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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Line from the hardware store?
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Thread: Line from the hardware store? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-17-2013 09:16 PM
DonScribner
Re: Line from the hardware store?

Compare the rated strength ofthe line, say, 1/4". Lowes=85 lbs. Marine=1500 lbs. Nuff said. Go on Ebay. I've paid $11 for 50 feet.
12-16-2013 02:17 PM
Alex W
Re: Line from the hardware store?

I just watched this video on rigging the FJ, and it looks like they do use a larger diameter halyard. Ignore my previous posts on that, sorry to add confusion.

12-16-2013 02:01 PM
Alex W
Re: Line from the hardware store?

Halyards don't need to be comfortable. On most dinghies a downhaul or cunningham with a multi-block purchase is used to adjust luff tension. The halyard is used once to put the sail up and not with tons of load.

Dinghy rigging is quite different from keelboat rigging. I didn't realize quite how different it could be until sailing on Lightnings and 505s. As an example on 505s it is common for the vang to have huge loads (and use a cascading 24:1 or higher purchase) while the mainsheet has a very low purchase. When close hauled the skipper sheets with the vang, not the mainsheet.

I haven't sailed on a FJ and don't know how some aspects are rigged.

The masts on most dinghies are also much smaller and more flexible than what you'll find on a keelboat. There just isn't room for a 5/16" or 3/8" sized halyard.

The only 3/8" line that you'll find on most dinghies (and again, I've never sailed a FJ) would be on the main and jib sheets.
12-16-2013 01:49 PM
Barquito
Re: Line from the hardware store?

The main and jib halyard are two that you want to minimize stretch. The sheets, don't matter as much. For a boat this size, you can use a very small diameter line. However, you need to consider how comfortable the line will be.
12-15-2013 12:33 PM
Alex W
Re: Line from the hardware store?

If you buy lines on eBay or other websites make sure that you know the size that you want. All lines but the mainsheet and jib sheets on your dinghy are probably 3/16" or maybe 1/4". Halyards sized for a keelboat will be way too big for most dinghies. On my 505 nothing larger than 1/4" (~6mm) would fit through the masthead sheaves, and 3/16" (~4.5mm) is the ideal size.
12-15-2013 11:19 AM
bblument
Re: Line from the hardware store?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irunbird View Post
Another idea fj is to source line from rock climbing stores (considerably cheaper than west marine). It's usually not uv stable, so it won't last as long, but there is not as much stretch as you'd find from hardware store line.
I'd look into that further. My wife and I have done a bit of climbing, although no multi-pitch big-wall stuff. Climbing line DOES have stretch built into it, purposely. When you fall, the stretch in the rope absorbs some of the shock of the fall. Climbers do use "static rope" which is not designed to stretch, but not for protection during climbing. Static line is used whenever the load is "static," i.e., when ascending via the rope (jumaring), rappelling, or hauling gear. If you do decide to source rope from a climbing store, make sure you get static line. Climbing rope ("dynamic line") has a stretch of 6 - 12% designed into it. Static line usually 2-4%.

Barry
12-14-2013 05:44 PM
VallelyJ
Re: Line from the hardware store?

Good to see people open to less expensive resources.
But you might also keep an eye on Milwaukee Rigging's Ebay store. They're always selling odd lengths of stayset (for sheets) and stayset-x (for halyards), often with eye splices, very cheaply. You can replace all your running rigging cheap if you watch for what you need. (I have no connection with them other than having bought there.)
John V.
12-14-2013 10:25 AM
Irunbird
Re: Line from the hardware store?

Another idea fj is to source line from rock climbing stores (considerably cheaper than west marine). It's usually not uv stable, so it won't last as long, but there is not as much stretch as you'd find from hardware store line. Hardware store stuff just won't last very long. For that matter, any climbing line that you do use, take care of it (store it inside, not on the boat) and it will last a lot longer. Just be sure it's not so stiff that it won't run easily through your blocks. You can usually find line on sale (or remnants as the others have mentioned) at APS or other online retailers- just go with whatever is the cheapest stuff recommended for sheets.
12-14-2013 09:29 AM
capt jgwinks Hopefully the line is labeled a to what it's made of. You'll want dacron, but not nylon or poly propylene. Nylon is too stretchy, poly has no UV resistance. Other than that, the hardware store stuff should work fine on a dinghy. On small boats line diameter is determined by being able to handle it without cutting your hands, rather than breaking strength. It should be more than strong enough.
12-14-2013 08:41 AM
benesailor
Re: Line from the hardware store?

Honestly; you could get by with rope/line from lowes. Just keep an eye on it. It's not as strong as it may appear. and stretchy as zanshin explained.
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