It can be scary to face the wall of cordage at your neighbourhood rigger, but if you arrive prepared with an understanding of your requirements, your helpful rigger will be able to point you in the correct path. There is always the appropriate line for the appropriate situation.
It’s simple to undervalue the advantages of effective running rigging. There are several rope items available on the market, and most of them have their proper uses. Let’s examine the lines that require the greatest care and why, as well as the fundamental guidelines for choosing low-stretch line, lightweight or tapered line when appropriate, and working-friendly rope.
Let’s begin with the headsail halyard up front. It is crucial to have a halyard with the least amount of stretch possible since luff stress significantly influences the shape and therefore performance of the jib or genoa. Finding a lightweight rope is also important in order to save some weight up top.
We really enjoy some of the Vectran-cored ropes for club racing boats that aren’t tapering their halyards, even though it goes against the grain a little. Products that are easy on the hands and simple to splice include Samson’s Validator and New England Ropes V-100.
Speak to your local rigger about using a DUX core or another heat-set Dyneema with a Technora-based cover for a somewhat more grand-prixed tapered halyard. We have been utilising Marlow’s D12 MAX 78 and 99 a lot lately. Additionally, halyard tapering reduces weight in the air.
For the jib halyards, we prefer soft shackles. The small amount of extra time a bowman needs to spend attaching the sail there usually exceeds weight savings in the air.
Use a halyard leader to pull the halyards to the top of the mast while you’re not racing to shade the tapering section of the mast from the sun. When not in use, store the halyard tails in an old duffel bag at the base of the mast for added security.