Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-05-2012, 08:24   #1
Senior Cruiser
jglauds's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Boat: Orana 44
Posts: 164
When to Replace Halyard ?

Our main halyard is 4 years old, with about 30,000 miles of sailing. It is noticeably faded, and has internal twisting -- twisting that in truth has been present since almost its installation.

The 42 meter 12 mm halyard starts at the top of my mast, runs thru a block on the head of the main sail, returns to the mast top and then, internally, back to the deck, a turn block, a clutch, and then the winch.

There is no fraying anywhere, but we're beginning to see rope dust/chaff as it passes thru the clutch ... it's also getting tougher to pass thru the clutch freely when we drop the main, given the twisting ...

We don't mind replacing it, but don't want to abandon good rope ...

How do people determine when to replace a rope in the absence of visible chafing or wear? Time? Distance? Twisting?



"Money's just something to throw off the back of a train;
Got a head full of lightning, and a hat full of rain."
jglauds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 08:33   #2
Senior Cruiser
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 6,819
Re: When to Replace Halyard?

I replace them when I feel uncomfortable going aloft with them. I'm not joking, it's hard to tell when they're shot. I usually go by age, afaik there's no magic formula. When they're old and stiff and I start worrying I replace them.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 10:00   #3
Senior Cruiser
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,138
Re: When to Replace Halyard?

The ideal time is JUST BEFORE it breaks.

We had a kevlar halyard break shortly after we purchased our boat.
It was only five years old, but had spent a year in Mexico.

It was time to reef, so I winched the halyard just a bit to relieve the sheet stopper and BANG !
The halyard snapped between the winch and the sheet stopper.
We would lose the halyard inside the mast if we opened the sheet stopper which of course, we didn't want to do under the circumstances.
The wind thankfully moderated enough so we didn't have to immediately do anything, so we formulated a plan. DUCT TAPE to the rescue!
I spliced it with just enough to hopefully hold the two ends together, but not enough to prevent the line from sticking in the sheet stopper.
Talk about a balancing act! No second chances here...

When we sailed into the lee of the island, we opened up the sheet stopper and thankfully the halyard splice fed perfectly through, up the mast, down the 2:1 halyard.

Success !
"I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned,
but not greed to want to take somebody else's money"

-Thomas Sowell
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 17:40   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 15,093
Re: When to Replace Halyard?

Reverse it before you replace it.

barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 22:08   #5
Registered User
Adelie's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: El Ciudad del Mission San Diego de Alcalá en Alta California, Virreinato de Nueva España
Boat: Cal 20
Posts: 2,362
Re: When to Replace Halyard?

Is it single braid or double braid?
Are halyards internal or external?

With double braid, the core is experiencing minimal abrasion and UV degradation. When the cover starts to show wear, then it is time for replacement or at least and end-for-end.

With single braid probably best to set a limit of 5yr or so or the first signs of chaffing and then end for end it.

If the halyards are external then it is easier to replace them and you can be a little more liberal about how far you push the halyard life.
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
Adelie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 22:36   #6
Registered User
knottygurl's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Picton, ON
Boat: Grampian 26
Posts: 227
Re: When to Replace Halyard?

I just replaced mine and as Vasco said when you feel uncomfortable then its time, I have the old halyards now as spare lines and can be used anywhere minimal to moderate loads would be. might even look at making a dingy bridle

Sailing Lake Ontario
Sailing Solitude
knottygurl is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:22.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.