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Old 05-31-2012
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knot for mainsail halyard

Hi there - be gentle with me, I'm new! Having crewed on various keelboats for a while, I recently bought a small dinghy sailboat, (FJ, Flying Junior). Anyway, the main halyard does not have a shackle for the head, and it looks like a bowline is the traditional knot used here, but I have issues - the knot hits the block at the masthead, and leaves the head about 4-5 inches from being fully raised, I guess because of the nature of this knot. I've tested using a round turn and two hitches, which seems to work just great and is easy to tie. Thoughts?
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: knot for mainsail halyard

Here you go:

Low profile main halyard knot
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: knot for mainsail halyard

There is another way....Thistle sailors are putting a ball on the end of the haylard...where the shackle would be.
Look at this site.....this explains it.....very simple and a cheap way to attach your main haylard. I have used this and works great.

attaching ropes to grommets
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: knot for mainsail halyard

A halyard knot- really similar to a clinch knot without the extra wraps. Used one an entire season with Sta-Set-wire with no problem. There really is no reason I can see why a clinch knot would not work even better although I've never heard anyone mention using one as a halyard attachment. Has a number of different names:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taut-line_hitch

Can't hurt to sew the end back with #92 thread.
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Re: knot for mainsail halyard

Thanks Gary - where to find the stopper ball, and wouldn't a stopper knot do the same thing?
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: knot for mainsail halyard

You can find the stopper ball at any marine store...West marine has them. They are the one wth the hole in the middle. Push the line through .... tie a knot and your done. I know this works great for the main haylard.....I have never used a stopper knot
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: knot for mainsail halyard

Related question for bigger boats: Do you think it will be more likely that I would loose th halyard up the mast without the weight of a shackle? (obviously I would try not to let go, but things happen)
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: knot for mainsail halyard

We just put a stopper knot at the end of the halyard, then push a bite of the line through the grommet (assuming the grommet is large enough for your line diameter) flip the knot through the loop, pull tight and voila! You will easily be able to hoist all the way to the masthead crane.

Ray
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: knot for mainsail halyard

thanks Irunbird - yes, that's exactly what Gary is doing with the ball, instead of your stopper knot. Sounds good.

Thanks for all the suggestions, here's a thought....since I'm just starting out, I'm thinking perhaps it's better to stay with tying knots on my boat instead of using shackles and stopper balls, etc. I think a sailor has to learn and use these knots regularly, and would worry that (for me) the use of other devices in place of knots might have me forget how to do them, when/if needed down the road. Plus, at least at this point, I kinda enjoy working with knots. I want to practice all elements of sailing, which includes knot tying. Thoughts on this?
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: knot for mainsail halyard

If you are worried about remembering how to tie knots then you need to buy a 6' piece of line and tie knots while watching TV. One of the things that is important on a sailboat is that there typically is a right way to do things, not doing it right can lead to a tragedy of errors that leads to broken bits.

Halyard knots are fine, but they are really oly used for, well halyards. The knot you really need to know, blind folded, wet, miserable, in the rain, cold, blindfolded, and drunk is how to tie a bowline. Everything else comes with time. But a bowline is the most knot used, and you aren't a sailor until you can tie one in any conditions.

That being said if you line rope work, there are soft shackles (similar to metal bits it made from line), splicing, and decorative stuff that all needs to be done onboard. You just have to spend the time to learn how. Heck with modern line, even standing rigging and lifelines are switching to line, thus increasing the work you can do yourself.
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