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  #1  
Old 09-20-2009
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Possibly a stripped halyard?

Ok so here is my problem...

My halyard is a 5/32" steel cable swaged to 3/8" line. I would like to change to an all synthetic line but the sheave at the mast head is very narrow and there is NO room to change to a wider sheave.

I can change out the halyard to a 4mm AMsteel Dyneema line which will actually be STRONGER than the stainless steel but I can't imagine trying to hoist the main with a 4mm line....It would sever off my hands!

I figure I have two options


1) Splice the AMsteel line to a thicker conventional line. Similar to the current arrangement but replacing the stainless cable with dyneema. But, I don't know if it is possible to splice the two together strongly enough???

2) Someone suggested taking a polyester jacketed dyneema cored line and stripping the polyester jacket where it goes over the sheave. I don't know if that is possible either and I would be curious how the jacket would stay intact where is was stripped off... i.e. the dyneema core would continue to be extracted/stripped out as the lower jacket was handled.

What do you guys think? How have others handled the converion from steel halyard to synthetic line?
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Old 09-20-2009
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why do you want to change out your s.s. halyard is it frayed with meat hooks or something
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Old 09-20-2009
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Quote:
is it frayed with meat hooks or something
No, nothing like that. Actually the stainless cable is in reasonable shape. The issue is the swaged conventional polyester line is frayed and at the end of its useful life.

If i'm going to have to replace the halyard I might as well replace it with a low stretch, less weight aloft option.
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Old 09-20-2009
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Cool wire to rope halyard

OK, Here are my thoughts on this. First, without seeing your halyard,mast sheave etc . it is hard to know what to recommend, more info would help. When you say that the wire halyard is "swaged" to the rope tail, I find that confusing, as I have not seen or heard of that type of connection in this application. Perhaps you mean they are spliced with a wire to rope splice, a very common way of attaching a wire to a rope tail. Usually, in that type of arrangement, the larger rope tail can follow the wire halyard up and over the mast head sheave if you pull enough of the wire halyard through , ie: the sheave is usually designed to accomodate both the narrow wire(via a groove in the sheave) as well as the tail( in your case the sheave would be wide enouogh for the 3/8" rope tail.) If this is the case (which from your description of your problem I suspect may not be) you could easly go straight to a 3/8" exclusively rope halyard using any low stretch/high strength spectra line such as warpspeed, or even amsteel( though at 3/8" the amsteel might be overkill, esp. for cost) Again, more info here would help such as Type of Boat, boat length, mast height, sail area , etc.

The other common way of attaching a wire halyard to a rope tail often involves the installation of a small loop and thimble,usual via a nicopress crimped fitting, and then passing the rope tail through this thimble and either splicing it (again by making a small loop splice) or just tying it with the appropriate knot. In such arrangements, this conection is too bulky to pass over the mast head sheave, thus the wire halyard is made long enough so that when the sail is completely dropped, the connection between the rope tail and wire halyard stops a fair distance before reaching the top of the mast. Usually about a foot, but could be longer depending on how much extra wire halyard you desire after dropping the sail in order to detach it and be able to secure it off somewhere. If it is not made long enough the connection at the wire to rope joint will two block istelf at the masthead sheave. In these arrangements, often the mast head sheave will be designed only for the wire halyard and will not work with a wider rope tail. On the other hand, Very often the sheave will still accomodate a rope halyard, just depends on what they used for a sheave. Also, it is usual possible to change out the wire only sheave for a sheave designed for line. Again, more info would help in determining the case for your boat. From your description of your problem I assume that your sheave only accomodates the 5/32" wire. ALso, that it is immpossible to change out the sheave. That being said, you could go for the 4mm. amsteel for the halyard part and splice a loop in the end, (similar to the wire with a thimble I described, and then attach a heavier tail part by splicing via a loop or tying with an appropriate knot to connect the two. Just make sure the thinner halyard part that is to pass over the mast head sheave is long enough so you don't two block the connections at the sheave. ALso, I should mention, that if you make the halyard part too long you may have trouble cleating off the line when the sail is fully hoisted. Again, more info would help here, ie: where/how is your halyard tail cleated off? at a cleat at the mast? or run via blocks etc to the cockpit and fed through line stoppers or clutches? All this needs to be considered when setting this up.
Good luck, Rick
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Old 09-20-2009
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Rick,

Thanks for the reply. You are correct 'swage' is incorrect... it is a wire to rope splice but it looks almost epoxied in nature??? Regardless, it has been plenty strong all these years.

The sheave channel is v shaped and only 5/32" wide at the edge. A 3/8" line would not fit. In fact the entire mast head slot that accomidates the sheave in only 9mm wide with the sheave itself being 5mm wide. The wire/line splice does NOT travel over the sheave.

The boat is a Stiletto racing cat so I have easy access to the mast base. As such, the halyards are cleated to the mast base.

