Chafing on mainsail halyard - SailNet Community

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Old 03-18-2011
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Chafing on mainsail halyard

Last spring I had my yacht yard replace my chaffed mainsail halyard. When I put the boat away for the winter, I notices significant chaffing on the new line. As I prepare for the new season (and want to do as much myself as is possible) I have two concerns. 1) Replacing the line and 2) finding the source of the chafe. I stored her with the mast up so this means likely going aloft.

I have a 95 Beneteau Oceanis 281 with in-mast furling. The chafe is about a foot from the head shackle. I occasionally get a mast/boom hum in windy situations and I think itís a taut line vibrating. That could explain where the movement for the chafe would come from on a line that gets adjusted twice a year.

I am comfortable with using a messenger to replace the halyard but it strikes me as a waste without identifying and fixing the source of chafe. Should I mention that I would prefer to have my first time aloft be on the hard?

Any ideas what the source could be or what to look for aloft? I think itís best to go up before replacing the line so I can get a better idea what itís chaffing on.
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Old 03-18-2011
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I've read in many places and been told by several knowledgeable people that you should not go aloft with the boat on the hard. Apparently it is much safer with the boat in the water. I'm afraid I don't have any advice for the rest of your problem.
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Old 03-18-2011
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Splash is better than splat, in my opinion. I might suspect the sheeve or roller that your halyard rests on all year. It may be worn broken, may have a burr on it. Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2011
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Going aloft with the boat on the hard is NOT a matter of where you might land, if you fall from the top of the mast you will almost certainly hit the deck with the boat in the water or on stands. The problem is that with the boat on stands the force of the lever-arm induced by your mass at the top of the mast is enormous (i.e., many times your weight). The yard will probably object to you climbing the mast as they don't want to liable for the resultant mess (as in the boat AND you).

As to the chafing, it sounds like you have the wrong sized sheave at the top of the mast. Was the boat originally rigged for wire-rope halyards and you switched to all rope? Is the diameter of the rope the same as the original? The rope should sit comfortably within the concave surface of the sheave.

You will almost certainly have to go to the top of the mast to address this issue, just DON'T do it with the boat on stands.
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Old 03-18-2011
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point taken on going aloft on hard.

I am unsure of original diameter. Plus, there was an issue that required a boat unit of work of the head of the furler so the replacement parts could be sized wrong.

Sounds like the thing to do is take a camera aloft.
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Old 03-18-2011
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This is also a good plug for getting halyards ~ 4 feet longer than required; they can be trimmed. In your case it may be a simple repair, other boats suffer from chronic chafe because the splice or knot is up tight against the sheave.
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

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