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I am thinking about using only rope to hoist my sails. Is there a big advantage to Cables? I was told cables are for racing because they don't stretch and todays rope is much better. I have a 24' sloop if that matters.
 

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Wire to rope halyards are so 1980's. On a 24 ft boat, halyards of Staset x or similar line is probably sufficient. Higher tec low-stretch line is probably overkill and too expensive.
 

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The problem that you may run into however is that the sheaves (wheels) at the top of your mast are most likely designed for cable. If you just just run stay-set through them the new line will very likely be damaged in a very short period of time maybe even days.
You should make sure your sheaves match what is running through them.

Apparently some folks have done the switch without modifying the sheaves and done fine.
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What would you use on a larger boat for the topping lift?

I'm not sure what the underlying question is. Any decent line should be OK since a topping lift is only in play when the sail is down.

It is more of a convenience line than a necessary line.
 

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I - kind of - agree with DavidPM:confused: But you could also think about it as a spare halyard for the main, then it should be the same size as that (or one dimension smaller - it is a spare:) ).
It should be strong enough to haul a grown man up the mast no matter what, though.

What would you use on a larger boat for the topping lift?
 

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Well

I Find on My J24 i still like the main haylard with about 18" of wire spliced into a high teck line as the way it enters the masthead chafes rope :)
 

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Hi lapworth,

We contemplated the same thing this spring. Here are the threads regarding this issue.

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/55095-main-halyard-brainstorm-advice.html

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/54946-changing-halyard-wire-rope.html

We eventually went wire to rope as we didn't want to have to change the sheaves. We had them made by a gentleman from NFLD YATES CUSTOM RIGGING He was very helpful and quite reasonable including shipping.

Hope this helps!
Bobby
 

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I'm not sure what the underlying question is. Any decent line should be OK since a topping lift is only in play when the sail is down.

It is more of a convenience line than a necessary line.
I asked that question because many boats that I've seen that use a topping lift have wire to rope, and I thought there might be a reason for that practice.
 
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