Originally Posted by Josephcrawl
I need to change the forestay inside a profurl. Can I use the halyard
to lower it into the water
with some fenders lashed on to float it to land? My fear is I'll kink the foil during the lowering process.
Yes, you can remove your forestay without dropping your mast
- we did exactly that a few years ago when we removed our furling
foil and forestay. It’s MUCH easier if you’re moored along side a berth with a straight line path to shore. Any reason you want to drop it into the water?
AFAIK it’s easiest to drop the foil and forestay together, then remove the forestay once you have everything on land. I don’t believe it’s possible to just slide the forestay out and leave the furler
in place as there wouldn’t be anything supporting the foil.
How big is your boat
? What I describe here is removing a relatively large and heavy forestay/foil system (ours, from a 16m catamaran
, needed three men
to lower and support it until we got it on stands).
You will need at least 3 forward halyards at least as high as the forestay to mast
attachment (one will be used to lower the forestay - this could be a line through a temporary block that you install just for this). You will also need 2 rear or additional forward halyards if you need to slacken your swept back side stays. One halyard will be used by the person who is disconnecting the top of the forestay.
First, reduce the tension in your backstay and, if you have swept back spreaders, in the shrouds. You want to reduce the tension in the forestay to zero or near zero.
Second, secure one or preferably two halyards from the mast head
to the bow. Apply just enough tension to the halyard(s) so that the forestay is soft - it should be just sagging.
If you loosened any side stays due to being swept back, ensure that you are supporting the mast side to side with halyards too.
Third, disconnect the bottom of the forestay where it attaches to the bow tang. This end will be moved away from the boat as the top is dropped, so have someone hold it, ready to move. Two people are useful as there is quite a lot of tension.
If you truly intend to float it, attach a line from the bottom and hold it from a dinghy
, ready to move away. You will need two people in the dinghy
- one to control the dinghy and the other to hold the forestay end. You will need a fair bit of power to pull the lowering forestay enough so that it doesn’t sag too much.
Fourth, support the top with a tight halyard and disconnect the forestay from the mast tang. Lower the person out of the way, then slowly lower the forestay and foil. As you lower, move the bottom end away from the boat. You don’t want to take any chances with kinking the foil at its connections between foil sections.
If you are lowering into water, attach a float every 6 metres or so. Otherwise, progressively add another person every 5-6 metres to hold it as it is lowered, such that it never sags too much.
Finally, once the top end is lowered to ground or water put a person (or another float) on the end. Then you can walk it or float it to stands or whatever work
area you’ve got.
The forestay can be extracted at this time. Remember to support the foil at each connection before you remove the forestay.