Color Coded Lines

Moderator: GreenLake

Are your lines color coded?

Yes, according to a standard scheme
1
11%
Yes, according to a personal scheme
2
22%
No, the colors were selected for looks
1
11%
No, it's an eclectic mix
5
56%
Neither, I'm colorblind
0
No votes
What are lines?
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 9

Color Coded Lines

Postby GreenLake » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:13 am

Recently, several posts mentioned color schemes for lines. Some implied that there are "standard" color schemes (without indication of the source). So, I'm curious to find out whether such schemes are in fact widely used for a boat like the DS.

In my case, the halyards are identical, identified by where they are cleated; the mainsheet color was decided by the previous owner, and the jib sheets are essentially a leftover piece that was selected based on approximate fitness for the purpose, not color.

What's your setup? If you use a scheme, I'd be curious to know what it is.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Postby jcalvinmarks » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:53 am

I have heard of color coding schemes like this. The scheme mentioned in the most recent thread about topping lifts comes straight from Chapman Piloting & Seamanship. I haven't bothered to use a scheme like this because sailing rigging is so bloody expensive. Both of my boats have been bought used, so I used the lines that were on the boat when I bought it. When I replaced a line, I used the cheapest-priced line of the appropriate material and thickness I could find, so I've never had any latitude in selecting colors.

On a small boat like the DS, with its relatively simple rigging, I think spending too much time bothering with a color scheme is overkill. If you were using it specifically as a training tool to train brand-new sailors, then a color scheme might be a good idea, both for ease of instruction, and to get them into the habit. But if you're just going out single-handed, or with a crew that has a working knowledge of your boat, then everyone knows pretty quickly which line goes where. Once you get into gaff rigging, multi-masted boats, or more than 3 sails set at a time, then I can see the value in a color scheme.
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Postby K.C. Walker » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:31 am

Color coding is nice for quickly identifying lines. If you are racing and have a lot of control lines it's particularly helpful, even for a trained crew. Also, if you have inexperienced crew it's nice to be able to say, "pull in the BLUE jib sheet". My boat came with color-coded lines and stick on labels for all of the lines. :-) It is definitely easier to use the color coding.

I like to take a lot of people out sailing, most of them are not sailors. My priority is to get them involved in the process and I find color coding to be very helpful in teaching. Even with 2 lines as their responsibility it's still helpful to have blue for the jib sheet and pink for the barber in haul.

KC
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Postby GreenLake » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:31 pm

K.C., couldn't agree more about taking people out and involving them in the sailing. The famous "pull on the green line" is something you can hear on my boat as well. Here's a picture that happens to show most of the lines on my boat with their very accidental, but - except for halyards -distinct coloring (the mainsheet is not shown, it's tan).

769

For novices, I sometimes wish I had a split jibsheet (green/red). Usually, the tricky part is to get them to pull the right end...

j calvin, thanks for the reference.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Postby K.C. Walker » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:35 pm

GreenLake,

I noticed that one of the boats pictured from the nationals used the port and starboard jib sheets. So, I guess it's not just for novices. :-)

KC
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Postby algonquin » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:43 pm

I don't like to use colors that clash with my boat colors. Most of my lines are basic white with a bit of color woven in that helps to identify their purpose. I can see the value of colored lines but in my cruising, non racing configuration I don't really need them. Most of the novice sailors I have onboard seem to catch on to the way my boat is configured without much of a problem. Brad.
"Feather" DS1 #818
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Postby jdubes » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:35 am

I opportunistically color code my lines. I find it very useful for bringing new people on board "bring in the blue line" . I've also found that on larger daysailers like a j24 or an Ensign where a person's role on the boat is somewhat fixed, color coding is a requirement to be fast.
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Postby ctenidae » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:51 am

Mine are as tey came with it, mostly white. I am planning to replace my jib sheets with longer lines, adn will probably do red and green, but the overall rig is so simple, I'm not planning on putting too much thought into any other scheme.

Can certainly see the value, just not in this situation.
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