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Old 05-10-2013, 12:30   #1
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Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

I have two related questions. The boat I purchased 3 years ago was built in 1974 and has steel halyards, run internally, and mast winches. The Halyards appear to be in good shape. Since they are 40 years old, should they be replaced due to age?

I single hand often enough that I'd also like to run my halyards to the cockpit. I understand I'd need to replace sheaves, but what are your opinions about converting from steel to rope? If it is advisable what do you recommend? Should rope halyards be run inside the mast?

Thanks in advance for your knowledge and experience. JLK.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:40   #2
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

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Originally Posted by jkindredpdx View Post
I have two related questions. The boat I purchased 3 years ago was built in 1974 and has steel halyards, run internally, and mast winches. The Halyards appear to be in good shape. Since they are 40 years old, should they be replaced due to age?

I single hand often enough that I'd also like to run my halyards to the cockpit. I understand I'd need to replace sheaves, but what are your opinions about converting from steel to rope? If it is advisable what do you recommend? Should rope halyards be run inside the mast?

Thanks in advance for your knowledge and experience. JLK.
Yes, you can convert to rope. Jim and I did so on all our boats equipped with wire to rope halyards. Yes, you can run the line inside the mast: pull it through when you pull out the old halyard. You will need to replace all the sheaves first, for appropriate sized line. We like non-stretch line, find 10 mm is about the smallest that's comfortable to haul on. Plan your new installation to minimize water ingress through the dodger; our boat uses a dam to divert the most of it.

Enjoy the project. I just love having new line. It feels so nice!

Ann
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Old 05-10-2013, 13:17   #3
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

Hi no you cannot change over to rope unless the sheaves are machined to accept both. the center groove is for wire and then the outer shape is for rope.
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Old 06-10-2013, 20:30   #4
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

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Yes, you can convert to rope. Jim and I did so on all our boats equipped with wire to rope halyards. Yes, you can run the line inside the mast: pull it through when you pull out the old halyard. You will need to replace all the sheaves first, for appropriate sized line. We like non-stretch line, find 10 mm is about the smallest that's comfortable to haul on. Plan your new installation to minimize water ingress through the dodger; our boat uses a dam to divert the most of it.

Enjoy the project. I just love having new line. It feels so nice!

Ann
Thanks Ann,
I can run my lines outside my dodger and back to a clutch and the winch. Did you change for ease of handling handling or because your wire needed to be replaced?
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:04   #5
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

My first boat was a Catalina 27 with wire rope halyards...

I changed out the halyards to low stretch lines and replaced the sheaves in the mast head.

It was too difficult to run the halyards inside the mast, but I did run everything to the cockpit by using deck organizers and rope clutches.

It is very nice to have all lines in the cockpit, especially on a crappy day!
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:13   #6
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

I can run my lines outside my dodger and back to a clutch and the winch. Did you change for ease of handling handling or because your wire needed to be replaced?

Hi, j.kindred:

We changed because we prefer to avoid the inevitable meathooks that develop in old wire; plus Jim felt the wire halyard winch was dangerous, a potential arm breaker, and because we like the "hand" of rope halyards. If you can determine the strength of the soon-to-be-leftover-wire, perhaps you can adapt it to jackline use, but only if it's strong enough. Otherwise, you can use it to cable up a dinghy, or secure fuel jugs on deck. There will be uses for it.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:23   #7
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

Ours are wire and rope and I have just spliced a new topping lift of the same design. They last +10 years of heavy use.

I like the in-mast part to be wire as it seems to chafe less than soft rope (in our case at least).

I do not like all-wire halyards. Find them awkward to work with.

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Old 07-10-2013, 09:54   #8
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

Thanks all.
Since I hear no arguments for keeping the wire rope yet, think I'll be moving forward with low stretch all the way. I ran a new topping lift through the mast this past summer. Only factor that would keep me using wire would be if I was told it was stronger and more reliable. I don't see a spliced wire/rope being stronger and really don't want the splice in the mast or wire running on deck. I have a roller furling genny, so I'm mostly unhappy with the main.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:27   #9
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

IMHO if your mast lends itself to all soft rope halyards, that's best and easiest.

