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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never sailed but just purchased an Ensenada 20. Yes, I know, a fool and his money are soon parted.
I need to buy a rope to raise the mast with but I do not know the difference in the types of ropes available. I was given the advice to attach a rope to the top of the mast, run the rope through a pulley at the bow, and back to the ratcheting wench. While I lift the mast, some pulls on the rope.
There are different materials and sizes of ropes. There's nylon, polypropylene and polyester. Can anyone recommend a material type and diameter for lifting the mast?

After the mast is up, I can connect the boom and the puzzle my way through all of the other control lines. Which brings up the other question, what size and material type should I use for the control lines?
 

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Welcome to SailNet.

First, I'd suggest a few good books and maybe some classes so that you can learn how to sail. I always suggest an internet search for an inexpensive sailing club local to you. Sail club members with more experience are always willing to share and have you crew to get experience. Also, spend a few days going through the Learning to Sail forum here. Don Casey and Nigel Calder have all the maintenance and how to books you need. Members have recommended Sailing for Dummies in the past for newcomers to the sport.

Annapolis Performance Sailing: Sailboat Line & Running Rigging Selection Guide | APS

West Marine: https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/Selecting-Line-for-Running-Rigging

The links above will take you to their line guides for rigging. Which type of line depends on its use and sometimes how it feels in your hand.

Best of luck but before you put too much money into this boat, you might want to go out with someone and figure out if you even like to sail.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Yes, welcome to SailNet and to sailing. Back in the 1970's I worked for a company that sold Coastal Recreation boats (Coastal Wreck built the Ensenada 20) and my job was to commission them and show owners how to rig them. Its a long time ago but here is my recollection.

These were very simply rigged boats. I believe that all of the running rigging (Halyards, jib and mainsheet, and boom downhaul) was 5/16" polyester double braid. My recollection was that buyers would have us change the jib sheets to 3/8" double braid since that was more comfortable to hold. Personally I would also probably use 3/8" polyester double braid halyards if they fit in the sheaves.

In terms of how to get your mast up, you can use almost anything for that. You are simply cleating the jib halyard a few feet short of the deck and tying a short length of line to end of the jib halyard. The short line goes through a block near the bow and back to the base of the mast. I think that we used to mostly walk the mast up and this line is mostly used to keep the mast up while forestay was attached. I used to use a dockine for that purpose (but it was a little stretchy). The docklines that came with this boat were 3/8" nylon three strand, but that is a little light for a dockline if you are leaving the boat tied up for any length of time.

Good luck,
Jeff
 

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I have never sailed but just purchased an Ensenada 20. Yes, I know, a fool and his money are soon parted.
I need to buy a rope to raise the mast with but I do not know the difference in the types of ropes available. I was given the advice to attach a rope to the top of the mast, run the rope through a pulley at the bow, and back to the ratcheting wench. While I lift the mast, some pulls on the rope.
There are different materials and sizes of ropes. There's nylon, polypropylene and polyester. Can anyone recommend a material type and diameter for lifting the mast?

After the mast is up, I can connect the boom and the puzzle my way through all of the other control lines. Which brings up the other question, what size and material type should I use for the control lines?
A 20 foot sailboat of that vintage shouldn't cost too much. At least you didn't say you are a newbie and just bought a 50 foot wooden schooner for a heck of a deal what kind of rope do I need to....

Careful what you call a wench. Some of us refer to them as the admiral. My mistake you meant winch not wench. :grin
Welcome and have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all of the help. I have a better idea of what to do now. My daughter has gone sailing with friends and I also sent her off to day camp. So she loves it, which means I am going to love it, even if I don't.
Good point about wench and winch and the Admiral.
 

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Bob,

I will assume that you are sailing along the coast, due to the size of the boat and all I do is sail the coast. So . . .

Read and watch videos, tons online! Two books that you must own. "Sailing for Dummies" and "The Complete Trailer Sailor".

