Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Sailing Tips Secrets - How to Add Life to Your Costly Sailing Line

by John Jamieson on 28 Jul 2012
Photo to the right shows the deck layout for control lines that lead from the mast aft to the cockpit. Diagram to the left shows just the port side sequence of control lines and gear. Note how the skipper has kept the lines as straight as possible from exit blocks to line organizer blocks to rope clutches and to the winch. Use a similar layout to prevent excess friction and wear on your costly lines and sailing gear. John Jamieson
Sailing rope costs are going up like most everything else. And you will want to extend the life of your expensive halyard, outhaul, reefing, and other running rigging lines as long as possible. Follow this easy sailing tip to success!

Sketch Your Deck Layout:
Nothing beats easier sail handling controls. On 'Rubicon', skipper Peter Bourke had rigged all control lines to lead from the mast to the cockpit. Note in the simple illustration above how the control lines are led on the port side (for simplicity, just the port side control lines are illustrated).

Each line runs down from mast or boom to an exit block, mounted onto a tang at the mast base. From there, they make a slight diagonal angle that redirects each line to a line organizer block box. From there, they are redirected aft to line clutches. The clutches 'brake' each line to hold it under tension. Aft of the clutch box, you see the single winch that can trim any individual line as needed.

Avoid excess wear when you mate the rope to the block sheave canal. Rope should fit snug in the sheave canal. Too large of a rope diameter will rub on the block sides and wear. Too small of a rope diameter could 'jump' out of the sheave and jam against the block cheeks. Match each of your running rigging lines right to save on replacement costs.

Straight Leads Make Fair Leads:
Keep leads from one point to another as straight as possible. This might seem easier said than done, but any bend in a line--whether running rigging, docking, or anchoring line--causes friction and wear.


Create 'UV Sleeves' for Your Control Lines:
Expose your expensive sailing rope to sunlight and you can guarantee it will wear faster. UV rays break down the outer fibers of your line and can cause line to harden.

Sailmakers know this and that's why furling Genoas have a heavy panel of UV resistant cloth sewn along the leech. Without this leech cover, your rolled up Genoa would be at the mercy of damaging UV rays from sun-up to sun-down. Enter the 'sacrificial leech cover'. As its name implies, you can expect your furling Genoa's leech cover to deteriorate after a few years (this leech cover can be easily replaced by your sailmaker).

Use this same secret to protect exposed lines on deck. Measure the exposed lines from point to point (i.e. mast exit blocks to line organizer box). Use old canvas (or some other hardy UV resistant material) to create long, narrow sleeves. Sew Velcro along the long edge of each sleeve. When finished sailing, wrap the sleeves around each section of your control lines, press the Velcro edges together and you're done! In just seconds, your control lines are protected and their service life extended.

Wash Your Lines with This Miracle Cleaner:
Exposed lines pick up dirt and salt crystals. These can chop, cut, tear, and bite into any line just like microscopic razors. Blast these 'line killers' with the cheapest, cleanest cleaner around--fresh water. As soon as you are through with a long cruise or voyage, blast your control lines and running rigging with copious amounts of fresh water.

Allow the lines to dry before you cover or stow them. This applies to anchor or docking lines as well. Put fresh-water wash-downs near the head of the list to pump new life into your costly sailing lines.

Follow these five simple sailing tips to breathe new life into your costly running rigging. Keep your sailing rope strong, supple, and wear-free all sailing season long--wherever in the world you choose to go sailing!

John Jamieson (Captain John) with 25+ years of experience shows you the no-nonsense cruising skills you need for safer sailing worldwide. Visit his website at www.skippertips.com for a free issue of the highly popular 'Captain John's Sailing Tips' newsletter. Discover how you can gain instant access to hundreds of sailing articles, videos, e-Books and more!

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignColligo Marine 660x82Newport Boat Show 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Kids Polarised Sunglasses from Barz Optics
Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Each pair are supplied with a neoprene case and sunglass retainer.
Posted on 4 Aug
Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun
Newport Bermuda Race - High Noon takes honours
As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, the powerful 100-foot grand prix Comanche, to the surprise of many they were led by an unusual boat and crew. High Noon, at 41 feet, is fully 59 feet shorter than Comanche and tens of feet shorter than many other entries.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron to ban bottled water
Approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. The RQYS Management Committee has confirmed that approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. This will place the club as a leader in environmental impact management in Australia and around the world. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club earlier this year did likewise. Who’s next?
Posted on 16 Jun
SouthernFurl In-Boom furling systems withstand Sydney Hobart test
Southern Spars design team have developed the SouthernFurl Boom smaller budgets and yachts from 35-70 feet. Have you ever scared your family when you got stuck with too much sail up when you should be reefed? Southern Spars’ range of SouthernFurl booms are the answer – letting you reduce sail quickly and easily without leaving the safety of the cockpit.
Posted on 23 May
2016 Garda Trentino Olympic Week - Day 4
Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Tomorrow the medal race is scheduled for the Lasers and another two races for the three paralympic classes.
Posted on 13 May
CCA presents RCC Award to Scott and Mary Flanders
CCA has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy. The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy.
Posted on 22 Apr
Cyclone Winston Relief Fund – Help the people of Fiji
Sea Mercy is sending volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food and medical supplies to Fiji. Sea Mercy is once again sending our volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food, water and medical supplies and teams to Fiji.
Posted on 27 Feb