wire halyards damaging mast - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-23-2008
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wire halyards damaging mast

I've had these half wire/line halyards on this old sailboat for 38 years now and just took down the mast to change the halyards and found quite a bit of damage on top of the mast from the wire thimble scrapping against the mast. It has made grouve for about a 18" or so down from the top. It's quite a mess, but it looks like it'll survive. I wanted to change to all rope halyards, but now now that I see the sheeves are will only accomodate wire halyards and the mast head has been welded on all around, I think I'm stuck with half wire halyards.
My problem is how to repair the damaged mast or at least protect it from any further damage. The damage must be occurring when I'm sailing and while the wire thimble and snap shackle are at the top of the mast. I was thinking of wrapping some hard plastic material around the mast at that damaged area, or maybe wrapping the wire thimble and the snap shackle with rubber or something like that.
Does anybody have any suggestions on how to prevent damage to the mast with wire/line halyards. Of course, I pull then halyards far away from the mast when it is at anchor so that is not the problem.
any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-24-2008
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If the thimble and wire are stainless steel, DO NOT WRAP THEM. You should be able to replace the sheaves on most masts, even though, in this case, it might be a bit more difficult than normal. Switching to all line halyards is a good thing IMHO, and a better use of your resources than trying to prevent the wire halyards from damaging the mast.
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Old 07-24-2008
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I can't change them because of the mast head setup unless I redo the mast head, so my original question stands. How do I prevent further damage to the upper mast head. Maybe I could wrap some rubber hose material around the stainless steel thimble and shackle. Hasn't anybody else had to deal with this problem?
thanks again and I'm sorry if this question is now being asked on my other post which had to do with masthead sheave changing.
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Old 07-24-2008
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You can parcel them with canvas and then serve the canvas with either sail twine or some other small stuff. That should meet your needs and not cause oxygen deprivation that Dog is concerned about.
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Old 07-24-2008
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I don't see any reason why you'd need to replace the masthead truck. The slots are easily accessible and if you pull the axle pins, the sheaves should drop right out. As long as the sheave slots are wide enough to accept a 1/2" sheave, you should be fine.
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Old 07-24-2008
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there's not that much room. It's a 30' sailboat so can probably get by with less the 1/2" line. I'll check and get back with this tomarrow.
thanks for all the help.
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Old 07-24-2008
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Hell, if it is a 30' sailboat, you could get away with 8 mm T-900 for halyards... and that would only require a 3/8" wide sheave.
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thank you. I'll see if I can get a 3/8" sheave in there tomarrow and let you know how it goes.
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Woe, I just realized why I'm getting so much damage on the top of my mast. I just remembered that I screwed together two stainless steel plates on the top of my mast to keep it together, when it was falling apart. It is those stainless steel plates that are ruining my mast. That is my problem and I will have to replace that first with the proper eye for the sail.
Sorry about not remembering this very important fact. This means that wire halyards don't necessarily mess up the mast after all. Idiots like myself who make crazy sail repair jobs do the damage.
I feel like the fool I am. Sorry about that guys.
and thanks for all your help.
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Old 07-24-2008
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Did you mean two plates screwed togather on your head board to keep the sail togather?
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