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Old 07-13-2014
Lomcevak Lomcevak is offline
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Bad Rope (Line/Sheet) Advice?

So, I made a special trip into the city on Thursday to outfit my MacGregor 26D with all new lines, sheets, etc. I've had the boat 4 weeks, and been out daysailing twice. My only other experience with sailboats was when I was a teen, I had my own Laser.

I chose the store I went to based on online reviews, and that they seemed to be a company that would not only have everything I could need for my current marine needs, but also because I expected them to have knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced staff. They have several stores in the Greater Vancouver area.

In order to ensure that I was getting what I needed, I cut pieces off the end of each rope I needed and brought them with me, each labelled as to which line it was, and the length needed. I also brought my laptop with tons of photos, and even brought my jib sheet and genoa sheet with me.

After spending a couple hours going through it with the employee, I walked out the door with over $500.00 in lines. I get home, and have run only two lines, now. Not a single line is the same size and/or material as what I had before.

Now, look, I'm new to all this. So I was relying on the store to make appropriate decisions for me, and to get me what was most appropriate for my boat.

Well, they talked me into going for smaller diameter lines for my jib and main halyards. Being so confused and overwhelmed by it all, and thinking they knew best, I agreed. What I didn't agree to, was going to smaller diameter lines on every other part.

The daggerboard lift lines, smaller. The main outhaul, smaller. The topping lift, smaller. The Jib and Genoa sheets, smaller. Everything is smaller.

At least FOUR times I asked the employee to either come out to my vehicle to look at the lines on my jib and genoa, or suggested I bring them in for the person to view, and was told there was no need. Four times I pointed to rope of a different material which was softer, which I believed to be the same as used on my jib and genoa.

Well, here I am now with smaller diameter lines, and in some cases stiffer lines (ie.: not as soft in the hand) and -and this is a big one- the one line that I stated was the most important one I get (my main sheet), as mine was damaged (inner strands sticking out the outer weave and jamming the sheet) was forgotten altogether.

Now, let me say first of that the rope STRENGTH for the intended application is not in question. But what is in question is things like chafing, wear on the boat, greater friction in the system, and just as important - comfort in my hands.

Ok, so I agreed to go smaller on the halyards, I figured those aren't things I'm constantly using, so no real burden on the hands. But the jib/genoa sheets, the daggerboard sheet, the outhaul, all being smaller, are going to be harder on the hands.

The daggerboard line, being smaller diameter, is going to wear on the deck of the boat (mine doesn't have a block turning 90° down' to the daggerboard so it's rubbing on the deck. Something I was going to change LATER when I had more funds.

The smaller diameter on the outhaul on the boom, well, it goes through a HOLE drilled at the clew end of the boom, with a stopper knot. Now, it's going to have an undersized rope in there which, sure I could double up the line inside, to make a bigger knot; but it's really going to chafe on the sharp edge of the hole.

But all these sheets and lines, now being smaller, are going to take a greater toll on my hands, aren't they? Yes, I intend to wear gloves, but that's not the point. Simply put, a larger diameter line is easier on the hands.

Smaller lines are also going to wear more quickly, aren't they? What is the recommended life on our lines, anyway? Will the wear factor as much as their 'best before date'?

Now, as for the jib/genoa sheets, the main sheet, and the boom vang sheet, they were all of a softer material. But now I've got this line (polyester, I guess, as I believe every line I purchased is) that is just super stiff, and super abrasive.

So, have I got lines that are just going to be too hard on the hands, wear out too quickly, wear out parts on my boat too quickly, and/or create too much friction in the system (causing more effort on my part). Or did I get what was most appropriate for my boat?

Did I get bad advice?
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