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Old 06-01-2015 Thread Starter
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masthead flag halyard

Anyone out there have a masthead flag halyard (for flying club burgees/pennants)? I'd like to rig one on my boat but am looking for ideas on how to configure it such that flying a burgee wouldn't obscure/interfere with my windex, VHF antenna, etc. I saw a photo today of a boat that had a staff on the masthead that was tall enough for the burgee to fly above the windex and VHF antenna, but couldn't see any detail.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2015
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Re: masthead flag halyard

Most boats I've seen (including mine) with too much masthead clutter fly burgees/pennants from flag halyards on the spreaders... but if you want to try a masthead one:

1. You'll need a flag halyard up there first. Assuming there isn't one, the easiest/neatest/simplest way to retrofit one is to mount a small cheek-block on one side of the mast head, on the opposite side of your VHF antenna/windex. etc. (or the side that's as clear as possible) and run the halyard to a cleat on the side of the mast down at gooseneck level.

2. Tie the pennant to one end of a suitable length of aluminium tube and tie the tube to the flag halyard in two places - middle and near the other end - using clove hitches.

..and haul away. Pointy end first.

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Old 06-02-2015
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Re: masthead flag halyard

It sounds like you may have lots of delicate stuff up there on the top of your mast. Do you really want a staff and flag up there? Might be just as good to rig up a spreader halyard for club, personal pennants and courtesy flags. A stern staff or backstay halyard for the national flag.
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Old 06-02-2015
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Re: masthead flag halyard

Replace your flimsy vhf wire whip antenna with a 2 or 3ft fiberglass antenna. Use the new antenna as your flagstaff.

I thought of doing something similar with my Formosa 41, which looked like a pirate ship. I always wanyed to fly one of those really long masthead flags like you saw on the tallships.

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Re: masthead flag halyard

Even if you rig a tall enough pole on a proper halyard, you are still going to need to raise and lower it past your windex, your speed wheel, if you have one, etc. Way too much to go wrong and expensive fixes, especially if you're not going up the mast to fix them. I would pass.


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Re: masthead flag halyard

I also wanted to do this, but realized there was too much stuff. Instead I simply use a spare halyard to haul it up my backstay. It got to the top and achieved the same effect.


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Re: masthead flag halyard

Thanks for your reply. I checked out fiberglass VHF antennas, most were three or four feet long. Can one drill a hole in one of those near the top to put a small turning block on it so that one can haul a burgee all the way up there, or are you suggesting permanently affixing a burgee to the antenna (and having to climb the mast to take it down)?
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Old 06-07-2015
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Re: masthead flag halyard

No, you don't even think about drilling holes in a fiberglass antenna.

You might consider having a machine shop make up a 2-3' tall aluminum heavy wall tube, and mounting your flag halyard pulley on that. Then mounting the VHF antenna clear on the TOP of that extension. The machine shop can make it work.

If there's an anemometer or other stuff to get in the way...take them a picture of what is up there now, bring it all down, ask them how to fab up that extension to keep everything happy.
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