Ask SAIL: Replacing Running Rigging

 I’m planning on replacing all the running rigging on my 1978 Tartan 37 this spring for the first time since I bought the boat over 10 years ago. 
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Jack Frantz, Norwalk, CT asks:

I’m planning on replacing all the running rigging on my 1978 Tartan 37 this spring for the first time since I bought the boat over 10 years ago. All my lines are now polyester, and I’m wondering if it makes sense to buy more modern high-modulus line. There are now so many different types of rope, however, that I’m getting confused. What types are best for a cruising boat like mine that rarely races? Can I get just one type of rope, or do I need different types for all the different lines on board? 

Win Fowler REPLIES

For a Tartan 37 used mostly for cruising, I recommend you use high-modulus rope for the main and headsail halyards and spinnaker guys. A rope with a Dyneema core (SK 78 or better) with a polyester cover that can be removed from the working ends would be best. To avoid excessive wear, make sure your halyard sheaves are the proper type for whatever line you select. For all remaining running rigging, you can use polyester double-braid rope.

HR-win-fowler2_0

Cordage stretch for a given load is proportional to a line’s length. The combination of high loads and long working length make it important to use low-stretch Dyneema for the halyards and guys. Sheets are also highly loaded, but the shorter working lengths and/or multi-part purchases make stretching less of a problem. You could go with all Dyneema line, but this would be much more expensive, and I think you would see little benefit. 

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Check the waypoint  Most errors with GPS and paper chart navigation are caused by the operator punching in the wrong numbers or plotting the lat/long incorrectly. The surest way to double-check a ...read more

Furlex-Electric

Gear: Seldén’s Furlex Electric

Furl Power Seldén’s Furlex Electric offers an easy path into the world of sweat-free headsail furling. The compact unit can be retrofitted to an existing manual Furlex unit or installed as a replacement for whatever you’ve got now. Its DC-DC converter accepts your boat’s 12V or ...read more

11_DSC8423Tom-Zydler

Cruising: Nova Scotia

There’s a unique cruising ground that combines access to urban locations with easy escapes to wilderness and nature. Its native people may be the friendliest on the east coast of North America. Its coastline runs 250 nautical miles in a straight line, but that should be ...read more

01-LEAD-shutterstock_727849660

Boat Monitoring System

Boat Oversight In a world where you can track your friends’ locations in real time and stream yourself live on the internet, it should come as no surprise that you can also keep a close eye on your boat from the comfort of home. In fact, not only is there a plethora of options ...read more

pilot_saloon_42-_en_navigation_11

Boat Review: Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 42

Old salts grouse about modern aesthetics. It’s just what they do, and the hard lines and spartan interiors of today’s production boats give them many reasons to complain. French builder Wauquiez, however, seems to consistently be able to marry contemporary elements with ...read more

JuneWaterlines

Sights and Stories Cruising the Caribbean

Though I hate to think of myself as a “disaster tourist,” I can’t deny one of the things I was most curious about as I sailed south last fall to visit St. Martin, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico was how much hurricane damage I would see. I’m sure no one needs reminding that ...read more