Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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Re: To store halyards or leave on mast?
I live in Massachusetts. It is my first year as a sailboat owner and am in the process of decommissioning for the season. I have heard conflicting suggestions as to whether to leave my halyards attached to the mast for the winter. Some say it's not worth the hassle to remove, others say take them off. The halyards run internally appx 2/3 up to the top of the mast and then down the exterior. My same question also applies to the roller furl line? I did replace that line this summer and that was not that difficult to install. If I do not remove the halyards, should I cover them with a tarp or wrap in plastic? Is there a spray cleaning solution or some kind of spray protectant that could be added? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
To avoid unnecessary wear and weathering, it is wise to remove the lines by simply attaching the falls to a messenger line and pulling them out of the mast entirely to be re-installed in the spring. (Note which line came out of which sheave when doing so.) Soak/Wash the lines in luke-warm water (not Hot which will stiffen the line) with a little laundry soap and OxyClean and then rinse well with cool fresh water with a little fabric softener. Hang the lines to dry in your garage or basement and then coil neatly (figure of 8 coils) and hang in a spare closet until Spring recommissioning. Winter weather can be very tough on line with soot from heating oil/coal/wood etc. accumulating on the lines which allows moisture to form acids that weaken the line as does repeated freeze thaw cycles to the accumulated moisture in the line. Moreover, mold and mildew can form on/in the line even in very cold conditions. Your call...
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."