Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Yeocomico River, VA
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I think that this is a simple job. IMO, I think that for a Cal 28, Dyneema or its sisters are overkill. I think that 3/8" StaSetX or Samson XLS will be perfectly adequate. The difference in the stretch will be minimal and the cost will be far lower. If I had to chose between StaSet and XLS, I'd probably chose XLS because it's easier to splice. With that said, I replaced the wire to rope halyards on both our Sabres with StaSetX. It's a pain to splice but we've been VERY happy with the results. When we bought Victoria 5 years ago, it was the one of the very first changes that we made prior to setting out on our delivery cruise.
Sailingdog is correct that the masthead should be inspected first. With that said, I didn't do an inspection before replacing my halyards but there was no problem because the sheaves were made for wire/rope.
Don't be intimidated by the job. Splicing is easy and you gain great confidence in your rig. There is virtually no down side to the job since the worst thing that can happen is that your sail could fall down (You would never hoist yourself up a mast using the shackle, right?).
A tip - taper the tail end. It will make reeving the new lines easier. If you pull your running rigging when you lay up for the winter (you should), the job is much easier with tapered lines.
Sabre 38 "Victoria"