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Luff Tension When Reefed

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  • Nels
    I was reviewing Jim s essays on the various sails he uses and especially the balanced lug which is his favorite. He mentions that one of these sail should tack
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 27, 2008
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      I was reviewing Jim's essays on the various sails he uses and
      especially the balanced lug which is his favorite.

      He mentions that one of these sail should tack through about 100
      degrees which he feels in excellent performance for the low tech
      materials one can use. He also mentions several times the importance
      of keeping the luff taut otherwise upwind performance suffers badly.
      And to do that he uses a tack line with a double purchase to insure
      the luff stays straight.

      Now my question is this. When reefed, will not hauling too much on the
      tack line perhaps damage the sail with so much pressure at the forward
      reef point?

      I emailed Jim about perhaps instead of having separate reef ties, to
      have a full-length batten installed at each reef point. (i.e. two
      battens in most cases.) He never responded.

      I realize now that I would have to install a parrel at each batten
      location as well so one could reconnect the tack line to the lowest
      batten parrel for the luff to be re-tightened.

      I expect Jim feels the whole set-up is too complicated.But to me it
      might improve the upwind ability of the sail when it is reefed. Also
      there are no reef ties to worry about. With lazy jacks the lowered
      batten should just slide down onto the boom similar to a junk sail.

      Any thoughts?

      Nels
    • Mark Balogh
      Should not be a problem but the reef points should be as strong as the normal tack and clew attachments. The luff is shorter when reefed so there should be
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 27, 2008
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        Should not be a problem but the reef points should be as strong as
        the normal tack and clew attachments. The luff is shorter when reefed
        so there should be less tendency for catenary sag and therefore no
        need for excess tack downhaul tension to limit catenary sag. The
        sheet tension transmitted through the leech to the yard forces the
        yard to act as a lever to tension the luff. The lever arm remains
        essentially the same when reefed so with adequate tack line tension
        and a shorter luff there should be no need for higher than normal
        stress on the reef points. The tension on the luff also controls the
        twist so tack line tension in heavier winds wants to be just enough
        to control luff tension and leech twist. On a monohull in strong
        winds twist is a good way to automatically de-power the sail so one
        would not want excessive luff tension. The automatic twist saves the
        skipper from having to play the main sheet so much or so quickly.

        Mark

        On Feb 27, 2008, at 1:00 PM, Nels wrote:

        > I was reviewing Jim's essays on the various sails he uses and
        > especially the balanced lug which is his favorite.
        >
        > He mentions that one of these sail should tack through about 100
        > degrees which he feels in excellent performance for the low tech
        > materials one can use. He also mentions several times the importance
        > of keeping the luff taut otherwise upwind performance suffers badly.
        > And to do that he uses a tack line with a double purchase to insure
        > the luff stays straight.
        >
        > Now my question is this. When reefed, will not hauling too much on the
        > tack line perhaps damage the sail with so much pressure at the forward
        > reef point?
        >
        >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Nels
        ... Thanks Mark, All very useful information and clarifies it for me. I was sort of thinking of making a cheap polytarp sail for testing purposes and that
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 27, 2008
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          --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, Mark Balogh <mark@...> wrote:
          >
          > Should not be a problem but the reef points should be as strong as
          > the normal tack and clew attachments. The luff is shorter when reefed
          > so there should be less tendency for catenary sag and therefore no
          > need for excess tack downhaul tension to limit catenary sag. The
          > sheet tension transmitted through the leech to the yard forces the
          > yard to act as a lever to tension the luff. The lever arm remains
          > essentially the same when reefed so with adequate tack line tension
          > and a shorter luff there should be no need for higher than normal
          > stress on the reef points. The tension on the luff also controls the
          > twist so tack line tension in heavier winds wants to be just enough
          > to control luff tension and leech twist. On a monohull in strong
          > winds twist is a good way to automatically de-power the sail so one
          > would not want excessive luff tension. The automatic twist saves the
          > skipper from having to play the main sheet so much or so quickly.
          >
          > Mark
          >
          Thanks Mark,

          All very useful information and clarifies it for me.

