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post #1 of 22 Old 10-22-2019 Thread Starter
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Converting to internal halyards

I did this project back in 2015, but I was reminded of it when going through my old photos. My Catalina 22 came with two external wire-to-rope halyards that tied off to cleats on the mast. I put up with that for one season!

I purchased the masthead sheaves from Catalina Direct. They fit perfectly and allowed me to run four halyards, instead of just two.

My mast is oval shape, so fitting the exit blocks was a bit of a challenge. I also wanted all four to exit on the same side, which raised additional issues.

I cut some small spacers out of G10 for the upper exit block so that it would protrude from the mast to allow space from the lines that run through the lower exit block. I used thickened epoxy to hold everything in place, then drilled and tapped for screws.

I used a tape measure as a fish to pull the halyards up, making sure not to twist them. Two exit out the back of the mast for the main halyard and the topping lift, and two exit out the front of the mast for the jib halyard and a spare.

I used a deck organizer to route them back to a clutch at the cockpit. (Only a triple shown here, a double was added later on the other side of the handrail so I have all four halyards and my reefing line in clutches.)

I love having the lines run back to the cockpit. It makes it so much easier to single hand. You barely have to leave the tiller to raise a sail, and if you want to drop one all you have to do is pop the clutch.

When I have guests it’s much easier to get them involved. If I had said “Scramble up the mast, pull the red line, then tie it off with a cleat hitch,” I would have received blank stares. But now I can say “Reach over your shoulder and pull the red line. Check it you, you’re hoisting a jib, you’re a sailor!”

Internal Halyards edited



















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Last edited by Minnesail; 10-23-2019 at 02:35 PM.
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post #2 of 22 Old 10-22-2019
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Re: Converting to internal halyards

Well done M. I can understand the advantage in running the lines through clutches but I'm not sure why the lines need to be in the mast. Our halyards are all external and have never been a problem.
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post #3 of 22 Old 10-22-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Converting to internal halyards

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Originally Posted by paulinnanaimo View Post
Well done M. I can understand the advantage in running the lines through clutches but I'm not sure why the lines need to be in the mast. Our halyards are all external and have never been a problem.
I guess they don't slap in the wind, and there's less to get tangled?

How do you run yours outside? On myy original outside setup the halyards went up one side, over the sheaves, and down the other. That only leaves room for two. I guess my spinnaker halyard goes through a block that just kinda dangles there. That's an option.

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post #4 of 22 Old 10-22-2019
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Re: Converting to internal halyards

Sounds like a great project Minn.

All my halyards (five, plus a topping life, plus two running backs) run external. I’ve never yet owned a boat with most lines leading aft, although I’ve sailed on many. There are some great advantages, but I prefer the simplicity of working at the mast.

I think this very much depends on the boat though. Mine was designed with good mast working space, and a cabin and deck that is safe and easy to move around on. A boat designed in the opposite direction is not one I appreciate being at the mast on.

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post #5 of 22 Old 10-22-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Converting to internal halyards

Bugger all. The pictures went away. Oh well, the link still goes to the photo album.

At the mast is kinda sucky on my little boat. It's a very small area.

It's made sailing so much nicer for me. I like to sail up to the dock. I get close, then head up into near irons briefly and pop the clutch on the main—it falls neatly into the stack back. Then I turn back and head toward the dock. When I'm close enough that my momentum will carry me in I pop the clutch on the jib. Then I coast up the dock with no motor and both sails already down.

I'm sure on bigger cruising boats it's not a big deal to go to the mast. Like if you're only raising the main once a day or something.

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Re: Converting to internal halyards

Our boat has 3 halyards but only the mainsail halyard is used every sail; it runs to a sheave at the masthead and down the port side of the mast to a turning block near the base, to a cheek block on the deck, and back to the clutch. The gennaker halyard does the same thing but on the starboard side. The headsail is on a roller furler, once it is raised the halyard is permanently cleated off. The topping lift is at a fixed length and so it needs no halyard.
I am not suggesting that internal halyards are a bad idea, I just don't think it's worth the trouble to install them.
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-22-2019
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Re: Converting to internal halyards

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...I like to sail up to the dock. I get close, then head up into near irons briefly and pop the clutch on the main—it falls neatly into the stack back. Then I turn back and head toward the dock. ...
Yeah… if you see me sailing into the dock, you better get outta the way .

With 15 tons of boat under me, I don’t sail into close quarters, especially not near other boats.

I always sailed my 22-footer in, and usually my 26-footer, but once I got to my 34-footer the days of sailing into the dock were largely over. Now with my 37-footer, I’d easily choose to anchor out rather than attempt to sail into a tight marina. And I know my fellow boaters would agree with my chicken choice .
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Re: Converting to internal halyards

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Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
..... I get close, then head up into near irons briefly and pop the clutch on the main—it falls neatly into the stack back. Then I turn back and head toward the dock. When I'm close enough that my momentum will carry me in I pop the clutch on the jib.....
That's interesting. I'd drop sails the other way around, because the main can essentially self tack if I needed it to.


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post #9 of 22 Old 10-23-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Converting to internal halyards

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That's interesting. I'd drop sails the other way around, because the main can essentially self tack if I needed it to.
I need to be mostly head-to-wind for the main to drop nicely, whereas the jib will drop at any point of sail (except in heavy wind).

If I know for sure that I'll be pointing into the wind once I'm tied off I will drop the jib first and sail in on the main

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Re: Converting to internal halyards

I think I fixed my image links:



















Catalina 22
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