The one class that I always brow-beat newbies into considering is Sailing and Seamanship taught by USCGA. You can knock it out in a weekend. It teaches some BASICS about sailing and boating but it focuses on regs, right-of-way (no such thing on the water), emergencies, safety, required equipment. Anybody can make a boat go. It's the controlling, stopping, and not hitting anything that messes people up. I can't tell you how many times the phrase "I've been around boats all my life" comes up on this forum. Well, I steer clear of those folks because their boats were most likely powerboats on lakes and rivers . . . the deadliest place by FAR when it comes to being on the water. In many states (mine as well) anybody can jump into anything and crank the engines up to warp three with nothing more than a credit card and enough sense to breathe. Just ask their victims.

Control lines. Halyards and mainsheet you can probably get away with 5/16 or 3/8" . Jib sheet you'll probably want something a little thicker, not for strength, but because you'll be handling that one much more than the others and you'll want a good grip that doesn't tire your hands. Mine is 1/2" or better but my boat is a 29 footer. Even on my "little" 25 footer is was 1/2" though. Also, make sure it is very flexible and doesn't hockle. That's a pain!

Have fun!

Don
 

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Generally, utility lines ("ropes" you use to do stuff like tie to the dock , guide the mast as you raise it, use in block and tackle rigs (pulleys) ) should be nylon. I tend to prefer double braid. Nylon resists most stuff it will be exposed to, its reasonably priced so you don't mind cutting it to desired lengths (knowing its not costing a fortune if you cut it short)

Then you get into the size for the job. I like to use lines rated double or higher vs the load that will be on them. for the one holding the mast up as you raise it I might go 4X mast weight because dropping that thing will ruin your day. A line used to just help guide the mast so its not controlled by the wind, usually 1/4 inch braided nylon is fine.

When in doubt, get a heavier rope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I plan to start at the lake and then work my way to the coast. I live in NC about 2 hours from the ocean. I was told that sailing around the coast line would keep me entertained for years. I will be taking the class in Sailing and Seamanship, as I do not want to be that "guy" on the news where people say "wow, what an idiot".
I have a gently used copy of Sailing for Dummies on the way.
I thought this would be good for my daughters, less time on the computer/tv/cell phone and more outdoors, hands on stuff. We have a small list of items to fix before going to the lake. This weekend they will be replacing a broken light on the trailer, measuring for a new fore stay cable and replacing a chain plate.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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One quick minor point, someone suggested using 1/2" jib sheets. That is too large for this boat. Just as a point of reference I use 3/8" jib sheets on my 38 footer.

Jeff
 

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Bob,

99% of people who have sailboats will help you, just ask. Also, you can learn a lot by offering to crew in a sailboat race. Captains are always looking for crew. I used to be "rail meat" just to add my 200 pounds to the upwind (windward) side of the boat. Bottom line, try to connect with local sailors.

You are in an enviable position, learning about sailing is fun and rewarding. Be careful and enjoy!

Regards,
Brad
 
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One quick minor point, someone suggested using 1/2" jib sheets. That is too large for this boat. Just as a point of reference I use 3/8" jib sheets on my 38 footer.

Jeff
Well... fatter lines are easier on the hands. If they fit in the cam cleats, I'd use the fat line on the small boat, because the cost of the fat line isn't going to be high when using a double-braid nylon.

I've got 1/2 inch jib lines on my little Vagabond 14. Nice soft (cheap) nylon line.

These little boats aren't using winches on ANY line. So to relieve the feel of line trying to cut into your hand, you just use a fatter line.

Similarly for the main sheet and halyards, use the fattest that fits the blocks.

I suspect that 1/4 inch paracord would handle the loads. But it would be miserable to handle the lines.
 

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I have never sailed but just purchased an Ensenada 20. Yes, I know, a fool and his money are soon parted.
I need to buy a rope to raise the mast with but I do not know the difference in the types of ropes available. Can anyone recommend a material type and diameter for lifting the mast?
No, you do not need to buy a rope for raising the mast. Use what you already have on the boat. I use my mainsheet blocks (red lines) for raising the mast of my 21 footer. More photos on my blog:
https://davidchin35.blogspot.co.nz/2017/07/maiden-voyage.html
 

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