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Discussion Starter #1
i just bought a 30' sagitta and the main halyard is cable on the sail side braided to rope on the bow side.

i talked to the local sail shop about redoing the halyard, as the rope is fraying.
i was told by the local sail guy that i can just use an all rope halyard....is this a good idea?
 

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Maybe and maybe not. The mast head sheaves may be designed for wire and may not work properly with rope. Rope halyards unless you buy the really expensive stuff will stretch under load. Rope to wire is usually cheaper, so unless you have a good reason to go all rope, stick with the wire to rope.
Don
 

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High modulus rope is fine for halyards. You will need to ensure that the sheave is sized properly.

Jack
 

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We've used Sta-SetX on both our Sabres and have had zero problems. Our sheaves are for wire and rope since the original halyards wire wire-rope splices. I replaced with rope only and haven't had a problem with the mast or deck sheaves. I remove all my lines each fall and inspect them for war. Nothing out of the ordinary due to the sheaves.

dvpamenter is right, but the check is simple and takes seconds.

Sta-SetX isn't that expensive and is low stretch. Not up to racing standards, but plenty good enough for cruisers IMHO.
 

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Lots of options on synthetic halyards, I honestly don't know why anyone would still be using wire. You can save a bunch of money changing to rope, and still get a high performance halyard. Shop around and talk to a rigger. You can install it and splice it yourself.
 

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Tartan 37
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FWIW,

I went with this new product from New England Ropes, so far so good ;)
I changed out form a rope to wire to all rope, much better! IMO

VPC™ Line
NEW ENGLAND ROPES



West Marine: VPC™ Line Product Display

VPC™ has a strong, lightweight core of Vectran and polyolefin surrounded by a durable UV-resistant polyester cover. VPC was designed specifically with the club racer in mind, and it fills the gap between traditional all-polyester rigging and more expensive grand prix racing lines. VPC is available in popular marine colors.

  • Best use: Sheets & halyards on casual racers & offshore cruisers
  • Stretch: .5% at 15% breaking strength
  • Low Elongation
  • Excellent hand/grip
 

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Do check the halyard sheeve for rough spots. Wire can scar them.

I changed to fiber halyards and have been pleased. Make them a little too long so that you can re-do the splice every few years.
 

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I changed out both main and jib halyards on my CAL 31' last season. I used uncovered Amsteel where the wire used to be and it went over my sheaves just fine. That said, synthetic lines (uncovered especially) DO NOT like UV. Use a sacrificial line (see below) if your boat sits at the dock for long periods of time. I made sure to add a cover (taken from another line) for the exposed part of the halyard that runs to the cockpit. Amsteel was much cheaper and has the added benefit of not getting hung up (wrapped) on the forstay when we are hoisting in some chop.

When I'm not sailing the boat within a day or two I rig up a line that I don't mind getting torn up that goes from the bow and connects to both halyards, then I run them up so that the uncovered sections of the rope are inside the mast. This limits the exposure that the lines have to UV. what little is exposed at the base of the mast I tuck under the sail cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
wow thanks for all the replies.

i am a sailing newbie (sailed sunfish, hoie cats, and flying scotts as a kid). So please excuse my long list of questions i will have.

Other than trying to pull a larger diameter rope up through the sheave, how will i know what diameter rope i can use. I would like to ude as large as i can as it will be much easier to hand hoist unitl i need the winch on the last foot or two.
 

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I went up to the top of the mast and checked out the sheaves. I was in the same situation as you so I wanted to be sure. I got my family to haul me up with a harness, and just checked to see if the sheave was big enough for the line I had in mind. Since I was using Amsteel the diameter did not need to be that big to match the steel cable I was replacing. The cover on the lower section added some diameter so that handling the rope wasn't a PITA.
 

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You can easily replace the sheave wheel at the top of the mast if it your new halyard won’t fit. Amsteel, Dynema , or Tecnora have stretch properties approaching steet at a fraction of the weight cost with the added benefit of not developing meat hooks to grab your hand. As to size, (I don’t have the specs in front of me), I think that 3/8 would have steel like properties for your loads and very good “hand”. It might be large if your winches are smaller than 30’s. 5/16 should also have good enough “hand” and still be plenty strong. I use 3/8 T-900 on my 34 footer.
 

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S/V Loon
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Dyneema et al changed the rules

Time was when any kind of line had too much stretch to use as halyards, and all halyards were wire, or a wire/rope splice. But the advent of new fibers in ultra high strength low sketch lines has really changed things. I'm still coming to grips with it - all the rigging newer race boats looks way to delicate to me, but apparently its plenty strong, easy to splice, very low stretch and low weight. Then we get into things like casings added to small diameter high strength line to make it easier to handle, to cut down heat, etc... and I realize that nothing is forever, this is a sport with a great deal of evolution behind us and even more ahead of us too.
 

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5/16th is plenty big for good hand feel. I use 1/4" on my halyards and it works well for a 25 footer.
 

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I'll vote for all rope halyards, unless you're really good at wire to rope splices. With a 30' cruiser, I'd also agree with Sabreman in that Sta-Set X would do a fine job for your application. I did a trip on a World Crusier 41'er and the owner had all Sta-Set X halyards and they were just fine.

A good way for anyone to know if they really need the high tech, high dollar halyards is to go below and brush their teeth.... If all the toothbrushes are cut off to save weight...you'll need the no-stretch stuff! :D
 

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I use plain old double braid (7/16 Sampson XLS) for my halyards (34' boat). Works fine. I would not recommend it on a racing boat, or a 45' boat, but I have no issues with it. To me it is worth it to only have one type of rope for almost all running rigging. You get a better deal on a spool and it is easy on the hands. The only disadvantage I can see is occasionally when the wind pipes up you have to do an extra turn around the winch on the halyard.
 

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Sta Set X is fine but is pretty difficult to splice. AS suggested previously, VPC is a good alternative, lower stretch and easier to splice. 5/16" VPC should do nice nicely and is on sale at the evil empire at the moment for $.66/foot.
 

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Cal 9.2 SilverSwan
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On the Cal 9.2 I went with XLS Extra, a center core blend of MFP and Dyneema® fiber. 3/8 fed through the blocks with out issue. The cover is tight, hard to splice so I had it done for me. Clutches work just fine with it also.
 
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