All sailing boats need ropes. But what is required of a rope varies greatly depending on the application. A vang purchase system demands different characteristics to a sheet, just as a halyard on a cruising boat can differ greatly to that on a grand prix racing yacht. Typically we don’t need to worry about the details too much as manufacturers tend to target their product lines: ‘cruising sheet’, ‘performance halyard’ etc. But what really differentiates these ropes on a technical level and which materials are responsible for providing the various characteristics? In this blog with give a brief overview of some of the fibres most commonly found in modern rope covers.