          I was sort of thinking of making a cheap polytarp sail for testing
          purposes and that material is not all that strong.

          One other thing I notice about Jim's rig is that he attaches the halyard
          at a point about 40% aft the forward end of the yard. The usual
          practice seems to be to attach it at the 30% point resulting in more
          yard weight being aft and serving to add a bit more tension to the luff,
          just by the balance point being moved forward.

          With the halyard further aft it also means the mast must be further aft
          in order for the CE of the sail to be over the CLR of the boat. I would
          like to have the mast further forward so it is outside the cabin so am
          considering moving the halyard location forward on the yard as well to
          keep the CE at the same location.

          I realize this will add to the likelihood of more twist developing when
          the wind gets up, but that may suggest it is time to reef anyway.

          Any suggestion for what type of rope is best bang for the buck and
          providing the least stretch?

          Nels



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Mark Balogh
          I personally like balanced lugs and think they can be made to perform better than many people would expect. To me one of the tricks to this is to reduce luff
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 27, 2008
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            I personally like balanced lugs and think they can be made to perform
            better than many people would expect. To me one of the tricks to
            this is to reduce luff stretch. This is particularly important if
            you attach the halyard further forward on the yard. With any
            traditional material and especially polytarp this means you need to
            reinforce the luff with low stretch material. Some use adhesive tape
            with longitudinal fiber reinforcements. Another way is to sew low
            stretch webbing along the luff. If you use relatively wide webbing
            and sew it flat on both sides of the sail it can act as a strong
            point to anchor your reef points possibly as webbed on rings sewn to
            the flat webbing. Another method would be to use a low stretch boat
            rope in a hem. If you do not use some relatively low stretch
            reinforcements on the luff of a polytarp sail particularly with the
            halyard forward on the yard, the performance life of the sail will be
            limited. As to halyard materials. I subscribe to the school that
            says balanced lugs work better with low stretch halyards. Recently
            for my business I switched from 6 mm double braid polyester for
            halyards to 4 mm line with a braided polyester cover and a dyneema
            core made especially for halyards. Since I was able to go to a
            smaller size while actually reducing stretch and weight and windage
            aloft the cost was competitive with the higher performance fiber from
            the new manufacturer actually costing a little less. I have to whip
            the ends of the dyneema core line as the cover/core ends don't melt
            together perfectly as it does with polyester or polypropylene.

            Mark

            On Feb 27, 2008, at 2:42 PM, Nels wrote:

