58   #8
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

Sorry guys.... too many words, too many brand names (endura!? Is it a bike!?)

Low stretch is key.

Use dyneema SK78 12mm (1/2" or 7/16") for halyards and mainsail base.

Reefing lines better in PE, as some elasticity may be preferred under stress. I (would ) use14mm.

Cunningham, a size lower.
Kaufman54'

PS be sure that blocks on masthead are adequately sized, say 3' diam or more
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:24   #9
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

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Cunninghams are "tweaking" lines. Five-sixteeths should be fine as long as it reaches the winch. Frankly, a lot of my answer would rely on my opinion of how much friction was in your mast track. If you have a full-batten batt-car system (which at that size I would expect), it's slippery enough to not have to grind that line to achieve the correct tension.

I put in a Tides Marine setup last year and went to Spectra cored Dacron-covered 1/2" halvards all around. Couldn't be happier.
My mast is old school, still have regular sail slides but will get the Tides track whenever we inevitably get a new main. I'm definitely jealous of your Tides system, only hear great stories about it! Thanks for the tip, I ordered the 5/16 MLX. It goes back to its own winch so should be plenty.
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Old 06-03-2017, 11:25   #10
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

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Originally Posted by TheThunderbird View Post
Sorry guys.... too many words, too many brand names (endura!? Is it a bike!?)

Low stretch is key.

Use dyneema SK78 12mm (1/2" or 7/16") for halyards and mainsail base.

Reefing lines better in PE, as some elasticity may be preferred under stress. I (would ) use14mm.

Cunningham, a size lower.
Kaufman54'

PS be sure that blocks on masthead are adequately sized, say 3' diam or more
Yea, we have been trying to keep stretch to a minimum on most of our lines. I couldn't use 14mm on our reef lines because the boom sheaves would not accept that size. We'll probably go with Warpspeed or MLX. Our masthead sheeves are new Garhauer units that are about 3" but they replaced the original nylon ones nicely.
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Old 06-03-2017, 11:57   #11
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

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Yea, we have been trying to keep stretch to a minimum on most of our lines. I couldn't use 14mm on our reef lines because the boom sheaves would not accept that size. We'll probably go with Warpspeed or MLX. Our masthead sheeves are new Garhauer units that are about 3" but they replaced the original nylon ones nicely.
On sheaves, & diameters, you know that it's best to have the sheave's diameter be a minimum of 8x the rope's diameter, right? Though I'm thinking that in the case of something with a high modulus core, one might get away with the sheave being 8x the diameter of the core, not the rope itself. Though it may be worth asking a pro.

Which, I'm curious what was used for halyards before, in terms of cordage & it's diameter, if the sheaves are that small. Or are there 2 sheaves per line, one in front of the other?

And when it comes to boom sheaves, make sure that if you go to a line that's almost the maximum width that the sheave will carry, that the line won't get chewed up by the sheave's edges due to the line angling off of it a bit when the reef is in use. IE make sure that the reefing line has a fair lead to the sheave.
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Old 07-03-2017, 23:35   #12
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

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On sheaves, & diameters, you know that it's best to have the sheave's diameter be a minimum of 8x the rope's diameter, right? Though I'm thinking that in the case of something with a high modulus core, one might get away with the sheave being 8x the diameter of the core, not the rope itself. Though it may be worth asking a pro.

Which, I'm curious what was used for halyards before, in terms of cordage & it's diameter, if the sheaves are that small. Or are there 2 sheaves per line, one in front of the other?

And when it comes to boom sheaves, make sure that if you go to a line that's almost the maximum width that the sheave will carry, that the line won't get chewed up by the sheave's edges due to the line angling off of it a bit when the reef is in use. IE make sure that the reefing line has a fair lead to the sheave.
To be honest, at the time I didn't know the 8x rule, I just replaced them with similar sheaves. The Garhauers are the biggest they have at 3.25" diameter, I have 7/16" Endura braid. That comes out to 3.5" for 8x diameter. I think that's pretty acceptable considering Endura is a full dyneema line.

The original halyards were at least half inch Dacron to wire. But they were so badly weathered (cover broke and slid down the core on the fwd halyards) I couldn't really tell. But my guess is either 7/16 or 1/2 line for halyards. Just one sheave up top per halyard, no doubles.

I'll definitely check out the boom sheaves when I run the new lines. They are just nylon sheaves. If I get a lot of abrasion I could try to get wider ones from Zephyr sheaves.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:21   #13
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

Using a high tech rope for a reefing line is just throwing money away. Reefing lines are meant to get bashed around as they always are so just use your preferred brand of limited stretch double braid such as XLS. Whatever you use absolutely must have a thick cover because abrasion is always huge with reefing lines.

The outhaul does not need to be anywhere near as strong as the halyard. What is your purchase and cleating method ?

Same for the cunningham where you want the thinnest rope that the clutch can handle. What is your cleating system for this line ?
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Old 08-03-2017, 21:32   #14
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

If you go with smaller diameter lines, will they work in the self tailer of your winches?

I would like to see a photo of Uncivilized strop setup. It sounds like great idea. How do the strops attach?
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Old 08-03-2017, 21:56   #15
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Re: Cunningham, Outhaul and Reefing lines Sizes for 50' boat

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Using a high tech rope for a reefing line is just throwing money away. Reefing lines are meant to get bashed around as they always are so just use your preferred brand of limited stretch double braid such as XLS. Whatever you use absolutely must have a thick cover because abrasion is always huge with reefing lines.
Part of the reason for low stretch reefing lines is that as long as you use the cordage equivalent of rubber bands to attach the sail's corners, you'll never be able to shape it well, or trim it properly. And if you're fine with this, then maybe, maybe stick with dacron reefing lines.

But the reality is that if you do a bit of your own rigging, it's not much more expensive to set your boat up with Spectra reefing lines. And they'll last a heck of a lot longer than Dacron. Given that wear from stretch is what kills most lines; internal stretch & abrasion, as well as the abrasion from when the lines stretch & move over various hardware. Spectra's ideal for handlng this, as most know.

Plus, if you use easily replaceable pendants in your reefing lines at their high wear points, then when they get old enough to need to be swapped, you're only replacing a few feet of line, instead of the whole reefing line.

Also, there's a reason why some boats have webbed on blocks at their clew reefing points. reef blocks-antal Or that they hang low friction rings there, as well as at the tack reefs. Which, if you run Spectra pendants through such rings, cordage lasts even longer (than if they're run through cringles).
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