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Old 12-05-2012
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Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

I've been considering bringing my main halyard back to the cockpit. I've thought it would be a nice addition to my new slick Tides Marine track, new mid-boom sheeting, and stackpack. My rigger is giving me the pros and cons of bringing the main halyard aft to the cockpit. Mostly he is trying to persuade me to keep it at the mast ... but I would consider him to be a purist.

I'm working on creating a practical family boat ... I'm a casual sailor with small kids often in tow. There isn't a lot of white nuckle bluewater sailing going on.

I'd like to hear your thoughts. Bring the main halyard back to the cockpit or keep it at the mast? Which do you prefer?

Happy holidays.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Solo much, or do you always have a crew along...??

Sure is nice to have control in the cockpit of both lines and steerage...
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Solo ... even with family on board, I am essentially single handed.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Both.

Leave the winch on the mast. Add a self tailer to the cabin top and use a cleat instead of a stopper block.

Use a simple block at the base of the mast to run the halyard aft to the cockpit.

This will allow you to work at the mast if you choose and not get the halyard caught up in a stopper block.

This is the main problem with halyards run aft. If you need to run forward to help the main down it's pretty much a given that the halyard will foul in the stopper block, then your run back to clean that up and the main catches on something, then you run forward, repeat ad nauseum.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

I am thinking of doing the same. Sometimes I have someone competent aborad and alot of times I have my wife and kids or people who have never sailed before. Most of the time I end up raising the sails myself and hope the person I left at the tiller can keep us headed into the wind. I have not heard any negatives so I will be following this thread closely. Thanks for bringing the topic up.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

I like my main halyard at the mast, and I also sail solo or with wife and kid (quasi-solo). I think the main goes up and down faster/easier if you're there next to the mast. Less opportunity for problems and better ability to deal with them if they develop.
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

I ran mine back to the cockpit, but most of the time I raise it at the mast. It's just a block at the base of the mast, a cheek block on the cabin top, and a cam cleat for speed IF I need to drop the main in a hurry. My .02
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

The prior owner of my P35 had a couple of blocks installed on the cabin top and a winch next to the companion way so he would be able to run the main halyard back to the cockpit. I have a fully battened main so when I drop the main it never comes down cleanly because the battens always seem to get stuck which meant I still had to run to the mast to get the sail down. As a result I don't lead the main halyard to the cockpit.

When I singlehand I set the autopilot into the wind and run to the mast to lower the main.

When I painted the nonskid on my cabin top I took the blocks off, so I'm now committed to keeping the main halyard at the mast. In addition I didn't like having the extra blocks on the cabin top.
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

Ours is run back to the cockpit throuh a block on the mast collar through deck organizers and I am changing our old Shaefer stoppers to new Garhauer ones which I got at the boat show. Other lines run back though the Garhauer clutches include centerboard line, jib halyard, spinaker halyard, topping lift and two reefing points for the main.

Essentially we can run the boat from the clockpit. In addition our EZ jacks can be deployed from the cockpit. On the cabin top are 4 ST 2 speed winches, We also have a Tides Strong tracks and lowering and raising the full batten main sail is a cinch from the cockpit. No need for anyone to go topside in rainy weather, no need to go topside in rough weather, no need to go topside when single handing.....all safety increases. I say lead it back.

Dave
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Main Halyards - Back to cockpit or keep at mast?

I agree with Dave. My lines are all run back to the cockpit for a number of reasons:
1. It is much easier in a pinch with sailing solo or short handed to raise and lower the main from the cockpit. Although from the cockpit I need to use the winch more than I would at the mast, you are within arms length of all your major controls.
2. If you had an urgent problem, it is pretty easy to just "pop" the main halyard out of the cleat or stop and drop it to the boom without loosing control of the tiller/wheel for more than a second.
3. If you are using help while raising or lowering the main, it avoids the need (although not always the impulse) to yell at the crew helping, since they are right there, not forward on the cabin top.

I will admit, that on a full-crewed boat I would prefer to have the main halyard at the mast, but I rarely sail that way. Therefore, my set up is similar to Dave's and others and it works pretty well.
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