Custom Built Ropes

If you’ve ever thought that a piece of running rigging was “almost perfect except for ____” you can fix it!

customropes

We can work with rope manufacturers to build the exact right product for your application. The most common request is for special colors.  If you have an aesthetic in mind, or need a unique look to identify a line, we can order pretty much any color or pattern you can imagine.  Often this has been for odd colors (Think pink! Or orange. Or purple…) or custom patterns (we once had someone ask for a very high tech heat set core, but wanted the outside to look like Crystalyne) We can also specify the technical aspects of the rope, like strands, carriers, fiber thicknesses, treatments and materials.roperack

A great example of a custom construction is our 6mm SK99 Heat Set Dyneema double braid. We wanted a very low stretch rope that met the Beneteau 36.7 class rules on backstays, but wanted to be as light and compact as possible. To do this, Alpha Ropes used SK99 core in a special braid, and covered it with an extremely thin Dyneema cover.  This make a rope that was 2 sizes smaller, and much lighter than the other options.  And just because they could, they used the new Black Dyneema to make sure this looks great for years.  backstay99

We can also do special sizes.  The 36.7 is again the inspiration here, as the mainsheet on this boat really needs to be perfect, as there is a lot of purchase and load.  The 10mm we’ve used in the past is a little big and drags when easing. We asked Alpha to make us a very true 9mm for this application, and it works great for boats from a certain Shields all the way up to the 36.7.  To make this a really special sheet, we can add core to make it a double or triple tapered sheet like our 36.7 GP Mainsheet This is where the loaded end of the sheet that sits in the blocks upwind is as thin, light and slick as possible to ensure minimum friction.  From there the line grows to a larger and firmer rope. The bigger rope is nicer to handle, and holds in the cleat better. The rope then narrows again for the tail, which is less loaded and handled, and eases faster in addition to being lighter where it hangs over the side of the boat when running. tripletaper36-7

We can also get technical with the materials in the cover.  Technora blended covers have become pretty common as sailors learn to appreciate their durability and grip.  Most of the Technora blends are 50/50, but we can request other blends. This purple Tech blend from Marlow is closer to 60% and was a special order.  The sky is the limit when it comes to materials, we have ordered up to 3 fibers in the same cover. To fit a specific application we can mix Polyester, Technora, PBO, Vectran and Dyneema to get the right wear, heat and grip characteristics.marlowtech60

If you have an idea for a custom rope, get in touch!  The lead times are usually around 2 months, and we can do cut lengths to suit your exact needs (although spools will be a better value) So if you need a special size, performance or just want your rope to look right next to your canvas, think about custom!

Rope Treatments on J/111 Cordage

Cordage is available from riggers, stores and online, but what sets CYR’s rigging apart is the special treatments.  Quality materials are only part of the story, and we can improve performance and longevity with a few special touches.  Here is what we like for the J/111

Custom covers have moved from the GP boats into club race boats.  For the part of the line that gets handled, we have great options to improve performance. Fibers like Technora, Cordura and Vectran can be blended with standard polyester to improve grip on winches and clutches, as well as improving abrasion resistance.  They can be left natural (tan in the case of Technora and Vectran) or dyed black. I like tan for halyards since the lighter color takes marks better, and black for sheets.

This picture best illustrates what we can add to halyards to make them hold in the clutches better.  A good blended cover (here it’s Technora, Polyester  and Cordura) increases grip and reistance, but key is the size increase. A stiff core added to the inside of the existing ropes core makes the line larger-in this case right up the max size for the clutch cams-as well as stiffer.  The stiffness is actually more important than the size increase, as the line doesn’t flatten under load.  I have very good data on what the proper bulks and stiffness’ are for all the clutches used on race boats.

On the other end of the line,  chafe protection is another place we can upgrade a halyard.  Here is a Dyneema chafe tip on top of New England HSR core.  This saves the halyard tips from chafe and failure. A good way to determine if this will be beneficial is to look at the old halyards.  On the J/111 we’ve noticed that the jib and spin halyards show lots of wear on the stock Crystalyne halyards.  The jib halyard seems to get some forestay/foil chafe, and the spin halyards seem to get articulation chafe.

