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Old 05-31-2008
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Fouled halyards... #@&* Help!

Had a beautiful first sail of the season last weekend -- great to be back in, boat looks great (thanks for the advice, Halakai) and my new #1 is fantastic. Completely uneventful until the next day when I tried to go out again and found my main halyard jammed -- wouldn't budge up or down and couldn't shake it loose. Tried again after work on Friday -- even removed the topping lift so I could really shake it around some -- figuring it had somehow jumped the sheave, but no luck

I resigned myself that this will be the reason for my maiden trip aloft and ordered a MastMate for the occasion, before borrowing one from another member at my club. The MastMate requires a halyard to pull the ladder up the sail track, so my plan was to drop my RF genny and use the jib halyard, except.... my jib halyard was similarly fouled -- no wrap, just stuck. Still have my spinnaker halyard and am going to take a look tomorrow, but I am completely clueless as to what may be going on. The fact that BOTH are stuck, I feel reduces the likelihood that it's going to be a simple fix. My halyards (wire/rope) are internal.

I'm wondering if they might have somehow become twisted around each other inside the mast -- one idea I'm going to try is feeding them into the mast (not too much) at the mast exit to give them a little play internally and hopefully untwist them, if that is the case. A local marina (Brewers Glen Cove) thinks they'll be able to look at it this week, but I'm a little impatient and was hoping to race next weekend.

Anyone encounter this sort of thing before? Appreciate any and all insight, suggestions, etc.

More than a little frustrated...
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Old 05-31-2008
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i have a stuck halyard though this is because it was not routed properly from the start. its a spare so I am leaving it be for a while. However once these things get fouled - it is pretty hard to get them properly routed without taking the mast down. We removed the fouled halyard completely and tried numerous times to drop it (or messenger line) from the top of the mast down. Every time it took a route that made it jam. It's a gamble really.
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Old 06-01-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brak View Post
i have a stuck halyard though this is because it was not routed properly from the start. its a spare so I am leaving it be for a while. However once these things get fouled - it is pretty hard to get them properly routed without taking the mast down. We removed the fouled halyard completely and tried numerous times to drop it (or messenger line) from the top of the mast down. Every time it took a route that made it jam. It's a gamble really.
I have no choice but to address it now -- the stick *may* need to come down unless I don't decide I don't need a mainsail. What a friggin' mess...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLucas View Post
I'm wondering if they might have somehow become twisted around each other inside the mast -- one idea I'm going to try is feeding them into the mast (not too much) at the mast exit to give them a little play internally and hopefully untwist them, if that is the case. A local marina (Brewers Glen Cove) thinks they'll be able to look at it this week, but I'm a little impatient and was hoping to race next weekend.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CLucas View Post
I have no choice but to address it now -- the stick *may* need to come down unless I don't decide I don't need a mainsail. What a friggin' mess...

Don't know if it will help you or not but here goes.
If the halyards are internal then there is no way that they could have "become twisted around each other inside the mast". Unless of course one came partially out and was re fed.
It is possible that they got twisted when they were first ran but that's the only way.
You can usually tell if the halyards are wrapped around each other by pulling one and watching to see if the other moves a little. Unfortunately, it sounds like neither one of yours are moving at all.
If you had wire/rope halyards, the first thing I would look for is whether they jumped the sheave. Unlikely both would have done so at the same time though.
My best guess in your situation is that the throat of the splice has jammed into the sheave or masthead. Not an uncommon occurrence. Only way to tell is to go up and look.

If you find that you have to remove a halyard and need to run it through again, you might actually have better luck doing it with the mast up.
My preferred method is to take my weighted messenger and depending on which sheave I am using, I'll have a few guys stand on the rail to heel the boat over so that the messenger slides down the side of the mast keeping it from tangling up with anything else.
Good luck.

Steve
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