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Old 27-03-2016, 14:48   #1
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Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

A friend of mine while checking on my boat, while I am working out of town, mentioned that the headsail halyard was laying on the deck.

The only way I can this that this happened that it was not secured tightly to the the cleat on the mast hidden under the mainsail cover and the wind kept working on the line and it eventually fell to the deck. ( lack of stopper knot)

So how am I going to get it back in the mast? and how am I going to insure that it doesn't wrap around the other items inside the mast, and while the boat is in the water. Any suggestions.

mast height is 44 ft

Thanks.
brad
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Old 27-03-2016, 17:08   #2
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

You're going to need another live body to help unless you can climb your mast by yourself. Secure one end of the new halyard to the boat. They crank you up the mast with a new jib halyard to which you have affixed a long messenger "string" with a narrow lead weight in the end. Lead the string over the halyard sheave and down into the mast. Now, your helper is going to wait for the weighted string to appear in the exit slot for the halyard above the winch. May need a step ladder. He will also need a wire hook that you have bent up for the job, so he can fish out the string. Then you help feed the halyard over the sheave, and he guides it back down the mast by pulling gently on the string, and fishes it out the hole. This can be frustrating. Sometimes it takes more than one try: the halyard to string join wasn't secure enough, the string has to be strong enough to tug on it a bit, you get the picture.

Anyhow, eventually the halyard comes out its hole, and you are ready to descend. Good luck with it. Imo, it's fiddly.

Come back and tell us, did the halyard chafe through? And crow a little about your success.

Ann
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Old 27-03-2016, 17:50   #3
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

This is something I've done many times. Ann's suggestions are right on target. Just one change I would make. In my experience, using a length of bicycle chain instead of the lead weight will yield better results. The chain provides more weight than lead of a size that can be fished through the side of the mast. Also, it will find its way over obstructions within the mast better than a single weight.
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Old 27-03-2016, 18:39   #4
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

Having seen this happen once at a marina in Georgia I wonder - was your halyard in the habit of clanging against the mast when the wind picked up?
Are there any liveaboards in your marina? Just curious.
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Old 27-03-2016, 19:03   #5
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seighlor View Post
This is something I've done many times. Ann's suggestions are right on target. Just one change I would make. In my experience, using a length of bicycle chain instead of the lead weight will yield better results. The chain provides more weight than lead of a size that can be fished through the side of the mast. Also, it will find its way over obstructions within the mast better than a single weight.
The bicycle chain sounds great. On our boat, we don't have one, but do have long slender fishing weights. I should have said, he could use more than one, too, if need be.

Ann
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Old 28-03-2016, 05:20   #6
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

Because we had done this so many times over the years, I kept a bag in the locker that also contained our assortment of sail repair materials, tell-tail yarns, etc. In this special "halyard" bag we kept a well oiled length of bicycle chain attached to a coiled length of 1/8" line that was approximately double the length of the mast.
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Old 28-03-2016, 06:51   #7
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

Thank you for the responses and recommendations.

FS Mike, there are no liveaboards in my marina. I believe that the cause of the halyard pulling out is solely my doing as I was in too much of a hurry to leave the boat and had not checked to insure that the line was fastened securely at both ends.

I'm new to boating and have never climbed a mast so this is a first for me. I spent the last few days researching and buying bosun's chair, ascenders, climbing harness etc - as per this instructional web site:
Mast Climbing

brad
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Old 28-03-2016, 10:54   #8
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

clanging halyards were my first thought, a halyard on deck doesn't make any noise.
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Old 28-03-2016, 11:09   #9
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

Re-rigging, very experienced guys forgot my boom lift-up.

Now, I know I need a bike chain...:-) thanks for the GREAT TIP :-)
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Old 28-03-2016, 11:17   #10
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

We used a bicycle chain when our halyard came out too. Worked great.
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Old 28-03-2016, 11:20   #11
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

We use an electricians fish tape. The last time this happened we pulled through a spare nylon messenger just in case in happened again. I like the idea of the bike chain.
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Old 28-03-2016, 11:27   #12
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

Have a vacume cleaner set up so you can put the hose on the exit, it will pull the string right out.
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Old 28-03-2016, 11:36   #13
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

All of the above, but before you send your line down the inside of the mast, drop it down the outside and mark the correct length to reach the outlet. That makes it much easier to know when you've let enough line down the inside that it should be at the outlet. Once you get a foot or two (or half a meter) past your mark if the line isn't at the outlet then you are probably hung up in the mast somewhere; retrieve and start over.
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Old 28-03-2016, 14:34   #14
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

I have used the vacuum cleaner trick with a small piece of Styrofoam on the end of the string, works well.
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Old 28-03-2016, 15:01   #15
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Re: Head sail Halyard pulled out of mast

What worked for me was the bicycle chain and a large cable tie.
Form the cable tie into a large loop, bit bigger than the cross section of the mast. Turn the loop vertical and push through the exit slot in the mast (don't let go of it ). The turn it back to the horizontal. With a bit of wiggling you'll get it to form around the inside of the mast. Drop the weighted line down the mast, and it will pass through the cable tie loop, then pull the loop back out through the slot.

I've heard of a large magnet being used to pull the chain towards the slot, but I think cable ties are more available on boats than large magnets.
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