Yale Cordage PHD Racer Line

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Yale Cordage Ph. D. Racer line uses a new approach to line manufacturing. Ph. D (Performance handling Delivered) is constructed using spun polyester twisted over spectra 10000. The very high spectra content is impressive for it's size making Ph.D low stretch.

Comfortable, almost fuzzy hand feel makes it easier to grip. On winches it grips the surface securely so fewer wraps are needed with less slipping. Knots and hitches hold tightly even in high load applications.

Ph. D. offers the softness and flexibility found in other Dyneema blended single braids combined with less elongation and improved durability. Fast running through multiple purchase systems.

Common Applications:

  • Good mainsheet and control line on keelboats. Good jib sheets, mainsheets and spinnaker sheets on dinghies and small keelboats.  Not intended for use in V-Cleats and clutches, but works well in cam cleats


  • A very flexible and grippy line (grippy = holds easily). Has a nubby feeling because it’s a single braid – the spun polyester cover it a very soft and fuzzy feeling.

Cover Material: No cover

Core Material: Spun Polyester twisted over Spectra 1000

  • This low stretch line offers softness and flexibility so knots and hitches hold tightly, even in high load applications. On winches it grips the surface securely so fewer wraps are needed with less slipping. This line is finished with Yale iGrip coating for the most secure grip and improved durability.

End Termination: Melted

  • Ends can be easily melted but consider adding an End Whip for extra durability.

Spliceable: Yes

  • Can be spliced but the resulting eye splice is quite larger diameter.
  • Splice with a 12-strand splice.

Strippable: N/A

Size Specifics
Size: InchesSize: MillimetersTensile Strength (lbs.)Weight in Lbs/100 ft.
1/4 6 4,300 1.3
5/16 8 6,800 2.1
7/16 10 8,500 2.8
1/2 12 13,300 4.2
Line Characteristics
 Poor Average Excellent
Cleat/Clutch Holding          
Abrasion Resistance          
Thermal Resistance          
 Low Medium High
Water Absorption          

APS Advisor Custom Rigging and Splicing Services

More Information
Line Application Mainsheet, Jib/Genoa Sheet, Control Line
Line Construction Single Braid
Core Material Polyester, Dyneema SK-78
Can Strip Cover? No
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Introduced in the fall of 2010 from Yale Cordage is their Ph.D. line. That's right APS now has a doctorate from Yale and we're going to brag about it to everybody. Ok I promise not to make too many more doctor jokes.

With Ph.D. Yale is taking a totally new approach to line manufacturing. They're not fully reinventing the wheel but they've definitely figured out how to put spinners on it. This line is a 12-strand construction much like  Yale Cruiser. Like those lines it is a blended Spectra line, in this case it is Spectra 1000 and polyester. Where Ph.D. differs is how they are blended together.

As you can see in the photo to the left each of the 24 strands in Ph.D. (it's a paired 12-strand) has a parallel Spectra 1000 core with the polyester fibers wrapped around it. The polyester is also treated with Yale's i-Grip to give it tenacious grip.

The result is a line that has a great hand feel and a very high Spectra content for it's size. We don't have hard numbers but we think this line has significantly more Spectra than the Salsa or other Dyneema blended single braids.

The Ph.D. does tend to be a little bit oversized when it's not loaded so if your application is very size sensitive you should be careful in your selection.

We had some of our staff use the Ph.D. line on a couple different boats to get some first hand experience. Warren from customer service tried it out as jib sheets on his keelboat:

I recently got a chance to use Yale’s new Ph.D. line in 7/16" as a genoa sheet on my family’s Soverel 33 with our 150% Kevlar Genoa and plain top winches. I was pleased with Ph.D’s grip on the winch, given we have what I believe to be the original 1986 winches with most (nearly all) of the grip worn off. The fuzzy surface provided additional grip when an additional wrap would have been excessive. I feel this line will work well on small keelboats in moderate load applications when you want to use as few wraps as possible, but still need good control (think jib sheets on J24, Ensign, J80, J22). Given the amount of breeze and load generated by the genoa we were likely at the limit of what I would recommend using the line in terms of both load and abrasion. All in all Ph.D. is a great new line that both soft on the hands and much lower stretch than many other 12 strands on the market today.

Katie used the Ph.D. sailing on a Jet14 with me this past weekend. As a dinghy this application is a bit different than Warren's experience using winches. Here's what Katie thought:

This weekend, I used the Ph.D. 6mm for jib sheets on a Jet 14. It was blowing around 15, which make for a good opportunity to test out the grip and hand feel. I found that it was quite easy to hold on to as well as release from the cleat. It ran easily during tacks and came back in well. It didn’t seem to absorb water, or not enough that I could notice it becoming heavier throughout the day. Overall, I think that it would work well in this application as well as any other dinghy. With a secure, nice feeling grip and running freely in and out of blocks, there is not much more you could ask for in a sheet. I would certainly give it my thumbs up.

One of the stand out features of the Ph.D. is it's low stretch. Above is a chart provided by Yale for elongation comparison with both a 100% Spectra line and Yale's Conception. Warren was impressed by this aspect of the Ph.D. as well:

I was very pleasantly surprised with the minimal stretch of the line, so let me explain. While comfortable to handle, all too often single braids either don’t have enough Spectra in the blend of the line, or have a great deal of constructional stretch, not so with the Ph. D. The very high percentage of Spectra in this line, coupled with the spun construction, and the high grade of Spectra in the line (Spectra 1000 which = Dyneema SK-75) kept the stretch to a minimum.

All in all Yale's Ph.D. line is a great addition to the options in the blended single braid market. It offers a high Spectra content for low stretch and has a great hand feel. The doctor is definitely in and the prescription for this fever is more Ph.D.!

Update (10/08/10): Yale formally announced this new product at the 2010 Annapolis Sailboat Show. APS Staff were on hand and filmed their press conference for you. Here is...


Video Transcript

Hi, this is Kyle from APS, and I'm here to share with you some of the characteristics of PhD Racer by Yale Cordage. This is a really unique performance line. It's a single braid. It's available in four different diameters. We've got ¼”, 5/16”, 7/16”, and ½”. As I mentioned it's a single braid. All you see on the outside is polyester. The other part that's blended in here is Spectra 1000, but you don't actually see it, and it's gonna be difficult, but it's a very unique process. You can see with this the blue is the polyester, the white strands are the Spectra 1000 wrapped inside the polyester. So the performance fibers, you never come in contact with the slippery Spectra. All you have in your hand is this soft, fuzzy, easy to grip polyester. Very cool. It is a spliceable, using a 12 strand splice, but because of the long braid angles here you'll find that the eyes are going to be a little bit longer and the splice a little bit longer than you're used to with a standard 12 strand eye splice.

So, other characteristics. Because this is so grippy, one of the advantages you might realize is when you put this on a winch you actually take one less wrap because it's holding the drum so well. So starting off with the ¼”, again, very soft, very pleasant in the hands. 5/16”. Moving into 7/16”. And the ½”, still very flexible, soft, and again, all that Spectra wrapped inside the polyester.

This is PhD Racer by Yale Cordage. For these all of your line needs, visit us as APSLTD.com.