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Old 18-04-2008, 05:04   #1
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Halyard Frustration

Went up the mast to replace a halyard and could not get the %$#@!! thing to go down the other side. Everytime I tried to carefully lead it through, it seemed to bunch up at the head! I don't know if it's wiring or something else that's causing the snag.

Any thoughts?
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Old 18-04-2008, 05:43   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
Went up the mast to replace a halyard and could not get the %$#@!! thing to go down the other side. Everytime I tried to carefully lead it through, it seemed to bunch up at the head! I don't know if it's wiring or something else that's causing the snag.

Any thoughts?
I whip the end tightly and add a messenger loop.
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Old 18-04-2008, 05:55   #3
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Sneuman, I gather the previous halyard is no longer there and hence cannot be used as a messenger. If not, I agree with Joli - you'll probably need to get something down that can be used as a messenger. If you remove the exit block, you may be able to feed a spare piece of standing rigging down and then attach the halyard to it - 3/16" (or greater) 1 x 19 SS is reasonably flexible, but also stiff enough to push past some minor obstructions.

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Old 18-04-2008, 05:55   #4
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messenger loop?
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Old 18-04-2008, 06:12   #5
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Sneuman, I'm not entirely sure what Joli meant by messenger 'loop', but a messenger is a typically a small line that runs the intended route and is used to pull through the actual line that is to be used. Most new masts/booms designed for internal halyards/outhauls/reefing lines will be delivered with small messengers in place so that the rigger can choose his own running rigging.

The problem with trying now to feed a small line through is that it will be even more apt to bind than the halyard. At least, that was my experience. When I was stuck with a similar dilemma, I ended up removing the mast entry/exit sheaves and running through a piece of 3/16" standing rigging, then using duct tape to attach the halyard to the wire and pulling it through.

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Old 18-04-2008, 06:13   #6
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I use lead fishing weights on a piece of line which I tie to the loop at the end of the halyard. The weights need to be heavy enough... use plenty of balls and they will pull the halyard down the inside in the beginning, until enough line is inside and it's weight will do the rest.

Depending on what's inside the mast you may snag something and need to try again until it runs free to the exit. Use a small bit of bailing "wire" fashioned into a hook to grab the string of balls and pull them through the mast exit. The balls have to be smaller than the exit hole DUH.

You can also use a long string (entire mast length) with one small weight as a messenger.

Good luck.
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Old 18-04-2008, 06:17   #7
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Sneuman... since you are aloft doing this, just go to Home Depot or Lowe's an get a standard roll of "fish tape", which is just a type of metal snake that rolls up.

I have one on board in my tools.

You just stick the stiff (but flexible) metal fish tape through the slot, duct tape (or stitch if it's a really tight fit) the line to it, and pull on the other end to pull the line through.

It's a good idea to have one in your tool set anyway. You'll need it for electrical and plumbing projects.

Fish tape - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cable and Wire Pulling, Fish Tape
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Old 18-04-2008, 06:22   #8
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Fish tape or "snake" are neat tools but they do tend to find some niche to trap themselves.

I prefer the KISS approach outlined above where you can dangle the line and make it find a fair lead. The stiff cable doesn't permit this always. And it costs 100 times as much.
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Old 18-04-2008, 06:35   #9
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The fish tape would do the same thing as a spare shroud; if you don't have a spare shroud, you could also use some clothes-line wire (quite cheap). In either case, I suspect that it is less likely to get caught up than a small line with weights unless the inside of the mast really doesn't have much in the way of obstructions.

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Old 18-04-2008, 06:45   #10
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Whipping the end of a line is stright forward. When I whip a halyard end I also include a messenger loop or a reeving loop with the whipping twine. It allows you to tie a small messenger to the halyard end and pull it through. If it is a tight fit you can taper the messenger to halyard connection with tape.

A loop incorporated into the whipping is a handy thing. It makes it very easy to pull halyards in the fall and replace them with cheap messengers.

Sorry I can't find a photo of the loop with the whipped end incorporated.

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Old 18-04-2008, 06:49   #11
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Since we're doing new halyards anyway, and they probably need whipping, Joli's method sounds perfect.

The fish tape is still a must aboard. I can't even count the number of times I've used it for plumbing, electrical and other times things are stuck in weird places. They don't hang up on anything because they have a rounded end.
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Old 18-04-2008, 06:52   #12
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If you need to drop a new halyard you can also use a mono line with a light chain on it. It wil work its way down the spar.

A problem you might have is which side of the spreader bar you want to be on (forward or aft). If you have multiple spreaders like us you can end up on the wrong side, then the right side of the spreader bar when you drop the halyard through (in essence you have knitted the halyard through the spreader bars), you end up with extra friction. The only way I know to fix this is to pull the mast/shroud terminations and fix it from inside with the spar down. No fun! It happens when the halyard breaks and its lost in the mast.

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Old 18-04-2008, 06:53   #13
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Thanks. I had a similar problem on my old boat and never managed to resolve it satisfactorily. I'm going to go up the mast next time with the weighted line AND the fish tape. If I don't manage it this time, I'm afraid the ground crew will mutiny!
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Old 18-04-2008, 06:55   #14
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Sully,

I love the "snake" or fish tape and agree it has many uses aboard. What I meant is that because of its stiffness, it can find a dead end. For example, I have got them trapped in several hoses, wires and so forth which has been cable ties together and the fish tape works its way into the bundle. Hard to describe, but I think you might get the picture.

The fish tool is indispensables for many tasks.

Small chain for drops is good too!
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Old 18-04-2008, 07:07   #15
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A final note on whipping. Do not burn the end when the whipping is complete. The burnt end of a poly line can crack and make a sharp edge. It not only hurts, it cuts. When you whip a sheet, cut it and fluff it up a bit. If the whipping comes loose two years later you can sit in the sun, re-whip it, and drink a coldie.

Tricks learned from boat bites.........
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