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Halyards - wire or not?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:28 am
by DavidF
The current halyards on my DSII are spliced wire and rope and could use replacement.

I see that the DS halyards at D and R are just rope. What are your opinions on rope vs rope+wire?


PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:42 am
by K.C. Walker
I just replaced the wire part of my halyard with 1/8" Amsteel. The rope part was still in good enough shape but I had a spur on the wire. Amsteel is super easy to splice and just as strong and non-stretch as steel in this application.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:14 pm
by GreenLake
I'm in the process of replacing the halyard with Amsteel as well. In this context, check out the website

He describes how to splice a halyard

I found the descriptions easy to follow, but, here's the caveat, the dimensions he gives didn't work for me. I hadn't used Sta-Set, but "equivalent" rope from another manufacturer, and it was just a bit too wide, so that it simply wouldn't fit the opening in the Amsteel.

Solution: I used a short length of larger diameter Amsteel to make the splice, and then spliced the Amsteel using a Brummel splice. To be deployed whenever I get to take out the DS this season.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:33 pm
by K.C. Walker
On my boat the rope part of the halyard is three strand with an chain splice to a wire loop. I cut the wire and slipped it out and then slipped the Amsteel through the splice and made a simple loop splice in the Amsteel. I wanted a loop at the Amsteel/rope junction to hook my 3:1 tensioner/Cunningham for my jib.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:06 pm
by GreenLake
Far from those refinements :)

Re: Halyards - wire or not?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:13 am
I have a question for all y’all? If you are replacing the wire section of your halyard with Amsteel, why not just use Amsteel for the total length of the halyard?
Hope this 2019 reply to an much earlier post isn’t in vain.

Re: Halyards - wire or not?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:45 am
by K.C. Walker
Ha, yes it's been a long while, but I did get notified!

My thought was that I have a ready-made loop that I can hook my adjustable "Cunningham/jib tensioner" to. Having a larger line for the tail of the halyard makes it easy to haul. 1/8 inch Amsteel is a little tough on the hands, not as much for the jib as for the main, though. I found that making a 4 or 5 inch long loop in the Amsteel for the main sheet makes it easy to double back for a 2:1 when tying off.

It is time to think about sailing again! I just went to a race committee meeting yesterday… And there still snow in the ground here!

Re: Halyards - wire or not?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:20 pm
by GreenLake
The main reason for adopting a split Amsteel / double braid solution for the halyard is that the Amsteel is can be sized very thin and is very slippery. This makes handling the halyard unpleasant. It is better to make the part that is being handled from a more grippy material - which also doesn't have as low-stretch.

There are ropes that are dyneema core with a very grippy cover. These can be used for halyards at rather low diameters, but they are grippy enough to be handled (with gloves, because you'll want to use the narrow diameter). And there's no need to change construction - in fact, it's not posisble to splice rope line that.

See this post in my topic on "Rope for various lines".