In our case, we do not want to drop sails mid-ocean to check how our halyards are doing; hence the wire to rope spliced design. Our mast is of older design and some entries are just too sharp for long term use of all line halyards.

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Old 11-10-2013, 09:05   #10
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

Actually Jim, I will be the one to argue for wire halyards in the case of the HR 35's. Remember they come down through the mast and exit at the mast step via another wire sheave. So, you would have to change another sheave and to lead it back, install a cheek block afterwards. Just my opinion, but a lot of work.
I personally do not like a lot of lines in the cockpit as it tends to clutter things up. If you're reefing, you have to go forward anyways to gather the reef points.
As far as meat-hooks, yes, it happens...after years and years of use. It's a lively indicator to replace. A worn or rotted rope halyard just lets go one day. For the hassle. I'd stay with wire.
Also if you go with roller furling, the jib halyard is out of the loop, most of the time.
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Old 11-10-2013, 14:06   #11
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

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If you're reefing, you have to go forward anyways to gather the reef points.
Only if your forward reef line is not rigged to hold the reef tack.

In our boat we do go forward to hook the ring on the hook, but we do it when we please as we can continue on fore reef line alone for hours without any concerns.

BTW wire halyards require wire winches (or not?). So once you are set for wire, you are pretty stuck.

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Old 11-10-2013, 14:13   #12
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

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Only if your forward reef line is not rigged to hold the reef tack.

In our boat we do go forward to hook the ring on the hook, but we do it when we please as we can continue on fore reef line alone for hours without any concerns.

BTW wire halyards require wire winches (or not?). So once you are set for wire, you are pretty stuck.

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Good point about the winches. They aren't cheap. When you reef...what would you do with the excess sail if you didn't go forward and tie the reef point down along the sail?...let it flop?
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Old 11-10-2013, 16:47   #13
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

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Actually Jim, I will be the one to argue for wire halyards in the case of the HR 35's. . .If you're reefing, you have to go forward anyways to gather the reef points. . . Also if you go with roller furling, the jib halyard is out of the loop, most of the time.
Wondered when you'd show up I do have a roller furling genny, and although I slab reef or drop my main into lazy jacks, I have the original boom (that spins old style) for furling the main. Have you tried that on your Rasmus? Did I hear that, if there are no meat hooks, I don't have to worry about 40 yr old wire failing?
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Old 11-10-2013, 17:15   #14
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

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Wondered when you'd show up I do have a roller furling genny, and although I slab reef or drop my main into lazy jacks, I have the original boom (that spins old style) for furling the main. Have you tried that on your Rasmus? Did I hear that, if there are no meat hooks, I don't have to worry about 40 yr old wire failing?
Hi jim...Well...to start...I bought Joli' Elle as a derelict. So the money faucet was on full blast. I have now spent on it the same amount I paid for it. So it was a look see this year while getting outta Dodge. I have no idea the age of the wire, but no meat hooks...yet. SS wire is easy to find anywhere in the world.
I do have slab reefing. I'm not even sure the boom rolls anymore. I have 2 reef hooks on the goose neck and the clew is web strapped. Crude but works.
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Old 11-10-2013, 17:15   #15
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Re: Halyard Replacement advice will be appreciated

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Good point about the winches. They aren't cheap. When you reef...what would you do with the excess sail if you didn't go forward and tie the reef point down along the sail?...let it flop?
Why not.

This is a poor 'technique' that a) limits visibility below the boom as well as b) may chafe the sail. I actually tie up the bunt very neatly ever after a bad wave ripped our main that I 'temporarily' tied with a bungy pop tie ...

The point is with well laid out fore reef line and arrangement you can reef down and then go forward when you like it - say once the rain squall passed, when the boat settles down on a new comfortable course or in the morning (say if you reefed at night).

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