Question about halyard and line colors - SailNet Community

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Old 11-11-2008
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Question about halyard and line colors

Maybe this is a dumb question but here goes anyway.

Are there any standards or usual colors for certain lines? I am redoing my running rigging, halyards mainly, and didn't know if you normally used, say, green for main, red for jib, blue for spinnaker, or whatever. Or if halyards were usually one color and sheets were a different color?

As I was looking at new lines I was wondering what color I would order and thought I would at least ask if there were any accepted standards.
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Old 11-11-2008
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It doesn't really matter, IMHO....

However, I think most people have a white base weave with a colored stripped in it for their halyards (Jib and Main) and maybe a more colored one for their spinnaker. But if you want a green one for you main, a blue for the jib, yellow for the spinny, etc. go for it.

I have been on race boats where everything is different colored so that they are easy to tell apart when people are raising the spinny, rolling in the jib, extending the pole, the different sheets, etc. all at teh same time. On other boats that don't race, most are all pretty much white. Our boat is this way

DrB
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Line colors

My understanding is that there is no broad standard for line colors. That said, at the club where I sail, here are the colors that are used slightly more often than not:

Main halyard - white with blue/red flecks
Jib halyard - blue with white/red flecks
Spin halyard - white with red flecks

Main sheet - red, orange or white
Jib sheets - usually blue
Spin sheets - red and green to correspond to port/starboard. These colors are reversed for the one boat with separate sheets and guys.

Twings - white with red flecks
Topping lift - purple
Foreguy - yellow (these fade quickly and tend to look white, though)

I think the main value, though, is to have the colors different so that when you bring a non-sailor aboard you can identify a rope by color instead of function (eg, "purple" instead of "topping lift").
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I keep reds and greens separate..

Red on port green on right...hot colours on port cold colours on stbd.

Halyards are the same.
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Of course, a lot depends on the type of line. Some only comes with white background but others may have choice of background colors.

Anyway, I didn't think there was a standard but you never know until you ask.
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A different colour code for each line, especially those on the same side of the boat. Try untangling two line of the same colour, or releasing the wrong one, for light entertainment.
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There isn't a standard, but try to apply your own logic. I have green for stbd jib halyard, red for port jib halyard, black (really dark blue) for spin halyard, white for topping lift, blue for downhaul, white and yellow for main.

Jib sheets are white with blue speck, spin sheets and twings are red/port and green/stbd.
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I've color-coded my lines by function.. since you can usually tell a starboard line from a port one... the halyard, sheets and furling line for the screacher/spinnaker are red, the lines for the mainsail are blue, the ones for the jib/genoa are green, the topping lift is white, the outhaul is black, etc...
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Yeah, I kinda like the idea of one color for all the main controls, one for the jib etc. as it shouldn't be too difficult to tell sheets from halyards. I am also going to use low stretch line for the halyards (crystalyne) and probably sta-set or sta-set x for the sheets so even though the flecks will be the same color, the pattern won't be the same to aid in identification.

As always, thanks for everyone's help and advice.
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Don't use StasetX for sheets... it's really too stiff to work well.
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