            >
            > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, Mark Balogh <mark@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Should not be a problem but the reef points should be as strong as
            > > the normal tack and clew attachments. The luff is shorter when
            > reefed
            > > so there should be less tendency for catenary sag and therefore no
            > > need for excess tack downhaul tension to limit catenary sag. The
            > > sheet tension transmitted through the leech to the yard forces the
            > > yard to act as a lever to tension the luff. The lever arm remains
            > > essentially the same when reefed so with adequate tack line tension
            > > and a shorter luff there should be no need for higher than normal
            > > stress on the reef points. The tension on the luff also controls the
            > > twist so tack line tension in heavier winds wants to be just enough
            > > to control luff tension and leech twist. On a monohull in strong
            > > winds twist is a good way to automatically de-power the sail so one
            > > would not want excessive luff tension. The automatic twist saves the
            > > skipper from having to play the main sheet so much or so quickly.
            > >
            > > Mark
            > >
            > Thanks Mark,
            >
            > All very useful information and clarifies it for me.
            >
            > I was sort of thinking of making a cheap polytarp sail for testing
            > purposes and that material is not all that strong.
            >
            > One other thing I notice about Jim's rig is that he attaches the
            > halyard
            > at a point about 40% aft the forward end of the yard. The usual
            > practice seems to be to attach it at the 30% point resulting in more
            > yard weight being aft and serving to add a bit more tension to the
            > luff,
            > just by the balance point being moved forward.
            >
            > With the halyard further aft it also means the mast must be further
            > aft
            > in order for the CE of the sail to be over the CLR of the boat. I
            > would
            > like to have the mast further forward so it is outside the cabin so am
            > considering moving the halyard location forward on the yard as well to
            > keep the CE at the same location.
            >
            > I realize this will add to the likelihood of more twist developing
            > when
            > the wind gets up, but that may suggest it is time to reef anyway.
            >
            > Any suggestion for what type of rope is best bang for the buck and
            > providing the least stretch?
            >
            > Nels
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Nels
            ... Hi Mark, You totally and completely answered all my questions and concerns - even some I hadn t asked about! Very much appreciated, Nels
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 27, 2008
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              --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, Mark Balogh <mark@...> wrote:
              >
              > I personally like balanced lugs and think they can be made to perform
              > better than many people would expect. To me one of the tricks to
              > this is to reduce luff stretch. This is particularly important if
              > you attach the halyard further forward on the yard. With any
              > traditional material and especially polytarp this means you need to
              > reinforce the luff with low stretch material. Some use adhesive tape
              > with longitudinal fiber reinforcements. Another way is to sew low
              > stretch webbing along the luff. If you use relatively wide webbing
              > and sew it flat on both sides of the sail it can act as a strong
              > point to anchor your reef points possibly as webbed on rings sewn to
              > the flat webbing. Another method would be to use a low stretch boat
              > rope in a hem. If you do not use some relatively low stretch
              > reinforcements on the luff of a polytarp sail particularly with the
              > halyard forward on the yard, the performance life of the sail will be
              > limited. As to halyard materials. I subscribe to the school that
              > says balanced lugs work better with low stretch halyards. Recently
              > for my business I switched from 6 mm double braid polyester for
              > halyards to 4 mm line with a braided polyester cover and a dyneema
              > core made especially for halyards. Since I was able to go to a
              > smaller size while actually reducing stretch and weight and windage
              > aloft the cost was competitive with the higher performance fiber from
              > the new manufacturer actually costing a little less. I have to whip
              > the ends of the dyneema core line as the cover/core ends don't melt
              > together perfectly as it does with polyester or polypropylene.
              >
              > Mark
              >
              Hi Mark,

              You totally and completely answered all my questions and concerns -
              even some I hadn't asked about!

              Very much appreciated,

              Nels
            • Nels
              ... As to halyard materials. I subscribe to the school that ... I wonder how something like this would work?
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 27, 2008
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                --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, Mark Balogh <mark@...> wrote:
                >

                As to halyard materials. I subscribe to the school that
                > says balanced lugs work better with low stretch halyards. Recently
                > for my business I switched from 6 mm double braid polyester for
                > halyards to 4 mm line with a braided polyester cover and a dyneema
                > core made especially for halyards. Since I was able to go to a
                > smaller size while actually reducing stretch and weight and windage
                > aloft the cost was competitive with the higher performance fiber from
                > the new manufacturer actually costing a little less. I have to whip
                > the ends of the dyneema core line as the cover/core ends don't melt
                > together perfectly as it does with polyester or polypropylene.
                >
                > Mark

                I wonder how something like this would work?

                http://nrsweb.resultspage.com/boating/Dyneema%20Rope

                It is sold for use as rescue lines for whitewater rafting;

