3-strand Dacron running rigging

Are there any BCC sailors who use 3-strand running rigging? If you use or have used this type of?rope, I would be interested in your opinion.




Zygote (BCC28 #116) has New England Ropes ‘Classic
Three-strand Filament Polyester’ line (3/8") for her
halyards (jib top, genoa, staysail, and mainsail) and
one control line on the whisker pole. Other running
rigging (ie sheets) are braided polyester.

Zygote was rigged with the filament polyester from new
by Sam L Morse Co. I’ve no complaints. I’ve used
various braided polyesters and high-tech fibres on
other boats and not noticed anything (eg stretch,
uv-deterioration, hardening, or tendency to chafe) to
make me change from the three-strand filament
polyester, including after two years of exposure to
the equatorial sun.

I recently bought an additional length of the
three-strand filament polyester, from a West Marine
(while on a trip to the US East Coast), as a spare.

West Marine lists NER’s Classic Three-Strand Filament
Polyester, 3/8", for US$0.49 a foot. The WM catalogue
lists the breaking strength of that line diameter as
4,400 lbs and states that it will stretch 4.2% at 15%
of the BS; for new clean line, 15% of the BS would be
660 lbs. I’ve not put a strain gauge on my halyards,
but I doubt that I’m overloading the line.

The WM catalogue further states that the line material
has ‘very good flexibility, knobby feel. Lowest
stretch of any 3-strand line. A special stabilization
process minimizes hardening and ensures flexibility.’
I don’t disagree with any of that, although I wouldn’t
have chosen the term ‘knobby’ to describe the
particular high-friction feel it has.



Penang, Malaysia

I use 3 strand running rigging and like it fine. The halyards have a little more stretch but it’s only a problem when I go up the mast. I bought the 3 strand polyester from West Marine and have been very satisfied.

s/v Fritha

On Waxwing, we originally used 7/16 Marlow 3-strand pre-stretched for
halyards and topping lift. The main and jib halyards suffered chafe
damage in hurricane winds in '98 when they were 18 years old and we
replaced them. We still use the original staysail halyard and topping
lift and they seem fine. The remains of the chafed old halyards are
still being used as dock lines.

We replaced the main and jib halyards at that time (‘98) with 1/2’
stayset and don’t like it at all…too stiff and un-necessarily large.

Stan, hull #22