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Old 03-10-2012, 18:58   #1
JVD
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mainsail halyard wire (external) snags on mast footholds - advise needed

My mast has alloy footholds fitted right to the top, which is great,
but the mainsail halyard wire, which is external, will easily get
blown to one side or the other and will snag on them unless
the boat is pointing directly into the wind. Also the plastic toggles
snag on my ill-fitting toggle plate. I sail single handed, and
in a strong wind with the wheel lashed ( no auto-helm ) these
two problems can result in it taking me an hour or more to hoist
the main in a strong breeze, freeing each toggle one by one,
loosening the halyard, then oops the halyard wire is snagged,
then by the time I free it I have to run round and adjust the helm,
then start all over again ...
Any suggestions?
How big a job to convert my 11M mast from external halyard wire
to internal? How expensive ?
Are there any cable guide systems that fit on to the outside of an existing toggle track, and provide another toggle track on the outside, or do I have to have the whole toggle track replaced?
The halyard runs internal to the mast with the wire that
attaches to the headboard car (and which snags ) being external -
any ideas about the best way to make this wire internal / guided ?
Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 03-10-2012, 20:24   #2
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Re: mainsail halyard snags on mast footholds -

I have the same problem so am interested in any replies. I love the mast steps - makes it so easy to climb the mast.
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Old 03-10-2012, 20:39   #3
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Re: mainsail halyard wire (external) snags on mast footholds - advise needed

We've got the same thing. First, fix your slugs so they glide up, that's more than half your problem.

second, I've tied line between each of the steps to make them appear to the wire like a part of the mast.

Occasionally I still get hung up, but it's pretty rare.
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Old 03-10-2012, 21:16   #4
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re:
"tie a line between each of the steps" -
you mean horizontally ? -
that would work if your wire were at
the front, but mine is at the rear,
ie. same side as boom and sail -
or is vertically enough? I guess that
might prevent in-between step snags,
but not "around mast" snags.
I was thinking of making the halyard
wire go inside the mast somehow, ie
in an external track that slots into
the existing internal track or replaces
it. Are there such things?
Maybe loops of rope between the sidestays and each step might work?
You'd need rubber cable washers
to hold the stay ropes in place -
any risks with that?

re:"making your slugs slide up and
down is more than half the problem"
- I agree, but getting the slug plate
to fit correctly is highly problematic.
It is held on by one bolt and a wing
nut which it seems to be impossible
to tighten sufficiently to hold in place.
Any advice on how to do this?

Thanks for all the responses!
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Old 03-10-2012, 23:13   #5
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Re: mainsail halyard wire (external) snags on mast footholds - advise needed

yeah ive had the same problem since the ropes between the steps wore out. Starting from the top you tie a line to the outer main shroud about level with the top step on one side, tie it to the outer corner of the step, drop down to the next step, tie it to the outer corner of that step, drop down to the next one etc. all the way down, you dont have to go back out to the shroud at the bottom. Then back up with another line for the other side. (ive only got steps up from the crosstrees so i tie off to them, ratlines up to there) When mine wore out i thought "cant be bothered" no problem til next time i went out to sea, what a PITA, as soon as the wind and sea got up evrything near the mast got tangled. Another way of making dropping/raising the main easier is to heave to so you can work in the shelter of the backed jib. Hope this helps
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Old 03-10-2012, 23:59   #6
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Re: mainsail halyard wire (external) snags on mast footholds - advise needed

Converting to internal halyards is actually simple if you have the typical aluminum masthead fitting. All you have to do is cut a slot in the mast for the halyard to exit. Drop the tail of the halyard down the inside of the mast and pull it out the slot you made. You can buy stainless steel plates to make the halyard exit a little more sanitary but really not necessary. If the masthead fitting has a floor that doesn't allow the halyard to drop through to the inside of the mast, you have more of a challenge. My mast head is a stainless weldment with colllar and plate that the shieve block is welded to. Had to cut off the masthead and then machine a slot in the plate to let the halyard through to the interior of the mast. Just be careful not to twist the halyards or wrap around any wires that are inside the mast. If the wiring was done properly, it should be in a conduit riveted inside the mast or an extruded channel.

Personally, would only run the steps up to the spreaders. Very uncomfortable to work on the mast standing on the steps. Way easier to use a climbing harness and mountain climbing ascenders or a Mast Climber by ATN to get to the top.
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Old 04-10-2012, 00:13   #7
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Re: mainsail halyard wire (external) snags on mast footholds - advise needed

I swapped out my wire mainsail for a normal line winch. The wire wasn't the problem. It's that god damned wire winch that can break your face when it starts turning.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:03   #8
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Re: mainsail halyard wire (external) snags on mast footholds - advise needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I swapped out my wire mainsail for a normal line winch. The wire wasn't the problem. It's that god damned wire winch that can break your face when it starts turning.
If you're looking to be rid of it.......just sayin I'm not opposed to giving it a good home.
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