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Thread: Rope advice needed

  1. #1
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    Default Rope advice needed

    Retirement is closing in. One of my many projects is to get the old Sea Pearl back in shape. Douglas masts and traditional lug sails.

    I'd like to replace/rework a variety of lines. And size some of them more appropriately for the task.

    Toward this, I was looking at the line size suggestions for the Goat Island Skiff. It's a little smaller/lighter so I was thinking I would bump them up a bit. However, the Goat Island skiff site leans towards smaller high-tech line (Spectra).

    I am not looking for high-performance, leaning more toward a traditional look and something that is easy on the hands and will take a knot/stay on a cleat well.

    I tried the "fake" sisal for lacing and while it looks nice, it doesn't hold a knot well. But the thick stuff makes a nice looking dock line.

    Right now I am trying to decide between 3-strand polyester, double braid polyester, solid.

    Am I in the right neighborhood? Is there an easy, "right" answer? Reliability and longevity are important. Not too worried about performance, medium price sensitive, weekend camp cruising and an occasional Texas 200.

    I'd like to go ahead and buy a quantity of various sizes and do some lawn sailing to get it set up.

    Many thanks

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    I like the 3-strand polyester for handling, good knot-holding, and ease of splicing. "Posh" is the best stuff at the moment, and available at R&W Rope. But I'm a dyed in the wool traditionalist, and I'm sure someone will soon be along to assure you that braid is superior in all ways.

    Alex

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    3 strand for some of the reasons posted already. Braided is highly over rated in my opinion. I actually get more hockles with braided than with 3 strand and the inner core can get chafed where you can't see it...or the outer core frays and slides around. I've had numerous boats with both.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    Some like double braid because of it's even surface, and think it's easier on the hands. IMO it's the other way around, a three strand rope is easier to grip because of the unevenness - you don't need to grip it as hard.
    For longevity I think spunflex is hard to beat. However it looks like plastic when new, very shiny and knots tends to slip. However, after some time of use it will get a more matte look and hold knots much better.
    Hempex, classic, polyhemp and whatnot look "right" from the beginning, and are softer than spunflex and hold knots good, but have terrible UV-resistance.
    Thin lines are harder on the hands, so not for strength but comfort, don't go under 10 mm diameter, or 12 mm.

    /Mats
    My blog about my time as a boat building student and as a rigger apprentice http://kaptenmohsart.blogspot.se/ in Swedish only, but there are many pictures :-)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    I like 3 strand for the reasons above, but I cannot find a good source locally for quality stuff. Either its really cheap and nasty poly or it is nylon, suitable for anchor ropes and otherwise pretty expensive. I'd go for yacht braid, or similar. Id say use a larger diameter line because it is easier to pull and hold, than the smaller stuff though small stuff has plenty of strength for your application.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    Synthetic Manila Line (ARTICLE LINK)



    Excerpt

    Leoflex -X Rope

    Leoflex -X is easy to splice, holds up under all conditions, and best of all, looks right. This synthetic Manila rope was developed in The Netherlands by the historic firm of Touwfabriek G. van der Lee. Established in 1545, van der Lee is still owned and operated by the founding family.

    In 1998, the Dutch replica ship Batavia announced it would travel to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. The ship's managers asked van der Lee to develop a new tougher and more realistic rope for the voyage. Leoflex -X was the result.

    Since then, sailing vessels have tested Leoflex -X from Antarctica to the Equator and onwards to the North Sea. It performs beautifully in the most demanding conditions, and looks right too
    #include [std-disclaimer]

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    I really like this: https://www.fisheriessupply.com/new-...polyester-line

    It is soft with a very nice hand, easy to splice and looks good.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    another good choice and a good place to shop. https://www.fisheriessupply.com/new-...ntage-3-strand

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    Personal warning: I used to use and love the New England Rope 3-strand "Spun-Dac". However, the last stuff I bought (last year) hockled in a couple weeks to where it was completely useless. When I called R&W Rope in despair, Bob Dollar, their rope man, sympathized and told me NER has been having serious quality control issues. Apparently they stopped setting the Spun-Dac, or changed the way they did it, and it now doesn't hold up. That's why I shifted to (and suggested, above) the Posh 3-strand polyester as an alternative.

    The Posh has a *much* softer hand than the NER Spun-Dac. Honestly, I don't know that I like the Posh's hand quite as well (and I prefer the NER bright white line; even the un-dyed white Posh looks more beige-y / manilla-y) --but the bottom line is that it holds up a lot better than the new NER stuff. And if you like a soft hand, it's definitely easy to keep hold of.

