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Sailor-man 11-18-2007 05:28 PM

What size line for Gennaker Sheets
What size line would be best for gennaker sheets on a 35' for cruising and club racing. Thinking about Samson Ultra Lite 5/16" rated at 2900lbs.

The alternative is to go to 3/8" rated at 4,400.

Any advice would be appreciated. :rolleyes:

sailingdog 11-18-2007 05:56 PM

The two concerns for sheets are strength and handling. I'd go with at least 3/8" or 7/16" line, since it is far easier on the hands than 5/16" line. Anything smaller than 3/8" is awfully hard on the hands as sheets go. Also, the self-tailer on many larger winches won't hold 5/16" line.

JohnRPollard 11-18-2007 06:06 PM

I generally agree with SD's advice. Anything much smaller than 3/8 is very tough on the hands. However, when flying gennakers and other downwind sails, especially in light air, the larger-diameter sheets can be too heavy. We use 5/16 lines with our asym spinnaker. In light air handling them is okay. When the wind pipes up sailing gloves are absolutely essential. Some folks have two sets of sheets, 1/4" or 5/16" light air sheets and heavy air 3/8 or 7/16 " sheets. If you plan to have only one set of sheets, I'd probably go with 3/8 on a boat of your size.

sailingdog 11-18-2007 06:28 PM


One thing that I've seen with gennaker sheets is having the outer braid removed for part of the length...leaving the line heavier and easier to handle down at the cockpit end, and thinner and lighter at the sail end. Another option is to use Spectra based lines, which are far lighter than polyester lines... spectra floats...dacron does not.

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