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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-03-2010
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Replacing halyards

Hi all,

New boat owner- I am looking to replace my wire to line halyards. The boat is a Cal 28.

I am thinking of ordering sheaves from Zephyrwerks - The Sheave Factory and using 5/16 sta-set X- all line.

Will the line be sufficiently strong? The sheave width is .440 so using a 3/8 line will be pushing it. Still, the last thing I want is the halyward to break while out at sea. Stretch is another concern.

The other option is cleaning up the existing sheaves and using something like this: Halyard Kits (sail boat) :: Wire Ropes :: Stainless Steel Wire Ropes

I am a bit hesistant to use the existing sheaves though because the previous owner continued to hoist the sails after the sheaves had seized and so there was some significant wear.

Thanks for the guidance.
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Old 11-03-2010
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I'd go up to 3/8" line rather than 5/16". First, it will be stronger than the 5/16" line. Second, it will have more chafe resistance than the 3/8". Third, it'll be easier on your hands.
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Old 11-03-2010
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Hi, I'd agree with SD's comments.

Secondly as you are going to replace the sheaves, also go bigger than the bare minimum.

Will your main halyard be spliced to a shackle or tied? If spliced, this increases the line diameter where it sits in the sheave.

Most good dbl braid will have greater breaking strain than you need, so comfort when handling plays a big part.

good luck
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100% with Sailingdog and St Anna. 3/8 halyard or sheets is the minimun size for any line you will be handling for a sail more than 75 sq. ft or fifty pounds lift if you want to keeps your hands! 1/2 is really even better, I splice 3/8 into 1/2 on my 4 oz 150 jib sheets forward of the turning blocks.
They do make sheeves that are groved for both wire and rope just remember to size to the larger size halyard if your use spliced line. This is a case of bigger is better.
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Old 11-03-2010
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Another option if you want 5/16, is to go with a spectra inner core, less stretch, stronger than sta set. Something like XLS Xtra from sampson would work. i will also admit, the cost will be higher too. BUT, OTHER options do exist if you like smaller lines vs bigger diam ones.

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Old 11-03-2010
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I did the same thing on Argyle. Same deal, PO used wire and I wanted line. I used Zephyrwerks for the replacement sheaves and am quite happy. They work great.

I also used XLS extra for my jib sheet. I liked the feel of it better and spectra is supposed to have less long term stretch. I intend on putting on a roller furler (one of these days) on the forestay so I wanted minimal long term stretch.
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Old 11-03-2010
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Use 3/8. Larger is much more than you need for a 28' boat. Sta-Set-X is a really stiff line and a real bear to splice an eye. I've used the line of our 28 and now on or 38'. I intend to replace it with Samson XLS or one of the dyneema lines. You won't be happy with Sta-Set-X for the above reasons and because it coils poorly IMO.
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Old 11-03-2010
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Thumbs up Line

For a boat that size 5/16" should be gross overkill for strength. My T-900 halyards are rated for about 7K# break strength.
Heck, your standing rigging is very likely no stronger than that.

Only caveat is making sure that the mast head sheave will handle line (i.e. shape of groove and no scars/ridges in the metal to abrade the new line.
Also, be sure that your particular clutch stoppers will hold.

When replaced all out old halyard wires (meat hooks... yikes) in about '02, we found that 3/8 line was a bit too wide for the sheaves and that the 5/16 would hold in the old clutches. Got lucky. Our boat is 34' long, FWIW.

You'll like all line. Saves a lot of weight aloft, too.

LB

Last edited by olson34; 11-03-2010 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 11-04-2010
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It's not only breaking strength, it's stretch. If going with a dacron double braid, I wouldn't go less than 3/8. You can easily get away with 5/16 if you go with a higher tech line. I replaced the wire/rope main halyard on my previous 30 footer with 5/16 Ultra-Tech. No problems with handling and line was holding up well after five years of use. Had the rigger put in an eye splice as that was beyond my skills for that kind of line.
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Old 11-04-2010
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Good idea on replacing sheaves. Stay away from Sta-Set X. The stuff is hard to splice, stiff, and doesn't run well. 5/16 (8MM) is fine for a boat your size but be sure that your rope clutches are sized for it. I have had great success with New England's VPC on my C&C 29-II which has very similar rig dimensions. My 120lb wife has no trouble at all raising the main or headsails with 5/16" VPC.

VPC has a polyester cover with a blended core of Vectran and another polyolefin. Lower stretch than Sta-Set X with a moderate price. Expect to find it online at $.85-$1.00/ft.
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