Within reason you can choose most anything. Racers don't like halyards to stretch, changing the shape of the sail. I chose the XLS as suggested for cruisers in the Samson
guide link below because it is cheap
and I like the hand much better than many of the modern lines. Since I used to race
and I don't like my sails poorly shaped, after 10 minutes or so when the line has stretched I re-tension it.
I can't find the stretch data on New England
3 strand, but typically 3 strand stretches a little more than double braid. Also chances are on a smaller boat the size line you use is determined by what is big enough to easily handle/hold. So load on the line is usually one the lower end of working load numbers and therefore stretches less, making it less important what you choose.
An example of what isn't reasonable, a friend bought a boat and couldn't figure out why rope for marine
use was so expensive. He bought hardware
store rope for a fraction of the cost. Breaking strength was around 200 lbs, vs around 3000-4000 lbs for similar diameter marine
. It was nylon, it was impressive how much it stretched raising sails, and it rotted in the sun in about a year, and he lost
his internal halyards inside the mast