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Colored Halyards

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Jun 19, 2010
131
Oday 23 Percy Priest TN
I've noticed some boats have solid green and red halyards. Being new to sailing and having novice crewmembers this seems like it might have it's advantages. Are there any draw backs?
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,882
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
People do that so other novices who come sailing with them can help. It's easier to sday "Pull the red one, or the blue one or the green one," than ot say, please adjust the cunningham or vang.

I put the effort into learning the ropes (PI) and teaching my crew what the lines were and how they work.

Personally, I look at boats with colored string and say "Childish."
 
Dec 2, 1999
15,184
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
The only down side to colored lines is that these lines fade rather quickly.

Personally I like the idea of different colored lines. We usually just get white line with colored tracers in them. When they all get stacked up in the cockpit it is easier to seperate them.
 

TimCup

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Jan 30, 2008
304
Catalina 22 St. Pete
For those of us that don't race, they have use:

Port tack, starboard tack, give way, stand on..... The green halyard is on the same side as the green running light... same with red. The old saying about if I can see his green light he has "right of way" (don't flame!), and I need to give way. looking at the halyards reminds me in an instant where I stand...


timcup
 

RichH

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Feb 14, 2005
4,775
Tayana 37 cutter; I20/M20 SCOWS Worton Creek, MD
My sportboat has 38 control lines (many are 'doubled' to be able to control from one side of the cockpit or the other) ..... would be frazzled if they were all 'white'.

Only problem with solid colors are: they do fade over time.
 
Jan 10, 2009
590
PDQ 32 Deale, MD
People do that so other novices who come sailing with them can help. It's easier to sday "Pull the red one, or the blue one or the green one," than ot say, please adjust the cunningham or vang.

I put the effort into learning the ropes (PI) and teaching my crew what the lines were and how they work.

Personally, I look at boats with colored string and say "Childish."
Pretty funny.

Guess you've never looked at an AC boat, an Open 60, or sailed a racing dingy?

I've only been sailing 30 years and don't find them childish, though I'm not obsessive about color coding either; just so long as lines routed next to each other are different.
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,882
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
cat - Glad you enjoyed that! Thing is, the folks who ask the question usually only have a few to contend with as beginners. When you get a lot more sophisticated with bigger boats and many more control lines, they sure do come in handy, especially for spinnakers. I just didn't want to depend on the colors, I did label the sheetstoppers, though!:) I work on the principle of where the lines come out and what they do, rather than color, but I sure understand the other points of view.

As far as the original poster, his boat is small. The halyards are used once a day. There are only two sheet going to the winches. Maybe he has vang, and maybe a cunningham. 6 lines, all in different places?
 
Jun 7, 2007
515
Hunter 320 Williamsburg
Alternate theory

I teach sailing to adults and try to avoid getting wound around the axel with nomenclature. So I use blue line for sheets and red for halyards. Seems to work and reinforce the distinction.
 
Apr 8, 2010
1,600
Frers 33 41426 Westport, CT
I use white lines with different colored fleck, and also have my rope clutches labled. the different color fleck really help to quickly identify one line from the rest when they are all coming out to the same point in the cockpit, and combined with the lables, really helps when other people are on the boat.

it doesn't do much for me, but really is done for anyone else, including people that are frequently on the boat.
 
Jan 10, 2009
590
PDQ 32 Deale, MD
cat - Glad you enjoyed that! Thing is, the folks who ask the question usually only have a few to contend with as beginners. When you get a lot more sophisticated with bigger boats and many more control lines, they sure do come in handy, especially for spinnakers. I just didn't want to depend on the colors, I did label the sheetstoppers, though!:) I work on the principle of where the lines come out and what they do, rather than color, but I sure understand the other points of view.

As far as the original poster, his boat is small. The halyards are used once a day. There are only two sheet going to the winches. Maybe he has vang, and maybe a cunningham. 6 lines, all in different places?
Sorry, I was heavy handed. My apologies.

Yes, in my case I have internal reefs, for example, so all-white would feel a bit like wiring without a few color codes.

Yes, my first boat was all white rigging, because it was dead simple, as you say. But I added color over time, as a result of requests. And as a guest on a large boat I appreciate colored rigging, while though I understand sailing perfectly well, I don't want to trace every line before we start and then make mistakes for a while!
 

dew

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Apr 18, 2010
16
macgregor 26x lake martin
Hey if it makes your sailing easier, and makes a better sailor out of you..... Then go for it. I think it's a great idea.
 
Nov 9, 2008
1,338
Pearson-O'Day 290 Portland Maine
I'm color blind! They're all gray to me! (kidding) I am color blind, red-green to be exact. So I would choose something different. At very least I can tell my lovely bride to pull the pretty blue one and she'll get it right.
 

Rick D

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Jun 14, 2008
6,782
Hunter Legend 40.5 Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
Re-rigging with colored line

...I'm gradually replacing the running rigging with colors. I have lots of unfamiliar crew and it helps a great deal. Ultimately, everything will be colored except the reefing lines. If you don't sail with unfamiliar crew, then I don't see a value to it.
 
Sep 25, 2008
991
Oday 25 Gibraltar
Me, I like having a little color on the boat. What's childish about that?
Mainsail covers, biminis, spinnakers. Why not halyards and sheets too?
 

zeehag

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Mar 26, 2009
3,195
1976 formosa 41 yankee clipper santa barbara. ca.(not there)
aaaawwww, geeee, stu!!!!!! ye mean my purple and blue spectra lifelines are childish?/ i hope so!!!! lol... but my lines ans sheets and halyards are all the same color--sunbeat grey...
..but i sure got color for lifelines!! purple and blue in ericson and green and anything on formosa.....
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
6,897
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Well, Color me Childish because.....I LOVE colored lines... Fade? balderdash! I guarantee the white ones will look dirty and puffy long before the solids start to fade.... besides if you want your beautiful solid color sheets to stay pretty... don't leave them out when you're not sailing.

On my Nacra there are no white lines... I have fuscia, bright yellow, neon green, black, red, green, blue, gray.... On my Cat 27 I have a mix of solid and flecked lines.. The solid color red red jib sheets are the most used and easily picked out by the crew... .....

One big source of irritation to me is that New England Ropes charges more for solid color line than flecked. None of the other rope makers do that... Samson, Yale, Marlow.... so what's up with that? By the way, check out all the bright, nifty colors Marlow offers for their dinghy sized line.

 
Jun 19, 2010
131
Oday 23 Percy Priest TN
I wish I could post something what would generate some discussion! I feared no one around here had an opinion.....

I wanted colored lines but got white with flecks. Why? Because I'm headed to the boat this weekend and that's all they had at my local shop. I didn't want to wait for mail order. Pretty sophisticated huh? Next time I'll get in touch with my inner child and get colored lines!

Thanks all.
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,524
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
The ones I don't use a lot are coloured so I can remember.. Spin Halyard, black; pole topping lift, red; pole downhaul, blue..
 
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