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Old 07-23-2013
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Need to rig my main halyard

I'm relatively new to sailboat ownership and haven't dealt with this problem before.

I'm in a share on Catalina 27. Unfortunately the owner was out the other day and lost the main halyard to the top of the mast. I went up on the spinnaker halyard + bos'n chair to take a look and ending up pulling the main halyard out of (what I assume is a pulley) at the top, so now the halyard completely off the mast. How do I fix this?

The problem with the spinnaker halyard + bos'n chair is our spinnaker line becomes a metal wire (and thus can't go around our winch) when I'm still about 2-3 ft from the top of the mast. I'm not quite gutsy enough to try kneeling/standing on the bos'n chair.

I have a rock climbing harness that I've actually never used before. I thought maybe I could give that a try going up. I presume this would get me a few feet higher as I'd clip the halyard lower on my body than where the bos'n chair clips.

Otherwise, I have a roller furler for my jib. I'm new to this system, but would my jib have a halyard as well. Perhaps I could use this to go up.

Once I get to the top, I assume it's just a pulley on the stern side of the mast that I have to loop the line around?
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Old 07-23-2013
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First, do NOT get out of the bosun chair! Ever.

Second, you should always go aloft with a safety line. In this case, that would mean the jib halyard. Drop the jib and attach it to the bosun chair along with the spin halyard. Take up slack on the safety line every 4' or so as you are hoisted.

Try to avoid using a shackle to attach the halyard to the chair. But in this case, you may have no other option if the jib halyard is also wire-rope. The preference is to tie in using a bowline. This may be a great opportunity to replace the halyards with all rope if they're older than about 10 years or if there are any kinks or meathooks on the wire.

It's not preferable, but you can put wire around a winch, but you'll need to double or triple the number of wraps. The winch finish may become scared as a result. The PO on both my boats did this and there is only slight scaring of the finish.

To feed the halyard, you'll need to run a tracer line if you have internal halyards. Take 1/8" nylon twine and tie a fishing weight to it. Feed over the sheave at the masthead and let the weight drop to the exit hole near the mast base. Use a bent coat hanger to retrieve.

If you have external halyards, just fish the halyard over the sheave. And pull out the forward side of the mast.

Be safe, go slow and always cleat both halyards as you go aloft. That is, every 4' or so, have your helper cleat the halyards. Old wire-rope halyards like Catalina used make me really nervous and I'd prefer to use all rope and a bowline. Time to upgrade.
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Old 07-23-2013
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Re: Need to rig my main halyard

Catalina 27 mast is quite light. With 4 guys you can easily drop and re-step it by hand in your slip. This might be easier. Only took < 60 minutes total when I did mine. If you have external halyards, this will make your life much easier. If you have internal halyards you will have to do the "let the weight drop to the exit hole" part after you re-step.

If you have external halyards and are going up the mast, make sure to bring the coat hanger or similar with you. Sometimes it is hard to get the line over both sheaves without something to fish it.
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Re: Need to rig my main halyard

Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated. The halyards are external to the mast. I like the idea of using the jib as a safety line, I have no idea how old the halyards are and makes me a little nervous going up. It probably is a good time to replace the lines.

Is dropping the mast really that easy? I hadn't considered it.

Quote:
If you have external halyards, just fish the halyard over the sheave. And pull out the forward side of the mast.
It looks like the main sheave is on the stern side of the mast. I would have assumed I feed it up through the forward side of the sheave and pull it down on the stern side of the sheave. Is that correct?
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Re: Need to rig my main halyard

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It looks like the main sheave is on the stern side of the mast. I would have assumed I feed it up through the forward side of the sheave and pull it down on the stern side of the sheave. Is that correct?
That depends on whether a shackle is on the halyard (which I suspect that it is). If so, feed the main halyard from the aft side of the mast to the forward. If not, then it doesn't matter. It's the reverse for the jib or spinnaker halyards.

Quote:
With 4 guys you can easily drop and re-step it by hand in your slip. This might be easier.
Or you could just shimmy up the mast sans bosun chair like the wing-nut in the photo below, shoeless, shirtless, and senseless. Doofus could have killed himself. Notice how the crew is concerned for his safety, keeping an eye on him. Rumor is that he hasn't wised up, nearly 40 years later.

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Re: Need to rig my main halyard

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Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
Or you could just shimmy up the mast sans bosun chair like the wing-nut in the photo below, shoeless, shirtless, and senseless. Doofus could have killed himself. Notice how the crew is concerned for his safety, keeping an eye on him. Rumor is that he hasn't wised up, nearly 40 years later.
Haha, now that's the way to do it!!
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Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Need to rig my main halyard

For others looking at switching from wire-rope to all rope, here's $0.03 on experience so far: changed 1/8-wire x 3/8 braided rope to all 5/16 braided rope. No problem feeding new 5/16 rope and no problem using it to raise either jib or genoa. I have 43 year old Marine England V-sheaves which I will change on my 2nd trip to the top of the mast (will see what they are on my first trip, order new sheaves, then install). Also ordering up a new main halyard. This is for a 24 Vivacity by Russell Marine
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Old 09-17-2013
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Re: Need to rig my main halyard

my worry would be that the halyard has jumped the sheeve and is now wedged alongside the sheeve. Fixable but not with a simple tug!

when I had a coronado 25 (and taught folks how to sail on it). I had a big rope loop just above the halyard shackle. If hayyard go putted to the top of the mast, a hook on a long pole could snag it and pull it down. Another option is a continous halyard - ie a big loop

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Old 09-17-2013
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Re: Need to rig my main halyard

The day I went to look at what became my first boat, the owner went to hoist the main and forgot that he had disconnected the halyard. A major storm blew through a week or so before, and he had removed the main in anticipation of the storm. Before I arrived, he had put the sail back on, and had freed the halyard (he had it tied off) but my arrival distracted him and he forgot to attach the halyard to the head of the sail. He went to show me the sail, and the one good yank that he used to "get the sail started" was enough to send the halyard to the top of the mast.

I wound up being very interested in the boat, so I decided to see what could be done about the halyard. The following weekend, I returned to his house with a 23' extension handle to which I had attached "the claw".





That allowed us to grab the shackle at the end of the halyard and pull everything down again.

Two months later, when the boat was hauled, we dropped the mast using an A-frame that I built. The A-frame is EASY to build, and on a C25 (and I suspect a C27) the mast is light enough (it's heavy, but not THAT heavy) that it is easy to handle with an A-frame. In retrospect, if The Claw hadn't worked, it would have been easy for us to fix the halyard by dropping the mast.
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Old 09-17-2013
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Re: Need to rig my main halyard

Shucks Paul, now I have to go visit the top of the mast before the weekend... and not via the bos'n chair lift... low tide here we come.

By the way, your epoxy products were great....

Jimgo - love the claw.... and next time I unstep I too am going to have more bodies and an A-frame.
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