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post #4 of Old 07-05-2011
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Wire is the devil, get rid of it if you have it.

The main reason wire was used, is because synthetic fiber technology hadn't advanced to where it is now. Steel wire only stretches a tiny bit.

Now, synthetic fiber technology is much more advanced. You can buy tiny diameter rope that is easily as strong as the same diameter steel wire. It's even UV stabilized.

+1- check your sheaves. If you run a larger diameter line in a wire sheave, the line gets "pinched" in the gap, causing damage, shortening the lifespan of the rope. You can however, run high tech line of the same size diameter as the wire in a wire sheave because it will fit into the wire groove.

Some people will buy a larger diameter line, and strip the cover off on the part that runs through the sheaves. This gives you something fat and comfortable to hold in your hands, while the skinny part runs through the sheaves.

Yes, this is all more expensive than ordinary line and maybe wire but it's worth it. It's a sailboat, not a power boat and lines are life on a sailboat.

There is a compromise- there are "hybrid" lines that have a high tech core, and a low-tech jacket. My boat is 25', so I swapped over to a 5/16th all-rope hybrid halyard from wire. It was cost-effective and sooooo much better than the wire.

Alacrity, 1981 Tartan 33 #168
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