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Hi,

My main halyard and my jib halyard need replacing. I have heard that this can be done without going to the top of the mast using a "messenger line."

Is anyone familiar with this procedure? How do you do it?

Any help is appreciated thank you.

Rick
 

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A messenger is a small line that you attach to the existing halyard and long enough to pull up and back down the mast ending up with both ends at the bottom of the mast. Then you remove the old halyard from the line and attach the new one and pull it back up the mast. If no halyard is on the mast your going up. Which isn't a bad idea since it is a good time to inspect the sheaves anyway.
 

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One of None
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We just sewed the new halyard to the old and used tape to make the joint smooth. (you have to cut the loop or shackle off the end of the old halyard also, since that is where you will need to connect to the new. easy job, nothing to fear unless you don't make sure the lines are very well connected. no real need for a messenger of smaller dia.
good luck!
 

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I just use the existing halyard. Take the new halyard and put it end-to-end with the old halyard. Sew it with whipping twine to the old halyard by gong through the old halyard, then the new halyard, then repeat. Do about 4 stitches through each line. Use electrical tape to tape over the ends of both new and old as well as the stitching. Wrap the tape tight and cover 8-10 inches on both sides. Then just pull the new line through with the old. The tape is flexible enough to take the corners and the twine will keep the two ends from pulling apart.
 

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Irrationally Exuberant
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Did the same as Denise030 and Raindog. Let the old halyard bring in its replacement.
 

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Second the other suggestions, but no need to whip - if you have the 8 or so inches to use duct tape, electrical - etc - and have no major resistance - your good to go. As a fall back - I always also use that mylon (sp) line attached a few inches above the joint (tape thread it etc) where it all goes as a backup.
 

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I needed the old halyard to get the length right, and to do the splicing off the boat (could have spliced on deck, but it's a PITA when it's connected to a mast... ). I used a messenger line. Really simple. I used a spool of cheap surveyors line. That bright colored twine that you see around constrcutions sites. The spool was 3$ at my local hardware store. Then its just like everybody said, whip the two lines together cover in tape and pull through.

Only thing to watch is when you pull the old halyard out.. make sure to keep a good amount of tension on the line at all times, if you don't the messenger could jump the sheaves.
 

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I pull all my halyards during the winter and replace them with some cheap poly line.

I use 1" masking tape, two 6" strips running lengthwise, then wrap tape over those. I give a test pull just to make sure. Just make sure the lines are running free, you don't want to get caught up and pull hard. After your done try to pull them apart and you will find they usually need to be unwrapped.
 

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"Sparkie"
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if you are going to leave a messenger in the mast, it is worth the extra money to buy a larger line than the nylon surveyor string, because if you jump a sheave the line will jam in between the sheave and the box, then you have a problem. Ask me how I know:)
DD
 

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biteandbooze.com
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I'm about to replace the halyards on a 27' Cat that I just purchased and was wondering if it could be done this way. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread as it is exactly what I thought would be the easiest way to put on new halyards!
 

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I just use the old halyard with the same sew/tape system mentioned above. A good trick is to take a wee bit of wire and make a 'hook' in it and include that in the tape job, with the hook bit out of the tape wrap.... that way the tape would have to totally fail for the lines to come apart. the worst is getting the darn thing 80% of the way up and having both lines come raining down.

one other thing...learned the hard way...i found i needed to be a bit spartain with the tape... too much and the sewn/taped joint can get jammed in the block on the top of the mast, then you have to head up anyway and attempt to route the line through.... when that happened to me a straightened coathanger taped to the new line was much eaiser to snake through.

good luck
 

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Just do it when the mast is down and the boat is on the trailer.:D
 

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Just an FYI, when I had my rigger make new halyards for my C-27, he added messenger loops to the ends to ease tying on a messenger line. Send the messenger through on them, tie the line to the loops on the new halyards and pull them back through in reverse. Very neat and tidy. The loops lie flat and are the same diameter as the halyard so they don't jam. He didn't even charge extra for it.

Plus, it looks neat on your coiled halyards and people ask what they're for. Makes it look like I know what I'm doing! :)

Matt
 

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We pull our running rigging each fall for cleaning so this is a routine job for us.

I use 1" masking tape
Don't use masking tape. Use duct tape. I once lost a halyard in the mast while using masking tape. What a chore to reeve it again.

I've found that if you use about 7" of tape and wrap half in a spiral from one line to the other and then back down, you will have a very secure joint. Roll the final joint between your palms to smooth it out. Give the joint a tug to make sure that it's solid and won't slip.

As others have said, do not make the wrap too big (no more than 2 layers) or it will bind where it enters/exits the mast. Do not pull too hard; if you hit a snag, reverse the pull and try again.

On the new halyard, taper the end that does not have a loop/shackle. This will make passage through entry/exit points much easier.
 

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rescue tape and a paper clip in place of sewing, make an S with the clip, thread through and wrap snugly with rescue tape or self bonding rigging tape, same thing. did this in the spring for new halyards. worked like a charm!
 

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If you have NO halyard line or messenger in place, and you still dont want to climb... You could make this simple device... i did, and it worked fine. Its also good, if you lose the halyard at sea... Sorry my blog is in infant form, and i havent properly explained design or build just yet (its simple enough to work out from the pictures though).. but it worked for me just last week,when i lost my halyard

http://bass-strait.blogspot.com.au/
 

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If you have NO halyard line or messenger in place, and you still dont want to climb... You could make this simple device... ....
Clever... but limited, I expect, to smaller boats. Also many masthead sheave boxes are very tight clearances and I can see issues actually getting the weight in and over the pulley, esp on a taller rig where the whole thing becomes somewhat more unweildly.

Good graphics, btw!
 

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For the weight, instead of a lead weight, use a bicycle chain. The weight is the same, but it makes it very easy to bend it through sheaves, and to pull it out.
 
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