                $1/ft

                Nels
                > On Feb 27, 2008, at 2:42 PM, Nels wrote:
                >
                > >
                > > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, Mark Balogh mark@ wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Should not be a problem but the reef points should be as strong as
                > > > the normal tack and clew attachments. The luff is shorter when
                > > reefed
                > > > so there should be less tendency for catenary sag and therefore no
                > > > need for excess tack downhaul tension to limit catenary sag. The
                > > > sheet tension transmitted through the leech to the yard forces the
                > > > yard to act as a lever to tension the luff. The lever arm remains
                > > > essentially the same when reefed so with adequate tack line
                tension
                > > > and a shorter luff there should be no need for higher than normal
                > > > stress on the reef points. The tension on the luff also controls
                the
                > > > twist so tack line tension in heavier winds wants to be just
                enough
                > > > to control luff tension and leech twist. On a monohull in strong
                > > > winds twist is a good way to automatically de-power the sail so
                one
                > > > would not want excessive luff tension. The automatic twist saves
                the
                > > > skipper from having to play the main sheet so much or so quickly.
                > > >
                > > > Mark
                > > >
                > > Thanks Mark,
                > >
                > > All very useful information and clarifies it for me.
                > >
                > > I was sort of thinking of making a cheap polytarp sail for testing
                > > purposes and that material is not all that strong.
                > >
                > > One other thing I notice about Jim's rig is that he attaches the
                > > halyard
                > > at a point about 40% aft the forward end of the yard. The usual
                > > practice seems to be to attach it at the 30% point resulting in more
                > > yard weight being aft and serving to add a bit more tension to the
                > > luff,
                > > just by the balance point being moved forward.
                > >
                > > With the halyard further aft it also means the mast must be further
                > > aft
                > > in order for the CE of the sail to be over the CLR of the boat. I
                > > would
                > > like to have the mast further forward so it is outside the cabin so
                am
                > > considering moving the halyard location forward on the yard as well
                to
                > > keep the CE at the same location.
                > >
                > > I realize this will add to the likelihood of more twist developing
                > > when
                > > the wind gets up, but that may suggest it is time to reef anyway.
                > >
                > > Any suggestion for what type of rope is best bang for the buck and
                > > providing the least stretch?
                > >
                > > Nels
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • cpack
                Lines........ Cheapest - nylon ( good hand, much stretch) Inexpensive - braided Dacron/polyester ( good hand, some stretch) Expensive - ( Spectra ( poor hand,
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 28, 2008
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                  Lines........
                  Cheapest - nylon ( good hand, much stretch)
                  Inexpensive - braided Dacron/polyester ( good hand, some stretch)
                  Expensive - ( Spectra ( poor hand, almost no stretch)
                  Float safe,
                  Curtis
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Nels" <arvent@...>
                  To: <Michalak@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 2:42 PM
                  Subject: [Michalak] Re: Luff Tension When Reefed


                  >
                  > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, Mark Balogh <mark@...> wrote:
                  >>
                  >> Should not be a problem but the reef points should be as strong as
                  >> the normal tack and clew attachments. The luff is shorter when reefed
                  >> so there should be less tendency for catenary sag and therefore no
                  >> need for excess tack downhaul tension to limit catenary sag. The
                  >> sheet tension transmitted through the leech to the yard forces the
                  >> yard to act as a lever to tension the luff. The lever arm remains
                  >> essentially the same when reefed so with adequate tack line tension
                  >> and a shorter luff there should be no need for higher than normal
                  >> stress on the reef points. The tension on the luff also controls the
                  >> twist so tack line tension in heavier winds wants to be just enough
                  >> to control luff tension and leech twist. On a monohull in strong
                  >> winds twist is a good way to automatically de-power the sail so one
                  >> would not want excessive luff tension. The automatic twist saves the
                  >> skipper from having to play the main sheet so much or so quickly.
                  >>
                  >> Mark
                  >>
                  > Thanks Mark,
                  >
                  > All very useful information and clarifies it for me.
                  >
                  > I was sort of thinking of making a cheap polytarp sail for testing
                  > purposes and that material is not all that strong.
                  >
                  > One other thing I notice about Jim's rig is that he attaches the halyard
                  > at a point about 40% aft the forward end of the yard. The usual
                  > practice seems to be to attach it at the 30% point resulting in more
                  > yard weight being aft and serving to add a bit more tension to the luff,
                  > just by the balance point being moved forward.
                  >
                  > With the halyard further aft it also means the mast must be further aft
                  > in order for the CE of the sail to be over the CLR of the boat. I would
                  > like to have the mast further forward so it is outside the cabin so am
                  > considering moving the halyard location forward on the yard as well to
                  > keep the CE at the same location.
                  >
                  > I realize this will add to the likelihood of more twist developing when
                  > the wind gets up, but that may suggest it is time to reef anyway.
                  >
                  > Any suggestion for what type of rope is best bang for the buck and
                  > providing the least stretch?
                  >
                  > Nels
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Nels
                  ... When you say poor hand how poor compared to good hand ? Should one wear gloves with it? Expensive does not mean much to me, as that is a relative
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 28, 2008
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                    --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "cpack" <cpackdo@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Lines........
                    > Cheapest - nylon ( good hand, much stretch)
                    > Inexpensive - braided Dacron/polyester ( good hand, some stretch)
                    > Expensive - ( Spectra ( poor hand, almost no stretch)
                    > Float safe,
                    > Curtis

