Tartan 27' owner
Join Date: Jan 2008
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One reason to not lead the halyards (main, jib, spin and topping lift) back to the cockpit and leave the at the mast is the size of your boat and it's cockpit.
In the cockpit you want to always be working with the sheets (main, jib & spin) when sailing. You don't want to have to figure out if a line is a sheet or a halyard. I'd leave all the halyards on the mast as they obviously raise and lower the sails (or spin pole) which is done much less frequently then adjusting the sheets. If you want to get color coded lines for the jib sheets that makes more sense in my opinion (red for port and green for starboard jib sheet).
For a normal sail without using the spinnaker you raise the halyards (jib and main) and go sailing. At the end of the sail you drop the sails.
For sailing and using the spinnaker you will need to access the spinnaker halyard to raise and drop it as well as the topping lift to adjust the pole. To raise the spinnaker someone needs to be on the foredeck anyway so it might be useful for the person up there to be able to access the halyard and topping lift. Once the spinnaker is launched you usually lower the jib temporarily so it is good to have that halyard accessible by the foredeck person.
I will suggest that if you only added one simple 'horn cleat' to your mast you would be ahead of the game and you would not have to drill any holes in your boat or mess with backing plates.
I owned and sailed a 19' Lightning 1 class racing sailboat that I flew the spinnaker on. It was rigged as I am suggesting. You really do not want the cockpit awash with various lines all getting tangled together. Trust me on this.
You are going to need to buy some longer lines to use as spinnaker sheets for your boat anyway. Save your money for those and by all means get red or red-flecked line for the port sheet and green for the starboard (right).
At a minimum I will suggest that you not undertake re-routing your halyards until you have actually flown the spinnaker. You will understand how confusing it can get with 1 main sheet, 2 jib sheets and 2 spinnaker sheets/guy and topping lift. The last thing you want to have is a confused crew member letting out a halyard instead of a sheet.
Keep the halyards/topping lift on the mast for now. Add 1 more cleat at the bottom or do as Knothead suggested for only 1 cleat and see if you like it or not. Putting more hardware on your deck or in your cockpit will only make it more difficult to get around the mast up to the fore deck.
This is only my opinion but I think it has merit.
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