FWIW, there's 100% Vectran, then there's Vectran core with a Polyester cover, which will be cheaper and weaker, though either will be adequate for hammocks or tarps.
The $0.79/foot 4mm West Marine Vectran is 5/32" diameter. www.McMaster.com has 1/4" Polyester covered Vectran at $1.26/foot, 1000lbs working load limit. Part# 2222T45 They also have Spectra rope, too.
tobit, the vectrus 12 is just the brand name or whatever. it is made by yale, which i think is as well known as new england. it also says it is 100% vectran, so it's not a generic fiber. it says they can add an optional polyester cover/jacket, this is not the same as the coating. the coating comes standard and is for uv and abrasion resistence. i will say that it does wear off in the areas that get knotted frequently.
i have been playing with the single braid spectra/dyneema as well. they both (single braid vectran and dyneema ) seem to be pretty close handling wise. there is a new spectra line out, amsteel blue, it is a higher grade of dyneema and is even stronger than the single braid vectran i believe.
what are the stretch characteristics for dyneema? i know there are different grades of dyneema, don't know how if this effects the stretch. also, what do you know about creep? supposedly spectra creeps, vectran doesn't. is creep stretch over time, or does it have to do with knot slippage?
also, vectran can't be melted on the ends, but i found if i put a dab of silicone on the end and work it into the tip really well, it does a great job, not as easy as melting, but pretty easy.
I am not sure if Tobit checks this site anymore. I think he gave up on hammocking and went back to tarping.
oh, i didn't even notice this was an old thread.
as for the sil, just a dab will do, just rub it into the tip between your finger and thumb till the 12 strands break down into the individual fibers, only only takes a few seconds, but you want it totally worked in there all the way, almost like it is impregnated, just coating the outside probably won't last.