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Old 13-07-2012, 07:37   #1
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Frozen Mainsail halyard

Hello All! Just purchased a 1968 Cal 34 which was neglected by its former owner for the past two years but was lovingly over-equipped by three engineers that owned her previously, including a ten year old Yanmar 3 cylinder that starts instantly but is a little corroded in areas from letting the stuffing box drip too much- have got to tighten that. I am under time (and budget, a long story) constraints to move the boat from the Chesapeake Bay down the ICW to its new home in Beaufort, NC. The masthead sheave for the halyard is likely frozen from what I read in other posts on this forum, and as the boat has a roller furler there is no way to climb the mast even if I were a rock climbing enthusiast. I can have a local guy with a boom truck approach the mast head from the public dock (it would be nice to install the new masthead light which came with the boat also) but haven't figured out a way to guess what parts I may need, even after talking to Buzz Ballenger (he manufactures spars for Cal boats.) If it is stuck what is the likelihood of freeing it with the piano wire or other basic techniques? Should I just leave this project alone until I get to Beaufort and have more time/funds after starting back to work (spent the last year remodeling my mother's farmhouse for free) and rely on the diesel alone? I'm new to sailing after several decades of owning offshore gasoline outboard powered fishing boats. For contingency purposes I have bought a hardshell 8 foot dinghy and there is a decent storm anchor (which could use 150 foot of chain and a new rode.) Also, BoatUS towing insurance.

I've already got my hands full moving my stuff onto the boat (it will be a liveaboard,) cleaning it, getting the safety gear updated, trying to get the Yanmar fluids and filters changed without the availability or advice of a local mechanic and planning the route. Not to mention worrying over the fuel tank being contaminated. Also, I don't want to spend a few hundred dollars to have a professional rigger climb up there and tell me it is broken and will cost x100's of dollars more to fix, I've got to do everything I can on my own.

Thanks in advance and I have enjoyed reading all of the great advice on this forum. I look forward to owning a sailboat and learning how to sail it instead of the powerboat I currently own.
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Old 13-07-2012, 07:46   #2
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

sounds to me like you are already in over your head.
No way up there? A pair of gloves ,hand over hand up the headstay.
Got a buddy with a boat? put the boats alongside, go up his mast and slowly coral the two mast heads together.
Find a bridge and check it out , or pull it , from there.
If you are low on dough, you must compensate by thinking outta the box.
"Hundreds of dollars for a rigger", is something I have never done.
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Old 13-07-2012, 07:55   #3
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

Lower the headsail......run up with the headsail halyard.....remove the offending sheave and clean.....re-install offending sheave....re-hoist headsail.
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:17   #4
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Azul.

You've already received some good advice.
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:17   #5
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Lower the headsail......run up with the headsail halyard.....remove the offending sheave and clean.....re-install offending sheave....re-hoist headsail.
It has a roller furler system with a solid rod.

Bruce, I don't think your post was funny or helpful... along the lines of suggesting I rent a jet pack, ha. Probably not a guy I would enjoy drinking a beer with, even though you edited your post to not make it seem so mean spirited.

My question is not about getting to the top of the mast- the insanity of doing that with one or zero halyards has already been previously addressed, I'm temporarily poor not suicidal, it was more about the sheave. Is there a standard sheave for this size mast and what parts will likely need to be replaced? Is there a good chance it can be fixed without replacement parts given the length of time it may have been frozen? I can always put the boat on the hard when I get to Beaufort at Bock Marine and pull the mast and check out every last detail of the standing rigging, fix every last detail of the boat and engine etc etc. Reminds me of the definition of asking for advice, ie already knowing what you need to do but not liking the answer.
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:26   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azul

It has a roller furler system with a solid rod.

Bruce, I don't think your post was funny or helpful... along the lines of suggesting I rent a jet pack, ha. Probably not a guy I would enjoy drinking a beer with, even though you edited your post to not make it seem so mean spirited.

My question is not about getting to the top of the mast- the insanity of doing that with one or zero halyards has already been previously addressed, I'm temporarily poor not suicidal, it was more about the sheave. Is there a standard sheave for this size mast and what parts will likely need to be replaced? Is there a good chance it can be fixed without replacement parts given the length of time it may have been frozen? I can always put the boat on the hard when I get to Beaufort at Bock Marine and pull the mast and check out every last detail of the standing rigging, fix every last detail of the boat and engine etc etc. Reminds me of the definition of asking for advice, ie knowing what you need to do but not liking the answer.
Azul,

I dont think you understand sailmonkeys advice.

There is a halyard that hoists the headsail regardless if furling or non furling. You unfurl the headsail and drop the sail to the deck. You now have a free halyard to hoist up in a bosuns chair. Mast work is the most frustrating because you generally need a crew to hoist you safely unless you are a good freeclimber or have rigged up steps or some self hoisting solution.

I guess we also may not understand your question. It may not be about how to fix this now but more, "what parts to buy."

I wouldnt buy any parts yet. I'd go up the mast with some tools and wd40, disassemble, lube and inspect. Maybe that's all that's needed.

Your other solution is do the delivery relying on headsail and diesel engine and it seems that is how you are leaning. If so go for it. It is your boat.
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:28   #7
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

This is a long shot, but I helped free up a frozen halyard sheeve on a friend's boat. The owner took one end of the main halyard and I took the other and we just kept pulling back and forth until the sheeve broke free in a couple of minutes. His wife's idea and we were doubtful, but it worked with no cost. Hope this helps.
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:30   #8
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azul View Post
It has a roller furler system with a solid rod.
That makes no difference. There's still a halyard that raises the headsail.

