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 3/8" vs 5/16" Halyards
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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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Initially Posted - 08/08/2017 :  18:02:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's time to replace my halyards.

Catalina's original rigging sheet calls for 5/16" line for halyards. My boat currently has 3/8" line for halyards.

The 3/8" line is easier to grip than 5/16". Plus 3/8" stretches less.

Is there any advantage to 5/16", besides price?



Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
http://whichsailboat.com/2015/08/22/catalina-22-review/

Edited by - sethp001 on 08/08/2017 19:58:45

DavidBuoy
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Response Posted - 08/09/2017 :  04:40:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Really no reason for the 3/8". You can get nice 5/16" with super low stretch if that's what you're concerned about. Less weight and windage aloft. Do you not have a winch that you run your halyard through for tensioning it or are you hand tensioning it and then using a downhaul? These questions might help your decision. Also, I am assuming you are all rope halyards but maybe you still have wire. If you do have wire still either is probably fine but you wanna get rid of that ASAP, it will leave you with a nice jam at some point or another. If you have all rope halyards, the sheaves in the masthead are sized for 5/16" and you're probably getting extra friction with 3/8".


Captain Rob & Admiral Alyson
"David Buoy"-1985 C25 SK/SR #5053
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DavidBuoy
Admiral

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Response Posted - 08/09/2017 :  04:45:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Summary of rant:

-If you have wires and are replacing halyards, do it correctly and go all rope (5/16"). If only replacing the rope tail of the wire - put whatever piece of string you want on there until you replace all the wire.

-If you have all ropes and are replacing them the only argument whatsover for 3/8" line is for handling it. So let me ask, how many times are you handling the halyards during you're typical daysail?


Captain Rob & Admiral Alyson
"David Buoy"-1985 C25 SK/SR #5053
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 08/09/2017 :  07:59:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Agree. No real need for 3/8", buy good low stretch 5/16" line, several out there from which to choose.

DavidP
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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HerdOfTurtles
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Response Posted - 08/09/2017 :  10:10:25  Show Profile  Visit HerdOfTurtles's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think when I replace my halyards I'm actually going to go smaller.

Will probably go with 1/4" Double Braid(polyE sheath) Vectran for almost zero stretch.

I tighten the main with a winch so I don't need large line there. I hand tighten the genoa/spinnaker, but my halyards are internal so I can get mechanical advantage by wrapping around the mast cleat and pulling outward on the halyard. Can tighten the jib halyard further with backstay.

Smaller is better for me because I bundle the 4 halyards on mast cleats which can get bulky.

1978 Standard Rig
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L-Dinette
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Voyager
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Response Posted - 08/09/2017 :  10:21:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did a quick Goog search and found some 5/16" New England Ropes at a place called Velasailingsupply for 67¢ a foot. The old standby boating shop wants $1.27 per foot. Now that's a two-fer!

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain Stratford & Milford, CT
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Voyager
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Response Posted - 08/09/2017 :  10:24:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now West Marine has a great comparison chart. You can see it HERE .

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain Stratford & Milford, CT
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
7977 Posts

Response Posted - 08/09/2017 :  13:36:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Regarding 1/4", if you're leading the halyards back to clutches, make sure the clutches can secure rope as small as 1/4". Toward the smaller end of their range, rope clutches can loose their grip, especially against the tension you probably want on halyards.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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Response Posted - 08/09/2017 :  18:58:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DavidBuoy

Really no reason for the 3/8". You can get nice 5/16" with super low stretch if that's what you're concerned about. Less weight and windage aloft.



Windage difference cannot be a concern on an '87 with internal halyards, and likely negligible concern with external halyards.

There is only a half pound difference between the 5/16" and 3/8" line.

There is 40% less stretch with the 3/8" line compared with the 5/16". This is Novabraid XLE.

quote:

Do you not have a winch that you run your halyard through for tensioning it or are you hand tensioning it and then using a downhaul?



I have a winch for each halyard. I tension the jib halyard with the port deckhouse winch. I used to tension the main halyard with the starboard deckhouse winch, leaving the downhaul tied off first. Recently, I've experimented with releasing the downhaul, raising the main, then hopping on the boom and tying off the downhaul.

quote:

Also, I am assuming you are all rope halyards but maybe you still have wire. If you do have wire still either is probably fine but you wanna get rid of that ASAP, it will leave you with a nice jam at some point or another.



N/A: 1987 models came from the factory with all rope halyards.

quote:

If you have all rope halyards, the sheaves in the masthead are sized for 5/16" and you're probably getting extra friction with 3/8".



Extra friction concern is a good point. My deck organizers are not original. While they appear sized for 3/8", I don't know yet what the sheaves at the top of the mast look like. I also need to take a closer look at the blocks where the halyards enter the mast near the base.



Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
http://whichsailboat.com/2015/08/22/catalina-22-review/

Edited by - sethp001 on 08/09/2017 20:08:10
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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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Response Posted - 08/09/2017 :  19:07:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DavidBuoy

Summary of rant:



That doesn't count as a rant. You're doing fine. Thank you for your input. I appreciate it.

quote:

-If you have wires and are replacing halyards, do it correctly and go all rope (5/16"). If only replacing the rope tail of the wire - put whatever piece of string you want on there until you replace all the wire.



N/A

quote:

-If you have all ropes and are replacing them the only argument whatsover for 3/8" line is for handling it. So let me ask, how many times are you handling the halyards during you're typical daysail?



As you'd expect, I usually handle the halyards twice, but its nice to easily pull them up by hand without the winch except for adding tension at the end of the hoist (on the jib halyard or if I'm using my released downhaul first procedure on the main halyard).

This must be the crux of the decision. I've gone ahead and purchased the 5/16" line. I'll let you know if and how friction and ease-of-handling changes.



Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
http://whichsailboat.com/2015/08/22/catalina-22-review/

Edited by - sethp001 on 08/09/2017 20:09:59
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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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733 Posts

Response Posted - 08/09/2017 :  19:12:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks everyone for your input! By the way, I've been replacing lines with Novabraid XLE - its been great line.



Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
http://whichsailboat.com/2015/08/22/catalina-22-review/
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DavidBuoy
Admiral

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693 Posts

Response Posted - 08/10/2017 :  04:56:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sethp001

Thanks everyone for your input! By the way, I've been replacing lines with Novabraid XLE - its been great line.



Glad we're helping work through this, but in all honesty for the talk about stretch and strength, you chose a very middle of the line(no pun intended) rope..

http://www.novabraid.com/rope/xle-performer/

-3500lbs average strength
-5.0% stretch at 20% of average strength.
-$.54/ft at Defender.com

Don't get me wrong, not tryin to beat you up, but maybe a missed opportunity. When it comes to line strength size isn't everything these days.

If you opted for something with an amsteel or vectran core, you could beat the snot out of those specs. I purchased vectran cored when West Marine had a sale and got it for $1.50/ft (opposed to the $2.50/ft its going for now) which made it only $50 per halyard, so pretty minimal investment.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/new-england-ropes--v-100-vectran-double-braid-color-coded--P002_071_005_003?recordNum=1

-8000lbs breaking strength
-0.71% stretch at 20% of breaking strength.
-$2.49/ft at Westmarine.com

In all honesty, the line you're going with will suit you just fine i'm sure. Just wanted to make sure you knew there were additional options whos specs can far outsurpass any situation you'd encounter.

-Rob

That reminds me. Mast rigging overhaul:


Captain Rob & Admiral Alyson
"David Buoy"-1985 C25 SK/SR #5053

Edited by - DavidBuoy on 08/10/2017 05:01:51
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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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Response Posted - 08/10/2017 :  10:27:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't worry, Rob - you're not beating me up.

I understand there is less stretchy line out there, but I'm not willing to pay 5x the price for it. Also, I'm not good at watching sales that would reduce it to 3x the price.

The Novabraid XLE is a great product, available at a great value, and does the job well that I need for my application. Its also I available in the color combinations I want.

At $1.50 per foot, how did you spend only $50 per halyard? That would be 33 feet of line. Do you have rope-to-wire halyards?



Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
http://whichsailboat.com/2015/08/22/catalina-22-review/
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DavidBuoy
Admiral

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Response Posted - 08/10/2017 :  13:10:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sethp001

Don't worry, Rob - you're not beating me up.

I understand there is less stretchy line out there, but I'm not willing to pay 5x the price for it. Also, I'm not good at watching sales that would reduce it to 3x the price.

The Novabraid XLE is a great product, available at a great value, and does the job well that I need for my application. Its also I available in the color combinations I want.

At $1.50 per foot, how did you spend only $50 per halyard? That would be 33 feet of line. Do you have rope-to-wire halyards?



Wow, you're right. Now I'm not sure what I paid for it. I was looking at my purchase plans and had different things written down. Thats 100% the line I have, but now I have no idea how much $. I had written down 83' for each and even at $1.50/ft thats still $250 and I think theres no way I spent that much money.

I think I remember getting it when Annapolis Performance Sailing had a rediculous sale going on. It may have been $1/ft - $166 total.

Crap I didn't even realize I have $400+ worth of halyards up there. Actually, even my spin halyard and topping lift are "high-tech". I replaced almost every piece of running rigging during that sale because of the crazy deals.

Now I feel bad about busting on the line you got. I wouldn't even pay what it would cost to buy those lines at full price.

PS: Yes all rope. I dropped the mast, switched from wire and replaced everything in or on it at that time.


