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Old 05-02-2012, 05:10   #1
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Masthead Crane / Spinnaker Bail

I am rebuilding the mast on my Sabre 36. The spinnaker halyard was ran externally. I am converting it to an internal halyard. The extrusion of sorts at the front of the masthead had a shackle for the external halyard. I was hoping to be able to use that as a masthead crane/spinnaker bail of sorts to keep the halyard clear of hangups. I am not sure if the distance between the spinnaker sheave and the extrusion is adequate to work as masthead craned as you can see in the picture to add a spinnaker bail to the the top I would have to remove the extrusions, which is an option. I am also not sure that if used as a crane the alignment would be correct.
I am thinking I will grind off the extrusions (thinking they are really for external halyards only) and add a bail/crane.
Thoughts?
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:39   #2
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Re: Masthead crane/spinnaker bail

Bump. Nothing? I would love to receive some input.
Thanks.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:28   #3
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Re: Masthead crane/spinnaker bail

This isn't going to help, but I suggest you keep your external spin halyard. There is a *lot* of load and (more importantly) side to side motion on the spin halyard. The external block is able to pivot and keep the lead fair. With a masthead sheave you will get lots of chafe on the halyard because most of the time it's going to be exiting at a big angle. You might be able to use some fairleads with the masthead sheave, but IMHO it's still not optimum.

Also, when the spin halyard breaks (and it probably will) it's much easier to replace an external halyard.

This is in decided contrast to a main or jib halyard, where the masthead sheave exit angles are well constrained.
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:52   #4
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Re: Masthead crane/spinnaker bail

LI Sailor here is a link to the masthead of my boat. https://picasaweb.google.com/1100267...10433060229890 There are two pictures of the bail at the top of my mast. It is pretty easy to do. You will need to have an entry into the mast that is located two to four feet below where the spinnaker bail is. From there you will need an exit at the bottom of the mast. Internal halyards used on spinnakers need to be adjusted every hour or so to give chafe relief. When feeding the halyard down the mast it is good to start with a chaser. The best way that I know of to get the chaser line down is to attach a piece of ferrous metal chain to the end. When it is near the exit hole all you need to do is put in one of those magnet on a sticks and fetch it out.

I agree with Paul Elliot that an external halyard is a good thing though.
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Old 06-02-2012, 14:07   #5
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Re: Masthead crane/spinnaker bail

Whenever we set a boat up for a long downwind race like Transpac, we make sure that there is at least one spinnaker halyard on an external swivel block--the combination jib/spinnaker halyards will chafe through in less than 12 hours on average. Like Charlie says, you can cut a couple of slots in the mast to make it run internal, but you probably want to keep a block on your existing extrusion.
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Old 06-02-2012, 15:58   #6
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Interesting. I never really thought of it that way. I just have a strange aversion to external halyards but that does make a lot of sense. I may have to do some "re"thinking. Thanks guys.
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Old 08-02-2012, 20:32   #7
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I agree that the spin halyard should exit 2-4 feet below the masthead. the block needs to be able to freely align itself to the direction of where the kite is. Dynema chaif sleeve helps a lot to keep from destroying your halyards. Put it on just the last 4-6 feet of your halyard. The exits on our mast have a heavy gauge s.s. ring welded onto a small plate. This in turn is riveted to the upper end of the mast exit slot. The halyard is run through this ring so that it is not rubbing on the edge of the exit slot. Chaif Has yet to a problem for us.
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Old 09-02-2012, 19:41   #8
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Re: Masthead crane/spinnaker bail

Besides the exit 2-4' below the masthead, you'll also want your internal spinnaker halyards to exit the mast high enough up at the lower end so that you can grab it 'way up and jump it when you hoist the spinnaker. Ours exit about 8' up from the cabintop for this reason. (We have internal spinnaker halyards with specifically designed flanges at the top exit that allow for the line to come in at varying angles, not chafe too much, and stay lined up on the sheaves. ) It seems like a lot of work, to cut four holes in your mast so that the line can be inside it for such a short trip. If you cut off the cranes and replace them with a bail, chafe will drive you crazy as the block slides around at the top of the mast, cutting the halyard where it enters the mast. You'd have to seize the halyard block in place on the bail - so you might as well keep the cranes you have.
We re-rigged our Soling to have an internal halyard once. The original rig was a simple line, running up one side of the mast to a swivel block just above the forestay, and back down the other side. We could set the spinnaker from either side with no problems. We replaced it with a machined hardened stainless steel "bullseye", through which we ran a wire halyard with a rope tail. The new setup worked, and may have been less windage, but each time we needed to set from a different side, the halyard had to be switched over to the other side too. It was a hassle, and you had to worry that the halyard would hang up on the jib snaps each time. We went back to the original setup - with a lighter block. K.I.S.S.
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Old 09-02-2012, 20:06   #9
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Re: Masthead crane/spinnaker bail

I agree with the others about leading the spin halyard. The blocks need to be well away from the mast as your present mast head is designed. The halyard can be run internally once it is well down the mast if you install the proper fairlead. Our spin halyard enters several feet below the block. Do have a sailmaker or rigger who might spare a few minutes to look at it with you?
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Old 09-02-2012, 20:23   #10
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Re: Masthead crane/spinnaker bail

I'd vote for external. Went up many masts where halyard jumped the sheave and jammed. Not good in strong winds.

If you need parts I found a cool site at sailboatjunkyard dot com
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:13   #11
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All excellent input. I am so glad I decided to post here before making any drastic changes.
I have decided to leave it completely external for now and will run it from it's external position internally in the manner you have all recommended should it bother me.
Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2012, 20:21   #12
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If your halyards are jumping the sheaves, then the sheaves are too narrow for the sheave box. There should be just enough clearance to allow the sheave to turn freely, but no more. If you cannot find wider sheaves, then you can make up some spacers out of some HMWPE, the same diameter, or slightly larger to fill in the gaps. A hole saw is a simple way to cut these spacers, then enlarge the center hole to match the axle diameter. These spacers should also spin freely.
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Old 10-02-2012, 20:54   #13
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Re: Masthead Crane / Spinnaker Bail

LIsailor,
I'm curious to know your original reason for wanting to run internally?
Is there a problem that you are trying to solve?
Unless there is some flaw in the current setup, I'm inclined to agree with the external KISS suggestion.

Don't take down the fence unless you understand why it's there in the first place.
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Old 14-02-2012, 12:24   #14
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I always liked internal halyards but I agree. It was designed that way purposefully and I will let alone why works.
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