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Old 14-05-2010, 12:39   #1
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Halyards - External to Internal

Time to rerig the boat. The running and standing rigging are both mostly original 1984 so guess it is about time. In the process wanted to see if it was possible to install a spare halyard for that just in case situation. I have had a halyard shackle let go at sea when going up the mast to retrieve it was not an option.

The current setup has two external halyards, one main, one jib. The masthead has two side by side pairs of sheaves, front and back sides of the mast. The main halyard comes up the front of the mast, over the front sheave, inside across the top of the mast over the aft sheave and down the back of the mast. Jib halyard rigged the same way just in the opposite direction.

No way to add another halyard in this way without major modification to the mast and sheave arrangement. However, looking at the setup I thought it might be possible to take a halyard over a sheave and down the inside of the mast instead of across and down the other side. Then I could potentially have four halyards, two front and two back.

First question, any reason why this would be a bad idea?

Second question, how do I get the halyard back out of the mast at the bottom? Last boat I owned had internal halyards but a deck stepped mast. It had matching sheaves top and bottom of the mast so the halyards exited around the sheave at the bottom and up to the mast winches. Since this mast is keel stepped that is not an option.

So far I have two ideas.

One, cut a small, tapered, exit slot in the mast above the winches. Line the slot with a smooth, angled stainless fairlead to reduce friction and chaffing.

Two, install sheaves inside the mast, under the winches similar the the setup at the masthead with a slot next to the sheave for the line to exit.

Both ideas would require making fairly large holes in the mast, rough guess maybe 3/4" X 3-5" for each opening so total three or four new holes in the mast. First concern is how much this would weaken the mast. Also, as I think about it, the project may end up requiring a lot more planning, time, cost and effort than it's worth but having a spare halyard would be nice.

I have a few more dumb ideas for the re-rig but will save those for another post and additional entertainment value for the forum.
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Old 14-05-2010, 13:10   #2
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Just install a spinnaker halyard. Problem solved, your mast will thank you.
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Old 14-05-2010, 15:00   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Time to rerig the boat. The running and standing rigging are both mostly original 1984 so guess it is about time. In the process wanted to see if it was possible to install a spare halyard for that just in case situation. I have had a halyard shackle let go at sea when going up the mast to retrieve it was not an option.

The current setup has two external halyards, one main, one jib. The masthead has two side by side pairs of sheaves, front and back sides of the mast. The main halyard comes up the front of the mast, over the front sheave, inside across the top of the mast over the aft sheave and down the back of the mast. Jib halyard rigged the same way just in the opposite direction.

No way to add another halyard in this way without major modification to the mast and sheave arrangement. However, looking at the setup I thought it might be possible to take a halyard over a sheave and down the inside of the mast instead of across and down the other side. Then I could potentially have four halyards, two front and two back.

First question, any reason why this would be a bad idea?

Second question, how do I get the halyard back out of the mast at the bottom? Last boat I owned had internal halyards but a deck stepped mast. It had matching sheaves top and bottom of the mast so the halyards exited around the sheave at the bottom and up to the mast winches. Since this mast is keel stepped that is not an option.

So far I have two ideas.

One, cut a small, tapered, exit slot in the mast above the winches. Line the slot with a smooth, angled stainless fairlead to reduce friction and chaffing.

Two, install sheaves inside the mast, under the winches similar the the setup at the masthead with a slot next to the sheave for the line to exit.

Both ideas would require making fairly large holes in the mast, rough guess maybe 3/4" X 3-5" for each opening so total three or four new holes in the mast. First concern is how much this would weaken the mast. Also, as I think about it, the project may end up requiring a lot more planning, time, cost and effort than it's worth but having a spare halyard would be nice.

I have a few more dumb ideas for the re-rig but will save those for another post and additional entertainment value for the forum.
I think you're going to need to post a photo of the masthead and winch area to get good answers.

Dumb ideas are fun.

