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Old 12-14-2013
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Zanshin Zanshin is offline
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Re: Line from the hardware store?

Cheap line is usually non-marine and inferior due to the following main reasons:

- more stretch
- less tensile strength
- UV resistance
- workability (splicing, etc.)

That doesn't mean it won't work for your purposes, but it will not work as well.

If we take the main sheet as an example - a stretchy line will make it harder to fine-tune your sail, but probably won't make that much of a difference. But if the cheap line were to snap in a gust you could cause some damage to the boat. A lot of the time I see odds-and-ends line at chandleries that are just a bit too short for a big boat, but might be a perfect fit for a dinghy and those will be of marine quality at a Lowe's price.
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