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post #1 of 10 Old 09-16-2010 Thread Starter
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The amazing disappearing halyard!

Went out for a solo sail out of Rock Creek, Maryland into the Patapsco River last night. I've been single handing a lot since my first mate got married, but I enjoy it and there's no better way to learn your boat. Still, this was a new one for me.

I have all my lines run back to the cockpit, with the main halyard on the starboard side and the jib's on the port side. The mainsheet is also on the starboard side, inboard of the main halyard. I motored out of the creek and turned into the wind to hoist the main, then cleated the halyard down. I turned to the port side for the jib halyard and... no halyard?

I looked over the side to see if it were trailing. No halyard. I looked forward to see if it were bunched up on the deck. No halyard. I thought about it for a moment: if it's not over the side, and it's not on the deck, then it must be...

My eyes slowly looked up, up, up to the top of the mast... where the jib halyard lay nestled at the top of the main. Somehow, it had become caught on the main as it lay along the boom, and went along for the ride when it went up. Heavy sigh.

Down with the main. Go get the jib halyard and return to the cockpit. Re-raise main and then raise jib.

And my wife says there's no exercise in sailing.

The rest of the evening went smoothly, except for a bit of excitement during a jibe. As the boom came across, rather than me letting out the mainsheet gently to its broad reach position, the sheet flew out of my hand somehow and out of the cockpit. Mad scramble ensues as the boat starting rounding up while I'm retrieving the sheet, jib booming and flying free as well. Luckily there was no serious wind (only 5-8 that evening), so no harm done. The worst thing about it was that the Wednesday night racers were gathered just a quarter mile or so off my starboard bow, and I can only imagine what they must have thought of that performance.

Nice evening, though. Always fun when you single hand.

S/V Free Spirit

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post #2 of 10 Old 09-16-2010
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I've been single handing my Pearson 28 this summer. I enjoy it, because it really makes you plan ahead, thinking through each step before you execute. It's a lot easier now that I put an autopilot on the boat and don't have to be at the helm every minute underway.

Best,
ChuckA
sailing a P28-1 Heart of Gold on Narragansett Bay

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-16-2010
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Stopper knots are your friends....

Sailingdog

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #4 of 10 Old 09-17-2010
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Agreed.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-17-2010
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Took a lot of courage to post that mishap, and we commend you for it.
Thanks for sharing, and for the heads up for the rest of us.

Dick
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-17-2010
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It goes without saying that there will always be witnesses. Chances are good nowadays that there will even be video evidence.

BTW, I have seen firedrills like that with crew aboard so you don't have much to be ashamed of.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-17-2010 Thread Starter
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I have stopper knots, but what I don't have are fairleads right by the cam cleats for the halyards.

The fairleads I have are add-ons to the cleats, and the thickness of the cabin top in those areas is too much for the longest stainless bolts I can get locally. I have a link to a mail order hardware place that has longer bolts, but I haven't got around to that yet. Therefore the halyards can be slurped out of the cockpit, though they can't get lost through the turning blocks at the bottom of the mast.

Courage for admitting my screw-ups? Maybe, but in my lifetime I've found that if you admit to your mistakes, people will better believe your achievements. Besides, how else with the young'uns learn?

S/V Free Spirit

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post #8 of 10 Old 09-17-2010
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Jas—

If you don't have fairleads between the cam cleats and the turning blocks at the base of the mast, put a stopper knot in the line that is positioned where the line exits the turning block when the line is at its normal "lowered" position. That would leave a long tail going back to the cam cleats and prevent the problem you experienced.

Sailingdog

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #9 of 10 Old 09-17-2010
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HA! HA!...........................Well somebody had to laugh right?...


Just kidding.....things like that happen...

I remember loosing a toggle pin in the back stay of my Mac one day...there I was back stay in one hand other griped to the stern rail...I looked like the human lightning rod dim-wit for about 5 min until I could manage enough quick intermittent releases between puffs of wind to un lash the tiller and turn 180 back upwind....I could see a wind riff line on the water a hundred yards ahead of me..If i would not have gotten that tiller unleashed I would have lost the mast....Ben Hur I am not..

Im so happy this was pre video days..

"Go Simple...Go Large"

Relationships are everything to me..everything else in life are just tools to enhance them.


The purchase price of a boat is just the admittance fee to the dance...you still have to spend money on the girl...so court one with something going for her with pleasing and desirable character traits others desire as well... or you could find yourself in a disillusioned relationship contemplating an expensive divorce.

Last edited by Stillraining; 09-17-2010 at 04:45 PM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-19-2010
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I rember spending 1/2 the day fighting with my boat. she gust fought me all over the place. after 1/2 the day was shot and I was getting ready to hang it up for the day, went to crank up the swing keel and it was up. I went into the cabin, looked in the mirror and called the guy in the mirror a big dummy.
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