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  #21  
Old 04-08-2008
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Here is what I devised to do the same after it happened twice to me - and I didn't want to fork another $50 because of my lack of judgment and fear of heights...

Materials needed:

Boathook
Duct Tape
length of rope 5 foot longer than your mast
Metal Coat hanger / or other suitable piece of metal
The other unstuck halyard.

See illustration - instructions follow:



With your contraption now made - hoist the halyard up while remaining in control of the rope that is used as a guide of force or further denoted as guide rope. It is meant to control the leverage and position of the boat hook so to allow positioning of the grappling agent (the twisted prongs of the coat hanger contraption)

Get it as far up as you can and use the rope and halyard to jam the three prong coat hangar "grappling agent" into the shackles of the stuck halyard.

It will take repeated tries but using the guide rope to adjust angle of boat hook and grappling tool, and the halyard and you may find positioning yourself at various points on the vessel you can create enough force that you will feel the shackle of the stuck halyard catch...when you do - pull down on the guide rope..

Using this technique - in about 15 minutes you can get it down - sometimes bending further together the prongs of the coat hanger contraption if you feel the shackle of the stuck halyard connecting but slipping off...Important to note the prongs are twisted as they will resist the pulling straight of the coat hangar when pulling down....

For additional safety - attach a down haul to the halyard being used to raise the boat hook in case you did not tape securely...and secure the down haul to a cleat...

Process I devised works - and provides amazing entertainment to passerbys who will not believe you did not have to climb the mast to get it down...

To prevent this event from ever happening again - attach down hauls to all your halyards (smaller diameter)... a PITA as its more line you have tend with getting whatever sail up and down - but piece of mind - priceless...
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Last edited by artbyjody; 04-08-2008 at 01:24 AM.
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  #22  
Old 04-08-2008
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Quote:
To prevent this event from ever happening again - attach down hauls to all your halyards (smaller diameter)... a PITA as its more line you have tend with getting whatever sail up and down - but piece of mind - priceless...
I can't imagine losing halyards occurs often enough to justify this. If it does, fix the problem (bad shackles? forgetful owner?) instead of rigging messenger lines on each of the halyards.
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  #23  
Old 04-08-2008
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I just lost mine yesterday. So I have a question. I have a fractionally riged sloop, a cal 20. Can I use the jib halyard to go up and retrieve it in a chair? I don't mind going up at all, I never have, this may be a good opportunity to try. I also have a topping lift, that one is connected all the way to the top. I don't want to put any unnecessary pressure and hurt anything.

THey need a better system for this. I was raising my main when I lost it. Whoever had this boat before rigged the snap shackle so it's about 7 feet up the mast and you have to get on your tippy toes to get it and it won't come down any further. To make matters worse, he installed a deck light on the fore side of the mast and sometimes when you take the main down the wire gets wrapped around the light and I was there trying to swing it around, lost it and up and away it went.
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Old 04-08-2008
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We'll, you need a longer halyard for sure. It should come down so you can easily attach it at boom height and, really, it should be long enough to secure to the end of the boom so the halyard, when you're at port or at anchor, does not bang against the mast.

Don't go up on the topping lift, though you can use is as a safetly line if you must. Go up on the jib halyard and try to hook the main halyard with a boat hook. Or, if you have a friend with a taller rig, go up that and pull yourself - carefully, over to grab your halyard.

The proper shackle for a mainsail is not a snap shackle - you're looking for something called a headboard shackle.
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Old 04-08-2008
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Oh, well mine is just above the spreader bars, not all the way to the top, so not using the jib halyard on a fractionally rigged sloop is not about not hurting the rigging, it's about not being able to get high enough?
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Old 04-08-2008
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Depending on location you may find a bridge or dock with enough clearance at a specific tide to bring the boat up to.

Hop off, run up to the bridge overpass and grab the shackle back.

Depends where you live, we have ONE spot this works at during low tide where I am, but fortunately I have a 5' tall wife who's not afraid of heights
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Old 04-08-2008
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I just re-did the rigging on our fractional sloop. I made up the topping lift to be the same diameter line as the main halyard, as it is the only other line going to the top of the mast. This way, I can use it as a spare, and also to retrieve the primary if needed.

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Old 04-08-2008
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Artbyjody I love it...that looks like a workable solution. Thanks for all the effort you put into it with the sketch and all. I'll try it out and come back with a full report.
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Old 04-08-2008
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I also agree with Jodi. You weren't far from success in your first attempts. Look at it this way: If you had designed your grapple so that if you were lucky, and had that grapple in such a position that the remotest accident would cause a snag,all you have to do is be patient...the snag will happen by 'accident'.
Howard Keiper
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Old 04-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Oh, well mine is just above the spreader bars, not all the way to the top, so not using the jib halyard on a fractionally rigged sloop is not about not hurting the rigging, it's about not being able to get high enough?
If the shakle is at the spreaders use the topping lift, take it close to the mast and spin it like a skipping rope it will twist around the halyard and you can pull it down without leaving the deck.
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