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wire halyards damaging mast
I've had these half wire/line halyards on this old sailboat for 38 years now and just took down the mast to change the halyards and found quite a bit of damage on top of the mast from the wire thimble scrapping against the mast. It has made grouve for about a 18" or so down from the top. It's quite a mess, but it looks like it'll survive. I wanted to change to all rope halyards, but now now that I see the sheeves are will only accomodate wire halyards and the mast head has been welded on all around, I think I'm stuck with half wire halyards.
My problem is how to repair the damaged mast or at least protect it from any further damage. The damage must be occurring when I'm sailing and while the wire thimble and snap shackle are at the top of the mast. I was thinking of wrapping some hard plastic material around the mast at that damaged area, or maybe wrapping the wire thimble and the snap shackle with rubber or something like that.
Does anybody have any suggestions on how to prevent damage to the mast with wire/line halyards. Of course, I pull then halyards far away from the mast when it is at anchor so that is not the problem.
any help would be greatly appreciated.