View Full Version : Simulated trad rope
02-18-2006, 04:17 PM
Time I ordered the rigging for new trad build. Polypropylene (eg Hempex) vs Polyester, for halyards & sheets - what's to choose between them? Any experiences, pro or con? I believe Polypropylene is degraded by UV over a number of years, but that may be bearable if usability is superior - but is it?
02-18-2006, 04:25 PM
You can get traditional looking polyester now. The two kinds I know of are from R&W: www.rwrope.com (http://www.rwrope.com) or American Rope & Tar: www.tarsmell.com (http://www.tarsmell.com)
I used the stuff from R&W, I wanted it for my mainsheet and it was a little softer. I'd ask for samples and properties for each and then decide.
02-18-2006, 04:29 PM
Polypropylene is at the bottom of the UF foodchain with a life expectancy of maybe a year, ok for water ski and dingy tow lines because it floats. For most running rigging use polyester, for anchor and docking lines use nylon. Some of the new high tech stuff can be used to replace wire standing rigging.
02-18-2006, 04:30 PM
Steve, he is in the UK. smile.gif R&W imports the line for us colonists from across the pond. :cool:
02-18-2006, 04:33 PM
English Braids Buff Polyester
02-18-2006, 08:35 PM
Or make your own from regular polyester
New England Ropes white 3-strand "filament" polyester, dunked in brown oil-based wood stain and then rinsed very well in naptha. I have some out in the garden holding stuff up that's been out there for four years. It's faded just a bit, but still looks good. I can't say I'd really want a 3-strand mainsheet, but have dipped hunks of 12-strand braid (Regatta) in the used dirty naptha to turn them a light cream color without affecting their softness.
02-19-2006, 02:28 AM
I've ordered three sizes of Hempex and been very pleased at the hand and softness, but other people like the more expensive competing brands better.
As recommended, pick up some samples if you can.
Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson )
02-19-2006, 06:29 AM
02-19-2006, 07:09 AM
Todd, have you tried putting stockholm tar on the polyester?
02-19-2006, 09:27 AM
I've used English Braid Buff Polyester for halyards and sheets on Drake for years now. Wonderful stuff. It's really good rope. Expensive, but no regrets here.
It doesn't twist much under load. My double-braid jib sheet seems to kink and tangle more than the EBBP mainsheet.
Only drawback: it tends to burn your hands if you let the rope slip under load.
02-19-2006, 11:45 AM
No, I haven't tried tarring my own. I developed the process for roping sails because white roping didn't look historically correct on the sails I was building. I can't have anything on it that is at all sticky or which will come off on the Dacron and stain it. Once I'm done rinsing the stained line, it's extremely colorfast and I've never had problems with it bleeding. They do tar polyester in some cases. Some of the commercial tarred marline is polyester twine that's either been dunked, dipped or coated with real tar. Smells good, looks good, but I can't use it because it stains sailcloth.
02-19-2006, 12:26 PM
Thanks Todd, I hadn't thought about the stains, which makes your method the untimate. ;)
02-19-2006, 02:30 PM
It may be totally nuts from a chemistry or textile-coloring standpoint, but I have been doing it for about twelve years now and haven't had any problems. If it was going to fade, bleed or cause failures I would probably have seen some by now. You do need to really rinse it well in thinner or you can end up with nasty, stiff rope and I haven't been able to get it to work on the fuzzy, spun varieties (they just don't seem to take much color). You also lose a lot of color during rinsing, so the stain needs to be pretty dark (I use mostly Minwax "Early American" color, oil-based).
02-19-2006, 04:41 PM
I've used the English Braids Buff Polyester. Good stuff. Pricey, but worth it I think.
I've used the Leoflex. It's a good look, but I won't use it again. Should've read the fine print. It's polypropylene (aka ski rope). Slippery when wet, rough on the hands, doesn't really hold a knot.
The tarsmell.com guy is a good honest fella. I don't mean to bash him personally. I just wish he rep'd a different product.
I think I'll go with the Bradshaw Method for my mainsheet this year.
02-19-2006, 06:47 PM
Todd's system izz alright....or....let it sit for a couple of days in some really strong tea...Lipton's izz good....
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