I agree that a 4mm Dyneema line like AM steel would work fine with my mast head dimensions but would be murder on the hands and not cleat off very well. I don't think a thimble or knot to knot connection would work as the halyards are internal and there is a LOT of other lines in there (Jibx2, Spin, Main) I would be afraid of a nasty bind up. I would think I would need to splice the dyneema into a conventional poly 3/8" line for handling, cleating, and winching. Just not sure if it would work.

I have also thought of taking a dyneema cored rope and striping off the jacket to run only the core..... but it is difficult to know what effect that would have on the rope strength, durability, UV resistance, etc.
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Old 09-20-2009
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I had a Stiletto - this is easy.

I used low stretch line (1/4" Kevlar I believe) BUT I went to 2:1 purchase. I put a pad eye in the mast track very near the masthead (tie one end to that - do not splice because you will cut out 1-foot every 3 years) and used a bullet block at the head of the main. This makes the main easy to hoist with the thin line AND it reduces the stretch by cutting the load on the halyard in 1/2. Later, I used Stayset-x and was not very satisfied, though it worked OK. Just a little too much stretch, so go high-modulus. Get it 4 feet too long so that you can trim the top a few times.

This will require either dropping the mast or going for a climb.

I found the that the fiber halyard lasted about 10 years - the sheath takes the sun and the core does fine. A stripped halyard will not last so long.

You can also take you question to www.wildjibe.com

There is some Stiletto stuff on my blog, FYI.
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Old 09-20-2009
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I can more fully understand your setup now. I really don't know how you would go about doing a tapered splice between two different diameters of dyneema line or even between a regular double braid and the smaller single braid amsteel. As far as stripping off the cover off a spectra cored line, depends on how the core is made, if just parrallel strands of fiber I don't think so but if there is one with a braided core , then perhaps. I guess you need to research the construction of the various types of spectra line that might be suitable. The only problem might be some slippage of the remaining cover from the rest of the core, although that might not neccesarily happen and perhaps seizing it at the point where the cover begins might help.
I still think if you splice a very small loop in the 3/8"(or thereabouts size) tail, as if you were slicing it to a shackle, and then ran the 4mm amsteel through this small loop and then spliced that amsteel into another very small loop..ieulled tight around the larger loop, so that they are connected by the linkage of the two small loops, this would result in a pretty fair connection, you could even slip some shrink tube over this splice to further make a fair snag free connection.
I was just wracking my brain and I realized that I have in fact seen on some racing craft, where heavier covers were added to thin cores to make them light and run easily but still provide a tail with a good "hand". I will try to look up where I have seen this and what line was used tommorrow and get back to you....duh..dope slap...sometimes I just have to wake my brain up. Can't believe I forgot about that. Rick
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Old 12-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightsailor View Post
I was just wracking my brain and I realized that I have in fact seen on some racing craft, where heavier covers were added to thin cores to make them light and run easily but still provide a tail with a good "hand". I will try to look up where I have seen this and what line was used tommorrow and get back to you....duh..dope slap...sometimes I just have to wake my brain up. Can't believe I forgot about that. Rick

Guess his brain needs another "dope slap" since he never got back....
Just kidding..

I'm thinking of replacing my Externally run, wire to rope halyards also, on my 28 Newport.

I like the idea of Dynema or Vectron with a poly braided cover, but have not found good instructions on seizing the cover after stripping.
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Old 12-02-2010
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You don't want to seize the cover, you want to taper it and put it inside the core.

New England Ropes - Splicing Guide

http://www.samsonrope.com/site_files...StripCover.pdf
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Old 06-13-2011
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I have done this on my boat using 3/16 Amsteel to replace the wire in my masthead sheave. The sheave had a little bit of a U at the bottom of the V so we decided I didn't even have to rework the sheave but that is the correct way to deal with it, to reshape the sheave with a file for a U bottom. That done, I have made three different halyards all of which I have done some level of stress testing although not enough to test the ultimate strength. For example, on one I could only test to 1300 pounds but that is 4x what I can put on it with my winch so probably good enough. What I ended up with is 3/16 Amsteel the full length of the halyard with a 3/8 Tenex cover over the tail which gave me a 7/16 feel. I think if I had to do it over I would just take the 3/16 down to where it would be around the cleat when reefed and just use the Tenex for the rest of the way to save bulk and cost. I have also spliced 1/8 Amsteel to 1/4 Sta-set which scales to be the same as 3/16 Amsteel to 3/8 StaSet. I wrote it up complete with instructions and lots of pictures here: Halyard Splices. Tenex is not made for marine use but you can find it. It is a 12 strand polyester that is strong and cheap. It is ideal for adding the bulk you want for this application.

The only thing to look out for is that if you ever let go of the Amsteel end, it will go straight to the top of the mast. Consequently, I leave it attached to my main all the time and use what I call a halyard extender to hold it off the mast. It is just a piece of line with a cheap REI carabiner attached to the end of the boom.
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