Marking Your Halyards

Mikes Quick Rope Whipping on a Halyard

Using Quick Rope Whipping to mark a halyard for quick and easy adjusting.

Many people put adjusting marks on  their halyards or other control lines to help with sail trim by making it quick and easy to repeat settings they have found to work with  given conditions in the past.    A big black magic marker is a common method to apply the marks.  The black mark looks tacky and fade after a while making it difficult to see where to adjust the halyard or line.  If a line stretches or a different sail  used the adjusting marks may be in the  wrong position.   I use my Quick Rope Whipping to mark my halyards.  The whipping only takes a few minutes to apply and different colors may be used for different sails, and the Rope Whipping can be moved if the setting changes.

I like to use the # 4 Waxed Whipping Twine to mark the halyards.  The # 4 Whipping Twine comes in many colors.  My favorite colors are Red, Green and Gold for light colored covers.    The Whipping Twine color should contrast with the cover to make the Rope Whipping easy to see.  Using marks that are all the same color can be very confusing, using different colored whipping twine makes setting lines easier and quicker for the crew.

Marking a halyard before applying Mikes Quick Rope Whipping

Using a short piece of Whipping Twine to mark a halyard before applying Quick Rope Whipping.

If the halyard is new, stretch and load it a few times to equalize the cover to the core.  The outer cover needs to match the core or you will get bunching of the cover at the whipping.  If bunching occurs just cut the old rope whipping off and put a new rope whipping on.  Using my Quick Rope Whipping only takes a few minutes, usually it takes longer to get the whipping twine and needle out than to put the rope whipping on the halyard.

To mark the halyard, take a short piece of whipping twine and thread it through the halyard and tie the ends together.  Use the small # 4 whipping twine and the whipping twine will slide easily through a clutch.

The mark shown in the first picture is the main  halyard set point when the main halyard is used as a topping lift.  At the end of the day we just pull the mark through the clutch as shown and the boom is sitting level, then pull the main sheet tight locking the boom in place for storing while at the dock.  Quick and easy, no guessing no fussing with the setting and repeatable.

If a boat has  several different head sails with  different luff dimensions, a different color whipping twine can be used to mark the halyard by applying the Quick Rope Whippings markings  for each sail, making the starting luff tension easy to repeat.

Thanks for your interest in and support of boating safety.

- c / m -

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