Wire to rope Halyard Splice - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 03-16-2010
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Wire to rope Halyard Splice

I was asked recently if I would help a friend of mine go aloft to replace the steaming light on his Pearson 30, He has no bosun chair and has never done this before. I brought my bosun chair and inspected the halyard and found that it was too short to use above the wire to rope splice and told him that I would not hoist him unless we could use an un-spliced section, I explained the safety issue and told him no eyes, swages, or splices. We tried to run the 3/8" line back thru the mast head and it would not pass either because of the stiffness of the splice or clearance for the larger line diameter. I thought I would ask if anyone knows if the sheeves on this model Pearson are too narrow for the 3/8" braid "tail"? I will still have to nicropress the headboard shackle in the wire section if a wire halyard has to be used. I,m sure he is going to be shocked at how much extra braid he needs to allow use of the section for going aloft...
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Old 03-16-2010
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Not sure, but if you're going to go through all of this, why not replace his wire-to-rope halyards with all line ones. A 5/16" dyneema or spectra core line would be stronger than the wire and the 3/8" he's got currently. It'd also weigh a lot less and stretch less. The only caveat is that you'd have to inspect the masthead sheave and make sure there are no burrs or damaged areas that might chafe the new halyard. You'll probably also want a new sheave with a u-shaped groove profile on the sheave.
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Thanks Dog

Thats exactly my intention, I would run the new line thru the masthead using the old halyard but i suspect the sheaves are too narrow. The rig really needs to come down for inspection and maintainance but times are tough and all he wants is to repair the steaming light. The only reason for wire halyards if you think about it is windage and having them for casual sailing is a hassle more often than not!
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Old 03-16-2010
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I just went through this. Dog is right, about the dyneema, but again, you have to get to the top of the mast to inspect & maybe replace the sheaves (unless you plan on unstepping the mast).

I understand your concern about eyes or swages, but what's wrong with a splice? I thought the whole purpose of a splice was to make a connection that was as strong as the original rope?

How high up is his light? If he's not running one of those combo units at the top of the mast, perhaps he can reach it by putting a ladder on the deck, against the mast. That's not my preference, I've just heard of it being done.

I understand why wire halyards came into play, they just seem like a bad idea.
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would you be more comfortable with two lines attached? Toss the main halyard shackle end forward over the spreader and attach both the main and foresail halyard to the chair. Use two people to hoist him the odds of both failing are slim. Also have him climb on the way up and down don't try to pull his full weight up the mast. Just an idea, I do it with my wire rope splices and I'm ok with it. I can't speak for the condition of his lines though.
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The problem is that a wire-to-rope splice can be harder to inspect for damage or condition.

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Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I just went through this. Dog is right, about the dyneema, but again, you have to get to the top of the mast to inspect & maybe replace the sheaves (unless you plan on unstepping the mast).

I understand your concern about eyes or swages, but what's wrong with a splice? I thought the whole purpose of a splice was to make a connection that was as strong as the original rope?

How high up is his light? If he's not running one of those combo units at the top of the mast, perhaps he can reach it by putting a ladder on the deck, against the mast. That's not my preference, I've just heard of it being done.

I understand why wire halyards came into play, they just seem like a bad idea.
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Old 03-16-2010
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Unsinkable 2: Klemheist Mast Climbing System

I use this system when climbing without a winch-grinder. It is cumbersome and slow, but extremely safe. Basically it is similar to a one-line climbing system like a top climber... However your static line is the mast.

You can even hook a halyard up to yourself for extra safety.

I realize that this isn't viable for doing a ton of work aloft, but it could work in a pinch (like the OP's situation.)
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Old 03-16-2010
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I went up our mast a couple of months ago. We have wire/rope splices too. I first tested the the halyard by hanging on it prior to being winched up.

Then, like Tager's contraption above, I used 2 prusik-type back-ups on the mast (changing from one to the other at the spreaders). I then tied off at the top and did my thing.

It was a breeze. The more back-up you can have, the better. After rock climbing for years, this was far less sketchy than trusting a #3 chock to hold on a 40' whipper.
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Old 03-16-2010
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I kinda went through this also. I didn't trust the old wire halyards so I cut one end of the wire halyard and then taped a 1/2" climbing rope to it and pulled it through.
I thought it might not fit through(fortunately it did) but if it didn't fit through, I was prepared to add some clamps to the wire halyard to better secure it and then go aloft on the one that didn't have the end cut off.
You can always drop the mast, but I didn't want to spend the money and the risk seemed minimal to me, even if I had to add some clamps to be sure of the strength.
You have to get up there and see if you have sheaves for wire or sheaves for rope, depending on what you are going to replace it with.
I agree with dog on the 5/16" line.
BTW I use climbing caribbeaners, harness and rope, because that's what I have on hand. I wouldn't be scared of a splice as long as it is done right. Climbers always use knots though. I have never seen a climber use a knot, so they can't be that bad.
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Last edited by HermitScott; 03-16-2010 at 04:31 PM.
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