For the mainsheet gross tune, I really like a short tapered area for where the line runs when the fine tune is trimmed.  In addition to having a good clean block (the broken double in this picture was replaced with a Harken 57mm fiddle with a nice round forged shackle) the taper is extra low friction to make trimming and easing the fine tune mainsheet even easier.  The line is Alpha Ropes SSC which I think is a wonderful mainsheet as it’s light, taperable and has incredible handling due to it’s knobby cover and blend of Dyneema, Cordura and poly in the cover. Great line and I recommend it over much more expensive braids. 

For spinnaker sheets on assymetric spin boats, and jib sheets with inhaulers,  a tough cover is a must.  Here is a 9mm spin sheet with a blended Technora/Polyester cover.  The Technora is a very tough fiber that grips winches well. Depending on your winches we can also use fiber blends like Vectran, PBO and Dyneema, but the Technora/Polyester blend is going to great for most applications.

Stretch Test!

On my “Good Ideas To Do At Some Point In The Future Maybe When Things Quiet Down” (GITDASPITFMWTQ) list there has been an item that’s been hovering near the top of the list (above “Right grate American novel” but below “Close the door you’re letting all the heat out” ) has been a bench test to see how the different materials, treatments and brands of rope we use here at CYR perform in one of the most important metrics we have: stretch.

As cordage evolves, it almost always trends in 2 positive directions: lower stretch and higher strength.  In the last couple years strength has become less relevant as the finished size of the rope becomes the limiting factor.  If we really wanted to, we could have 4mm cores on 35′ racing boats and not be worried about it blowing up.  Stretch has become more important. If you look at the “flavors” that Dyneema generations come in,  the most recent iterations have become more and more stretch focused.

Dyneema SK60 (most similar to Spectra 750) was strong and light, but stretched, crept and wasn’t significantly stronger than the aramid fibers it was compared to. SK75  (Spectra 1000) was lower creep and much stronger. SK78 was lower creep, but not stronger (this is now the “standard” Dyneema from most marques). SK90 was stronger but no better on creep than 75, so has been supplanted by SK99 (better in creep and stronger).  DM20 is… weird and I’ve never used it.

In the past year,  I’ve made halyards with each of the ropes shown below.  All of these are 3/16 or 5mm so comparable in size and would yield a ~5/16″ halyard.  From the top:

MARLOW SK78 MAX The MAX line of Marlows Dyneema cores is their version of heat setting.

Defining characteristics: It’s black!  The black comes off on your hands. Second stiffest rope in test.  Looks cool. The braid angle is exactly average in this sample set.

Sizing:  The 5mm core measured 4.4mm after being loaded.  Round? Not really,  unloaded it measures 5.3 one way and 3.69mm the other

Dumb observation:  If this were a car, it would be an Audi A3.

ALPHA ROPES D CORE XTM 78

Defining characteristics: Silver. Not as stiff as HSR or Max, but stiffer than STS78.  Longest braid angle.  Smells nice.

Sizing:  The 5mm measures 4.6mm loaded. Round? Meh.  It measures 4.73mm one way and 4.2 the other.

Dumb observation: If this were a football player, it would be Odell Beckham Jr.  Never heard of XTM either, but it’s good.

NEW ENGLAND STS78

Defining Characteristics It’s white (comes in 7 colors too) it’s floppy compared to the Vectran and the Heat Sets. Very shallow braid angle. Gets super stiff once loaded.

Sizing 4.9mm under load Round? Round!

Dumb Oberservation While typing this up, I dropped all the samples on the floor. I could tell the STS78 just by feel. I bet if I were to total up all the STS78 (aka STS75 aka Endura 12) I’ve spliced, it could go to Belmont harbor from the shop and back.  Lets put that on the GITDASPITFMWTQ list!

YALE V12

Defining characteristics Gold! Much more abrasive than any of the Dyneemas.

Sizing 4.2 under load. Round? NO.  2.9mm one way, 4.6 the other.

