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Old 23-02-2010, 06:45   #1
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Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Boat: s/v Booty Call, 1976 Oday 27
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Main Halyard Problem

Hello,

My boat is going to be undergoing many upgrades and I need some advice. I own an 1976 Oday 27, which has a a wire/rope mainsail halyard. I only have one halyard which i have acessible to the masthead, so going up the mast is virtually impossible. Problem is that raising and lowering of the mainsail is no longer a smooth function. As well, the biggest concern is that when the mainsail is almost fully raised, it seems to "snag" about a foot from the masthead. It stops completely, It won't raise any further and this, adds frustration.

I think Murphy's law has attacked my boat. lol (didn't know murphy was a pirate!)

Can the wire/rope halyard be out of the masthead pulleys? Should i just consider swapping out this wire/rope halyard set up for an all rope line?

Mark
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Old 23-02-2010, 09:47   #2
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If you could un-snag it, then probably it is not the halyard running off the sheave. Make sure it is not something wrong with the slides (dirt , use and abuse). Next suspect will be the sheave itself or the halyard may snag inside of the mast. This is not a complete list but you will get more from other FMs.

You may replace rope/wire for rope if your sheave is designed for being loaded with rope without damaging it. Then you would like some sort of Spectra perhaps (for low stretch). But make sure the sheave is OK for the job and will accept loaded rope without damage.

b.
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Old 23-02-2010, 14:23   #3
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wire/rope halyard

I had also failed to mention that all halyards run external of the mast, so no internal lines in the mast.

I just don't want to incur the cost of taking down the mast, maybe I can get someone with a cherry picker to hoist me up there to get access to it and resolve the issue.
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Old 23-02-2010, 15:25   #4
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Any place you can go next to a tall wall, a house next to a canal, etc? If you can then you can tie the boat to the dock at LW, induce heel (e.g. water in jerries), then inspect the top of the mast from above.

Have you looked very closely at the top slides / slugs? To me, the main jamming some distance from the top sounds like problem with slides (and esp. so if you have a mast with a grove and the bolt rope of the main travels in it (then you can try cleaning the grove first, then put dry ptfe grease on the boltrope, then re-hoist the main).

What happens if you substitute the mainsail with a line and just try the halyard hoist without the sail attached, still jamming?

b.
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Old 23-02-2010, 17:06   #5
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Since you are in the process of upgrading and generally fixing stuff, hire a rigger for a complete inspection and find out for sure what's going on up there.
I can do a thorough standing rig inspection both aloft and on deck on a 27' sloop in about an hour.
If your rigger charges 80.00 dollars an hour you can get some valuable information and advice for that 80 bucks. Money well spent.
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Old 23-02-2010, 23:40   #6
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Spray the sail lugs liberally with Boshield T9 lube and see what happens. T9 is good because it won't stain the sail and works miracles. Find a guy like we have here who can shinney up a mast like a monkey and spray everything at the top of the mast with the T9. You can find T9 at West Marine if no where else.
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Old 25-02-2010, 13:39   #7
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Pull the spar!

If you've never had the spar out, now is the time. Unless you have a visual examination of the condition of things up there, you'll never know what else will go wrong.

Spring for the $ to unstep. With a boat the size of yours, it shouldn't be terrible. Then you can carefully go over the condition of the masthead including sheaves, tangs, swages looking for cracks, grooves that the wire halyard will almost certainly worn over the years, wear on the sheave caused by the wire. Pull the sheave out and look at the wear on the bushing.

There's a zillion things up there that can go wrong and you'll never know about them unless you see them for yourself.

A spar over the side can ruin your entire day.

Cheers,

MikeR
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Old 26-02-2010, 06:24   #8
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I've heard of T9..which i WILL be getting this spring. Yes, I've had the mast down, for upgrades, ironically the 2008 season, which at fall haul-out, I had it unstepped in order for me to upgrade a new VHF set up. At the time of inspection, the masthead sheaves worked fine. Didn't see any problems.

The sail lugs seemed fine, but i will liberally try those ideas too.

I do laugh actually, finding it amusing when something goes wrong, it's usually in the most unreachable or in-opportune place to where it makes you contort yourself in impossible positions to fix it!
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:02   #9
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We live in Europe and found a wonderfull product made for chainsaws its a dry silicone spray and a quarter of the rice of the marine stuff. Last year I sprayed all the sail tracks and the furling slide from top to bottom. Sfter 12 months the sail still goes up with one hand and comes down like a rocket. No marks on the sail and you cant see it on the sail or mast and furler. as you use chainsaws alot in the USA I would think that you could find a simular product. Hope this is usefull folks. Happy Sailing
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