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Where was it on the mast and how was it oriented? (Was the moving pin on the top or the bottom when it was mounted?) How big is it? - there's nothing in your photos to show the scale. Looks like it may have been for a flag halyard or perhaps a topping lift, so that you could release a tightly strung line quickly if necessary. Wouldn't want anything too important depending upon the one pivot bolt or on the pin holding anything too heavy without shearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Where was it on the mast and how was it oriented? (Was the moving pin on the top or the bottom when it was mounted?) How big is it? - there's nothing in your photos to show the scale. Looks like it may have been for a flag halyard or perhaps a topping lift, so that you could release a tightly strung line quickly if necessary. Wouldn't want anything too important depending upon the one pivot bolt or on the pin holding anything too heavy without shearing.
It was on the the starboard side, a little above the boom. The pin was at the top. It's about 5 inches long.
Thanks for the reply. Why would you need to lower a flag or the boom in a rush? Why not just a regular cleat? Do you know if this type of cleat has a name?
 

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Ive never seen that before.
1st thought is that rope is cleated on, then put a pipe over end of cleat and crank the last bit of slack from the rope, locking pin at bottom
Other than that...have no idea
 

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RegisteredUser is thinking like I am. But you wouldn't need to use a pipe to yield additional tension.

With the pin released, swing the cleat down 180* and while holding firmly in this position wrap your turns around the cleat and then swing the cleat back up (in the obvious direction) and lock in place.

You would probably have 4 or 5 to 1 advantage (less friction) but it would only haul in an inch or two.

The Cal 20 my uncle owned had a bronze casting in the middle of the main halyard for an easy to rig 3:1 purchase for final bit of raising the main. That, to me, would be easier to use. I think his was a later model Cal 20. The Club 420 has the same type rig for tensioning the jib halyard; a single becket block in the middle of the halyard.
 

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The orientation of the swivel and its location near the boom makes me think it might have been for a vang or downhaul for the mainsail. As GG suggests, the leverage might let you get the line a little tighter. If you were racing, it would also enable you for example to release the downhaul for the downwind legs and then tighten it back to the same setting when you started back upwind, without having to uncleat anything.
 
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