                    When you say "poor hand" how poor compared to "good hand"? Should one
                    wear gloves with it?

                    "Expensive" does not mean much to me, as that is a relative term. Is a
                    dollar a foot expensive or cheap? Or are you looking at 4X that much?

                    Thanks,

                    Nels
                  • boathead5
                    As for limiting stretch in halyards, here s an idea I recently came up with, but haven t yet tested: Securely fasten a small cam or clam cleat to the mast,
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 29, 2008
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                      As for limiting stretch in halyards, here's an idea I recently came up
                      with, but haven't yet tested:

                      Securely fasten a small cam or clam cleat to the mast, perhaps six
                      inches below the masthead sheave or bee hole. When the sail is raised
                      to where you want it, position the halyard in the masthead cleat, and
                      then cleat off the halyard tail well with reach. A firm pull on the
                      luff downhaul will tension the short length of halyard, setting it
                      firmly in the masthead cleat's jaws. Now all luff tension adjustments
                      would be made by the downhaul, and the long tail of the halyard would
                      not be under tension.

                      This method would shorten the length of halyard that is under tension
                      from more than ten feet to less than one foot. Since lines stretch as
                      a percentage of their length, it would effectively eliminate stretch
                      in the halyard. Even when reefed, only two or three feet of halyard
                      would be subject to stretch. When it's time to drop the sail, the
                      halyard could be released from the masthead cleat by holding the tail
                      away from the mast, and giving it a pop.

                      Bolger makes the comment in his book 100 Small Boat Rigs (or something
                      like that) that a more slender (and therefore lighter) mast can be
                      used with a sail that is "permanently" lashed to the masthead,
                      compared to one that employs the typically rigged halyard. The
                      difference is due to lower compression forces on the mast. And for
                      any given mast, lowering compression loads should make it less bendy.

                      Does anyone think the idea has merit?

