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sloopyseconds 05-22-2015 03:56 PM

78 helms 24
hello everyone,
A friend and I just recently purchased a 78 Helms 24, from everything we have learned from research and the boat itself, not only did we get a great deal, but we have a pretty solid boat. We are working around the clock, well at least a few hours a day in or around the vessel to get her in shipshape. We are only missing a few things, a motor (which we are still debating if we think we can make a long shaft work, and if 4HP is enough... we have one we can borrow if so) a backstay, and the main block. We have made all the other renovations with a few bucks in 3M 5200 and SS hardware, and a tons of sweat equity. We are new to sloops ( I have sailed several Catamarans, and my father still owns a Hobie 18. We have all the original paperwork except the manual which we cannot find online. Our 2 main questions right now is what is our best bet for the backstay, and mainsheet blocks??? Right now we are considering a mainsheet block set made for the Catalina 25. Also my friend is in the aviation industry and can make all of our cables, so we are considering a simple split stay with a SS triangle. Any thoughts about those questions or this boat in general would be greatly appreciated we are young to the sport but have a huge passion to join the sailing community. also I am new to the site as well.

Thanks again -Jake

Lake Superior Sailor 05-23-2015 07:50 AM

Re: 78 helms 24
Welcome aboard! Why not rig to factory specs and go from there?...Dale

sloopyseconds 05-27-2015 08:46 AM

Re: 78 helms 24
well we are having trouble finding factory specs; however, this past weekend we were able to step the mast, and it turns out we will only need to replace the forward and aft lower stay cable on port side for now. Eventually we will replace them all. We are still new to sloops, and we are not quite sure about what main sheet to go with? Also for those small pulleys (blocks) all over the deck that are worn out but have a pop rivet through them, can we drill out the pop rivets, replace the pulley wheel, and use a bolt in place of the rivet to fix them?

SHNOOL 05-27-2015 08:59 AM

Re: 78 helms 24
Not sure what you mean by blocks all over the deck, but they are usually replaced (if we are talking about turning blocks, or deck organizers on the cabin top) en masse. Like these...

As for backstay consider an adjustable cascading backstay, it's easy to make, and honestly you can make it with amsteel single braid line if you want.

As for the mainsheet, the catalina 25 mainsheet tackle will work, however, if you have to buy new, the least expensive option that is still decent equipment is garhauer. However, you might get your best deal actually from catalinadirect (I know it's not a catalina)... but they have some great small boat deals on hardware for fully replacing stuff like that. This is a good example...
Catalina Direct: Mainsheet Block Kit, Stainless Steel, CP-18, CP-22, C-22, C-25

Oh and as a simple example of a cascaded backstay, this image pretty much tells it all...

Finally a how to (which is for my boat, the S2 7.9 so you will need to adjust the length of line that acts as the backstay to what is appropriate for you) to build a flicker (overkill for the Helms 24 and not necessary), but also the cascaded backstay... Note there are several tabs to the spreadsheet. Spectra and or amsteel blue will work, its easy to build the splices.

The last thing you mentioned was outboard, and 4hp long shaft... YES it'll work fine on flat water, with very little chop... if the winds get over 20mph or so, or waves over 2' you might be struggling a bit into the wind motoring. Given that I am assuming your main sailing venue is a lake, I suspect you'll be fine.

By the way, welcome to the site, and welcome (back) to the insanity (sailing).

sloopyseconds 05-27-2015 09:52 AM

Re: 78 helms 24
Thanks SHNOOL so much for the input. This is all really good information! When I said pulleys or blocks on the deck, I believe they are mostly guides for all the lines to lead aft. I am still learning my sailing lingo and I am not sure if they are called pulleys or blocks, but basically we have several in the cockpit where the mainsheet will connect to the track at the threshold of the cabin. There are some pulleys there to control the track and how far it can travel. some of those have bolts/screws through the wheels of the pulleys, while others are pop riveted, as well as pop riveted in place so they are fairly permanent. some of the wheels however are almost worthless so something must be done.

As for the motor, we actually took off the mount during our intensive inspection looking for rot around the transom but everything looked great. Realizing we were going to have an issue with any long shaft outboard being long enough, we actually lowered the mount by 3". we also now have a very nice Johnson long shaft 4hp as well as a Sears Game fisher 7.5hp long shaft 2 stroke. We will find out this weekend though if our extra 3" will work. And yes this summer we will be at the lakes around NC, but hopefully this fall or next spring we will be harboring her at a friends private dock in Oriental.

Thanks again for the information, we are already discussing which project is next!

SHNOOL 05-27-2015 10:58 AM

Re: 78 helms 24
Had to get a picture of a Helms 24 to get an idea of what/where you are dealing with hardware... looks like a companionway traveler (for end boom sheeting) a normal 4:1 mainsheet...
Lower mainsheet fiddle block with cam (note they call it a cam here) and becket.
Garhauer Marine Hardware -11087910
Upper mainsheet hardware

For the Jib it looks like the toe rail is used with genoa lead blocks with pins back to the winches (looks like 1" wide track 1/8" high, verify that before you buy stuff). Then cam cleats on the combing behind the winches...

I am not sure if your 1978 is the same as this as I think this is a 198x model, but probably is.
Genoa car that likely will work is the:
Garhauer Marine Hardware -11087911
Cam cleats (yes they call them jams here - don't get me started on the lose use of the term)
Garhauer Marine Hardware -11087912

If you are looking to remove sheaves (pulleys) from blocks and replace them due to wear, you CAN drill out the rivets with a bit the size of the hole in the sheave. But I would not replace them with bolts, replace them with stainless steel rivets of the same size (rivet tools are cheap, look for them near the rivets in your local hardware store). Garhauer, Defender, and catalinadirect have replacement sheaves. I know you don't think it now, but some of these sheaves have upwards of 800lbs of force on them while sailing. When they go, they go with extreme force (nothing like the viagra commercial, that's a J29 by the way - and being towed later on in the commercial).

sloopyseconds 06-02-2015 01:27 PM

Thanks again for the information, we took her out this past weekend to make sure she was water tight... which she was but it turns out: 1. These size boats are very difficult to launch and retrieve, and 2.our long shaft 4hp johnson was not long enough to be in the water even after we lowered the motor mount 3 inches the weekend before. We are now trying to find a extra long shaft motor with a little more HP. We are really curious what kind of motor the previous owner had because even a XL shaft would not have worked with the motor mount where it was. We also are considering modifying the motor mount to get another 5" of travel out of it, and buying larger long shaft motor. We are really focusing on get a solid system down for launching and motoring the boat before we invest several hundred in standing and running rigging. Does anyone else out there have a helms 24, and if so what motor do you use?

kwaltersmi 06-02-2015 02:11 PM

Re: 78 helms 24
Our first boat was a Helms 25 (older than the 24, and a swing keel). We used an 8 horsepower longshaft on an adjustable without issue. If you're just motoring in and out of the slip and marina, 4-8hp is plenty. If you plan to motor into head winds/seas in open water, I'd stick to 8hp or maybe a bit larger.

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