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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My boat (36' C&C 110) has the original jib sheets, which are 1/2" StaSet. I don't really like the StaSet (too thick, too heavy, too stiff) so I am looking to get new sheets and there are LOTS of choices.

I am primarily a day sailor but I do some racing too. Nothing very serious, but I do like to sail fast and point high. I need about 110' of line. Basic StaSet will cost about $130 (for 7/16), while something better, like VPC isn't that much more (under $200). Endura Braid would be about $400 which I don't want to spend.

How important is the stretch of various lines? It is really difficult to do the math because I need to know the load on the line, the length of the line, the breaking strength of the line, then the elongation at a percentage of breaking strength.

Will I notice any difference between VPC, Endura, MLX, Maxbraid or ??

I will go with 7/16" VPC for under $200 unless something comes up with something better.

Thanks,
Barry
 

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I did not know about VPC. That's interesting. Seems like it would be a good line. The cover looks (maybe) a little, crude, cheap.

All modern lines are very much stronger than needed. It's all about stretch. And Sta-Set is too stretchy for a genoa sheet of any length. The exception being on some boats with 155% headsails the amount of line between the winch and clew is very short when close hauled. Short = less stretch.

Blends like VPC are good because they use just a little of the expensive vectran, then because strength is so great fill the line, bulk it up, with cheaper stuff.
 

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VPC is stiffer than Sta-Set. Better halyard than sheet. I have 7/16 Sta-Set on my 35. It does stretch a little when pointing despite the short length. For the money it is hard to beat.
110 feet sounds like a lot of line! 75 should be adequate.

APS is having a January sale.
 

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I'm a big fan of MLX, I like that rope a lot... I'm using it for genoa and staysail sheets, and furling lines, with the cover stripped where it will roll onto the drum... It's a very nice rope, seems to have a much softer hand than Endura to me, holds well in clutches, and at least on Andersen winches...

More $ than VPC, of course, but I also think it has a nicer appearance, if that means much to you... You absolutely need to whip and lock stitch the ends, or the cover will creep, not sure if that's the case with VPC...

Defender seems to have about the best price, and I'll bet it will be discounted a bit during the Miami Boat Show, or of course during their big Warehouse Sale in the spring...

But, please don't buy it, without handling the stuff first... The selection of rope is always a very 'personal' choice, you may not like it as much as I do...

:)
 

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New line will feel much different than used line. StaySet is just fine for jib sheets which are getting adjusted all the time anyway. Unless you're a die-hard racer, and you say you aren't. Have you cleaned your sheets recently? The only way our StaySet jib sheets ever got stiff was when they were encrusted with salt spray. Washing machine in a pillowcase solved that.
 

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Hi,

My boat (36' C&C 110) has the original jib sheets, which are 1/2" StaSet. I don't really like the StaSet (too thick, too heavy, too stiff) so I am looking to get new sheets and there are LOTS of choices.....
I will go with 7/16" VPC for under $200 unless something comes up with something better.

Thanks,
Barry
I replaced all running rigging last year. Went with the VPC for the spinnaker halyard for which it seems quite satisfactory, but as other posters have commented, its is a little stiff, definitely much more so than StaSet. Hard to see StaSet as stiff... I stuck with StaSet for the replacement jib sheets. The 10mm Salsa line for the mainsheet was the big homerun, that is a soft, flexible, non-kinking line. Putting a hand on it always brings a smile to my face. While too small for the OP use, maybe the Endura Braid instead...
 

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When we're talking about stretch, the jib sheets are only a small part of the equation. Sailcloth also stretches, regardless of whether it's dacron or laminated. Halliards stretch. Outhauls stretch. If you eliminate stretchy jibsheets but the stretch in your sailcloth and halliards and outhaul are still stretching in the gusts, then you haven't accomplished much.

If I'm rigging a racing boat with low-stretch laminated sails, I'll use expensive, low stretch line for the running rigging. It wouldn't make sense to spend alot on expensive, low stretch sails and then use cheap, stretchy line in the running rigging, to shape them.

If I'm rigging a cruising and casual racing boat with dacron sails, I'll use less expensive line for the running rigging. IMO, the amount of stretch in the sailcloth represents a much more significant factor in the sail shaping equation than the amount of stretch in the sheets.

In light to moderate winds, stretch is a non-existent to negligible problem. It only becomes an issue in stronger winds.

If you spend alot of money on low stretch jibsheets, I don't think you're likely to notice a significant improvement in performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the comments.

I haven't washed the sheets and I don't know when / if they were ever washed. I will bring them home and give that a try.

Thanks,
Barry

New line will feel much different than used line. StaySet is just fine for jib sheets which are getting adjusted all the time anyway. Unless you're a die-hard racer, and you say you aren't. Have you cleaned your sheets recently? The only way our StaySet jib sheets ever got stiff was when they were encrusted with salt spray. Washing machine in a pillowcase solved that.
 

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I'll put in a vote for Maxibraid. We've had those now for the 2+ years I've had our boat, and they were about 3 yrs old when we bought it. They are awesome sheets, and I can't imagine a better handling line- very grippy on the winches, too.
 

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Thanks for the comments.

I haven't washed the sheets and I don't know when / if they were ever washed. I will bring them home and give that a try.