You've got three conventional solutions:

1. Go up the mast.
2. Pull the mast.
3. Hire a yard or a rigger to do the job. (A boat yard would probably send someone up on a crane if the only problem is to free a halyard.)

If the sheave is frozen, it would pay to assume that rig maintenance has been deferred for some time. The bad news is that it's probably time to replace the standing rigging. That entire rig is undoubtedly due for a thorough inspection, from the turnbuckles up.
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:35   #9
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

hmmm, mis understood again.
I am a funny hombre, but i was not trying this time. I do not drink "a " beer.
The fact that the jib is furled up and stuck there makes climbing it seem relatively easy. If the guy who makes bits, Matt, cannot help you.....
I never really got a question, sorry if I got you flustered.
I have to ask, what kind of poc gets jammed after 2 years?
edit, is the line jammed in the sheave ?
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:39   #10
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

Have you thought about finding a can of PB Blaster with a really, really long red tube?
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:49   #11
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azul View Post
I've already got my hands full moving my stuff onto the boat (it will be a liveaboard,) cleaning it, getting the safety gear updated, trying to get the Yanmar fluids and filters changed without the availability or advice of a local mechanic and planning the route. Not to mention worrying over the fuel tank being contaminated. Also, I don't want to spend a few hundred dollars to have a professional rigger climb up there and tell me it is broken and will cost x100's of dollars more to fix, I've got to do everything I can on my own.
.
You might want to take a hard look at your basic approach. The paragraph quoted above contains six excuses for not doing the job right.

Chances are pretty good you're not going to do the job right. And that's wrong no matter how many excuses you can line up.
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Old 13-07-2012, 09:02   #12
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

I know that the sheave was not lubricated for at least two years, who knows how long before that, it is supposed to be lubricated q 6 months. On other threads it has been noted that going aloft with one halyard and no backup safety harness on another halyard is not smart, especially for a rookie... and now suddenly it is "good advice." I hadn't tried to decipher the equation of figuring out the furler system to see how that halyard works because I don't want to trust my life to one halyard and possibly rusty hardware holding it in place. The standing rigging from the deck looks to be fairly new and completely without corrosion, and the chainplates have been upgraded.

If I can get the mainsail to work I may try to find someone to go along on the delivery that knows how to sail, but I am not intending to take the boat offshore or into high winds without thoroughly inspecting the standing rigging and otherwise preparing the boat. I am not getting any takers to motor along in the heat for 8 hours a day down the ditch. And anchoring out without a masthead light is not optimal.

Thanks for the idea of pulling on both ends of the halyard, I will try that when I get back to the boat.
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Old 13-07-2012, 09:15   #13
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

As others have stated you could probably use the jib halyard, but you have external halyards. That means the jib halyard runs over both the fore and aft sheave axles, so the main and jib share both axles side by side and so also a possibility that the jib halyard is frozen. If it isn't and you can get to the top of the mast, you will need to tie yourself to mast to unload the axles to take them apart. Don't like the age of the halyard, replace it before going up. Use the old halyard as a messenger line to feed the new one up.

Bruce's ideas might not all work for you, but are not impossible. I watched the crew of a 54' racing boat at Opening day have fun by racing up the rigging hand over hand, and this was rod rigging. At my club we quite often help each other by hoisting someone up one mast, lean the boats toward each other and the person crawls laterally across to the lower masthead.

I've also lowered the mast on my friends Cal 34 (and other boats) with two boats on either side. Their masts just need to be somewhat taller than the spreaders on your boat. tie a loop around your mast, attach the halyards of the other boats to the loop, hoist it to the spreaders, undo the rigging and lift it off of the step and lower.

John

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azul View Post
It has a roller furler system with a solid rod.

Bruce, I don't think your post was funny or helpful... along the lines of suggesting I rent a jet pack, ha. Probably not a guy I would enjoy drinking a beer with, even though you edited your post to not make it seem so mean spirited.

My question is not about getting to the top of the mast- the insanity of doing that with one or zero halyards has already been previously addressed, I'm temporarily poor not suicidal, it was more about the sheave. Is there a standard sheave for this size mast and what parts will likely need to be replaced? Is there a good chance it can be fixed without replacement parts given the length of time it may have been frozen? I can always put the boat on the hard when I get to Beaufort at Bock Marine and pull the mast and check out every last detail of the standing rigging, fix every last detail of the boat and engine etc etc. Reminds me of the definition of asking for advice, ie already knowing what you need to do but not liking the answer.
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Old 13-07-2012, 09:33   #14
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

Azul,
You may have done this already but if not contact the cal owners assn. They will probably have the info you need for new sheaves. Since you are not overflowing with funds (welcome to the club) you'll have to use the jib halyard to get up the mast. Since your boat has been sorely neglected by the previous owner on the way up you want to check the shrouds and once up the mast you should check everything up there. You'll probably want to lubricate evrything in sight also.
In any case welcome to the forum and good luck
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Old 13-07-2012, 09:35   #15
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Re: Frozen Mainsail halyard

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Azul,
You may have done this already but if not contact the cal owners assn. They will probably have the info you need for new sheaves. Since you are not overflowing with funds (welcome to the club) you'll have to use the jib halyard to get up the mast. Since your boat has been sorely neglected by the previous owner on the way up you want to check the shrouds and once up the mast you should check everything up there. You'll probably want to lubricate evrything in sight also.
In any case welcome to the forum and good luck
Closest thing I know of to an owners association is the Yahoo group, Cal_boats. It's a good forum.

John
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