                      Grant

                      > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, Mark Balogh <mark@> wrote:
                      > >
                      >
                      > As to halyard materials. I subscribe to the school that
                      > > says balanced lugs work better with low stretch halyards. Recently
                      > > for my business I switched from 6 mm double braid polyester for
                      > > halyards to 4 mm line with a braided polyester cover and a dyneema
                      > > core made especially for halyards. Since I was able to go to a
                      > > smaller size while actually reducing stretch and weight and windage
                      > > aloft the cost was competitive with the higher performance fiber from
                      > > the new manufacturer actually costing a little less. I have to whip
                      > > the ends of the dyneema core line as the cover/core ends don't melt
                      > > together perfectly as it does with polyester or polypropylene.
                      > >
                      > > Mark
                      >
                      > I wonder how something like this would work?
                      >
                      > http://nrsweb.resultspage.com/boating/Dyneema%20Rope
                      >
                      > It is sold for use as rescue lines for whitewater rafting;
                      >
                      > $1/ft
                      >
                      > Nels
                      > > On Feb 27, 2008, at 2:42 PM, Nels wrote:
                      > >
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, Mark Balogh mark@ wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Should not be a problem but the reef points should be as strong as
                      > > > > the normal tack and clew attachments. The luff is shorter when
                      > > > reefed
                      > > > > so there should be less tendency for catenary sag and therefore no
                      > > > > need for excess tack downhaul tension to limit catenary sag. The
                      > > > > sheet tension transmitted through the leech to the yard forces the
                      > > > > yard to act as a lever to tension the luff. The lever arm remains
                      > > > > essentially the same when reefed so with adequate tack line
                      > tension
                      > > > > and a shorter luff there should be no need for higher than normal
                      > > > > stress on the reef points. The tension on the luff also controls
                      > the
                      > > > > twist so tack line tension in heavier winds wants to be just
                      > enough
                      > > > > to control luff tension and leech twist. On a monohull in strong
                      > > > > winds twist is a good way to automatically de-power the sail so
                      > one
                      > > > > would not want excessive luff tension. The automatic twist saves
                      > the
                      > > > > skipper from having to play the main sheet so much or so quickly.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Mark
                      > > > >
                      > > > Thanks Mark,
                      > > >
                      > > > All very useful information and clarifies it for me.
                      > > >
                      > > > I was sort of thinking of making a cheap polytarp sail for testing
                      > > > purposes and that material is not all that strong.
                      > > >
                      > > > One other thing I notice about Jim's rig is that he attaches the
                      > > > halyard
                      > > > at a point about 40% aft the forward end of the yard. The usual
                      > > > practice seems to be to attach it at the 30% point resulting in more
                      > > > yard weight being aft and serving to add a bit more tension to the
                      > > > luff,
                      > > > just by the balance point being moved forward.
                      > > >
                      > > > With the halyard further aft it also means the mast must be further
                      > > > aft
                      > > > in order for the CE of the sail to be over the CLR of the boat. I
                      > > > would
                      > > > like to have the mast further forward so it is outside the cabin so
                      > am
                      > > > considering moving the halyard location forward on the yard as well
                      > to
                      > > > keep the CE at the same location.
                      > > >
                      > > > I realize this will add to the likelihood of more twist developing
                      > > > when
                      > > > the wind gets up, but that may suggest it is time to reef anyway.
                      > > >
                      > > > Any suggestion for what type of rope is best bang for the buck and
                      > > > providing the least stretch?
                      > > >
                      > > > Nels
                      > > >
                      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      >
                    • John Kohnen
                      The modern high-tech, low-stretch ropes are expensive -- when you compare the same diameter ropes. But you can use much smaller diameter low-stretch rope in
                      Message 10 of 10 , Feb 29, 2008
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                        The modern high-tech, low-stretch ropes are expensive -- when you compare
                        the same diameter ropes. But you can use much smaller diameter low-stretch
                        rope in many applications, bringing the price down to only slightly
                        spendy. The low-stretch rope _does_ stretch a bit until well loaded, then
                        it settles in and stretches less than wire. The rope makers like to call
                        it "creep." There's actually an advantage to using small diameter
                        low-stretch rope because it gets the "creep" out of the way sooner than
                        larger rope. But you've got to use large enough rope for you to get a grip
                        on, unless you're using winches... I'm using Amsteel for the halyard,
                        downhaul and snotter on Sage, my JB, Jr. It wasn't scarily expensive at
                        the local commercial fishing supply store.

                        On Thu, 28 Feb 2008 08:39:20 -0800, Nels wrote:

                        > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "cpack" <cpackdo@...> wrote:
                        >>
                        >> Lines........
                        >> Cheapest - nylon ( good hand, much stretch)
                        >> Inexpensive - braided Dacron/polyester ( good hand, some stretch)
                        >> Expensive - ( Spectra ( poor hand, almost no stretch)
                        >> Float safe,
                        >> Curtis
                        >
                        > When you say "poor hand" how poor compared to "good hand"? Should one
                        > wear gloves with it?
                        >
                        > "Expensive" does not mean much to me, as that is a relative term. Is a
                        > dollar a foot expensive or cheap? Or are you looking at 4X that much?

                        --
                        John <jkohnen@...>
                        What is more pleasant than a friendly little yacht, a long
                        stretch of smooth water, a gentle breeze, the stars? <Billy Atkin>
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