Thanks,
Barry
dont just wash them...soak them in downy. then wash again

your stuff will come out like new...I have some pics of this on my merit 25 thread if you are interested

barry here are some pics...
this pic you can see the overall condition of the surrounding areas where the lines were left to rot...they were not only scorched from the sun but completely covered in heavy moss and dirt....


then I took the mainsheet off and some others, filled a bucket with very hot water and downy and detergent...soaked them for 2 days...they were nice and pliable after that but still very dirty with the moss...so I cleaned them by hand with a sponge.

then I put them straight into the washing machine and I did not use the gentlest cycle I also used hot water here...I let the rope twist and get all sorts of tangled because this is what will eliminate the stuck on grudge...the actual "attrition" of you will of the rope rubbing on itself.

after this I rinsed in cold water a few times then hung the rope and that was that. you are left with a very very smelly, soft and pliable and unkinked rope...that looks new and is softer than new(this is a bad thing sometimes but not for a mainsheet for example)

and this is what it looks like after

sorry no close up pics:
 

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I've been all over the map on this one and here's my current thinking. Crazy high end lines are for racers and the incredibly OCD. While lesser lines stretch more, it's more likely your sails themselves are old or not properly trimmed. Sheet stretch isn't really the problem. If you must, going up and eighth in size (assuming it fits in your hardware), will increase the working load and, therefore, reduce stretch. Not to mention, feel better in your hand. It will be heavier, so the OCD will say there is too much weight on the clew...... see comment on sail age and trimming.

Most recently, I purchased Sampson XLS. I hate it. I bought it because Practical Sailor determined it had the best combination of hand feel, winch holding and, what got my attention the most, was abrasion resistance.

I will say the line is holding up very well. Ironically, I can't wait for it to wear out. It was a slippery as grease, when out of the box. I literally had to abrade it with sandpaper. It doesn't coil well, but that's not my biggest problem, and the thread tracers are ugly. (I have a bad attitude)

In the end, we aren't running 3-strand for jib sheets anymore. All modern double braid lines are far superior to our ancestors. I'm probably returning to the ubiquitous Sta-Set when these wear out.......... Maybe.
 

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Yes, Sta-Set is far superior to what came before. And most any newer line is far superior to Sta-Set. I agree that a casual sailor won't know the difference. I disagree that it doesn't matter for headsail sheets. I'm not OCD, but you might think so. I'm just tech oriented.

Going up a size does reduce stretch. It also increases cost. Whether the size of a jib sheet is important for handling is a personal preference. On any cruising size boat the headsail sheets are not going to be pulled by hand much. Winches will be used.

Sheeting to weather on a large boat can require considerable effort on the winch. With Sta-Set much of that effort goes into stretching the line rather than moving the clew. One never gets that energy back.

As mentioned above dacron sails do stretch also. However the typical heavy cruising dacron sail does not stretch anywhere nears as much as Sta-Set. One can readily observe this by watching the clew move relative to the lifeline (or whatever). This is because the sail has much more dacron, bulk, that the relatively smell line.

One more reason. This may not apply to headsail sheets as much as other running rigging, but chafe with Sta-Set is significantly worse. On a long passage the stretch causes the line to work in the blocks, at the winch and any other place it may rub. The motion can be considerable. Some blocks make bothersome noise as well. It's also a waste of energy.

About the poster who said the new lines were slipping on the winch: Is that a result of using larger lines for the 'hand'? I've been on many cruising boats where the desire for big lines far exceeded the desire for proper sized winches. Can you get a full load on the winch - seven turns? Or only four fat ones?

So my *opinion* is that it worth the extra cost to get something, anything, that is better that polyester double braid (except NOT Sta-Set X). I like the Samson Dyneema cored lines, either solid Dyneema (Spectra-like) or the less expensive blended cores. And I tend towards the smaller sizes as I am not sheeting by hand.
 

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A couple of clarifications.....

The sail stretch I'm referring to is a worn out sail, not a sail stretching back and forth in use. My sails are currently 10 years old, so I ask myself how important really cool jib sheets are.

Going up a siz does cost more, but my principal objection to hi tech sheets is they can cost substantially more. In some cases, by multiples.
 

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Sta-Set is a good match for worn out sails. Any old crummy stuff is okay. 7/16 Sta-Set is about $0.75/ft while a basic Dyneema blend is $1.20/ft.

If you have a busy big boat race fleet nearby, and you are charming, the boatboy may throw old but very good line your way. An old halyard or sheet from a serious race program is usually $5/ft or more, and maybe 100-150 feet long, very good, and long enough to cut off the funky ends. I've gotten plenty line that way. Usually Vectran or Kevlar with covers that are way way nicer than the crappy cover on Sta-Set.
 

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fwiw I tried out stat set on my islander 36 and what I gathered from it was that it coiled weird meaning you tail end will always have to be laid evenly and in a way to prevent kinking

now I loved the feel, it was 7/16 which is as big as I like and I felt no need to go bigger...

I see a lot of people love to go way big on sheet sizes and I dont get it really

I mean my merit has sheets that are bigger than my islander...which is funny to me, they weigh down the jib like nobodys business they also are cumbersome and too long...

most of which can be fixed

in any case sta set felt slippery to me(smooth)...however it did a fine job on the winch...

now back to washing sheets and making them new
 
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