Dumb Observation I totally forgot I had any Vectran in stock.  It’s gone from about 40% of my high tech cordage to exactly .8% ( I have sold one Vectran rope all year) If this were a car it would be a Pontiac, because in a few years people will be all “Pon-Tee-Yak? What’s that?”

NEW ENGLAND HSR

Defining Characteristics It’s stiff! Really stiff. When you put a cover on it properly the crew all hates you for the first race because it only gets stiffer when covered.

Sizing: 5.1mm under load Round WOAH, they make round rope! 5.2mm one way, 5.3 the other. About as round as it gets.

Dumb Observation If this were a car it would be a WRX.  Not exactly pretty, some people don’t like how they feel but does everything really well. And I sometimes cover it with orange cover, and WRX’s are often covered in tacky aftermarket gear as well.

 

So how did they do?  Well, nothing broke and no one got hurt, which is good.  Before I share any results though, lets talk methodology.  Before we talk methodology, lets make a bunch of disclaimers for how rudimentary my testing methods are. Before we do that,  have you listened to Astronautalis? He’s great, and I think it’s a damn shame that the yanswer to the previous question is always “who?”

METHODOLOGY I spliced all the samples into 10′ lengths. Then loaded everything to 1000lbs with a dwell of 30 seconds.  The samples were length checked, and respliced to 10′.  Why respliced?  The construction stretch on new rope is huge.  Even heat set ropes lose some of their “set” when coiled and handled.  Splicing takes up a long length of rope, but then releases some of that once it’s under tension. Everything was loaded again and checked again.

To test stretch,  I loaded all the samples to 200lbs, did the CYR Load Distribution Procedure (hit rope with mallet, kick hydraulic cylinder) then then loaded everything to 100lbs.  A clamp was made off at the dogbone holding one end of the sample. Then the tension was added slowly until 1000lbs was reached and stable. The distance between the clamp and dogbone was then measured using a digital mic. The samples were then tested in reverse order after being left flat on the bench to minimize bending the rope.  After that test, all the samples were taken to 2000lbs with a dwell of 1 minute, then retensioned to 1000lbs.

ROPE Stretch @1000lb Stretch @ 1000lb 2 Stretch @ 1000lb after 2000lb load
Yale Vectrus 55.25 31.37 26.99
Marlow MAX SK78 21.64 19.52 11.64
Alpha Ropes D Core XTM 78 24.32 17.53 9.78
New England STS78 29.9 22.93 14.33
New England HSR 20.35 14.42 8.84

There is lots of interesting information here.  All the ropes developed less stretch after being loaded, with the benefits increasing with the amount of load applied.  This fits with what conventional but often ignored wisdom, as most riggers recommend preloading your halyards before use.  For mains I like to load the main halyard around the boom at the mainsheet strop, then tension the mainsheet as hard as possible. For genoas, jibs and code sails I use the tack fitting, tension with a winch, then “banjo” the halyard from the foredeck by pulling aft on the line.  For spinnakers I go get coffee and think about the weather.

The vectran stretched more, significantly more, than all the flavors of Dyneema.  This is not a surprise, but keep in mind that Vectran should in theory have less creep than Dyneema SK75 and below over time, although SK78 and Vectran are supposed to be comparable.  I will be modeling this, but since creep takes a long time to develop, I’ll be loaded the samples over a weekend and checking on Mondays.

The non heat set STS78 showed the next most stretch, but comes with a caveat.  When setting the lengths to 10′ on the samples, I took nearly 100mm  of initial set out of the STS78, whereas every other sample was more like 5-60mm after the splices were set.  This means that if using regular Dyneema for length critical applications like strops or pennants, it needs to be set under tension. For best results I usually exceed the working load by 3x and have had good results with regular Dyneema after that.

