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Old 15-02-2014, 07:22   #1
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Halyard stuck

I recently purchased a 1972 Columbia 30. She's been sitting for a couple years and I have been going through the systems making sure everything is tip top. The sails were in storage, but the halyards were on the mast. When I raise the main halyard with nothing connected, as in no load to pull up, it flows freely. When its connected to the mainsail however, it is pulls up about 2m and then sticks, and when you pull a bit harder it suddenly releases and goes up another 2m and sticks, and so on. I went up the mast to look around but the pulley box is hard to see inside. I greased what I could but I'm sure there is still a problem. Can't figure out why this could be happening. Any ideas? Cheers.

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Old 15-02-2014, 07:30   #2
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Re: Halyard stuck

The sheave bushings could be worn and the resulting looseness on the shaft lets the sheave rub hard against the side of the mast head.

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Old 15-02-2014, 07:32   #3
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Re: Halyard stuck

Maybe corrosion / crud in the mast track itself? Try hoisting the sail (or any load) without using the track. . . .
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Old 15-02-2014, 07:33   #4
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Re: Halyard stuck

It probably is nothing to do with the halyard. The slides on the sail are probably sticking in the track. There are dry lubricants in a spray can you can use to make the slides more slippery. This is a common problem so any chandlery will have the lube you need. Look around the boat for a spray can of sail lube. There might be on already aboard. Spray the slides and the track not the sail.

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Old 15-02-2014, 07:35   #5
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Re: Halyard stuck

I had similar issues after sitting two years. The mast head bushing was corroded solid, just the main, not the jib.

Struggled with it on my delivery for winter storage (what a pain), then took the mast down. Found the issue and resolved it in about 15 minutes. BIG hammer and punch to do it. I could never have done it aloft.

Once I got it apart all I had to do was wire brush the bits. No$. Well, except to haul and unstep the mast.

If you want, tie a haul down to the halyard, then make up a car to go into the track. Run it up and down a few times. I put a bit of candle wax in there and forced it up the track. That made getting the sail up easier, but still far from easy. (until I fixed the sheave.)
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Old 15-02-2014, 07:39   #6
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Re: Halyard stuck

Thanks guys I'm going to go play around more this afternoon and get back to you. Going to try raising the main without the track to rule out a track problem. I did individually grease each slider so I don't think that's the issue but I need to try everything before taking down the mast. I have spare sheaves but I dont think any that belong in the masthead

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Old 16-02-2014, 16:23   #7
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Re: Halyard stuck

If you find it's the sheave jamming, you'll have to take it out. Normally you can get the sheave axle out with the rig up. If it is seized, drill and tap the end, thread in a bolt, then use a slide hammer. Worked on mine, but took several hours at the masthead.... Once we gave up on the other methods, drill/tap/slide hammer took 1/2 an hour!
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