I just returned from Yale Cordage from picking up my freshly spliced halyards (WOW is all I can say). While I was there I had a long conversation with them about distribution, New England Ropes and general competition and state of the marine market.
They shared with me, and gave me a short sample of, the new Yale Yacht Braid that won't even be on the street until March or April. Yacht Braid has been Yale's answer to New England Ropes Sta-Set (not Sta-Set X) for many years.
To make a long story short this new Yacht Braid is very NICE!!!! What they have done with it, for the price, is simply amazing. First they lengthened the angle of the core braid to reduce stretch. The new Yacht Braid will actually have less stretch than Sta-Set X yet will still have a braided core for a good hand and easy flaking unlike Sta-Set X but it will be priced at a Sta-Set not Sta-Set X level.:dance:
The lines jacket has gone from a 16 bobbin weave, on the old Yacht Braid, which is identical to Sta-Set, to a 24 bobbin weave with two cores per bobbin. This gives the jacket the thickness needed for abrasion resistance and also better grip for clutches and winches. The hand & feel of this line is incredible.
If you are thinking about ordering new cruising sheets or halyards or other basic running rigging you might hold off and wait for the new Yacht Braid hits the street. If it's priced with Sta-Set it is a no brainer which to buy.
Dealers should have it in stock by March or April and perhaps Sail Net will look into it.
With less stretch than Sta-Set X dealers could essentially consolidate from stocking Sta-Set and Sta-Set X to just stocking Yacht Braid.
I think this will be a great all around value for cruising sailors..
The New Yale Yacht Braid (not officially on the street yet):
It's not very common to see a halyard splice this smooth: