How long can a set of shrouds stay unhooked? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-14-2008
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How long can a set of shrouds stay unhooked?

As yall have seen before ive got major bulkhead damage around my chainplates. Ive started in on the project of repairing the bulkhead. The question of how long i can leave the shrouds unhooked has come up in my head. The mast is keel stepped and its a pretty stout mast. I have both my jib and main halyards hooked off to the stanchion bases on that side, but that seems a bit much for them. Im doing my work at night since theres very little boat traffic(save for the tugs at 3am). I know once the new piece is cut and fit in i have to give the epoxy some time to set up.

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Old 10-14-2008
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Depends on conditions. What I did on mine was run a line aft to the winches tied to the shrouds after they were undone. That kept tension on the mast. If doing it in a day or two if you can tie them off near the chain plates that'll work as well. If the mast bends to one side then you'll need to winch one of the shrouds in. (which is what happened to me on my first attempt - I had them too loosely tied off and a windstorm came in and the mast was to the port about 35 degrees, made for an interesting "whud dat" moment)...
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With that much damage it might be a good idea to pull the mast. You could have a yard pull your mast and store it while you do the work to your boat. In addition you could either re-rig or at least check the mast hardware while it is down.
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From what you say I dont see any problem having the shrouds off long time.Hook up every haliard you can to that side.Ease off the opposite shrouds and if you are going to be a few days at it ease the forestay and backstay also.Get all the serious tension out of the rig but dont have it sloping about.
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Ease the remaining shrouds and it will be ok.
There is little load on a mast when there are no sails up.
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Having steped my 35' mast on the water on Sat i think you really need to get the upper hooked to something with a block or whaterer you have and get it good and tight while your doing the repiar


I will also say when we setup a J24 for light air i allways cringe becasue of the way the mast slams around with everything so slack
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Last edited by tommays; 10-14-2008 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 10-14-2008
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While you can use a halyard as a stop gap measure, I would highly recommend taking the mast down if you're going to be doing this for any extended period of time.
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Taking the mast down is out of the game. This is being done in the water, on anchor. Im hoping to only have them loose for one night.
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Old 10-14-2008
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Remember that the shrouds normally take the strain of a fully laden sail, i.e. the force of the mass of the boat at speed under way. All you are asking your halyards to do right now, is hold the mast upright. It is a much smaller job to do, the halyards will be up to it. Whether the stanchions bases are, is a whole other question.

Perhaps you could rig a line under the hull and around to the winches (or other stronger points) and secure the halyards off to that? So they are belayed to something more substantial than stanchion bases, which may have their own moisture problems, and weren't really designed against vertical lifting loads.
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You did not say if you have lowers....if you do, loosen the upper on the other side and use a halyard or two on the side you are removing. You will be fine. Also if you have running backstays use those to stabilise the mast as well
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