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post #1 of 7 Old 01-18-2013 Thread Starter
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what line?

Pouring over all the offerings and find I am lost in which line to use for my Watkins-27. Main sheet control via Barton #4 fiddle blocks, w/max 7/16" line sheaves. Existing line is a double-braid of undeterminate mfgr and age; but measures out to nearer 3/8" (stretch?). Have heard from one or two that recommend 7/16" main and 3/8" halyards and jib sheet/s.
What say you?

I'd like to do a "once and done" purchase for mains, halyards and jib/Genoa sheet. I *DID* find a good ref site; but the bookmark din't take. Now might be a good time to buy; off season and all. Trying to figger out max length has been a hoot, too. Looks like near 80' of main, two @ 35' for halyards and to bring both sheets from the Genny back to the cockpit, I'd need near total 60 feet. No luck finding rigging specs specifically for the W-27; just generic PEIJ figgers.

Dacron, Nylon, Spectra, Dyneema? What's the deal with poly anyway? Good? Bad? Don't wanna hafta spend a fortune; but I sure don't wanna end up replacing or breaking anything, either! AT the lengths I need, I figger I can find, and have! odd cuts on EBayfor near half price

Your guidance is appreciated,

Last edited by deltaten; 01-18-2013 at 12:48 PM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-18-2013
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Re: what line?

New England Ropes - Pleasure Marine for general use, I'd say T-900 for halyards, StaSet for sheets.

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post #3 of 7 Old 01-18-2013
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Re: what line?

I've been in your position twice, which has made me learn quite a bit about line (but certainly not as much as a pro).

Double check your lengths. The mast on my 28' boat is 37' tall and I need at least 95' of line to bring halyards back to the cockpit. The length required needs to go from the cockpit to the top of the mast and back down to the base of the forestay.

I prefer larger jib sheets to the main sheet. The jib sheets have no mechanical advantage when you aren't using a winch, the main sheet should have at least a 4:1 block setup. The limiting size on the main sheet is what will fit through your blocks, where jib sheets are only limited by what works with your winches. The downside of going too large on jib sheets is that they'll be heavy and will weigh down the sail in high winds. These days sizes are based more what on what is comfortable to handle, not required strength.

I spend the money for low stretch lines (like Samson XLS Extra) on halyards, but not on sheets. 3% stretch (typical of double braid dacron like XLS or Sta-Set) on a 95' halyard is a lot and will prevent you from getting a high luff tension. 3% stretch on a jib sheet seems like less of a big deal since the sail will also stretch under high wind loads. Dyneema-based XLS Extra has under 1% stretch, double braids like XLS/Sta-Set/Novabraid are about 3% stretch, all measured at 20% of breaking strength.

On my 28' boat here is what I'm using:
* Main/Genoa halyards: 95' XLS Extra T, 3/8"
* Spin halyard: 95' XLS, 3/8"
* Main sheet: 45' XLS Extra, 7/16" (mostly because I got an offcut for a good price)
* Jib sheets: I didn't purchase them, looks like 35' each of 7/16" Sta-Set
* Vang: 3/8" XLS
* Reefing: I plan on splicing 3/16" Amsteel (bare dyneema) to run through the sail, then bring that down to 3/8" XLS for running through the clutch and winch. Amsteel is really slippery and low stretch, but doesn't work well with winches or clutches.
* Outhaul: 3/16" Amsteel with an eye splice on either end. The end by the mast is connected to a 4:1 tackle and that connects back to the clutch and winch with something that looks like 5/16" XLS.
* Topping lift: 1/8" Amsteel from the masthead to the boom, holding a block. 1/4" Novabraid (cheap XLS substitute) tied to the boom, up to the block, and back along the boom. 1/4" is fine here since this isn't adjusted under high load.
* Lifelines: 1/4" Amsteel on top, 3/16" on the bottom

When I replace the jib sheets I'm tempted to go with 3/8" Salsa Braid, which is really light and feels nice in the hand:
New England Ropes Salsa Line - Dyneema Blended Single Braid - Competition Grade Rope - Cordage - Downwind Marine

It's expensive though compared to double braid dacron.

Watch your local stores for offcuts. It's hard to find them in long lengths for halyards, but pretty easy for shorter lengths used for sheets.

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post #4 of 7 Old 01-18-2013
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Re: what line?

I like New England line and would go with large line on the main , I use stayset.Sheets 3/8 as it works well in light winds use two different colors port/ starboard.
Halyards depend on what your shive can handle .That's what I have on my 28 Cal. Which I got from ebay/Milw.Rigging..Dale

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post #5 of 7 Old 01-18-2013
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Re: what line?

Check Cajunropes.com. I recently had to replace all my running rigging and I used one of their rigging kits. It is quality line, with very reasonable prices.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-18-2013
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Re: what line?

The Novabraid XLE that Cajun uses is similar to XLS and Sta-Set (similar stretch, slightly lower breaking strength). It is decent line, but you can get much lower stretch lines for where that would be helpful. You can often find XLE for cheap prices on eBay. Ignore any comparisons to XLS Extra or other dyneema based lines, it just can't compare.

I think XLS feels a little nicer in hand and it's not much more expensive.

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post #7 of 7 Old 01-18-2013
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Re: what line?

Watkins 27 loads are not that big. My suggestion- 8mm New England VPC for halyards. 10MM VPC for main sheet. 7/16" sta set for jib sheets. VPC is low stretch and works great. That is the set up on my boat which is 29 feet. 10MM is plenty for a multi-part main sheet. The 10mm will run a lot smoother than the 7/16" in the blocks. Very helpful when you need to let it out quickly. Halyards-90 feet, Jib sheets- 55 feet, mainsheet- depends on how many parts the mainsheet tackle has.
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