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So please forgive me, I am super new, I have got a 13 ft Flying Junior that I picked up real cheap and would like to sail real cheap. I would like to replace a few of the lines on the boat, the halyards seem fine, but I need a mainsheet, maybe a vang, and a probably jib sheet. Lowes sells line on a roll that to my untrained eye looks just like the stuff they sell at westmarine or whatever, just cheaper. is there any reason that wont work for dingy sailing?
 

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Cheap line is usually non-marine and inferior due to the following main reasons:

- more stretch
- less tensile strength
- UV resistance
- workability (splicing, etc.)

That doesn't mean it won't work for your purposes, but it will not work as well.

If we take the main sheet as an example - a stretchy line will make it harder to fine-tune your sail, but probably won't make that much of a difference. But if the cheap line were to snap in a gust you could cause some damage to the boat. A lot of the time I see odds-and-ends line at chandleries that are just a bit too short for a big boat, but might be a perfect fit for a dinghy and those will be of marine quality at a Lowe's price.
 

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Go ahead and use it. As long as it doesn't have too much stretch it should work fine. I've found some double braid line at hardware stores that has worked well for me. I attach the topping lift to the boom before I attach it to the mast and bend the main sail. Then when you raise the main sail it will take the tension off the topping lift.
 

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Hopefully the line is labeled a to what it's made of. You'll want dacron, but not nylon or poly propylene. Nylon is too stretchy, poly has no UV resistance. Other than that, the hardware store stuff should work fine on a dinghy. On small boats line diameter is determined by being able to handle it without cutting your hands, rather than breaking strength. It should be more than strong enough.
 

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Another idea fj is to source line from rock climbing stores (considerably cheaper than west marine). It's usually not uv stable, so it won't last as long, but there is not as much stretch as you'd find from hardware store line. Hardware store stuff just won't last very long. For that matter, any climbing line that you do use, take care of it (store it inside, not on the boat) and it will last a lot longer. Just be sure it's not so stiff that it won't run easily through your blocks. You can usually find line on sale (or remnants as the others have mentioned) at APS or other online retailers- just go with whatever is the cheapest stuff recommended for sheets.
 

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Good to see people open to less expensive resources.
But you might also keep an eye on Milwaukee Rigging's Ebay store. They're always selling odd lengths of stayset (for sheets) and stayset-x (for halyards), often with eye splices, very cheaply. You can replace all your running rigging cheap if you watch for what you need. (I have no connection with them other than having bought there.)
John V.
 

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Another idea fj is to source line from rock climbing stores (considerably cheaper than west marine). It's usually not uv stable, so it won't last as long, but there is not as much stretch as you'd find from hardware store line.
I'd look into that further. My wife and I have done a bit of climbing, although no multi-pitch big-wall stuff. Climbing line DOES have stretch built into it, purposely. When you fall, the stretch in the rope absorbs some of the shock of the fall. Climbers do use "static rope" which is not designed to stretch, but not for protection during climbing. Static line is used whenever the load is "static," i.e., when ascending via the rope (jumaring), rappelling, or hauling gear. If you do decide to source rope from a climbing store, make sure you get static line. Climbing rope ("dynamic line") has a stretch of 6 - 12% designed into it. Static line usually 2-4%.

Barry
 
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If you buy lines on eBay or other websites make sure that you know the size that you want. All lines but the mainsheet and jib sheets on your dinghy are probably 3/16" or maybe 1/4". Halyards sized for a keelboat will be way too big for most dinghies. On my 505 nothing larger than 1/4" (~6mm) would fit through the masthead sheaves, and 3/16" (~4.5mm) is the ideal size.
 

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The main and jib halyard are two that you want to minimize stretch. The sheets, don't matter as much. For a boat this size, you can use a very small diameter line. However, you need to consider how comfortable the line will be.
 

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Halyards don't need to be comfortable. On most dinghies a downhaul or cunningham with a multi-block purchase is used to adjust luff tension. The halyard is used once to put the sail up and not with tons of load.

Dinghy rigging is quite different from keelboat rigging. I didn't realize quite how different it could be until sailing on Lightnings and 505s. As an example on 505s it is common for the vang to have huge loads (and use a cascading 24:1 or higher purchase) while the mainsheet has a very low purchase. When close hauled the skipper sheets with the vang, not the mainsheet.

I haven't sailed on a FJ and don't know how some aspects are rigged.

The masts on most dinghies are also much smaller and more flexible than what you'll find on a keelboat. There just isn't room for a 5/16" or 3/8" sized halyard.

The only 3/8" line that you'll find on most dinghies (and again, I've never sailed a FJ) would be on the main and jib sheets.
 

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I just watched this video on rigging the FJ, and it looks like they do use a larger diameter halyard. Ignore my previous posts on that, sorry to add confusion.

 
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