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Old 03-07-2011, 00:48   #1
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To Climb Or Not To Climb

I went out for a sail last week and my headsail furler wouldn't unfurl. It seems to be a problem up top. My question is, do I manually unfurl the sail and lower the halyard to see if that helps or do I ascend and see if there's something I can do at the top?
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Old 03-07-2011, 00:59   #2
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

Try and adjust halyard tension, either slack an inch or tighten and see if you can get the sail to unfurl, then if it does unfurl, drop the head sail and check the top swivel, at the same time, give it a good rinse through with fresh water.
It may be that the angle between the halyard and the swivel is not quite right and is leading to a halyard wrap. There are a couple of ways to fix this. If the angle is too small, which ís due to swivel being too far from the halyard sheave, the angle can be increased by fitting a pennent wire between the head of the sail and the bottom of the swivel, or a diverter can be fitted to mast below the sheave.
See
http://www.harken.com/pdf/4410.pdf

for info on diverters
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:27   #3
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

Walk down the dock, or dinghy away, and use binoculars to see the what's going on up there.

Typically it's a halyard wrap. Which might be fixed by tightening the drum in the furl direction then tightening the halyard fully. Later install the strop or diverter referenced above.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:15   #4
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

climb the mast i had the same prob 8 weeks ago for some unknown reason halyard tension was lost and the halyard angle altered from the 7 to 10 degrees to about 25 causing furler to jam up so up i went took 15 mins to fix
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:38   #5
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

Try everything you can think of on deck before going up the stick.

No use taking any unnecessary chances no matter how comfortable you are going up..
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:44   #6
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

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Try everything you can think of on deck before going up the stick.

No use taking any unnecessary chances no matter how comfortable you are going up..
Yep, try simple (low risk) solutions first. Even if unlikely.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:18   #7
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

Thanks guys. When it happened I slackened the halyard and was able to get it to unfurl a small amount more but that was it. I will give that angle some more effort before deciding to ascend. My fingers are crossed for a very calm day
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:40   #8
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

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Thanks guys. When it happened I slackened the halyard and was able to get it to unfurl a small amount more but that was it.
Sounds like a halyard wrap. You might try to furl the sail while keeping some tension on the halyard. This might unwrap it. Use binocs to see what's going on with the halyard. If you can unwind the wrapped halyard you might be able to drop the sail again. If furling with tension doesn't do the trick, try furling with the halyard slack.

If nothing works, it shouldn't be too hard to untangle this by going up the mast. While you're up there, inspect everything you can.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:52   #9
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

You haven't furled a topping lift etc in it?
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:15   #10
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

Thanks for the encouragement. Glancing back to what I saw through the binoculars at the time halyard wrap might be a reasonable explanation.

I've only been up the stick once before so have a mixture of intrepidation and curiousity about it, mostly intrepidation though
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:17   #11
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

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You haven't furled a topping lift etc in it?
I don't think so, the mainsail was working just fine.
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Old 03-07-2011, 13:38   #12
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

Love my 'Top Climber' ATN TOPCLIMBER / MASTCLIMBER harness bosuns chair - eBay (item 140571938118 end time Jul-12-11 05:55:38 PDT) . Had the upper swivel jam on the foil so I couldn't lower the sail. Had to go up the mast head, pull the pin and lower the foil/stay/sail so I could free it up. Had one guy help me for less than a half hour to R&R the furler.

You might want to go up and have a look just to see if there is anything interesting going on. Did that for the fun of it when I first got the Top Climber and found broken strands on the headstay at the mast head swage fitting. Paid for the Top Climber on that first trip. Damn, it's embarassing to lose a head stay.
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Old 03-07-2011, 13:44   #13
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

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... have a mixture of intrepidation and curiousity about it, mostly intrepidation though
Ditto, and my mast is shorter than yours.



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Old 03-07-2011, 14:19   #14
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

Damn, those tanbark sails sure look neat.
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Old 03-07-2011, 14:22   #15
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Re: To Climb Or Not To Climb

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Love my 'Top Climber' ATN TOPCLIMBER / MASTCLIMBER harness bosuns chair - eBay (item 140571938118 end time Jul-12-11 05:55:38 PDT) . Had the upper swivel jam on the foil so I couldn't lower the sail. Had to go up the mast head, pull the pin and lower the foil/stay/sail so I could free it up. Had one guy help me for less than a half hour to R&R the furler.

You might want to go up and have a look just to see if there is anything interesting going on. Did that for the fun of it when I first got the Top Climber and found broken strands on the headstay at the mast head swage fitting. Paid for the Top Climber on that first trip. Damn, it's embarassing to lose a head stay.
I've a top climber and I have to say the one time up it worked well. That time I stayed close to the mast going up and the spreaders were an annoyance but next time I thought I'd rig further off the mast since I understand it makes it easier getting up.
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