You say all the hardware was stripped and in a box when you bought the boat?
The only thing I can guess is that the previous owner bought a length of rope long enough for both halyards, took it to a rigger and had wire spliced into it on both ends and then had the intention to cut it apart later before installing but never got around to installing it. Why the PO wouldn't have the rigger cut it and whip the ends is beyond me, but maybe he was a real cheapskate. Or maybe he wasn't sure of the lengths (why not measure the old ones?) and wanted to get it on the mast to measure it first. Do the halyard(s) look new? did you install them? If this isn't the case I have no idea.
Edit: I see that you said they weren't long enough. I guess my cool explaination is not plausible then.
Last edited by txmatt; 04-26-2007 at 11:50 PM.