Running rigging is the most critical part of your rig and a broken halyard can be catastrophic.
The halyard rope travels from the mast base, through blocks and turns up to a turning block (sheave) above the desired hoist height of your sail. Then it exits the sheave and comes back to deck level outside of the mast.
Double Braided Polyester
Sailboat halyard rope is an essential part of running rigging on sailboats. It is crucial to choose a high-quality line that will keep the sails attached, hoisted or furled for a long time.
There are a lot of different types of halyard rope available on the market, but it is important to consider certain factors when choosing one. These include abrasion resistance, limited stretch, and durability under load.
Double Braided Polyester is a popular choice among sailors because of its low stretch, high durability, and long service life. It is perfect for halyards and sheets on a wide variety of boats, including 420s, Flying Scots, and keelboats.
This premium double-braided polyester is made in the USA. It is 3/8” thick and can be found in 50, 100, 150, or 300 feet lengths. It is an excellent choice for halyards, rigging, and control lines. It is also a great replacement for manila rope. It is made from Dacron polyester fibers and has built-in resistance to moisture, weather, sunlight / UV degradation, chemicals, and abrasion.
12 Strand Polyester
A high-quality halyard rope should be able to offer low stretch, good grip, and durability. These attributes will be crucial when running rigging on your sailboat.
In general, double-braid polyester rigging lines are ideal for halyards, spin sheets, and headsails because of their low stretch. They are also abrasion-resistant, strong, and durable.
However, if you want a softer grip and easier handling, a 12-strand polyester rope is a better choice. This rope will not kink under heavy loads, but could still snag.
For club racing sailboats, the demand for precise, durable, and low-stretch rigging is very high. This is because the winches will put a lot of pressure on these ropes, and they are exposed to the elements all day long.
Dyneema is the world’s strongest and lightest synthetic fiber, developed by DSM in the 1980s. The technology was originally marketed as “Cuben Fiber,” after the America3 racing boat that won the America Cup in 1992, but it has since been developed into a range of fabrics.
Designed to improve performance on sailing boats, it makes halyards more durable and reduces the weight of running rigging on board. It also increases grip on winches and sheets, which can make a significant difference to how the sails feel during a long haul at sea.
In addition to its tensile strength and low stretch, Dyneema’s ability to absorb vibration is a big bonus for cruising sailors looking to make their boats a little more fun to sail. It is available in a variety of colors, lengths, and types, so you can get the right line to suit your needs.
Most modern lines are made with a double braid core to hold up to the abrasion from clutches and winches. This is a good choice for racing yachts, but cruisers can often do without it and find a 100% polyester line with a Dyneema core more suitable.
When it comes to running rigging, the halyard rope is more than just a line, it’s an important part of the overall system. The rope’s elongation, weight, and abrasion resistance will all affect your sailing performance.
For cruising sailors, polyester and SK38 Dyneema(r) fibers are good choices as they offer low elongation and strong load capacity. More demanding cruisers could also choose Stirotex fibers as they offer excellent strength and low elongation properties at a competitive price.
This is an economic high-performance rope with a Dyneema(r) core combined with a smooth braided polyester cover. It has very good abrasion and low elongation properties, making it perfect for the mainsail, jib, and spinnaker sheets and control lines. Its unique cover has a mixture of HT polyester and Cordura(r) grip fiber, offering unmatched grip, soft feel, and durability.
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