The Heat Set Dyneemas all performed very well.  The Alpha XTM stretch a lot initially but settled down after hitting our target load, and did particularly well after getting tensioned to 2x the test load. The Marlow MAX started better than the XTM but was overtaken after it was tensioned to 2000lbs.  If you’ve got lots of experience with rope, this is very intuitive after handling the lines; the XTM starts out being much less stiff so it stands to reason that it would stretch more initially. The XTM braid angle however, is much more parallel to the rope, so once all the stretch is removed, it makes sense that it would show less load stretch.

The New England HSR did the best, especially once tensioned.  This again fits with the “feel” one gets from the rope, as the HSR is the stiffest running rope I have ever used.

This was a fun test and will be updated as the creep results come in.  The good news is that all the Dyneema lines performed really well compared to the state-of-the-art-circa-2005 Vectran.  If we accept these numbers, and assume a boat like a T10 has these ropes on the main halyard.  The T10 sailors, being good preppers and not tired from the party, preload their halyards before sailing.  It’s windy out, but the ropes only stretch: Vectrus 130mm,  MAX78 56mm, XTM78 47mm, STS78 69mm, and HSR 42mm.

As always, let me know if you have any rigging related bits for the GITDASPITFMWTQ list.

UPDATED 

The overnight time on the bench has been surprisingly tied up, first with a steering cable and now with loops over the weekend, so I’ve decided to do some shorter term testing.  Figuring that on a bad day, a windward leg of a race takes 30 minutes,  I let each sample dwell on the bench for 45 minutes at 1000lbs after a 1500lb set.  As it turns out, not much at all happens in 45 minutes.

ROPE LENGTH CHANGE IN MM REMAINING LOAD @ 45 MINUTES
Yale Vectrus 0 978
Marlow MAX SK78 0 982
Alpha Ropes D Core XTM 78 0 982
New England STS78 0 980
New England HSR 0 986

The ropes didn’t move. Even a little. Testing was done with a metal square clamped to the bench even with the dogbone, and after the first sample I kind of knew the score, and that this  test wouldn’t be very exciting.  The most interesting thing is that the load numbers at 45minutes were down off of 1000lbs, but I’m willing to chalk this up to the bench itself, as there is always some movement and it’s not particularly exact as a dedicated testing rig would be.  An interesting proof to this is that once the ropes were taken to 1500lbs, and then tension released to below 1000, then brought back up to 1000lbs, the numbers actually went UP before they went down.  Could be the load cell itself, the loops, the winch, the tensioning rope (1/2″ vectran)

Here are some videos of the best and worst stretch from the test.  This was done after the actual testing, so the clamp zero is a bit off, and the camera isn’t in line, but even so you can see the huge difference in stretch

With no change in dimension and negligible change in load, it seems like creep in the context of something like a windward/leeward race is not a significant factor. My understanding on creep is that it takes a combination of load/time and temperature to occur, and that it happens on the order of days and not minutes or hours. If I ever end up going upwind with the same tension on a halyard for days, please send help, as not only MIGHT creep be a factor but that sounds like an absolutely boring race and I don’t want to do it.

The interesting observation from the setup for this test was how much all the ropes initially moved when being spliced and set to 10′ lengths. So, for kicks,  I also took a 6′ piece of STS78 and did the same test. This piece of rope only had a quick 1500 set, then was taken to 1000lbs.  This one did grow, by about 28mm, and dropped tension to 658lbs.  This fits my own experience in that prestretching any halyard on the bench makes it perform better once on the bench.  Heat Set Dyneemas only really needs the ends stretched after splicing, and Vectran doesn’t seem to either (Dr. Bam Miller of Oyster Bay Boat shop thinks this is due to the higher coefficient of friction with vectran, but he’s not a real doctor and I don’t think Bam is even his real name.) Regular Dyneema does grow by quite a lot,  the splices set as well as the rope itself elongating with load. The good news is that this settles down with a decent prestretch or lots of use.

My news for customers is this:  get a Dyneema halyard. If you want more performance get a Heat Set Dyneema halyard.  If you really want to come in and talk about creep for a boat that does buoy racing, please excuse me while I bang my head on the test bench.

