Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Penobscot Bay, Maine
Thanked 18 Times in 18 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Re: Need help on masthead sheave replacement information
The photos look quite similar to my masthead sheaves. Mine is a LeFiell mast, and they're still in business. The sheaves look like aluminum, as are mine. Yours, too, are cut for wire-and-rope halyards (ditto).
My sheaves are aluminum with bronze bushings. They're bullet-proof. If still in good shape, they're better than new plastic ones. New aluminum sheaves are very costly. The bushings are really the only parts that are likely to wear much, and they can be replaced easily by a machine shop if necessary. Mine, in use since '79, didn't require that.
I'd prefer bushings to bearings. Simpler, more robust, fewer parts to wear, corrode or stick. Remember that most of the time they're stationary, and under stress.
I suggest you do as I did and pull them before you decide whether to replace them. May just look a little ugly on the surface.
Your larger problem may be the secondary groove, if you use all-rope halyards. The small inner groove will damage your rope halyards in time. I found my sheave diameters to be large enough that I could have the grooves re-cut to round profiles at a local machine shop for all-rope use for about $10 each. They had to shave about 1/4 inch from the original diameters. They were like new when I re-mounted them with a little silicone grease.
You may find, as I did, that you're actually lucky to have the ones that are there now.
If your mast is still up, be very careful not to lose the sheaves or the aluminum plates between them when you pull the pins out.
Last edited by VallelyJ; 11-15-2015 at 02:56 PM.