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kellysails 09-17-2013 01:38 PM

Jib sheets stiff
My jib sheets are getting really stiff and they occasionally kink at the fairlead block near the winch during a tack. I am always carefully coil them up and hang them at the bow after every sail. They are fairly new but I don't think they are the highest quality.

Are there any tricks out there to soften them up a bit?

ParallaxView 09-17-2013 01:44 PM

Re: Jib sheets stiff
could be the way you coil them, inducing twists in the sheets.
How about washing the salt off of them, in fresh water?
just guessing

Gary M 09-17-2013 01:50 PM

Re: Jib sheets stiff
Every fall after the mast is down I put all of my sheets, halyards etc in my wife's washing machine (when she is not looking) and wash them. Add a fabric softener and you will see a big difference.

zz4gta 09-17-2013 02:28 PM

Re: Jib sheets stiff
They get stiff from wear and being loaded, but mostly the stiffness is due to salt and dirt in the lines. I was all my running rigging in the tub a home with fabric softener and it does help.

Doesn't hurt the line either. Some looser braids can come apart if washed in a machine. I'd stick to the tub method.

Another thing to try, is coil your lines in a figure 8 so you're not putting twist into them.

hellosailor 09-17-2013 02:37 PM

Re: Jib sheets stiff
You can try simply towing them behind the boat for a while (no prop!) to get any kinks out and let them straighten. But after that-

Front-loading washing machine, just a little soap (not detergent) or plain warm water. Put the sheets in lingerie bags (there are some stronger similar bags sold under the "Tide" brand now as well) or pillow cases. Then air-dry, laid out in long runs if you can.

Getting out the salt crystals also prolongs the life of the line, as they act like fine sand and cut it apart from the inside out.

I haven't tried fabric softener but it shouldn't hurt, it is usually some type of water-soluble wax.

manatee 09-17-2013 03:01 PM

Re: Jib sheets stiff
" We prefer not to splice used rope - for many reasons. So if we agree to work on your used rope - we will ask you to first wash it with soap flakes. Put the coiled gasket of rope (see instructions in the Rigger's Apprentice) in the washing machine on gentle cycle. rinse well, and add fabric softener. Then undo the coil and loop it around the garage to dry in the air or take it outside and do the same. Now your rope will be soft and much nicer to handle."

From Brion Toss: Brion Toss Yacht Riggers, Sailboat Rigging

MarkofSeaLife 09-17-2013 03:15 PM

Re: Jib sheets stiff
1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by kellysails (Post 1089767)
My jib sheets are getting really stiff ...

Are there any tricks out there to soften them up a bit?

Don't excite them.


CLucas 09-17-2013 06:25 PM

Re: Jib sheets stiff
I suggest a somewhat loose daisy-chain in your sheets before washing so they don't come out in a big rat's nest. I use Dreft or Woolite on my sheets and add some Oxyclean as well. Don't put them in the dryer -- take out the daisy-chain and let them air-dry in the basement.

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