Main Halyard length - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-19-2008 Thread Starter
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Main Halyard length

Is there a rule of thumb regarding the length of the main halyard?
I figure it should be about 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 times the height of the mast.
Does this sound about right?
The halyard is not led aft on my boat.
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1989 Hunter 30'
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-19-2008
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Deck to truck of mast and back to deck, assuming the halyard isn't led away from the mast.
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-19-2008
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If left at the mast, 2-2.1x the ht of the mast would be ample. if led aft, then add the distance to the back of the cabin top plus 2-3' for wrapping around the winch initially if need be.

If you really wanted to be on the thin side for halyard, 1.8-1.9x the length of the mast may work too! The boom is 3-5' off the base of the mast, as is the actual attachment point!

2.5x might be needed if led aft depending upon the boat. My 30'r with a 38' mast I use 90' halyards that are run aft. I have plenty of line! Some time too much if one were to ask me.


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post #4 of 14 Old 04-20-2008
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Yes, but you can solve the problem of "too much halyard" with a knife, a lighter and a stopper knot.
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-20-2008
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I like a little extra main halyard, in case I need to use it as a topping lift, emergency backstay, or to help hoist something aboard. So rather than measuring straight up and down the mast, I would measure up the mast and back to the chainplate for the backstay, adding a bit for wiggle room and splicing a shackle.


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post #6 of 14 Old 04-20-2008
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Main Halyard

Per John Pollard the real issue is hoisting SOMEONE back aboard. Brian Toss replaced my main halyard and he always allows enough length to hoist someone back aboard.
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-21-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your recommendations.

Some great ideas.
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1989 Hunter 30'
Southern Georgian Bay

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. - Jacques Yves Cousteau
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-21-2008
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One day a man asked Abraham Lincoln how long a man's legs should be.

Abraham Lincoln answered:

"Long enough to reach the distance between his body and the floor".

And that pretty much answers your question
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-21-2008 Thread Starter
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I'm sure Abraham Lincoln was a very wise man, but

if the halyard should be long enough to reach the ground, wouldn't the required length vary according to water depth?

I guess I'll never be smart enough to be president.

I think I'll just go see a show....

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Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
One day a man asked Abraham Lincoln how long a man's legs should be.

Abraham Lincoln answered:

"Long enough to reach the distance between his body and the floor".

And that pretty much answers your question

1989 Hunter 30'
Southern Georgian Bay

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. - Jacques Yves Cousteau
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-21-2008
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Flying...what I mean with my answer is that the lenght is that one that allows the halyard to come down to the deck at the bow (in case one day you need extra support up front) and still be tied or cleated at the other end.
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