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ROPE/LINE Advise

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by jssailem, Jan 23, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    8,098 posts, 3,325 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    It is a part of prepping for spring. You get to the boat and start looking at the running rigging and you have a panic attack. The mold and mildew gremlins have attacked and you are the victim. :yikes:You know you properly cleaned and dried the lines preparing then for winter storage. Arghhhhh.:banghead:

    So now you begin the process of - How long are the lines on my boat? What lines (names) do I need? Should I buy the fancy new lines or can I get some cheap line from that box store and call it good? Maybe I should check SBO Shop?

    Well I can not help with all of the questions but I came across this web page that may help ease some of the pain and searching.

    Approximate Line lengths for various running rigging lines
    http://www.premiumropes.com/rope-advice/rope-length

    And in case you forgot the names of the lines over the winter...
    just click on the numbers to get the line names...
    http://www.premiumropes.com/rope-advice/cruising
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  2. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    2,082 posts, 359 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk III
    US Barnegat, NJ
    When looking for new lines APSLTD.com has great tech support. They have offered great suggestions and have frequently pointed out lower cost options instead of up selling higher tech line than I need.
     


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  3. Chris Patterson

    Chris Patterson

    Joined Oct 17, 2011
    2,785 posts, 70 likes
    Ericson 29
    US Southport..
    I buy most of my lines right here at SBO. They will differ with you if you order something “wrong”. So they must have a decent calculator for a lot of boats.
     


    Ken Cross likes this.
  4. DougM

    DougM

    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    1,579 posts, 181 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Manistee, MI
    78AFDD22-CC8F-4957-92DE-FBFD2A6795C9.png Line lengths for my Bene323 are on one of the pages in the owner’s manual. The good thing about it is that the information included is the length in both english and metric, the diameter, the color, type, and brand.
     


  5. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,142 posts, 1,420 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    Nice resource, simple and easy to use. However, I don't think I'll be buying any line from them, since they are in Amsterdam, Netherlands and not Amsterdam, NY. The shipping times and cost would be a deal breaker. :)
     


  6. Simon Sexton

    Simon Sexton

    Joined Nov 1, 2017
    508 posts, 224 likes
    Catalina 25 Tall Rig
    Valiant US Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
    It's nice to have friends at West Marine....:)
     


    Paul1966 likes this.
  7. Parsons

    Parsons

    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    683 posts, 274 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    In any case, now is the time for replacing lines. APS, and others, are having great winter sales to buy stuff cheap(er). I've found that $0.80 / foot line bought in January works as well as $1.00 / foot line bought in May. :)
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  8. shemandr

    shemandr

    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,850 posts, 820 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    I encourage sailing friends to downsize their cordage a bit. Using the modern high strength low stretch options it would be nice to not see those situations in which a line barely makes it through a block, won't stay in a cam cleat , over rides a winch, or runs poorly over a mast sheave, because it is too big. I also call into question the standard charts because they generally assume cordage which is cheap and larger than it needs to be. I think it's best to look at the strength needed and select cordage with the strength and stretch you need. And also account for UV resistance, float ability and other options. Yes, you can spend more but the pleasure and safety of having running rigging that runs smoothly is worth more. I know there's a lot of talk about using oversized line for the "Hand" but I think that's overblown. I'm not talking extreme here. Just a little smaller.
     


    Dave Groshong and jssailem like this.
  9. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,142 posts, 1,420 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    @shemandr I mostly agree with you, however, line selection has become more complex as there are issues in addition to strength and hand. I've learned this the expensive way. :(

    When I bought Second Star she had wire-rope halyards. I replaced them with with low stretch NER VPC. and downsized the diameter of the rope portion from 7/16 to 3/18". All was well for several years until last summer when I motorsailer to weather in 20+ knot winds. The additional load on the main halyard caused it to stretch and start slipping in the rope clutch. We'll be ordering 7/16" VPC soon.

    From that experience I learned there are 2 kinds of stretch, fiber stretch and lay stretch. Another factor to consider is the rope clutch or self-tailing winch size. Rope will stretch in 2 ways; 1) the yarns that a comprise the rope will stretch; and 2) the the lay of the rope will compress without the yarns compressing. I think the latter happened on my main halyard and that caused the halyard to slip in clutch.

    Line that has a parallel core, like Sta-Set X will not stretch due to the parallel core. Other lines that have a braided core will. Think of the Chinese Finger Trap. When the ends are pulled the diameter gets smaller. The smaller diameter does not allow the clutch or self-tailer to grip the line as well and it slips. The yarns don't stretch, the structure of the line compresses and stretches. Parallel cores won't collapse like braided cores

    APS has videos that show this. Here's one that shows the Samson XLS braid:



    It is also important to consider the application. In some applications, stretch is good. For example, a traveler control line has to absorb a lot of shock loading in the case of an accidental gybe. A stretchy line, like Sampson XLS will absorb some of the shock protecting the traveller hardware. In other applications, moderate stretch is OK. Jib and mainsheets are frequently adjusted due to changing conditions, a little stretch is not a bad thing.

