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  #1  
Old 08-11-2009
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Replace Main Halyard using a "messenger"

Hi,

My main halyard and my jib halyard need replacing. I have heard that this can be done without going to the top of the mast using a "messenger line."

Is anyone familiar with this procedure? How do you do it?

Any help is appreciated thank you.

Rick
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Old 08-11-2009
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A messenger is a small line that you attach to the existing halyard and long enough to pull up and back down the mast ending up with both ends at the bottom of the mast. Then you remove the old halyard from the line and attach the new one and pull it back up the mast. If no halyard is on the mast your going up. Which isn't a bad idea since it is a good time to inspect the sheaves anyway.
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Old 08-11-2009
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We just sewed the new halyard to the old and used tape to make the joint smooth. (you have to cut the loop or shackle off the end of the old halyard also, since that is where you will need to connect to the new. easy job, nothing to fear unless you don't make sure the lines are very well connected. no real need for a messenger of smaller dia.
good luck!
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Old 08-11-2009
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I just use the existing halyard. Take the new halyard and put it end-to-end with the old halyard. Sew it with whipping twine to the old halyard by gong through the old halyard, then the new halyard, then repeat. Do about 4 stitches through each line. Use electrical tape to tape over the ends of both new and old as well as the stitching. Wrap the tape tight and cover 8-10 inches on both sides. Then just pull the new line through with the old. The tape is flexible enough to take the corners and the twine will keep the two ends from pulling apart.
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Old 08-11-2009
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Did the same as Denise030 and Raindog. Let the old halyard bring in its replacement.
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Old 08-11-2009
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Second the other suggestions, but no need to whip - if you have the 8 or so inches to use duct tape, electrical - etc - and have no major resistance - your good to go. As a fall back - I always also use that mylon (sp) line attached a few inches above the joint (tape thread it etc) where it all goes as a backup.
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Old 08-12-2009
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I needed the old halyard to get the length right, and to do the splicing off the boat (could have spliced on deck, but it's a PITA when it's connected to a mast... ). I used a messenger line. Really simple. I used a spool of cheap surveyors line. That bright colored twine that you see around constrcutions sites. The spool was 3$ at my local hardware store. Then its just like everybody said, whip the two lines together cover in tape and pull through.

Only thing to watch is when you pull the old halyard out.. make sure to keep a good amount of tension on the line at all times, if you don't the messenger could jump the sheaves.
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Old 08-12-2009
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I pull all my halyards during the winter and replace them with some cheap poly line.

I use 1" masking tape, two 6" strips running lengthwise, then wrap tape over those. I give a test pull just to make sure. Just make sure the lines are running free, you don't want to get caught up and pull hard. After your done try to pull them apart and you will find they usually need to be unwrapped.
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Old 08-13-2009
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Thank you all! I will give it a try soon.

Rick
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Old 08-13-2009
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if you are going to leave a messenger in the mast, it is worth the extra money to buy a larger line than the nylon surveyor string, because if you jump a sheave the line will jam in between the sheave and the box, then you have a problem. Ask me how I know
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