    Alex

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    The only place I tend toward hi-tec lines on a lug sail are the halyard, which is used to regulate luff tension. The low-stretch of Spectra or Dyneema will allow you to both cinch it tight when desired... and to do it once without it sagging under load. Otherwise... whatever combo of adequate strength and looks you are partial to. The one place a soft hand and easy running are critical is the main (only) sheet.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    Interesting! "Fake" Sisal and Manila line both mentioned in the same thread. I've been using Hempex, the original faux hemp line and one still widely used in tall ships, and really like the softer feel compared to harder-wearing newer products like Posh and Leoflex. R&W rope carries it and are great folks to work with. I tried a faux Manila from Duckworks http://www.duckworksbbs.com/product-...llo-parent.htm and found it too shiny and hard when compared to Hempex at roughly the same low price.
    https://rwrope.com/rope-by-use/saili...-to-hemp-rope/

    http://www.langmanropes.com/langman-...-langman-ropes
    Last edited by Thorne; 02-14-2018 at 12:09 AM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    I like Hempex. its a hemp looking 3 strand. I like it so much I just bought and entire spool of 3/8"
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    I use double braided dacron... it is stronger, easier to handle, runs better through blocks etc. Today anything else seems an affectation.
    (After watching a friend's 35 foot ketch get loose from the anchorage and fetch up on the beach by worrying then unlaying a 3 strand splice, I swore it off forever. note, I did not make the splice and likely it was not sewn or whipped. My own anchor splices (in yacht braid) are sewn with monel wire)

    Ashley suggests that traditional "rope" was 4 strand, which is a better product, but basically unobtainable today. Finely detailed paintings from the era will reveal that. Yacht stuff like sheets were often plaited line of exotic material.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    Well, better?
    4 strand is "rounder", but it is weaker than 3 strand.
    As I said, I prefer 3 strand for the better grip, but with winches I'd go for double braid.

    /Mats
    My blog about my time as a boat building student and as a rigger apprentice http://kaptenmohsart.blogspot.se/ in Swedish only, but there are many pictures :-)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    I much prefer 3-strand.

    After we we bought Drake in 1999 I replaced quite a bit of the running rigging with English Braid Buff Polyester. It's a traditional-appearance modern rope.

    I'm still using it. So although the initial price seemed high, I've received very good value.

    It grips very hard. A splice never creeps. Knots hang on tight. And you never want to let it slide through your hands. But that's a good thing, especially in the wet.

    It doesnt hockle and has great U V resistance.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    For anchor line, this is a really nice product since it never kinks

    Splices don't slip if enough tucks are made, there is no need to sew through 3 or 4 strain rope splices, but with double braid it's a good idea.

    /Mats
    My blog about my time as a boat building student and as a rigger apprentice http://kaptenmohsart.blogspot.se/ in Swedish only, but there are many pictures :-)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    We liked New England Rope 3 strand vintage. And bought some of the smaller hemp as well, 3mm. From R&W Rope, they sent us the samples.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    New England Rope 3 strand Vintage from R&W Rope


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by mohsart View Post
    For anchor line, this is a really nice product since it never kinks

    Splices don't slip if enough tucks are made, there is no need to sew through 3 or 4 strain rope splices, but with double braid it's a good idea.

    /Mats
    Great stuff, that. It's called "eight strand plait" these days. Made by Columbian Rope. It used to be called "Intrepid Braid," because it was first produced for running rigging on the America's Cup boat, Intrepid." I believe Sampson may have made it at one point also. It will never hockle or "donkey tail." like laid cordage. It used to be available in Dacron. I scored a roll of Intrepid just a bit shy of about 600 feet of 5/8' maybe forty years ago and replaced the running rigging on my boat with it. There's still some of that roll stored away in the barn. The chandlery gave me an unbelievable deal on it, almost "give away" because nobody bought it. The guy in the chandlery told me that "nobody knows how to splice it." I asked him what he wanted for the roll because I did know how to splice it. Just tuck the strands back against the fall. Wonderful stuff.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    8-Plait cordage is still made by several companies. There's some stuff called "Nov-Eight" with a very soft hand, and there's "Brait" made by Yale Cordage, which is a bit tighter, and what Bob Dollar, the rope guru at R&W recommended for my anchor warp. I just picked up two new rodes for my sloop: 250' each of 1/2" and 5/8" Brait. Lovely stuff, and the 250' of 5/8" stows in about the same amount of space as my original 150' of 9/16" 3-strand nylon. Crazy strong, too, and very elastic, so perfect for anchor warp and dockline where shock absorbsion is important. Not cheap, but I think it'll be worth it.

    My only (very small) grouse was that the stuff is very soft, and compresses considerably, which makes turning whippings a bit challenging at first. Not a big deal, of course, and after 112 whippings, marking off fathoms, I've gotten the hang of it.

    Alex

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Rope advice needed

    Thanks, I didn't say a name for it since I suspected that the Swedish name "delta flätat" (lit. delta braid) wasn't the correct name in English. Also, by "kink" I probably meant "hockle". Still learning English...
    I know two ways of splicing it, and while the 8 strands may look intimidating, it's really quite simple.
    I don't think I'd use it for running rigging, but for an anchor line it's perfect.

    /Mats
    My blog about my time as a boat building student and as a rigger apprentice http://kaptenmohsart.blogspot.se/ in Swedish only, but there are many pictures :-)

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