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Old 20-05-2011, 12:19   #1
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Adding More Halyards

My cutter-rigged boat has a Selden mast. I have main, genoa and staysail halyards which run up through the inside of the mast and come out through sheave boxes. I have only one more halyard -- a spinnaker halyard which goes up out of the mast and through a block hung from the masthead crane.

I guess I have the minimum number of halyards. The spinnaker halyard can be used as a spare for the genoa halyard and probably (awkwardly) for the main halyard. I can use the staysail sheet for a spinnaker pole topping lift (it goes up over a block at the level of the first spreaders -- probably rigged that way especially so it can double as a topping lift.

But to climb the mast, I have to strike the yankee down on deck in order to use the genoa halyard as a safety line. A PITA. And I thought one more halyard wouldn't hurt anything anyway.

So I'm thinking about hanging one more block from the masthead crane and rigging another halyard there. It would be like a spare spinnaker halyard but could be used for other purposes, especially, mast-climbing.

I have a few questions, however:

1. How do I install another exit sheave? Do I just hack a hole in the mast (yikes!) and screw it in? Or does the mast need to come down for this? I don't quite see how I can get my hand inside the mast to hold the nuts, and I can't imagine that the metal crumbs from the jigsaw (what I imagine I would use) can do anything beneficial inside the mast.

2. Or do I just leave the halyard outside of the mast? Lot of windage with two runs of rope up to the masthead 75 feet above the water.

3. Is this the best place for another halyard? Will it tangle with the other spinnaker halyard? Or should I rig one maybe on the aft side of the mast, to serve as a better spare for the main halyard (and at the same time -- a good halyard for a storm trysail)?

4. Or do I already have enough halyards and better forget this cockamamie scheme?

Any tips?
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Old 20-05-2011, 12:22   #2
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Re: Adding more halyards

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Out of focus image of existing exit sheave box for genoa halyard.
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Old 20-05-2011, 12:26   #3
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Re: Adding more halyards

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At the masthead in Cowes, 75 feet above the water -- yeeha! Where's my parachute??!!
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Old 20-05-2011, 12:29   #4
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Re: Adding more halyards

I use a boom topping lift for the climbing safety function, and it can double as a main halyard if needed.
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Old 20-05-2011, 12:38   #5
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Re: Adding more halyards

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I use a boom topping lift for the climbing safety function, and it can double as a main halyard if needed.
You are lucky. Unfortunately my boom topping lift is a plastic-coated stainless cable hanging from the masthead crane with a block at the end of it. It doesn't go up and down from the masthead. The rope for it goes through the boom and around turning blocks into the cockpit and you adjust it like that.
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Old 20-05-2011, 12:46   #6
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Re: Adding more halyards

I wouldn't ascend the mast on a halyard that only runs thru a masthead block. I'd only use an internal halyard for this unless there was some way to failsafe the block.
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Old 20-05-2011, 12:50   #7
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Re: Adding more halyards

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
I use a boom topping lift for the climbing safety function, and it can double as a main halyard if needed.
Hmm, my thought too, especially as she is likely to have a solid kicker to support the boom whilst the topping lift is used. We use the spare topping lift to take the mast ladder and the spinnaker halyard for the safety harness.

DH, when are you next planning on taking down the mast? the top plate on our Selden mast is bolted in place so could be changed then. However, our spinnaker halyard is a pulley with a single bolt on the cage which passes through the top plate and secured with a bolt. So this could be an option, but drilling a 12mm hole in the top plate 75 feet up will be challenging.

Is there a halyard for a trysail?

Pete
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Old 20-05-2011, 12:57   #8
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Re: Adding more halyards

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Hmm, my thought too, especially as she is likely to have a solid kicker to support the boom whilst the topping lift is used. We use the spare topping lift to take the mast ladder and the spinnaker halyard for the safety harness.

DH, when are you next planning on taking down the mast? the top plate on our Selden mast is bolted in place so could be changed then. However, our spinnaker halyard is a pulley with a single bolt on the cage which passes through the top plate and secured with a bolt. So this could be an option, but drilling a 12mm hole in the top plate 75 feet up will be challenging.

Is there a halyard for a trysail?

Pete
Our topping lift is operated through the boom. The part which goes to the masthead is static -- a plastic-covered stainless cable.

I have no trysail halyard. A spare halyard at the aft side of the mast would be good for that, plus a good spare for the main halyard.

I don't know if I will ever have a trysail -- we have a track for it on the mast, but our staysail is a perfect storm jib and I've had the boat out in 50+ knots with that and the deeply reefed main with complete comfort.

I was not particularly planning to take the mast down this year and will probably abandon this project if it requires that.

Our spinnaker halyard is the same as yours, but there is already a hole in the masthead crane (extended top plate) for another spinnaker halyard (racing boats use two, so I guess that's why it was made that way). So no need to drill anything for this -- just bolt on a bail for the block. I'm more concerned about the exit sheave box, if I make it internal. I don't quite understand how to install it without having the mast down
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Old 20-05-2011, 13:29   #9
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Re: Adding more halyards

If you put your main and jib halyards internal, that could free up a set of masthead sheaves for a spare external halyard. Use one set of sheaves on one side of the mast, the aft one for the main halyard and forward one for the Jib. That leaves the other set of sheaves free.

Al you have to do to run the halyards internal is cut appropriate slots in the mast where they'll exit above the jib and main halyard winches. Assuming that there is nothing internal in the mast that will abraid the halyards.
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