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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Line for main halyard
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Thread: Line for main halyard Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-31-2012 04:05 PM
smurphny That's a good drawing. I don't think you'd get the full 8" of stretch because the boltrope is prestretched inside the luff and there is the strength of the sail material added to the boltrope once the downhaul is tightened. Still....even 1" of stretch is a significant amount for a well set up rig to be changed. Wire certainly does stretch a little. One method of rig tuning is to measure the stretch in the shrouds as you tighten the turnbuckles.
01-31-2012 01:33 PM
zz4gta Not a lot of people using kevlar anymore. Dacron double braid stretches a lot in comparison to modern line. Imho, no real reason to use stretchy line these days. Too many better options out there. And if you shop around, the price ain't bad either. Stop using 1/2" line for everything, and save some money.

Dyneema is probably the best (all around performer), but it does creep (which is different than stretch), not a big deal on sheets and halyards. One downside to dyneema as a core material is that the poly cover will stretch and slip over the core. Usually making it hard to hold in a clutch (the clutch holds the cover, but the core slips through). A simple lock stitch will help this or you can coat the core in maxi jacket. Also, a thicker line helps, you can add a small line like 3mm-4mm inside the core of where the clutch grabs to help hold it. I may do this on my 1/4" Endurabraid main halyard.

Everything stretches. Even wire. Here's an 'ok' chart showing some lines and their stretch under load.

Please note that the chart is not drawn to scale. This makes it look like low stretch lines are not a big deal, and in actuality, they are. This is only 8mm line at 500 lbs of load over 30' of line. Most boats will have more than 30' of line and a higher load applied. Do the math.

40'x 0.018 = 0.72'
0.72x12" = 8.64"

I don't know about you, but not having 8+" of hoist on my main, makes a HUGE difference in performance. As stated above, the stretch comes at the worse possible time, during a puff. And just think, your sail is stretching too, and your main sheet, traveler, outhaul, etc. Why not limit as much stretch as possible?
01-31-2012 09:55 AM
JimsCAL I would avoid the standard polyester double braid and go with a low stretch line. Something with a poly-dyneema blend core and a poly cover will give you good performance and still be reasonable in cost. I have used the rigging service at Defender many times. Good price on the line and quick turnaround on the splices. Remember if you get a parallel core line, you need to do a core-to-core splice which is not for beginners.
01-31-2012 09:54 AM
smurphny
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
Ordinary Sta-Set. Sure you can, and there's nothing wrong with it. Easy to splice (especially compared to Sta-Set X), just as long as you're willing to put up with stretch and creep.

...and before anyone jumps me about how stretch is only a concern for racers, that is absolutely not true. If you're caught in a blow, you want flat sails, (even when reefed) and if your halyard is stretching, you have to keep futzing with it.

I haven't actually tried it myself, but I've reviewed the splicing procedure for parallel core line (Sta-set X) and I'm convinced that "X" is the devil.

VPC is an affordable, lighter, low stretch hybird that rarely kinks and is as easy to splice as Sta-Set. Good for cruisers, day sailors and casual racers.

For racing, definitely talk to zz4gta. I've raced with him and he's done amazing things with line to make them super strong, and reduce weight aloft. 1st Place in his region and class high point series!
Absolutely agree on the importance of low stretch for cruising boats. The luff tension on my boat, with a large mainsail, is very important. If the tension is not maintained, in heavier wind, the center of effort on the main moves back, creating weather helm. It's like having a reverse cunningham.
I left my old s.s. wire rope when I replaced the halyard, did away with the wire-rope splice and just put an eye/shackle to join wire and line. The bitter end can't be pulled back through the sheave and would need to be cut to get it out but it never has to pass the sheave. When hauled in, there is only about 2' of line which eliminates stretch. Wire is a PITA but does not stretch to any noticeable amount.
01-31-2012 08:30 AM
BubbleheadMd
Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Doesn't anyone use plain old Dacron double braid anymore? Still cheap and effective AFAICS.

Before hurling scorn, abuse etc, please keep in mind that when I started sailing IT was high tech line.
Ordinary Sta-Set. Sure you can, and there's nothing wrong with it. Easy to splice (especially compared to Sta-Set X), just as long as you're willing to put up with stretch and creep.

