The complex machines that create braided line start with individual fibers on large bobbins. The braider shuttles the bobbins around a platform in what looks like a very complicated May Pole dance. Like magic the rope forms continuously in the center of the machine as it is drawn away and into a crate or onto a reel.
At a large factory, when one of the bobbins runs out of fiber the machine is stopped. A new bobbin is installed and the new yarn is tied to the end of the one that has run out. The machine is restarted and the line creation continues.
The spot in the line where one or more yarns have been tied together is called a mill splice. Most large manufacturers will use one machine to braid the same line for days. Since the production run uses much more fiber than can be wound onto one bobbin, the finished product contains mill splices throughout its length. Mill splices allow longer continuos runs of braiding which reduces production time. They also result in variations in line diameter and strength at the splices as well as flaws in the braid that are prone to snagging.
All line is braided on very similar machines using fiber produced by only a very few chemical companies. Catalina Direct is a large customer of a small company who braids all of our line. When we order a crate of line it is braided for us. As a result, we are able to order the longest length that can be braided from full bobbins. Our braiding runs are completed from continuous yarns and fibers and produce a finished product with no mill splices.
Here are the three types of line we offer, all without mill splices. But first a useless factoid: The product that comes off the braiding machines is called “rope”, it only becomes “line” when it is cut from the reel.
Fuzzy Soft Line
For the comfort of your and your crew’s hands we offer Fuzzy Soft Blue Dacron for sheets. This line features a soft fuzzy spun Polyester cover over a Polyester core. This line offers the strength and stretch characteristics needed for main, jib, and genoa sheets while providing a large 3/8” diameter and a soft hand saving surface you will appreciate on a long cruise or an active day on the race course.
Ultra Low Stretch Krypton D
For your main and jib halyards we offer our Krypton D line. It is a double braid with a Dyneema core. The load bearing Dyneema core with a tensile strength 10 times greater than steel is ideal for the ultra low stretch required of halyards. An outer polyester cover provides abrasion resistance as well as protection from environmental factors like fresh or salt water and the UV radiation of sunlight. Unlike wire halyards Krypton D shows little loss of strength during repeated flexing and tensioning cycles.
Low Stretch Yacht Braid
For the rest of your sail control needs, reefing lines, boom-vangs, outhauls, furling line, and more we offer our Very Low Stretch Double Braid Polyester line. It has a combination of high strength, low stretch, and abrasion resistance making it a great choice for control lines that benefit from the shock load absorption not found in the ultra low stretch Krypton D.
Line by the Foot
Many of the lines you need will be found on the website in the Running Rigging section for your boat. We also sell our line by the foot, so give us a call if you don’t see the particular length of line you need.