Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
Thanked 39 Times in 37 Posts
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Re: rope & wire halyards vs all rope halyards
I first sailed across the Pacific with rope halyards. The kept stretching and chafing thru, so I replaced them with wire, with a rope tail, in New Zealand in 74, and have had no problem with them since. I would never consider going back to all rope halyards.
A friend, who used stainless 7x19 wire, had to replace them very three years, because of broken strands. He only sailed weekends, and a three week summer holiday.I cruise full time, year round, and my current 1/4 inch 7x19 galvanized wire halyard will be ten years old by next spring. Despite having crossed the Pacific, it has no broken strands or meat hooks anywhere. Stick to galvanized . 1/4 inch is overkill, but far less likely to jump a sheave, than 3/16th. I tie the rope tail on thru a hard eye in the wire, no rope to wire splice needed. .
Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"