Captain Rob & Admiral Alyson
"David Buoy"-1985 C25 SK/SR #5053

Edited by - DavidBuoy on 08/10/2017 13:11:32
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Dave5041
Former Mainsheet Editor

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Response Posted - 08/10/2017 :  18:15:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did Vectran cored some years ago on sale for $1.25/ft. with no regrets. My only mistake was following the recommendation for 1/4" for the main and 5/16" for the genoa instead of 1/4" all around. I tension with a downhaul, but can lead the halyards through my cam-cleats to the sheet winches if I choose.


Dave B. aboard Pearl
1982 TR/SK/Trad. #3399
Lake Erie/Florida Panhandle
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bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 08/11/2017 :  20:01:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Go to Cajunrope.com, a Canadian supplier, and look at their Catalina 25 packages. I have used them in the past and know they have good quality at very reasonable pricing.

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
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Heartbeat
Navigator

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Response Posted - 08/15/2017 :  10:08:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, first if the lines are older, they probably were 5/16" to begin with. As lines age, they tent to grow in diameter. Someone can probably tell you why.


quote:
Originally posted by HerdOfTurtles

I think when I replace my halyards I'm actually going to go smaller.

Will probably go with 1/4" Double Braid(polyE sheath) Vectran for almost zero stretch.




Exactly! That what I did on Heartbeat. Lower weight aloft! Works excellent!


former Captain of Heartbeat
Catalina 25 Tall
#4816
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 08/16/2017 :  13:32:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
New England Ropes VPC line makes an excellent economical low-stretch choice for halyards, at $.76/ft at APS!
If I remember correctly, I used Sta-SetX when I switched to all rope halyards. When I was looking at them, the Novatech XLE line was about equivalent to Sta-Set, not Sta-SetX.

DavidP
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
7977 Posts

Response Posted - 08/16/2017 :  18:12:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I haven't done a detailed cost analysis, but back when I replaced my wire-to-rope halyards with all rope and replaced the mast-head sheaves, I went with CD's kit that included 5/16" Krypton Dyneema-core halyards. I can only say that my genoa halyard holding a roller-furler swivel maintained guitar-string tension for the entire season after being set one time with the winch--I didn't see evidence it stretched an inch. The furler drum was pulled up against its shackle as tightly in November as in May. As usual, CD had apparently selected a very appropriate and reasonably priced product for the application.

New England Ropes sells various products with different strength and stretch characteristics, and corresponding prices. If you have a hank-on jib you'll raise for a short period, stretch is somewhat less critical than if you expect the halyard to hold a furling sail with tension for a whole sailing season.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 08/16/2017 18:21:56
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OLarryR
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Response Posted - 08/17/2017 :  05:28:54  Show Profile  Visit OLarryR's Homepage  Reply with Quote
For sure, Novabraid XLE is less expensive than many other lines but stretch is an important factor for halyards, especially since the halyards are so long in length. Looking up 5/16" line, the stretch % for Novabraid XLE is a whopping 5% stretch at 20% breaking stretch. I do not believe your halyards will approach 20% breaking strength but just using that as a comparison against other lines, this would mean that for a halyard of about 30' in length, there would be about 1.5' stretch. Even half that stretch would be considered...a lot.

I currently am using Samson Warpspeed which is an overkill but I also have used Samson XLS Extra T and still do for my sheets. Granted they are more expensive but not 3x or 5x the cost of Novabraid. The key is that their stretch is so much lower and that means much less slack developing in a long halyard line.
XLS Extra T at 20% break strength, stretch is .8%
Warpspeed at 20% break strength, stretch is .62%

At .8% stretch on a 30' halyard the stretch is like ...3" .

In any case, if stretch is considered an important factor and it doesn't necessarily have to be since we all have differences as to other factors that weigh in as well such as how old/stretched out are the sails and other performance related attributes of our boats, but significant line stretch may outweigh line cost considering halyards are not replaced that often.

Right now via the Defender website, here are present costs:

Novabraid XLE 5/16" $.54/ft
Samson XLS Extra T 5/16" $1.09/ft
Samson Warpspeed 5/16" $1.85/ft

A big difference in cost to consider. But the stretch differences are also significant. The thing is when mulling over these various postings, som eof us have chosen different lines to use as halyards but better to compare what most line choices represent and I believe when comparing all the lines that were mentioned, most, if not all had significantly low stretch characteristics. That would be the take-away I would mostly consider against cost, durability/UV resistance, ease of handling (though, once set, that's it - Not like constant use of the sheets).

Larry
'89 Robin's Nest#5820, Potomac River/Wash DC http://catalina25.homestead.com/olarryr.html
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 08/17/2017 :  06:21:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The concern with stretch isn't about the line increasing in length over a period of time. Probably a better word for it would be elasticity. Some line has more elasticity than others. It stretches under load and then springs back when the load diminishes. Watch nylon docklines in 50-60 kt winds. They'll stretch like rubber bands in the gusts.

