need to replace running rigging on PS34 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-24-2016 Thread Starter
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need to replace running rigging on PS34

For some reason, the yard pulled out most of my halyards and wrapped them around the head stay and the aft stay. As I was untangling them and putting them where they are supposed to go, I noticed that at least one of them had visible fraying, and the majority of them look really weathered (and they seem to have swelled, because they don't fit well in my self-tailing winches - they sometime pop out under load!). I think it is safe to say that all those lines need to be replaced.

And now for my question: As I can't climb the mast myself and I don't want to pay someone $100+/hr to do so, does anyone have experience/suggestions for how I might change out the jib, staysail, and main halyards without going up the mast? All of them are external to the mast, so I was thinking that maybe I could somehow fasten one end of the new line to one end of the existing line and pull it through. Problem with that is the fact that the lines cannot be tied together because the knot would get caught in the turning block at the masthead.

If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them!
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Re: need to replace running rigging on PS34

Tape, or better yet stitch and tape the lines together in as tight/narrow a 'splice' as you can make. The last thing you want is for the temporary splice to come apart part way up.

OR.. get some small strong twine, use the old halyard to pull that through to create a 'messenger line', then use that line to pull in the new halyard. This avoids the possibility of a bulky splice causing problems. However sometimes the transition from messenger to halyard can get caught up in the block if it doesn't lead fairly (again, some tape but not too much, helps here)

With today's lines you can definitely downsize and maintain the strength, but keep in mind the 'hand' and also the minimum that will grab in your tailers.
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I have not done this before but I believe it would work. Try heat shrink tubing that you can buy in the electrical department at a hardware store. It comes in different diameters. You can use the size that is the smallest that will fit over the ends of the rope.

Center the tubing on both ends of the two pieces of rope and shrink it with a flame or heat gun. It shrinks and will hold on tight to the rope. Tug on it a little bit to see if it is holding well enough to pull through the pulley. Flex the heat shrink tubing a little bit so that it bends and I believe that would work. I know I have pulled rope through places by joining them with duct tape. But I never tried this on a halyard on a mast.

Last edited by midwesterner; 04-24-2016 at 11:25 AM.
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Re: need to replace running rigging on PS34

I'd still take a needle and some whipping twine and put a long stitch or two across the butt ends. Hitting a 'tight spot' on the way through and giving it a tug, then feeling it come apart and both halves tumbling to the deck... not a good moment. (DAHIKT...)
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Re: need to replace running rigging on PS34

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Tape, or better yet stitch and tape the lines together in as tight/narrow a 'splice' as you can make. The last thing you want is for the temporary splice to come apart part way up.

OR.. get some small strong twine, use the old halyard to pull that through to create a 'messenger line', then use that line to pull in the new halyard. This avoids the possibility of a bulky splice causing problems. However sometimes the transition from messenger to halyard can get caught up in the block if it doesn't lead fairly (again, some tape but not too much, helps here)

With today's lines you can definitely downsize and maintain the strength, but keep in mind the 'hand' and also the minimum that will grab in your tailers.
Listen to Faster. I've used both techniques, with the messenger line working best.

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Re: need to replace running rigging on PS34

Thanks to all for the great ideas!
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Re: need to replace running rigging on PS34

I sewed the old to the new butt to butt. Stitched them together at least a dozen or so times. I used waxed twine. Never had a problem.

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Re: need to replace running rigging on PS34

Getting to the top and truck was easy up the ratlines. Shinneying up the last 15 ft of topmast was a challenge.
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Re: need to replace running rigging on PS34

Before I added mast steps I used rock climbing gear to climb the mast (don't trust other people to haul me up) and used dedicated rock climbing rope to do so (halyards did not glide through my Grigri ascender), so I frequently swapped my main halyard with the climbing rope as described by Skipper Jer. As an added precaution I wrapped the butt splice with some blue painters tape after stitching them together. This kept the "joint" together and ensured that my knots in the splicing thread did not come untied. I've done it dozens of times without issue.

And I second Lantau's post - Mast steps are awesome and make the whole operation of going up the mast no harder than climbing a ladder (well one that sways around as the boat rocks).

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Re: need to replace running rigging on PS34

I tried tape by itself but was really worried about it coming apart if I hit a jam. Also worried about the bulk it added when going through the blocks. Then I found this video. Great guide on how to splice the two together with a palm and sail thread. Picked up the kit at West Marine. Had the new jib halyard in in less than thirty minutes.

Another tip. If you don't have one, get a rope knife as well. I bought mine thinking I would only use it rarely but I seem to need it every week or two lately. Makes cutting today's modern lines a snap and since it burns through it eliminates fraying altogether.

https://youtu.be/J4BYQY_2jbU
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