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Old 08-06-2011, 19:30   #1
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Location: Annapolis
Boat: 1979 C&C 30 MK I
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C&C 1979 Spinnaker Halyard Rigging Question

When I purchased my boat (1979 C&C 30 MK I) a few years ago the spinnaker halyard had been run outside the mast by a previous owner for reasons unknown even though the mast is clearly designed to have it run inside. It works fine as is and so does the sheave that it passes over at the top of the mast.

Mysteriously, there is also a messenger line run up inside the mast through the vacant lower mast entry hole where the Spin Halyard should be up to the top of the mast and back down again on the outside tied together making a loop.

I know this defies the "if it ain't broke don't fix it mantra"... But what I would like to do is put the Spin Halyard back inside the mast just to keep it from flogging against the side of the mast, so I don't hear that constant "ding ding ding" noise every time I'm out sailing and at the dock on breezy days.

Here's my question:

If the sheave at the top of the mast is working. And I can use the existing messenger that's inside the mast now to feed the bitter end up to the top of the mast and then back down inside where I want it. What pitfalls could I encounter while doing this?

- Could there have been any "good" reason to have run the Spin Halyard outside the mast in the first place, like something inside the mast being amiss?

- Are there any internal guides inside the mast that the halyard could get snagged on or is the mast just a big open hollow tube inside?

- Is there any likelihood that the messenger that's currently in the mast isn't run into the right hole at the top of the mast or through the correct internal path?

Any experienced rigger suggestions would be greatly appreciated !

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Old 08-06-2011, 19:52   #2
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Re: C&C 1979 Spinnaker Halyard Rigging Question

Yes, there is a good reason to run the spin halyard externallly - chafe. This is commonly done for long-distance downhill ocean races, when it is typical to move spinnaker halyards from their day-racing inside-the-mast configuration to an external halyard-block-only configuration. Spin halyards will wear against the mast entry/exit slot every time the boat rolls or the sail fills a bit, and over several weeks this can tear up the halyard - that's why we move them outside the mast for races like that.

If you're only day-sailing, and can easily inspect the halyard when you want to (e.g., any given morning at at the dock) there's no particular reason to leave the halyard external any more. Internally lead halyards will have less windage (for purposes of racing) than those lead externally, but you have to inspect the internal halyards, which isn't so easy to do mid-ocean.

I'm assuming the halyard does have a masthead swivelling halyard block, no? If not, then you might consider adding one.

- rob/beetle

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Old 08-06-2011, 21:03   #3
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Re: C&C 1979 Spinnaker Halyard Rigging Question

I'll double check with binoculars, but I'm pretty sure this is on a fixed sheave, not on a swivel block.

The reason I assumed this was a spinnaker halyard is because the previous owner said she used it for that purpose. But the boat is also equipped with a CDI flexible furling system that uses it's own internal halyard to raise the jib rather than the boat's jib halyard. So what I have may in fact be the original jib halyard, which was being used incorrectly as a spinnaker halyard since it's not on a swivel block.

In any case, I have to admit I haven't ever flown the spinnaker on my boat since I single hand it 99.9% of the time. So flying the spinnaker on this halyard would likely be a rarity whether the halyard gets run inside the mast or not.
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Old 08-06-2011, 21:28   #4
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Re: C&C 1979 Spinnaker Halyard Rigging Question

I had a similar situation. Having CDI furling with both headsail and main I had two spare halyards that ran internal of the mast. I wanted to use a spinnaker and thought I could use one of the Halyards, however there was no swiveling on the shieve so to get the spinnaker away from the furler which was out further than the shieve I had to install a crane which allows the now installed swivel block to be forward of the furler. No more interference. A new halyard is installed on the spinnaker block and is external of the mast.
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