Changing the halyard from wire to rope - Page 3 - SailNet Community

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Old 06-05-2009
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Originally Posted by canadianseamonkey View Post
Then the new size of rope you need would be the same size as the one the wire currently goes That rope goes through your sheaves doesn't it? I worked for me when I did the change over.
Our previous setup was the rope/wire combo. The rope never made it to the sheave unless I tried to support the boom end with the halyard. And it didn't want to to do that, go thru the sheave, that is. The wire was just long enough to run from the sheave to the tack. That also meant that only rope wrapped around the mast-mounted winch. If the wire was long enough so that it could reach from sheave to boom end, it would also have wrapped around the winch when the sail was raised, which I would expect would abrade the drum.
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Old 06-05-2009
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When you go up the mast to install the new sheaves, bring the new halyard with you, some thread/messager line and a weight. That way you can thread the new halyard at the same time. Your grinders will thank you, and its good to keep them happy.
Merit 25 # 764 "Audrey"
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Old 06-05-2009
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Thankfully we use the mast crane at the club to do the real work of getting my sorry butt up to the top. Especially with two masts.

I'll just do the work on one, they'll move the boat down below and I'll do the work on the second.
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Old 06-05-2009
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Of course, you might want to buy line from Sailnet, since we're using their website for this discussion? Please note that changing the sheaves will involve going up the mast to find out the diameter and thickness of the existing sheaves, as well as whether they're "U" shaped and don't need replacing at all. If you do decide to go ahead, you have to purchase the replacement sheaves. These new sheaves have to match the old dimensions exactly, or the halyards may jump the sheave and jam. It is not fun when this happens. You can fit spacers or bushings to keep halyards from jumping, but this is not fun either, since it brings more complexity and possible problems into the equation. Then you climb the mast again to remove the old sheaves and slip in the new ones. Slip is the definitive word here. Better buy some extras, in case something goes splash. By this point, you may have spent enough to offset a couple of year's worth of wear on the halyards from any "V" shaped groove in the sheaves. We switched out our rope/wire spliced halyards about 10 years ago without checking to see if the sheaves were V or U shaped and have not had any issues with wear. I am heading down to the unstepped mast tomorrow. I will look to see if they're V or U -shaped and let you know.
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Old 06-08-2009
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Originally Posted by gimmellsdad View Post
Thanks for all your responses. After LOTS of research and even more great advice here, the missus and I are looking at either this choice.

Amsteel Blue, Winch Line, Rope, ATV winch lines

It's a Canadian Manufacturer which is a plus as well.

Or someone local in BC that I can pick some Spectra from while I'm still here.

Looks like we're taking the advice here too. We're going to change the sheaves to probably accomodate a 5/16" 12 strand line.

So that means up the bosins chair to measure and take out existing sheaves. Over to the local Marine Supply store to buy said sheaves. Back up the bosins chair to install those newly purchased sheaves and then ready for the halyards.

Thanks for the make work project everyone

No really....thanks !

You do not need 5/16" 12 strand, you need a 5/16" line like Warpspeed that is 5/16" OD and a core of 3/16" ? but has a polyester cover that cab be stripped if necesary. Of you can pull a cover over a 3/16" 12 braid.

You also need to go up your mast and take a good look at hte sheeves if you have not done so to see what is involved. An older wooden mast may have some surprises.

I replaced all 4 halyards last year about this time and and it took me all winter to reseach what I wanted to do. And even after all that I would do it diffrently now. I also practiced splicing so I could do the eyes myself. Slow but they look OK.

Good luck

Last edited by Gary M; 06-08-2009 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 06-10-2009
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I should rename the thread to Changing the halyard from wire to rope-and back to wire

After many pictures taken, and much discussion (it's kinda tough to make accurate decisions when you're 3000 kms from your own boat) we have decided to go with both. Well, Wire to rope. Taking out the sheaves would have meant a lot of work because of the way it's situated in the mast. Adding blocks was well, more work, cost and weight that we didn't want/need.

Se we've decided to keep the sheave and go with this:
- 35-40' 1/8" wire with a 60' 3/8 braid tail for the Main
- 30-35' 1/8" wire with a 45' braid tail for the mizzen.

The headsail is staying with rope as it's already equipped with a block.

Thank you to everyone who helped with this monumental


Last edited by gimmellsdad; 06-10-2009 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Poor wording adding forgotten stuff
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