    Another aspect is the length of line that is subject to stretch. Consider a Genoa sheet, the while the line will be 1.5x the boat length, the length of line subjected to high load conditions will be much less. On my 36' boat, when we are hard on the wind, the loaded length of the line is maybe 20 feet, stretch is just not an issue, I can always crank the sheet in a few more inches.
     


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  10. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    8,098 posts, 3,325 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    What gave me the idea for this thread....

    Real nice stuff Dave... @dlochner
     


  11. Capt Robbie

    Capt Robbie

    Joined Jan 24, 2017
    319 posts, 111 likes
    Hunter 34
    Us Red Bank NJ
    I have bought most of my lines from www.onlineropestore.com and found them very helpful and reasonably priced. Plus he ships for free to a lot of the boat shows. Just ask if they are going to a boat show near you and you can save the shipping cost.
     


  12. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    8,098 posts, 3,325 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    I have found that some of the logging and climbing specialty stores can sell great line for a sailboat at favorable prices.
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  13. Dalliance

    Dalliance

    Joined Oct 6, 2007
    637 posts, 79 likes
    Hunter 1982 H30 Cherubini
    US Chicago (Burnham)
    I bought a new furler line and genoa sheets from this site last spring. Competitive pricing, good advice and reasonable shipping. I’ll come to SBO again.
     


    Ken Cross likes this.
  14. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    4,158 posts, 2,110 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    You found cheap climbing stores?

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


  15. DougM

    DougM

    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    1,579 posts, 181 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Manistee, MI
    I agree with shemandr. Line technology has changed over the years. Smaller diameter products are stronger, and stretch less than in the past. Cost and application though still has to be considered.

    I would tend to believe that if you race, certain line characteristics such as stretch are more important than if you cruise or daysail. As always, the budget enters into the equation.

    I have one application question though:
    My jib winches are Lewmar 30s, The sheets on my asymetric are too heavy, that’s a given.
    They are 3/8 diameter, and I prefer not to use a single sheet. Does anybody have experience with lighter, smaller diameter sheets that will still self tail on the winches?
     


  16. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,142 posts, 1,420 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    On a 32' boat any sheet smaller than ⅜" is going to be hard on the hand and difficult to grip. One option is to go with line where the cover can be stripped. This way the end at the spinnaker is light and thin and the end you grab is thicker. Or get a thin high tech line and add a cover to the tail, again to make it thicker and easier to handle.
     


  17. Ron20324

    Ron20324

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    6,707 posts, 798 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    Uummm... Will, he didn't say favorable to WHO.
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  18. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    8,098 posts, 3,325 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Value climbing stores. Not cheap.

    We have a local store used by arborists and logging industry. They carry bulk rope. I can get cut ends to fit my needs. Carry Yale and Samson cordage like nylon double braid for dock lines 1/2 for $.81/ft.
    https://www.westechrigging.com/rope---cordage.html
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  19. Ron20324

    Ron20324

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    6,707 posts, 798 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    Doug, I took my B323 owners manual apart and put it in page protecters and keep it at home. I printed out the manual and again did protectors and keep it in a notebook on the boat to post changes I make. I am looking at the line selection chart on page 41. I got the spinnaker package when I bought the boat. That included the 30 winch on the cabin top, line stopper, and the spin sheets as in the manual. The sheets came with the boat, but no spinnaker. The sheets are 72' of 3/8 StaySet LSTC. The 3/8 has been okay on the hands.

    WHILE WE'RE AT IT, since someone post a chart with suggested line lengths... On my B323, I led my running lines to the helm wheel and cut it there. I found I could cut 17 or 18 or 19 or 20 feet off of the various lines and still be able to trim from the helm. The topping lift I increase from 86 to 95 to get it to the cabin top winches.
     


    jssailem likes this.
  20. Jumpstart

    Jumpstart

    Joined Jan 13, 2009
    229 posts, 36 likes
    J Boat 92
    78 US Sandusky
    Ron, you should go 8mm(5/16") for your spinnaker lines. A dyneema core with polyester cover works great. With my sprit boat we have a single sheet with bridle. 5/16" works for me and my spinnaker is considerably larger (95 sq mtr)than one on a Beneteau 323. The picture in my avatar is my reacher at 79 sq mtr. I tried some 8MM levante from Sensible Yacht Cordage and it works great at a reasonable price. I have been very happy with their Meltemi Fix for jib sheets. Best line I have ever used as it does not hockle or kink in turning blocks. Used it for traveler lines also.
     



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