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March 28, 2020 3 min read

Picking the right halyard rope

Here at Sailing Chandlery we have over 100 different reels of rope on the wall all with their own uses and in various colours.

We understand that if you were to stand in front of them it's hard to know what is for what. In this article we are going to help you by providing advice on what the right halyard rope might be for your use.

This article is focussed on dinghy halyards but we also sell halyards for cruisers and yachts.

You can explore our halyard rope options on our website.

When we think of rope halyards we think of the following categories:

  • Flag halyards
  • Main halyards
  • Kite/spinnaker halyards
  • Jib halyards

Most sailors automatically look at a dyneema rope option for halyards, but that's not always needed for your boat.

We recommend you also look at what your boats manufacturer is recommending for the job.

Flag Halyards

Believe it or not we sell a fair amount of rope to be used as flag halyards. In all instances we recommend an 8 plait standard polyester, it's a basic rope but is more than up to the job for hoisting your flags on your boat or race box.

Main Halyards

Our main halyard rope recommendation will depend on how the sail is attached when fully hoisted. If like our catamaran the rope clips onto a hook at the top then you only need a basic rope to get the sail up, and then the load is taken on the hook and the sail is secured in place with the downhaul.

If you are using a cleat then you're going to need a rope which is grippy, and also will resist some stretch. If your boat is going to be putting minimal pressure on the halyard rope then you should look at an 8 plait pre stretched rope, if there is going to be more pressure then upgrading to a dyneema core rope would be a good idea.

In most cases with dyneema it's best to use a dyneema core rope with a harder wearing polyester cover/jacket. If you can attach your halyard through a loop then a 12 strand dyneema could be a good option as it's stronger as a pure dyneema and won't have any wear in a cleat.

Kite/Spinnaker Halyards

Some sailors like to have a tapered spinnaker halyard, in this case you'll be looking at a dyneema core rope, or you could make up your own using 12 strand dyneema and a hollow braid rope.

Most sailors who use dyneema don't taper halyards and use the dyneema core rope with jacket as standard.

If you're not bothered about tapering, and you don't need dyneema then an 8 plait pre stretched polyester rope for smaller sails would be perfect.

Jib Halyards

Some jibs are hoisted using a wire halyard with a tail rope to follow the metal wire halyard up inside the mast. For tails we recommend a 12 strand polyester rope such as Evolution Splice, this can be easily spliced onto the wire halyard.

The same process should follow as the main halyard when picking a jib halyard. If the mast tension is taken up by the jib halyard then dyneema should be your choice of halyard rope in this instance.

Our Most Popular Halyard Ropes

8 Plait Standard Polyester - 


8 Plait Pre Stretched Polyester - 


SK78 Dyneema Core - 


12 Strand Dyneema SK78 - 


All of these ropes are available in various diameters and with different colour options.


If you've got any questions about our ropes and what might be best for your boat then we are always happy to help. Simply give us a call, or drop us an email info@sailingchandlery.com.