When we went to take down our furling jib, we undid the halyard, but when the jib got about 3 ft down, it seemed to get stuck on something. We have a 39 CC Pearson, and I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but want to give all the info. When we looked up, it seemed a round, small baskety, softball size thing at the top of the jib, left half of itself behind, and with the bottom half of it still attached, seemingly, it could not come all the way down. We think something must have broken, and cannot tell without going up in a bosun's chair. We are in CT, and it is getting windy and cold. If someone has some thoughts on what we are doing wrong, or doing nothing wrong, but someone has to go up, please let me know. Thank you for your help. Hoping we are doing something wrong, and someone out there just tells us what, and everything will work. Maureen O'Donnell, Bridgeport, CT
I hope you've solved your problem by now. If not, it sounds to me like you might have some halyard wrap up near the top of your headstay.
The jib/genoa halyard can get wrapped around the headstay/foiler extrusion up near the top. Sometimes with luck you can unwind it by spinning the furled headsail around the extrusion, or even shaking enough slack into the halyard to allow you to drop the sail, then unwind the halyard from the headstay. If you're less lucky, you may have to send someone up the mast to unwind the halyard,
That "round, small baskety, softball size thing at the top of the jib, left half of itself behind, " is actually part of the furling hardware. As you know, there is a furling drum down near the tack of the sail. Attached to the head of the sail, there is a furling "swivel". That swivel unit slides up the foiler extrusion when you hoist the sail up with the halyard. When it gets to full height, the swivel nests into a fixed top terminal, which is probably the component that you described as "left behind."
The best way to prevent halyard wrap in the future, is to install a halyard restrainer
, which holds the halyard away from the swivel and headstay at a correct angle for hoisting. These get installed on the mast a few inches below where the halyard exits the upper sheave, and are well worth the investment.