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Old 17-02-2015, 23:33   #1
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Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

Hi Cruisers,

Due to a brain-fart moment last Sunday, I have to head up the mast to retrieve a halyard. I have quite a list to do while I am up there, and on the list is to deal with the cords that zig-zag back and forth between the sides of the mast and the stays, above the top spreaders.

The starboard cord has broken and is at risk of tangling in something.

But, before I replace them, I realise I have absolutely no idea of their purpose. So should I replace them, or remove them?

I've looked all over our club and nobody else seems to have them.

I don't have any good photos to use, but they are just discernable in the photo below. In this photo they are still intact, now the starboard cord has broken about midway along.

Matt
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Old 18-02-2015, 00:53   #2
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Hi Cruisers,

Due to a brain-fart moment last Sunday, I have to head up the mast to retrieve a halyard. I have quite a list to do while I am up there, and on the list is to deal with the cords that zig-zag back and forth between the sides of the mast and the stays, above the top spreaders.

The starboard cord has broken and is at risk of tangling in something.

But, before I replace them, I realise I have absolutely no idea of their purpose. So should I replace them, or remove them?

I've looked all over our club and nobody else seems to have them.

I don't have any good photos to use, but they are just discernable in the photo below. In this photo they are still intact, now the starboard cord has broken about midway along.

Matt
Great question, I'm waiting for a hand to get up and string mine. I'm really surprised no one at your club knows what they are for, are their not any sailors there ?

They stop your hallard catching on the steps or wrapping around the mast. And they are very effective for doing it. Mine doesn't have any and I'm sick to death of trying to untangle a main mast line in heavy winds.
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Old 18-02-2015, 01:38   #3
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Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

In defence of my fellow club members I only said I could not see any others around fitted to yachts the club, I have not asked anyone about their purpose.

Now that you have explained their function I can imagine how they would help prevent the halyard from snagging things, except that it is quite a small gap between the top spreaders and the mast head, so I am having trouble picturing the halyard snagging up there. Down lower, for sure, and one job I have to do this weekend is deal with some snag points lower down.

Still, from what you say it seems the prudent thing for now will be to lace in some new line and then observe how they help things over the next year or so. No harm in that I guess? While I am at it I will look to see if mounting them in the mast segment between the upper and lower spreaders is feasible, as that is where I am having the odd problem with the main halyard.

Thanks for the explanation.


Matt




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Old 18-02-2015, 01:48   #4
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

I'm sure someone would have known.

Looking at your picture, you don't have any steps? It's my steps that it gets caught on. And frankly, I think my steps are not necessary, I doubt I'd ever go up the mast without anyone to give me a hand. Did it once by climbing the steps and id never do it again.
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Old 18-02-2015, 01:50   #5
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

Oh, and I meant to say I purchased my ketch in SA, place called Wirrena down the coast towards Kanga Island.
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Old 18-02-2015, 01:59   #6
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

I can't see any steps.

If the string is close to the spreaders then it is to keep birds off. Ever had cormorant poop on your deck ? It sets like cement.
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Old 18-02-2015, 02:06   #7
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

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I can't see any steps.

If the string is close to the spreaders then it is to keep birds off. Ever had cormorant poop on your deck ? It sets like cement.
damn big cormorants they must be

It won't keep birds off the spreaders at all.
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Old 18-02-2015, 02:38   #8
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

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I can't see any steps.

Ever had cormorant poop on your deck ? It sets like cement.
ROFL!

Yep, I know JUST what you mean. Two hours with a Karcher trying to get one boat clean. Eeergh.

M
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Old 18-02-2015, 02:40   #9
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

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damn big cormorants they must be

It won't keep birds off the spreaders at all.
It will if I use one of these....

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Old 18-02-2015, 02:43   #10
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

this has reminded me of a thread I was going to post a few weeks ago and forgot. I'll post a new one now on bird control.
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Old 18-02-2015, 02:44   #11
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

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Oh, and I meant to say I purchased my ketch in SA, place called Wirrena down the coast towards Kanga Island.
That's a great starting point for a trip to Tassie. Stopover at American River, K.I. if time permits, then straight down to the West Coast, round the corner to Hobart?

A lovely 46 foot Alan Payne design from out club got down to Port Davey in 4.5 days (I'm told) on it's way to the Wooden Boat Festival this year. Nice trip, good time if it was that quick.

Matt
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Old 18-02-2015, 02:47   #12
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

No steps on our mast, but I do like the suggestion I read here on C.F. about putting just two steps, the folding sort, at the top, to make working at the top safer and easier.


Going up on Saturday using two Black-Diamond ascenders on the MPS halyard, with the bosun's chair on the main halyard, and a roof-worker's harness attached to a spare rope jib halyard. Call me paranoid, but until I have actually seen what it is like up there, I feel I cannot have too many attachment points.


Matt
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Old 18-02-2015, 03:07   #13
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
No steps on our mast, but I do like the suggestion I read here on C.F. about putting just two steps, the folding sort, at the top, to make working at the top safer and easier.


Going up on Saturday using two Black-Diamond ascenders on the MPS halyard, with the bosun's chair on the main halyard, and a roof-worker's harness attached to a spare rope jib halyard. Call me paranoid, but until I have actually seen what it is like up there, I feel I cannot have too many attachment points.


Matt
Very wise. In 2013 I removed my main mast and had it overhauled. My mast guy said I was lucky I had not tried to be hauled up the mast as the pully for the spiniker was a fibre type and it was cracked badly.

But it was the same pully I had used as a safety point as I climbed up the steps, so if a step had broken I'd had been in trouble being supported by that.

He's infirmed me I should be using the main halyard line which is spectra and one of two pullies that are in the mast head. They can't break.
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Old 18-02-2015, 04:13   #14
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

Well GILow with the aid of my trusty magnifier I have finally spotted your strings. They aren't bird strings. Bird strings are still a good idea if poop on the deck is an issue for you. To be effective they should be between the mast and shrouds in the space 3-6" above each spreader.

As for the strings that are there now I can't see that they serve any worthwhile purpose. All I can think of is that they were meant to keep spinnakers out of that space. In this age of spinnaker furlers and socks such things really aren't necessary. Even without a furler or sock they still aren't necessary. Getting in there won't harm a spinnaker at all.

Give it a few days for the experts hereabouts to come up with a better answer then cut them off.
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Old 18-02-2015, 04:21   #15
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Re: Zig zag cord between the mast and stays above the top spreaders.

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Well GILow with the aid of my trusty magnifier I have finally spotted your strings. They aren't bird strings. Bird strings are still a good idea if poop on the deck is an issue for you. To be effective they should be between the mast and shrouds in the space 3-6" above each spreader.

As for the strings that are there now I can't see that they serve any worthwhile purpose. All I can think of is that they were meant to keep spinnakers out of that space. In this age of spinnaker furlers and socks such things really aren't necessary. Even without a furler or sock they still aren't necessary. Getting in there won't harm a spinnaker at all.

Give it a few days for the experts hereabouts to come up with a better answer then cut them off.
NO, they are not for keeping birds off or for keeping spinnakers out of that space.

They ARE for keeping the main halyard that pulls the main up the mast from getting twisted or caught when it's slack. In my case getting caught on my steps.
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