Creep Update 1 HSR heat set Dyneema

The HSR sample was left on the bench at 1000lbs from Friday afternoon through Monday morning,  the length was unchanged and the load was at 960lbs.  Over 60hrs with no dimension change is pretty good!  Assuming you were on a J105, and this was your main halyard, and the ENTIRE Mac race was upwind on the same tack in the same amount of breeze, you still don’t have to worry about creep in a halyard.  So far this testing just reinforces my recommendation for heat set Dyneema halyards, aft standing rigging and critical control lines.

Creep Update 2 STS78 Dyneema

On Monday I loaded the STS78 sample to 1000lbs and planned to leave it there through Wednesday. As it turned out,  it was left until this morning, so about 60 hours just like the HSR.  In theory, this would be the most creep prone sample.  Heat setting as a process removes the constructional stretch, but in theory also reduces creep since it accelerates it during production and aligns both the fibers and the molecuslar structure of the rope.  Regular Dyneema should show considerably more constructional stretch, as well as more dynamic strech and definitely more creep.  The constructional stretch on this sample should have been mitigated by all the cycling (multiple times to 1000, 1500lbs, once to 2000lbs) but I was still expecting to see some creep as compared to the Heat Set.

Instead,  the sample is exactly where it was left on Monday, showing no dimension change.  We’re at about 16% of break load.  Although normal working loads for racing/cruising running rigging are about 20%, I feel that 1000lbs in this case is pretty indicative of a typical max-normal halyard load on a boat that would use 5mm Dyneema core.

UPDATE CREEP IN STS78 AT HIGHER % OF BREAK LOAD

Over the weekend (OH THE BEARS…) I decided to continue the creep testing by going with a higher-than-recommended working load on the STS78 sample.  So far, the loads  tested for creep have been loads you would likely see on the water with a 5mm piece of rope. No creep has been observed in any of the Dyneema lines, even in STS78 which is non heat set Dyneema and should in theory show creep.  The fact that this piece has been prestretched by being cycled to 1000 (many times with long dwell), 1500 and 2000lbs has made stretch pretty minimal, but I was a bit surprised we couldn’t generate any creep (OR ANY PASS RUSH, BEARS).

To try and generate creep, I loaded the line to 40% of the breaking load (2440lbs). This is well above any SWL for running rigging, and would not likely be encountered on the water. After round 55 hrs the rope had elongated by just under 1mm (UNLIKE THE BEARS SECONDARY WHICH ELONGATED ENOUGH FOR 48 POINTS).

This is still really good!  There was no prestretch beyond getting the rope to tension, so you’re likely seeing construction stretch as much as anything.  Getting <1mm over 3048mm at this % of break load is incredible. You could debate whether we’re seeing construction stretch (probably) or creep (unlikely) but it’s nice to have this data (AND THE INEVITABLE TOP FIVE DRAFT PICK IN 2016).

If you’re curious about the angry parentheses…. 

Spinnaker Sheet Y Bridle

Took these for a mail order customer who need a pigtail to add to their assym spin sheets, so figured it wouldn’t hurt to have quickie instructions for one method of setting up a Y Bridle.  This is applicable to assymetric boats only,  that have a metal clew ring or similar eye at the clew.

 

To start with, youll need a pair of sheets with eyes spliced into the ends (yellow), a short strop (silver) with eyes at both ends (for shackle to sail attachment) or a single eye (for tie on attachment) 

First,  attach the shackle to the strop via larks head/ring hitch/luggage tag/whatever you want to call it.  Start by passing one eye of the strop through the bail on the shackle.

Then pull the eye over the shackle


Once you’ve got the eye over the shackle, pull the line tight so that it hitches tight to the bail of the shackle and looks like the below pic

Now, put the other end of the strop through BOTH eyes on the sheets themselves

Pull the shackle through the empty loop and pull tight, should look just like this

There are several other ways to configure this setup;  you can splice the y permanently, which works the same but is marginally lighter/cleaner, or you can have 2 shackles attached to the pigtail strop, which means you can disconnect individual sheets but lose the benefit of a really smooth “y” where it gets dragged over the forestay in gybes.  Either way the basics are the same, and the goal of having the clew off the spinnaker away from the headstay is achieved.

