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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-29-2008
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loomaz is on a distinguished road
Halyard up the mast

Was out on my Rhodes 18 alone and when gusts became more than I wanted to handle, I lowered the main. Unfortunately, my halyard ran up to the top of the mast. Any suggestions for getting it down without having to lower and restep the mast?
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Old 05-29-2008
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Depending on your mast height...

-I borrowed my buddies aluminum extension ladder.
-Then I grabbed two of those nylon strap tie downs for stuff you tie to the top of your car/truck... the kind with the ratchet.
-get a piece of wood or two to protect the top of your deck. Put the bottom of the ladder on these.
-put ladder up along mast and use tie down straps to secure to mast.
-climb up with your boat hook.
-Use duck tape to put a smaller hook made from a coat hanger.
-Use small hook to hook the halyard
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Old 05-29-2008
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-Oh... two pieces of foam.
-use bungie cord to put foam around the top rung so it doesn't scratch your mast.
-Use halyard (the one you still have) to tie to top rung of ladder to help you hoist ladder
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Old 05-29-2008
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Yikes, you don't want to try climbing to the top of a mast in an Rhodes 18, you would likely turtle the boat.

My suggestion would be to bring the boat alongside a pier at low tide and see if you can reach the halyard ffrom the top of a piling.
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Old 05-29-2008
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looks like it is 21'4" of mast

should be real easy to step shouldnt it, even with just the jib halyard
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Old 05-29-2008
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Stop at Home Depot and get enuff 1/2 inch plastic water pipe and conectors to make it long enuff to reach up that high. A little duct tape and coat hanger should do it.

Don't use glue and you can take it apart when you are done.

Rick

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Originally Posted by loomaz View Post
Was out on my Rhodes 18 alone and when gusts became more than I wanted to handle, I lowered the main. Unfortunately, my halyard ran up to the top of the mast. Any suggestions for getting it down without having to lower and restep the mast?
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Old 05-29-2008
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I had a Rhodes 19 on a trailer. Each time I took the boat out it required me to hoist the entire boat (fixed keel) into the water and step the mast. Two of us were able to do it without any problems. So, unstepping and re-stepping the mast shouldn't be that much of a problem. But, it was much easier to handle the mast with the boat on a trailer.

I can sympathize with you. On my current boat, J/36, I got the main-halyard stuck while trying to install a new one. Being a 50' spar and fractional rig, the safest thing was to unstep the mast. As it turns out, the sheave was too narrow which allowed the main-halyard to jump the sheave and get stuck.

Although entertaining, none of this really helps you. I wouldn't try the ladder idea unless the boat was stable and secure out of the water. The easiest idea seems to be to find a structure that's tall enough, close enough to water 3-4 feet deep, that you can climb and be able to use a boat hook or other long pole to "grab" the halyard. Or, if you have or can borrow a trailer, could you safely move the boat with mast upright close enough to a building that would be tall enough with access at a level that you could use a boat hook? The second option might be to borrow a bosun's chair and send someone up the jib-halyard with a boat hook. The least desirable would probably be having someone free-climb the mast.

If you have friends in the fire department or know anyone with access to any kind of crane...now is the time to call in the favors.

Don't forget to calculate tidal heights into the equation.

My sympathy, and I wish you the best of luck.

PS If you're anywhere near Vallejo California, I've got the spot you need about 300' from my boat.
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Old 05-30-2008
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Get to know a local powerboater with a flying bridge or a sailboat with mast steps and raft up. You should be able to reach it with a boat hook.

Alternatively, Is there a fishing pier nearby? On a calm day, using lots of fenders come up to the down current side and have a friend on the pier standing by with the hook.
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Old 05-30-2008
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While docked alongside a floating finger pier, adjacent to at least one other empty slip, secure the docklines to the dockcleats with about 3 feet of slack.

With the spin halyard snapshackle in hand, cleat the spin sheet to the mast bottom, leaving plenty of line payed out. Now walk the halyard around the dock to your empty slipmate's finger . . . distance should be at least mast height, and pull the masthead down far enough to grab the main halyard shackle with a fully extended boathook.
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Old 05-30-2008
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This same thing actually happened to me. We bought 3 10 foot lengths of chain length fencing tops and a bunch of twine. Taped all of the piping together at the seams. Ran the twine through the piping, tied a slip knot at the end, and loosely taped it to the pipe. Tied the jib halyard close to the end of the slip knot end of the piping and hoisted it up. Looped the run away halyard with the slip knot and lowered it all back down.

I'm sure the same thing could be done with almost any tubing. We chose the fence stuff because it was more rigid and bended less.

Cool thing is that we were able to return the fence topping, so it ended up basically free.
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