Tips for the choice of rope

It is not always easy to choose the correct rope for a specific on board use. On this page and elsewhere, we suggest some helpful tips for making a good choice. We have pinpointed a few steps which will guide you to the solution of common FAQs such as: “Which rope should I use for the halyard of my boat? And the sheets? Is there a difference?” A first attempt at trying to choose from the vast range of variables shown on the tables may seem daunting at first, particularly for Racing Line and Performance Line, but, as you become accustomed to reading the data, things become more simple. To guide you below is a practical example of a table which is explored in all its parts.

  • 01

    Choice of a technical fibre

    First of all it is necessary to understand the performance of the various fibers,
    by reading the general descriptions.
    The icons placed on every page summarize and highlight the features of the products, helping to understand the particularities of each rope. Proceed to the choice of the fiber (eg. PBO-Zylon®, Dyneema®, Vectran, etc.) depending on the performance required on board.

  • 02

    Choice of treatment

    The same fiber can be subjected to various treatments which alter the performance; please, read the explanation of each treatment in the introductory part and choose the couple fiber + the desired treatment, accordingly.

  • 03

    Choice of the type of construction

    Decide if you want to use the single braid construction (core) or double braid (core + protective sheath).

  • 04

    Choice of the cover

    In case of double braid construction, evaluate the level and type of performance required by the sock,
    based on the type of boat and the functions that the running line will have on board, choosing among those available.

  • 05

    Choice of the final product

    Select the diameter according to the use on board and the Breaking Load required, and last of all, the colour of the rope.
    For the definition of colours, the new Armare Colour System is a tool which allows a complete customization of the ropes. To be sure of what to order, always remember to read and communicate the product code thus described.

A practical example

We simulate the choice of a rope for a halyard to be used on a 42 feet fast/cruiser

Suppose you have to realize the main halyard of a 42’ “fast cruiser” which is sometimes engaged in regattas and sometimes used as a cruising boat. The rope must be of good quality, ie with high Breaking Load and low extension, in order to avoid continuous adjustments by the crew.

Starting from these considerations, and having understood all the characteristics of the products, we decide to choose an item from the “Racing Line”, which guarantees excellent performance for this boat and for the appointed use, focusing on a rope with a Dyneema® SK75 core.
Let’s pay attention to any distinguishing code product as there are three types of core with Dyneema®SK75. The three types are very different from each other and are separately described. Taking a closer look at the Dyneema® SK 75 HPS + PU, we find that the braided core of Dyneema® SK75 fiber is prestretched with the HPS and impregnated with the polyurethane coating called ‘PU’ for short. The braid obtained can displace a portion of the halyard, to make it lighter and smoother on the pulleys, as the core has been compacted by the two treatments mentioned above (NB: to be used without cover, the PU treatment would be good enough, as it aready protects the fibers from abrasion and keeps them tied together).

Being a halyard,which is used on stopper winches, it is essential to choose a double braid construction. Because of all the manoeuvres aboard, the main halyard is the one that has the lowest number of movements, we therefore believe that the PET High Tenacity Polyester cover, is a correct choice. Normally the stoppers on the boat and the selftailing winch give us an indication of the diameter of the rope that we are to choose, as they are built to accept a certain diameter. In our example, the correct diameter will be 10 mm.

To sum up, we have chosen the DYN 75 HPS + PET, and, having found the page where the product is shown, we can read the technical characteristics on the table “Breaking Loads and weights”.

1) Example of a table for single braid

In the first column, on the left, you choose the diameter of the appropriate single braid to read the data. Looking through the line of the chosen diameter, there are two columns on the right side, the Breaking Load in Deca Newtons (daN) and the weight in grams per meter (g/m).

So for example, by choosing the 6 mm diameter, there is a breaking load of 3200 daN and a weight of 14,10 g/m.

Single Braid
(No cover)
1,5 250 1,60
2 390 2,50
2,5 - -
3 700 3,70
3,5 1.000 4,90
4 1.500 7,40
5 2.290 9,60
6 3.200 14,10
7 - -
8 5.800 27,40

2) Example of a table for double braid

In the double braid table, the first column indicates the diameter and the second column, the Breaking Load in daN. The Breaking Load is valid for all ropes of that diameter regardless of the characteristics of the sock, as it is the core, which has the structural function, that holds 100% of the load. Looking through the same line there is the column with the chosen type of cover where we will find the weight in grams / meter.

For example, having previously chosen the 6 mm diameter, we have a breaking load of 1500 daN and, assuming that we want a PET braid, the relative weight is 26,10 g/m.

Double braid KEV+PET
1,5 - -
2 200 -
2,5 - -
3 240 -
3,5 390 -
4 700 12,50
5 1.000 19,20
6 1.500 26,10
7 - -
8 3.200 49,20
Need Help?

Contact the Armare Help Desk,
For help with your purchases.
With Armare, choosing the right rope has never been easier.

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Monday – Friday 9 to 12 and 2pm to 5 pm

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