T10 Deck Layout

One of my T10 customers asked a riggers favorite question this spring: “Blair is repainting my deck, and I’d like to bring it the harbor bare to have you put the layout in place, do you have time?”  Taking a cue from Ghostbusters, the answer to that question is always “yes”

The goal was to minimize hardware and holes, and get controls in places where multiple people could use them easily.

The customer picked up these ferrule head jib tracks, and we did the install.  The ferrule head is nice because you can cross sheet without leaning the jib lead inboard (illegal) but the downside is more friction.  If the winches are decently powered this won’t be an issue, but I wonder about some boats with older/smaller/smooth winches and how well this will work.  Does look very cool though!

Heres the starboard side of the same area.  We went clutches forward on this boat, which has been around for a while, but added a bit of trickery in using Antal Deck Rings instead of deck organizers to bring the halyards aft.  These bone-simple bits of gear work great for high load fairleads,  padeyes etc.  In this case they effectively and simply turn the halyards aft to the winches, but also provide an infinite angle fairlead so that the line can be tailed/hoisted from any direction.  If I were doing bow on this boat, I’d expect to be hoisting my own jib from up by the shrouds.

In both of the above shots you can also see the vang leading aft (white/blue line) 

The white blue line is the vang.  The control is double ended, going to both sides of the companionway, and uses my favorite fairlead ( yes really ) the Harken Extreme Angle lead.  This lead lets the line be cleated from almost 90 degrees to either side.  This means on this boat anyone in the cockpit or pit can trim the vang, and anyone within reach of the tail can blow it.  The other fairlead in this picture is in the little control box,  which is for the underdeck twings. For jib sheet and spin sheet cleats, there are 2; one on the back of the house and one on the side of the cockpit seatback (not visible) This gives lots of options for cross sheeting and locking off lines.Here you can another Deck Ring, this time for the downhaul.  Always tricky to lead, the downhaul on this (and most  buoy racing boats) works best when close to the mast base. This lets the downhaul put a little aft pressure on the pole, which helps with square running, and additionally the closer it is to the mast base the fewer adjustments are needed when changing the guy angle.  The Deck Ring is perfect for this as well, as it works in many directions and should last forever.  You can see topping lift and downhaul are mounted on swivel bases up on the coaming. Blair did the plumbing for routing the twings under deck, so all I had to do was provide a good bit of cordage.  We used regular sailmakers thimbles spliced into a piece of Alpha KMix cover in 7mm.  This is a nice handling line at a good price, and the thimble attachment is nice and light, although carries the caveat of being more friction than a block.With 2 winches on deck,  there are times during a buoy race where a bit of sail handling help is needed; imagine coming into the windward mark, trying to keep the jib in tight while loading the spinnaker sheet… the big boat style hobble saves hassle here, letting you clip the tylaska shackle into the jib clew, then freeing the jib sheet off the port winch.  The hobble takes the load and keeps the jib in, so you can get around the mark in style.  This one has a sliding loop splice to give it a bit of adjustability for different jibs and conditions, although I expect it to be a set and forget thing most days.Taming another corner of the jib we have a jin cunnigham system.  A simple 2:1 through the hook leads to double ended 3:1’s for 6:1 total power.  The sails on this boat have cunnigham attachments as a webbing strap, but if your sails have pressed rings, you can run the 2:1 right through the ring and save the extra hardware.The simple clean way to attach to a toerail is with a spliced loop on a Harken T2 block.  The loops will last a long time, not damage rail or deck and are incredibly strong and light. We converted the customers old style “pinch” fiber backstay to the newer cascading style, which works great.  A little detail here is how the lines are led.  Using eyestraps and T2 blocks in the cockpit we keep it light and able to articulate properly, and mounting them to the sides instead of the floor keeps them snag free and clean (as lines on the floor trap dirt/water/feet)  Also note the little deflectors that hold the line back and out of the way of the driver; just a little dyneema and a ring.

What a fun project; it’s nice to start from scratch.  Looking forward to sailing reports and will note any changes here.

