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Old 28-06-2010, 01:46   #1
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Preventing Halyard Wrap

Had an unfortunate experience just recently when one of my crew (relatively unknown to me), decided the best way to furl a reluctant headsail was to place the furling line on the genoa winch and grind away with the handle. At the time I was up at the furler trying to see what the problem was, initial thought had been a riding turn. Dismayed to see the furling line go bar tight, then the furler started to turn easily and at the same time, the genoa halyard fell out of the slot in the side of the mast.
Following day I went up the mast to run a new halyard, and felt sick to see that the top cap of the foil was missing, the top of the foil was crushed, and that the forestay itself had started to open up at the termination. (I sat up there for an hour, to let the rage dissipate)

That said, I need to prevent this happening again. The halyad was I believe correctly tensioned. While examining the top of the foil I noted the following.
The top swivel is attached directly to the head of the sail, there is about 15 inches of bare foil above the swivel. Sitting above the foil, around the forestay is one of those donut type diverters. This set up means there is about 18 inches of halyard between the mast head sheave and the top of the swivel.
To my mind, this set up leaves too long a length of halyard, and that the angle between halyard and stay is too small.
Can any advise if following will be of benefit.
1)Fitting a strop between head of sail and the upper swivel of the furling system to reduce the length of the exposed halyard (bringing the swivel closer to the halyard sheave.

2) Fitting a diverter to the mast below the halyard sheave to increase the angle between halyard and stay.

Beneteau 473
Manchester, UK
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Old 28-06-2010, 02:41   #2
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Harken recommends both those options. The "diverter" (#2) or restrainer block will shorten the max sail you can hoist. But that's probably not a problem. The halyard does need to be at the tight end of normal luff tensions for best results. #2 is found on charter boats......

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Old 28-06-2010, 02:55   #3
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I had steel strops (made to measure and permanently attached) on all four of my head sails to ensure a sufficiently large angle at the top of the halyard; never had any problems; if you make the strops long enough (took an afternoon making all 4 of them) there is no need for a diverter. Sometimes the spi halyard did get snagged; always my fault for not keeping it tight enough after use. Never did any real damage since I always watched what was happening. I did use a winch to start the furling process; I rather used the winch than allowing the sail flogging itself to pieces.
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Old 28-06-2010, 04:40   #4
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Thanks for the info, the download from the Harken site showed the halyard wrap quite well. The wire pennant if possible alone seems the best way to go, but I'll need to doubkle check the geometry of the halyard sheave and the forestay attachment, as may need a diverter block as well.
Regarding winching the furling line, OK, I can see to prevent flogging it is a solution, but if it gets that tight, then the winching must stop so that the cause can be found. I was not a happy bunny when I saw the damage
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Old 28-06-2010, 04:57   #5
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Halyard Wrap - See also:

Roller Furler Jamming

Fine Tuning a Roller Reefing System

In Your Footsteps - A stubborn and resistant headsail furler that jams, or releases and jams alternatively when furling

Brion Toss Yacht Riggers Fairleads Newsletter

Harken Halyard Restrainers
Halyard restrainers prevent the halyard from wrapping around the foil on boats where the swivel is not mounted near the masthead.
To be used if angle between halyard and headstay is less than 7 (between 7 - 10). This is common on masts where halyard sheave is very close to headstay.
If halyard angle is greater than 7 and halyard is wrapping a halyard restrainer may not be necessary. Halyard swivel must be near top of foils and headstay must be tight. This will prevent halyard wraps in most cases.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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