Sailboat control lines encompass all ropes on board associated with setting and maintaining the trim of a sail.
Although this technically includes halyards, sheets and guys, it’s useful to consider those 3 applications independently and use control lines as a broad category for everything else.
Control Lines include e.g. downhaul, outhaul, cunningham, kicker, vang, tweaker, running backstay, in hauler, barber hauler, tack line and reefing line
Control Lines generally need to be easily adjustable while sailing enabling the power in the rig to be altered to suit performance and/or comfort onboard.
Control lines with higher loads often have a purchase system involved to assist with adjustment. Therefore, control lines can often be systems with distinct parts that demand different properties. The kicker and running backstay are good examples, commonly utilising a high strength, low stretch performance part attached to a block and tackle purchase system that uses a standard line.
Unless you race a one-design class, you are free to design your own control systems to suit your preferred way of sailing. Even if you have class rule restrictions, there will always be a little wriggle room for improving things.
With this in mind, have a look around the marina and you will find a multitude of different solutions to any one particular problem that needs solving. Working these systems out is part of the fun of sailing and is incredibly satisfying when your boat ‘runs’ well. Not least when it comes after wrestling with a system that doesn’t quite perform to start with!
The good news is that the Jimmy Green Rigging Team are on hand and keen to help you make an informed decision to suit both your budget and your performance needs.
The Jimmy Green range of Running Rigging Control Lines includes virtually the same ropes as for Sheets, Guys and Halyards so the selection process is also very similar.
This is a general guide for selecting a suitable line: Running Rigging Rope Fibres and Construction Explained
Control Line Selection Guidelines:
LIROS Braid on Braid EVO is the most popular 100% polyester answer for most running rigging tasks, and is therefore offered as a top quality, entry level, all round, all purpose solution for cruising yachts.
An increase in the budget will deliver improved wear and heat resistance by upgrading to e.g. LIROS Herkules.
A further increase in budget will deliver lower stretch by introducing Dyneema SK78 into the core e.g LIROS Dynamic Plus article 02004 and LIROS Racer article 02001.
The highest specification delivering the best performance will also inevitably be the most expensive options: LIROS Control XTR with the ultimate Dyneema SK99 core with a blended Technora/Polyester Jacket LIROS D Pro constructed from 100% Dyneema SK78 12 strand Plaited line LIROS D Pro XTR constructed from 100% Dyneema SK99 12 strand Plaited line
We may have a bewilderingly wide choice of ropes, but don’t be disheartened, it doesn't take long to get a quote. Use the filters and the guidelines on the Sheets Category page to narow down your choice.
There is also more in-depth information on how to make the best choice of control line for your yachting needs in the Running Rigging Resource section of our Knowledge Centre
Select your rope specification, your diameter and build your control line.
You can simply buy the rope cut to length or choose from a variety of Jimmy Green Professional finishes.
We offer a host of different options including soft eye splices, hard eye splices, whippings and cover stripped eyes for use with a wide range of fittings.