...and before anyone jumps me about how stretch is only a concern for racers, that is absolutely not true. If you're caught in a blow, you want flat sails, (even when reefed) and if your halyard is stretching, you have to keep futzing with it.

I haven't actually tried it myself, but I've reviewed the splicing procedure for parallel core line (Sta-set X) and I'm convinced that "X" is the devil.

VPC is an affordable, lighter, low stretch hybird that rarely kinks and is as easy to splice as Sta-Set. Good for cruisers, day sailors and casual racers.

For racing, definitely talk to zz4gta. I've raced with him and he's done amazing things with line to make them super strong, and reduce weight aloft. 1st Place in his region and class high point series!
01-31-2012 07:46 AM
pdqaltair
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
I found this about Kevlar

Flex fatigue resistance

Using Kevlar as factor of one, these are approximate fatigue life comparisons of the high tech fibers.
Kevlar 1; Technora 8; Vectran 15; Spectra 25

Svendsen's Boat Works: Rig Shop

It appears as if Kevlar has fallen out of favor.

Not true for halyards in general.
a. Given the downsizing that is possible with Kevlar, the rope/pulley ratio is quite acceptable. The requirements are the same for wire rope, which it often replaces.
b. Halyards don't run all that much. A jib sheet, winched all the time, is a different matter.

My last Kevlar halyard lasted a LONG time, and is now in service other places. Total life: over 20 years. It was 5mm in a 27-foot boat running over a ~ 2 3/4-inch pulley. Not much flexing required. But you won't find straight Kevlar anyway; it will be a blend.
01-31-2012 01:48 AM
SloopJonB Doesn't anyone use plain old Dacron double braid anymore? Still cheap and effective AFAICS.

Before hurling scorn, abuse etc, please keep in mind that when I started sailing IT was high tech line.
01-31-2012 01:39 AM
tap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary M View Post
It is not really feasible to splice Amsteel to a polyester line. You can put a cover on it but he exposed Amsteel needs to be protected from the suns UV rays.
Racers that use bare Dyneema lines pull them up into the mast when not in use to keep them out of the sun.
I've seen a splice for 12 strand into double braid. You basically bury the 12-strand into the core of the double braid, bury the core into the 12-strand, milk that back in the cover, and the bury the cover into the 12-stand where the core ends.

Something like amsteel has a urethane coating and has an excellent UV resistance. Just plain dyneema is good with UV too. Vectran doesn't like UV much, but dyneema is ok. I know plenty of boats with bare dyneema standing rigging, lifelines and halyards and it does just fine.
01-30-2012 11:18 PM
Gary M It is not really feasible to splice Amsteel to a polyester line. You can put a cover on it but he exposed Amsteel needs to be protected from the suns UV rays.
Racers that use bare Dyneema lines pull them up into the mast when not in use to keep them out of the sun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tap View Post
What lines are are Kevlar? I've never seen that used in running rigging.

IIRC, Sta-Set X is actually pretty low stretch. About the same as the mid-level hi-tech lines with dyneema blended with something cheaper, which cost somewhat more than X. But X is stiff and kinks easily and just has a bad feel.

For my next halyard I plan to splice 12 strand dyneema into to something like Sta-Set. The sail head to mast to clutch length will be the dyneema part. The part in the clutch and all the tail you need to get the halyard back down would be the Sta-Set. The stretch and strength of the latter doesn't matter, so something cheap with a good hand will do. The former part isn't handled and needs low stretch, so use dyneema 12-strand.

A dyneema 12-strand like amsteel blue isn't that expensive. And since the line is 100% load bearing dyneema you can use a smaller diameter and still get the needed strength/stretch vs say Samson XLS-Extra or MLX. There's no wasted diameter used in a cover that contributes little to the line strength like some of the covered dyneema/vectran/PBO lines. For a Catalina 25 you could probably use 3/16" or 1/8" amsteel blue. Certainly anything over 1/4" is overkill.
01-30-2012 09:42 PM
zz4gta 1/4" technora for me. but I use technora laminate sails.
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