I like the sig!
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Old 14-05-2010, 16:54   #4
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G'Day Skip,

FWIW, I did exactly what you are proposing some years ago on my Yankee-30. If you separate the exit slots, both horizontally and vertically, your mast will not be significantly weakened. As you have likely noticed, most masts are slotted thusly, often with many more halyards than you propose. Having the extra halyard is a definite plus, and you will be slightly reducing the windage too!

Go for it!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II on the hard at Bayview Slipway, Pittwater, NSW, Oz
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Old 14-05-2010, 16:59   #5
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No way to add another halyard in this way without major modification to the mast and sheave arrangement. However, looking at the setup I thought it might be possible to take a halyard over a sheave and down the inside of the mast instead of across and down the other side. Then I could potentially have four halyards, two front and two back.

First question, any reason why this would be a bad idea?
That's exactly what I have, from the factory.
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Old 14-05-2010, 19:16   #6
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Mine is rigged with two swivel blocks suspended from foreside of masthead for foresails, and two main halyards run over sheaves. Never had internal halyards. Do they tend to make noise?
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Old 14-05-2010, 20:09   #7
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Should work fine. Install halyard exit plates like in link about 6ft off deck. Then stoppers a foot lower. Then to the winch.

The hole isn't big enough to matter to mast strength.

Be sure to put tef-gel anyplace stainless touches aluminum

Exit Plate

To reeve the halyard tie about a dozen nuts in a stack to some fishing line and lower from the top. Use a bent wire hook to snag the line through the exit plate hole (easiest to do this before screwing the plate on)

Carl
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Old 15-05-2010, 21:18   #8
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Thanks for the feedback and Carl thanks for the link especially (looks like Defender will be getting a few more of my boat bucks). I have not sailed a boat with halyard exits cut in the mast but thought it might be doable. Good to confirm that it is done on other boats.

I had thought of a free hanging block for a halyard (already have spinnaker halyard rigged this way) but using the existing sheaves just seemed like a good choice.

Also, just bought a new tube of tef-gel and plan to remove every SS screw in the mast, goop them up and reinstall.
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Old 18-05-2010, 06:45   #9
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I changed my masts from external to internal and additionally lead all the lines back to the cockpit. For the masthead you need to cut an access hole through the center of the masthead cap that will allow the halyard to enter the mast tube. This hole must be made so that when the halyards are taught the halyards are not rubbing against any portion/edge of the holes. This means the holes must extend underneath the sheaves.
- - Before anything you will need to determine if there are any blockages inside the mast tube from the top to the location of where you will be exiting the tube with the halyards. Some mast tubes have internal parts that hold the electrical wires from swinging around inside the tube. Sometimes these are just large piece of mattress foam rammed down the tube. These will have to be removed and a conduit or other tube run up the inside of the mast and secured to the wall of the mast tube. You do not want electrical wires chaffing against halyards.
- - The exit holes as posted by others should be at different heights and offset from each other. The exit plates are available from Shaeffer through good marine supply houses. Also I mounted Lewmar line clutches on the mast between the exit hole and the winches. Additional cleats were mounted to hold the excess halyard line especially for foresail halyards on roller furlers.
- - If you want to go "all the way" and run the lines back to the cockpit then you need to install blocks at the mast base along with deck turning blocks to get the proper angles back to the cockpit winches. If your mast is deck-stepped there is no problem adding blocks to the base of the mast. If your mast is keel-stepped it gets more complicated as you need to prevent cabin top pumping.
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Old 18-05-2010, 07:30   #10
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I think the mast exit may be the best idea for you. Stagger the exits and if you want to run the lines to the cokpit put turning blocks at the foot of the mast.

On our boat we have 5 sheaves. From right to left in the photo.

- Spinnaker halyard - white/red
- Main halyard
- Topping lift
- Genny 1
- Genny 2 - currently only containing a messenger line


The 3 small pulley come from the boom and right to left are

- Reef 1
- Main outhaul
- Reef 2

The white/green on the extreme right is the spinnaker pole lift and exits the side of the mast through a plate as proposed for your setup. You could stagger the turning blocks and attach two on each side directly to the mast.

We have eight locks on the cabin top and rearrange things when racing to have the spinnaker gear run back to the cockpit. Basically stowing the reefing lines and topping lift.
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