Big Boat 3D jib controls

The multiple headsail tracks and barber haulers of yesteryear have given way to the 3d jib systems of today, and bare toes everywhere let out a cheer…

For this very big GP race boat,  there are 2 headsail tracks per side, both with cars (1 pinstop big boat and one CRX traveler) controlled by in and outhaulers, and the clew heigh controlled by a single line.  This one line is quite critical as it’s “y” spliced so that it can collectively adjust 2 settings from one location.

We used 10mm dyneema here, covered with Alpha KMix cover.  The KMix is great for fast changes on a winch, as the high grip lets you get away with fewer wraps so you can quickly load and unload the line to make the change, and then use the winch for something else.

J105 Rigging Package

Here’s a somewhat-untypical J105 rigging package,  made to match the boats crew and gear.  A well crewed boat with some older deck gear (smooth winches, larger clutches, PXR main sheet cleat)

So, the jib sheets (top) are cored with 6mm dyneema for stretch, strength and durability, which is pretty common.  Where this boats cordage is different is in the cover.  We used Alpha Ropes KMix cover, which is a blend of polyester and cordura. The cordura delivers amazing grip, decent durability and nice handling all at a price thats even with polyester.  These will stick well to tired winches, and I’d even expect to see fewer wraps.

The mainsheet is Alpha SSC, which is another entry in the blended line category started by Swiftcord.  This one has a core, which is quite nice as the line can be tapered for faster running over the blocks inside the tackle.  SSC is a great fit for this application as it’s quite firm, which will help this boats main trimmer use their Spinlock PXR cleat.  The dyneema/poly blended cover will keep handling kind, and the tough dyneema core makes for durability and long life.

The boat has the original Lewmar 10-12mm clutches, so we needed a tack line that would stick well and not be minimum size, so again it’s the cordura/poly cover of KMix.  This is over New Englands STS 75.  For the end, we just backsplice the dyneema for a good knot-tying area and call it a day.

Can’t wait to hear feedback on this order, as similar specs have worked really well in the past.

Big Boat Twin Backstay Tails

These were fun.  I keep calling them runner tails, but techinically they’re twin topmast backstay tails…  Made from Heat Set Spectra cores, partially covered with New England ARC cover for good grip, toughness and control on the winch.  They yellow tails are Alpha Ropes SSC, which is super light, won’t take on water and nice to handle. The blocks are 100mm Air Runners.Made this way so you have minimum weight and friction where it runs through the blocks and is aloft, the cover is for winching and handling, and the lightweight tail is so the lazy runner-I mean, lazy twin topmast backstay tail (see why everyone calls em runners?)- can be pulled out of the way of the main.


The blocks are Air Runners,  although I’ve heard some TP52’s are using TTR blocks.  The TTR would be a bit of overkill, but they’re so cool! Titanium bearings in special races mean no deformation and super insane efficiency.  Someone buy some TTR blocks from me!

Alpha Skin Cover

Alpha Ropes Skin Cover is a great way to match your choice of cores to a high grip but mid cost cover.  It’s a blend of polyester and cordura, which places it tech and cost wise between all poly covers and something more exotic like Poly Tec or Maffioli KP cover.  Handling wise it’s higher grip than either of those, but with lower heat and abrasion resistance.

J105 and Farr40 jib sheets

I first tried this cover out two years to recover some Farr 40 jib sheets that had torn covers on winches.  Last week I had the opportunity to inspect the sheets and they look brand new and still handle great. At $.89 per foot, this is actually cheaper than trying to use even a basic poly cover, so it’s a no brainer for recovering good cores with torn covers as well as building custom cordage.

Here  is a set of simple Farr 40 jib sheets ( simple because they’re just tapered for the inhaulers as opposed to having a dyneema cover for the front 6′) and a set of tie-on J105 jib sheets.  Both are over New England STS75 cores, and the 40 sheets are prestretched. This is an especially good fit for the 105 as they have worn Lewmar winches, so the extra grip is going to allow them use fewer wraps for quicker tacks.

 

The bene