Running rigging is used to not just raise your sails, but to trim them as well. In a strong gust, Sta Set halyards and sheets, which is good line for cruising boats, will stretch, and your sails will take on a slightly deeper draft, as if you had eased their tension. In a strong gust, the last thing you want is to power up the sails by deepening the draft. You want them to remain flat.

Low stretch running rigging is used by racers, because they want their sails to keep their trim in the strong gusts. You can race with Sta Set and similar line, but you have to understand that it does stretch in strong gusts, and in a gust, you'll have to increase tension on the jib sheets and perhaps the mainsail outhaul. I used Sta Set on my C25 and stretchiness seemed to be less of a concern with the halyards, although I know that, ideally, low stretch line would have been better.

I also use Sta Set on my C&C 35, which I rarely race. It's perfectly good line.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore

Edited by - Steve Milby on 08/17/2017 06:23:28
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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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Response Posted - 08/22/2017 :  16:43:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An update:

The deck organizers installed by a PO are sized for 3/8" halyards.

The new masthead sheaves from Catalina Direct are sized for 3/8" halyards or bigger. (See photo below.)

The sheave at the base of the mast, which may be original, is sized for smaller halyards, looks more like for 1/4" (See photo below.)

I'll report back some long time later about stretch and ease-of-handling after using the new 5/16" halyards vs. the 3/8" halyards that came with the boat.

New Masthead Sheave with 3/8" Line




Old Mast Base Sheave with 3/8" Line




Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
http://whichsailboat.com/2015/08/22/catalina-22-review/

Edited by - sethp001 on 08/22/2017 17:08:41
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 08/22/2017 :  18:13:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The exit block looks like it might be CDs replacement. I replaced mine with these and haven't had a problem. https://www.catalinadirect.com/index.cfm/product/316_407/exit-block-single-cp-18-cp-22-c-22-c-25.cfm

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Captmorgan
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Response Posted - 07/27/2018 :  20:18:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK I have an external halyard set up with wire and 3/8 halyards. I changed to the ball bearing sheaves but just spend a lot to upgrade all the halyards and sheets.

Can I actually use 3/8 instead of 5/16 in the sheave shown here

Item No. Item Qty Unit Price Ext. Price
H1883 Masthead Sheave Ball Bearing C-25, C-27, C-28; Outhaul C-28, C-30, C-34, C-36

I understand maybe a little more friction but could it work.

Again I have external halyards so it comes up one side , over two sheaves and down the other side
Thanks for the help

"The Gal-Way" 1985 SR/SK Barnegat Bay, NJ

Enjoy Sailing =) Be Safe

Happy Sailing - John




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Sailynn
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Response Posted - 07/28/2018 :  15:36:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info. on the next size up exit block being a stock item from the CP22 instead of in the C25 section. My current ones are binding terrible to the point of stripping out the screws. Added 2 bigger ones to my wish list as we wont see boat till November 1st. :)

Lynn Buchanan
1987 C25 SR/WK #5696
Sailynn
Nevada City, CA
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Captmorgan
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Response Posted - 07/29/2018 :  18:55:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK so I did it today. I took the advice and bought some Sta Set x Braid 2% stretch from West Marine on sale for 0.98 cents

https://westmarine.com/buy/new-england-ropes--5-16-color-coded-sta-set-sold-by-the-foot-solid-red--P002_071_001_004?pCode=243717&mrkgcl=481&mrkgadid=3252486991&cm_mmc=PS-_-Google-_-GSC%2520-%2520West%2520Marine%2520Branded-_-243717&product_id=243717&adpos=1o1&creative=231267080879&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CjwKCAjwy_XaBRAWEiwApfjKHuN6xHiFVQLo5nEHBR_2bqd0MII3KZXa_CozYLjr1_ZCk2ngk2XNmhoC0SUQAvD_BwE

I used a much lighter version of the concept in this youtube video to exchange the wire for the line. https://youtube.com/watch?v=Y7AsfJkLFUY to splice the current wire halyard to my new Sta Set Braid. I undid only 6 inches of the wire after cutting. I took out about six inches of core or the line. We wove the wire and the braids together. we did not insert as shown but twisted them as this is a temporary set up just to pull the line. I cut about half the wire at 3 inches to make a taper. After weaving similar to what you see in the tube I pulled up the sheath and taped it up. I tested with a strong pull. Wanted to be sure. Then hoisted it up one side and down the other. Worked like a charm. Thanks for the advice. The 5/16 line is a nicer size to work with and fits fine with the winches. The 3/8 would be too big for the sheaves so I decided to do it. 85 dollar halyard and no mast lowering. Great Day.!! thanks again this community is awesome.
!!

"The Gal-Way" 1985 SR/SK Barnegat Bay, NJ

Enjoy Sailing =) Be Safe

Happy Sailing - John




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