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Old 05-08-2010, 15:40   #1
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Halyard Retrieval with Magnet

A few weeks ago I lost a halyard up the mast. We were getting set to climb the stick when it occurred to attempt to get a magnet to stick to the halyard shackle. We made an infinite loop out of a second halyard, taped a strong magnet to the loop and managed to maneuver it close enough to the lost halyard that the magnet was able to catch the shackle. It worked!

I was pretty lucky that the halyard shackle I was retrieving was of a poor enough quality steel to be magnetic, but it got me thinking, why not put a little iron on each halyard so that I could do this reliably in the future?

In order for this to work I guess you need all external halyards that you can physically get close enough to each other to perform a rescue. Seems like a fairly simple retrieval method, not sure why I haven't heard of it before?
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Old 05-08-2010, 16:56   #2
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I've gotten sky'ed halyards back with a bent-up coat hangar hook on an adjacent halyard.
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Old 05-08-2010, 18:13   #3
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It's also possible to catch a loose halyard by making an adjacent line moving in the manner of a jump rope. The "jump rope" line is spun around the lost halyard and quickly pulled down before it uncoils. 'has worked for me, Aythya crew
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:00   #4
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Re: Halyard Retrieval with Magnet

A rigger here in the Fort Myers area (Chris Marek--Ocean Rigging--excellent rigger, btw) told me how he does it for lost internal halyards. Attach a 2-3 foot piece of bead chain (the stuff used for pull cords on lamp fixtures) to the end of your messenger line. First have the person at the mast top drop the chain and messenger outside of the mast so that it can be marked for the length where it will reach the exit box. Next, drop the beaded end down inside the mast and use a magnetic wand to pull the chain out through the exit box. As a plus, the chain makes a nice rattle inside the mast too which allows for gauging where the messenger is within the mast.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:16   #5
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Re: Halyard Retrieval with Magnet

I've used the same technique for house wiring, works a charm. (I use picture hanging chain, heavy enough to puch through insulation).
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:45   #6
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Re: Halyard Retrieval with Magnet

Great ideas! I'm going to file those away. Someday a customer will ask me how to solve that problem and I'll actually sound like I know something.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:01   #7
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Re: Halyard Retrieval with Magnet

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Originally Posted by happyendings View Post
A rigger here in the Fort Myers area (Chris Marek--Ocean Rigging--excellent rigger, btw) told me how he does it for lost internal halyards. Attach a 2-3 foot piece of bead chain (the stuff used for pull cords on lamp fixtures) to the end of your messenger line. First have the person at the mast top drop the chain and messenger outside of the mast so that it can be marked for the length where it will reach the exit box. Next, drop the beaded end down inside the mast and use a magnetic wand to pull the chain out through the exit box. As a plus, the chain makes a nice rattle inside the mast too which allows for gauging where the messenger is within the mast.
Attach a few feet of wool to the chain and suck it out with a handy vac with a 1/2" hose taped on.
Works to pull a messenger line for limber chains, and wiring thru in-accessable lockers and spaces.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:48   #8
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Re: Halyard Retrieval with Magnet

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Originally Posted by Sonrisa View Post
. Seems like a fairly simple retrieval method, not sure why I haven't heard of it before?

Mainly because shackles should be of a good quality stainless!
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