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Old 09-09-2013, 18:01   #1
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Mast Halyards - internal / external

I need seasoned cruisers opinions but will read them all.

As many of you know I'm rebuilding my Spencer 42. I plan to launch some time next summer. Obviously, the mast is horizontal next to the boat.

While it's down I can easily chage from 2 to 4 sheaves and run them inside. Is there an advantage to running 4 halyards?

NO wire ... all high strength / low stretch halyards

I already have a seperate mast head crane for the spinaker. That line run external. aw-duh

Halyard: Internal or External ... pros and cons
Number: 2 or 4 ... pros and cons

Would / could one of those lines inside be the topping lift?
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Old 09-09-2013, 18:11   #2
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

Internal all the way!! the noise in a windy night is insane, lines last longer inside of the mast due uv protection, is neat and you got the mast clear ,
external sometimes get tangled in spreaders , radar , etc...
my 2 cents...
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Old 09-09-2013, 19:31   #3
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

You'll have to open up the hole(s) for the halyard exit and install exit plate(s) depending on where your winch is. Also need to find a clever way to fish them horizontally. How is the wiring - are they inside a conduit?
Just some thoughts, as I have the same dilemma.
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Old 09-09-2013, 19:49   #4
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

Forward planning that I may have internal halyards. Several months ago I removed the original 1 inch rivited pvc conduit and installed a 1/2 inch electrical conduit with Sikaflex 291. There was a post discussing various ways to attach. The local marina had 5 tubes that had reached their expiration and I got them about 70% off. They were still very plyable and very sticky even after I left them outside for another several months. That conduit is not ever coming out. It also makes a good edge for sliding in another one along side should I ever need to.

As far a mast wiring, since I don't have any satelite or spreader lights there's only a mast head light.

Oh, I used an electricians metal fish tape to pull my wires through.
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Old 09-09-2013, 20:05   #5
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

Well, I've had boats with both. Internals can be quieter if set up with proper channels, and are theoretically more protected, but it's not rocket science to silence externals, and at least 1/2 the halyard is still exposed with internals. They can still chafe. A break is still a break.

Externals are a lot easier to replace, and if there are issues developing, it's all plain to see. I've never had my externals get tangled in spreaders, or lead to other confusion. Doesn't seem that hard to manage.
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Old 09-09-2013, 20:09   #6
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

I had the same question with my Pearson 42 and decided to go with the internal halyards and go from 2 to 4. Contacted another Pearson owner that had done the swap years before to see if he had any reservations after making the change and his answer was none at all.
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Old 09-09-2013, 20:50   #7
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

Chasing Summer, are you planning wires for a steaming light? Also, spreader lights can be very handy when working on deck. I dont know your sailing plans, but if it includes offshore, a masthead tricolor will make you visible at a much greater distance than deck level lights. Actually having both is the best way. I like internal halyards, but make sure you stagger the location of the exit blocks, because they weaken a mast if placed too close together. What about the cable for the mast head VHF antenna? What about a wire/cable for an ASI antenna at the spreaders. Sorry to put so many questions to you, but all of this stuff is easier to deal with while the mast is down. Good Luck with it all. ______Grant.
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Old 09-09-2013, 21:16   #8
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

GJordon ... that's why I pose the question because I want idea. Yes, I plan on having tri-color mast head light. I've read all kinds of pros and cons about mast head and spreader antenna vs stern rail mounts and I think I'll opt for stern mount both VHF and AIS receiver. Not planning to have AIS transmitter. I have an insulated back stay, also.
Also, read a lot about spreader lights at night. I agree that they totally wreck your night vision. I can always wear a head mounted lamp, red or white, as needed.
I really think I'm leaning toward external halyard with the two sets of double sheaves. I'm old school and that's what it was designed with.
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Old 09-09-2013, 23:01   #9
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

You will still need a steaming light, since you cant legally run your engine at night with a masthead tricolor. A stern mount VHF is a good backup, but a mast head VHF will give you much more range, both transmitting and receiving. As far as spreader lights go , they can blind you if you are coming into a harbor, but can be a real asset if you are trying to tie in a second reef offshore. You will have the sight recovery time if offshore. Like most things in boats, it is all a compromise. Good Luck with it all. _____Grant.
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Old 09-09-2013, 23:26   #10
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

spreader lights work well to light up your sails for other traffic to see you
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Old 09-09-2013, 23:55   #11
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

I like to have a spare halyard just in case. The only way to get with the typical 4 sheave masthead is to run the main and jib halyard internal on the set of sheaves on one side and the spare halyard on the sheaves on the other side. Saved me from having to climb the mast to replace a broken halyard on the way to the Marquesas.

Wouldn't run all halyards internal, just the main and jib. Keep the other set of sheaves as an external spare. That way it can be used for either a jib main halyard.

All you really need to do is cut slots in the mast. No need for any hardware. I installed mine with the mast on the ground. Did one side and pulled the halyard taught. Then rolled the mast over on its other edge. Let gravity keep them separated.

I did away with the spreader lights when I R&R'd the mast. Never used them. Headlamps work so much better.
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Old 10-09-2013, 00:08   #12
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

When I had the boat re-rigged last January, I had the halyards internalised. So far I love it. I used to spend 10 minutes every time I put the boat away, messing about with sail ties, trying to find a way to silence the external ones. It never quite worked completely.

The jib halyard used to clank against the mast while under sail, on a certain point of sail. Nothing would stop it. Now I can sail in peace!

My main halyard used to get caught on the steaming light occasionally, if tension wasn't kept in it at all times. No more issues, it just works.
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Old 10-09-2013, 00:49   #13
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

Definately internal. Spectra or similar non stretch for main and Genoa halyards, It wont matter "too" much if the spinnaker halyard isnt as non stretch though. External halyards scream out "old rig design"- which may affect resale in the future.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:44   #14
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My boat currently has internal halyards, but no conduit for the wiring. What is the best way to attach conduit inside the mast?
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:11   #15
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Re: Mast Halyards - internal / external

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Well, I've had boats with both. Internals can be quieter if set up with proper channels, and are theoretically more protected, but it's not rocket science to silence externals, and at least 1/2 the halyard is still exposed with internals. They can still chafe. A break is still a break.

Externals are a lot easier to replace, and if there are issues developing, it's all plain to see. I've never had my externals get tangled in spreaders, or lead to other confusion. Doesn't seem that hard to manage.
What Mike said +1.

Likewise I have had both and I prefer external but really, internal is also good.
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