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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am about to replace the main halyard on a 13 m mast. It currently has wire spliced to sheet rope. Have no idea how to splice, wire to sheet rope. Q....I know that straight sheet rope will not wear as well as wire BUT will it do the trick? How much more expensive would spectra rope be and would it be worth considering? The boat is an old cruising boat so am not worried about performance just strength. In attaching the main shackle to the halyard [if it is sheet rope] would I be better whipping it or tying it on? I am concerned that if I tie it, it might mot allow the main to fully seat home at the top of the mast.
Any suggestions??
 

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Get rid of the wire to rope halyard; it is so 1990. Use something like stayset-X. Lighter, probably cheaper, low stretch. Should be an eye splice at the shackle but a halyard knot could also be used. The knot should not bind on the mast head shieve if the sail is the right size.
 

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Q....I know that straight sheet rope will not wear as well as wire BUT will it do the trick?
"Sheet rope?" Not certain what that is. Anyway... yes: Straight rope will work fine.

How much more expensive would spectra rope be and would it be worth considering? The boat is an old cruising boat so am not worried about performance just strength.
Then the answer, for you, is no. The purpose of high-tech ropes like Spectra and T-900 is to allow a smaller-diameter rope, with less stretch, to do the same or better job as a larger-diameter rope. Why is the smaller-diameter important? To reduce weight aloft. This is purely a racing thing, where every tenth-of-a-knot is critical.

In attaching the main shackle to the halyard [if it is sheet rope] would I be better whipping it or tying it on? I am concerned that if I tie it, it might mot allow the main to fully seat home at the top of the mast.
I tie mine on. (Poor splicing resulted in the shackle coming off [while the PO still had the boat].) The knot comes nowhere near the top of the mast. If yours does, perhaps a new main is in order? Besides: By the time you add a splice and the size of the shackle, it'd probably be about as much length as a small, well-tied bowline--if not more.

Any suggestions??
If you want to switch to all-rope, you may have to replace the sheave at the top of the mast. You won't be able to run rope through a sheave that's designed for wire.

We plan to replace our main halyard sometime in the not-too-far-distant future. Want to get a shackle on it, and I wouldn't be comfortable trying to splice the old line. Plus, the current line is quite stretchy. We race, but it's just club racing around the cans, so we have no plans to go with Spectra, T-900, etc. (Well, I would, cuz I'm that way, but The Admiral and family CFO has nixed it :p.) I plan to go with New England Ropes VPC as a good compromise between performance and cost, upon Maine Sail's recommendation. It'll probably allow me to drop 1/16" and still have less stretch than the rubber-band that's currently rigged.

Jim
 

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Don't use a bowline to attach a halyard to a shackle. Use a buntline hitch. It is far stronger and far more compact.

Also, when looking at the sheaves, if they have a v-shaped groove profile, you'll likely want to replace them with one with a u-shaped groove, which is what an all rope halyard requires. Also, don't forget to inspect the sheave cheeks and exit slots to see if there is any damage that will chafe an all rope halyard, and repair it if there is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all those blokes who have posted a reply. Just stumbled upon this blog site and am sure impressed with the response. Will post again when the job is sorted.
Thanks again.
Santafe.
 

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First mistake was telling her, second was asking ;) My wife knows nothing about boats so it never occurs to her to ask :laugher
My wife and one of her brothers owned a 7m "dinghy" of their own before I married her. It was her inheritance money that paid for Abracadabra and most of the additional gear on her. Lastly: She does the finances (bless her lovin' heart). So, unfortunately, there's no getting things like that past her--even were I so-inclined :).

Jim
 

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I don't know if that was addressed to me, but, just in case: To clarify things: I don't currently use a shackle at all. I tie directly to the sail's head.
I realize this thread is a few weeks old, but I just wanted to suggest that the OP consider a proper splice to a shackle. A good splice should retain 90% of the lines strength, but a bowline reduces strength considerably.
 
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