Re: Optimal halyard length?
You've gotten good advice on what kind of line to use. You asked how to calculate the length. There are a few ways to do this.
The easiest and most accurate is to go to Home Depot/Lowes and buy 100' of clothesline. Fasten one end to the end of the halyard, then pull the halyard completely out (replacing the halyard with the clothesline). Measure the halyard and buy the corresponding length.
Another option is to look up the height of your mast. The halyard will, at a minimum, have to be 2x the height of the mast minus the height of the boom above the deck, and minus the height of your cleat above the deck. If you go with this approach, though, be sure to add in at least a few feet so you can tie off around the cleat.
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