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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI , have a 31.5 Hughes Columbia (1982) and am trying to find the forestay length (and if possible the backstay length) to have it (them) replaced - forestay seems to be broken inside furler foil.

Is there a resource online for this - any info would be appreciated.
 

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HI , have a 31.5 Hughes Columbia (1982) and am trying to find the forestay length (and if possible the backstay length) to have it (them) replaced - forestay seems to be broken inside furler foil.

Is there a resource online for this - any info would be appreciated.

It's really not a good idea to have new rigging fabricated using specs that you get from anywhere except from the old rigging.
Especially on a boat from 1982.

Remove the furler, pull the wire out of it, hold the broken ends together if necessary and measure it.
 

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or use your halyard to pull up a tape to measure it, then use a stalock/norseman etc to finish the length if your furler will let you use a non swag fitting
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The problem may have been that the forestay was too long and wrapped itself around the halyard - not sure yet. But I can't get it repaired until I havea measurement to give to the guy re-rigging it. Additionally it appears that I will have to de-step the mast as well - this is quickly turning into a major headache - but all is meaningless if I don't have a correct length or specs.

Columbia owners site doesn't actually even refer to my boat which is worrisome
 

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The problem may have been that the forestay was too long and wrapped itself around the halyard - not sure yet. But I can't get it repaired until I havea measurement to give to the guy re-rigging it. Additionally it appears that I will have to de-step the mast as well - this is quickly turning into a major headache - but all is meaningless if I don't have a correct length or specs.

Columbia owners site doesn't actually even refer to my boat which is worrisome

You need to do a little research about halyard wrap. The halyard wraps around the headstay if the angle between the halyard swivel and the forestay is less than about 15 degrees or if the halyard swivel is too low.
With the proper use of what is called a halyard restrainer or sometimes a pennant placed between the tack and the drum or between the halyard swivel and the head of the sail and sometimes both, halyard wrap can be prevented.
Please, Please, contact a reputable local rigger. He should be able to secure the mast with a spare halyard or even a line thrown over the spreaders and remove the furler and headstay. He will then replace the wire in the furler and reinstall it. There should be no reason to unstep the mast unless there is more to the story that you've not revealed.
Even if you get a reliable headstay length from the internet. Someone is still going to have to remove the furler and install the new wire.

I repeat. The only good forestay measurement is the one you get from the old forestay.
 

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jacksonboat,
Please let me help you through this. I've been doing this stuff for a living for a long time. If you would like, send me a PM and I will give you my phone number and we can speak directly.
I think you will need to make one more post to PM however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks knothead, this a real pain for me.

I certainly am having a professional do this. Problem with getting at this from the mast for the rigger is that I have a main halyard for him to get up in the bosuns chair and then another halyard for security, but don't have another to let the furler down. the halyward for the furler itself is acting in place of the forestay right now.

you can email me your number if you wish at xxxxxxxxxx not sure your time zone but appreciate any advice.

thanks
 

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If there is a shortage of spare halyards. The simple solution is to hang a couple more.
If you have a spinnaker bail, the rigger can hang a double block from it and there you have two spares.

You might want to edit your previous post to remove your email address. SailingDog, can explain why. But I think you may be opening yourself up for problems.

PM me. Or just keep posting. Posting is probably better so that others can chime in.
 

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Even if there is no spin. bail, you can attach a double block to the end of one of the halyards that you have available. You get at least one more available to use then.

If the mast has forward lower shrouds, then you really don't need to be too concerned about the mast falling.

If you don't, as I mentioned before, throw each end of a line forward over the spreaders on each side of the spar. Take them forward as far as you can and secure them to the rails on each side of the bow as tight as you can. Then take a separate line and bind or wrap them together. That will tighten them up, thus stabilizing the mast forward.
 

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Adam,
After looking at the photos, I have to revise my guess. I was thinking that halyard wrap had caused the the wire to part from the upper swage fitting. I can see that is not the case.
The likelihood that the wire parted someplace inside the furler is small. My best guess at this point is that the lower terminal unscrewed from the drum.
As we discussed, the Harken drum is in fact a turnbuckle. There is something that they call a locking collar that the lower terminal passes through.
http://www.harken.com/pdf/mk2-1-pl.pdf
If it's a swage fitting, the collar tightens down on a what they call a plastic insert which is supposed to keep the stud from turning.
If the lower terminal is a mechanical fitting, the plastic insert is discarded and the locking collar tightens up against the bottom of the fitting. Thereby locking it.
I believe that your lower terminal must have somehow unscrewed itself.

Again, the only way to know for sure is to remove the furler and check it out.

I am looking forward to hearing the outcome of this mystery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Could be - I guess we'll see how this plays out. Before the sail was taken down the halyard and the stay were in fact twisted around eachother though, so your initial observation may still be correct. I will let you know. Thanks again for the advice and input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok - Knothead - you are THE man.....your diagnoses was dead on. I pulled the forestay put of whatever it is secured into in the furler system. Rigger disassembled, measured the old length, resecured the forestay and we are good to go......

Kudos on the diagnoses from such a distance and only by photo!
 
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