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Guide to Rope Selection Below
"Selecting Rope for Small Craft" by Josh Colvin

Guide to Rope Selection

We’ll keep this simple. If you want super technical, there are plenty of other websites out there where your chemistry degree will come in handy.

SHEETS AND CONTROL LINES: Typically sailboat sheets and control lines will be double braid—which means the rope has a braided core and an independent cover over the top. These are good all-round ropes that can offer strength, durability and easy handling. As for the core, you can go with nylon if you’re looking for stretch (docklines, anchor lines, etc.), polyester if want it low-stretch, or a Dynema-cored double braid if you want ultra low-stretch.

The most popular choice for sheets and control lines will be our DWX Raid Braid and our premium Marlow double braid available in several colors. If you want something with good performance but a more traditional look, check out the DWX Raid Braid Traditions.

HALYARDS: Again, double braid is the most popular choice. Since nobody wants a halyard that stretches causing sails to sag, low-stretch is the preference. This is also one area where you’ll want to consider spending a little more for one of the more exotic ultra-low-stretch lines.

The most popular choices for halyards are our DWX Raid Braid and our Marlow Excel Racing, which has the Dynema coring.

*Note: Our 12-strand uncovered Spectra is also used for a lot applications—including control lines and halyards. Since it lacks a cover it doesn’t handle as well as a double braid, but it’s very strong, it floats, and not real expensive. It’s also used for standing rigging, lashings, and as a stainless steel cable substitute.

ANCHOR RODE: While some opt for nylon double braid, the most common anchor rode rope choice is 3-strand nylon. We mostly sell 3/8” 3-strand and a bit of chain for our small-boat anchor rode packages. We also sell already prepared docklines in two lengths.

Whatever line you choose, we expect you’ll find our prices are the best around.

If you’ve got questions, feel free to drop us a line and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.