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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chesapeake Bay
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Re: Best line type for reefing lines?
Ideally all lines would be dyneema or vectran core, but those are not cheap.
Pricey would be to use single braid SK78 with dyneema chafe sleeve in the areas that you need it. Then add a technora cover to where it's cleated or clutched to help it grip. No cover anywhere else for weigh and windage savings.
An easier solution is to use something like VPC or MLX or XLS Extra, keep the cover and size it for the tailers or clutches.
You definitely want to error on the LARGER size for reef lines. Expecially if going offshore. A reefed sail's biggest enemy is chafe. And if you have a larger line, it's the easiest way to prevent broken lines due to chafe. They cover this in the Safety at Sea class US sailing offers. They also recommend carrying a second reef line and say that you should assume that your primary will chafe through.
Stetchy reef lines are not good. Just like stretchy halyards, they continuously stretch over sheaves, deck organizers, mast exists, clew cringles, etc. This minimal rubbing under great load will cause the line to fail. That's another big PLUS for low stretch lines.
Merit 25 # 764 "Audrey"