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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    106

    Default Advice about replacing jib halyard

    Hi folks at the end of last season I could not get our jib down from the mast. It was stuck. Someone kindly helped me with it (they had to go up the mast on a harness). I'm not sure what the problem was. Someone at the boatyard did explain but I didn't really understand the terminology.

    Anyway the wire part or the halyard was all twisted (it was a mixture of rope/wire) and I need to replace it. Based on some internet research I intend to buy 30m of 8mm cruising dyneema. Does that sound the right sort of rope? It's a 30ft seamaster 925.
    Also there seems to be lots of options for how the ends of the halyards are finished. I guess the end that is down at the mast is just heat sealed? Does the end that attaches to the halyard need a particular finish - whipped, spliced,eye etc etc. I really have no idea. Everything boat related is totally new to me.

    Finally to get the new halyard through the mast i understand that you have to attach it to the old halyard and pull it through the mast. I have bought a needle and some twine for that. Do i need anything else?

    Any help would be appreciated and please feel free to state the very obvious!
    Thanks v much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,431

    Default Re: Advice about replacing jib halyard

    8mm Dynema has breaking strain > 2 ton. Someone with more knowledge than me can presumably tell if that is what you need. It seems quite a lot to me.

    What is the current setup - how thick is the wire? How thick is the rope. The reason (as I understand it) for wire and rope is to reduce stretch. You've correctly figured that Dynema can do the same. The rope thickness and wire thickness currently are what matter - the new rope needs to fit the blocks etc.

    What is on the end of the wire currently? I'd expect an eye with a shackle. You can do the same in Dynema. You may want a thimble. BUT - you might not need an eye. Take a look at this: https://www.animatedknots.com/halyard/index.php - advantage - if the rope wears at the end - cut off a few inches and all your wear points move and no need to be a splicing ace. I'd use a snap shackle personally. Big not stops the halyard being pulled into the mast if it all goes wrong. Dinghy guys use this: http://www.wayfarer-international.or...Jhalsheet.html Not sure why it couldn't apply to big boats

    the end coming out the mast. Yes heat seal it, but you want some form of stopper somewhere that stops it going up the mast! Have enough spare to shorten things later but not too much to trip over if you can.

    Is your mast ~ 40ft - in which case you need 40ft up, 40ft back down and enough rope back to the blocks. 90ft perhaps? So your 30m is about right. But Dynema is not cheap. You'll probably be left with a few feet of scrap...

    Stitch and tape the rope. Pull GENTLY. Don't try to pull a splice through - the blocks will not be big enough. Wear gloves.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Advice about replacing jib halyard

    Hi thanks for all that
    I don't know the thickness of the wire or the existing rope or if it is on a shackle because the mast is under a cover at the boatyard and I can't access it until they uncover it
    I was hoping to order the halyard on line and then fit it when I next go to the boatyard (it's a 2 hour drive ). But it sounds like I might be best to have a look at the set up before buying anything. Someone said to me you can go to as thin a diameter of halyard as you want but just possibly not thicker because it might not fit the sheave- does that sound right ?

    I'm not sure of mast height but I found a diagram on line that says length of foretriangle is 38ft so I was basing the 30 metres on that and adding in a bit extra

    Thanks for all the other tips that's very useful

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,697

    Default Re: Advice about replacing jib halyard

    If your original halyard was wire/rope combo the sheave at the masthead may have a narrow almost V-shaped groove designed for wire instead of a U-shaped one for rope. This MAY damage the rope, but equally well you may well get away with it unchanged for years.

    I've just replaced a 10mm braided polyester halyard with 10mm Spectra/dyneema: I used the halyard hitch at the top, but whipped the end where it's knotted before making the knot, then left about an inch and a half of the end out from the knot and whipped that tightly to the standing part. Dyneema can make knots "creep" undone. Halyard hitches are excellent for polyester ropes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Advice about replacing jib halyard

    Thanks- I think really need to go and look at the mast before ordering anything

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Clyde
    Posts
    7,270

    Default Re: Advice about replacing jib halyard

    On a sea master 925 the mast will be approx 10m. Are you sure it's a wire/rope halyard. That means the wire is spliced to the rope. It's done to avoid stretch but rare on a cruising boat.
    From what you say and if you have roller reeling I think you might have had a halyard wrap. This may have caused the wire forestay to start untwisting in which case you need a new forestay not a halyard.
    Assuming the forestay is good then just replace the halyard with 10mm braid. Much cheaper than dyneema which isn't necessary. Just wrap and sew some twine around the ends to stop fraying. Even some electrical tape works well if you put it on tight then cut through it to form an end. Look for "halyard knot" and attach to a shackle or straight on to your top swivel. As said you need enough to go from just above deck at the bow, up the mast, back down and back to your forestay halyard cleat or winch. 30m sounds about right.
    The yard should allow you access to your mast, how are you supposed to do any work on it if they don't?
    Last edited by Spyro; 30-03-19 at 14:09.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Advice about replacing jib halyard

    Hi Yes it is definitely rope and wire
    I don't think there is a problem with the forestay. Both the the chap that went up the mast and the boat yard manager said it was the way it had been rigged. The yard manager mentioned something about a block. It was all a foreign language to me. I did call him to ask what the problem was but he can't remember.
    At Crinan they put a big cover over the masts for the winter and you can't get in to look at them. They are taking it off soon though so I'll go and try and find out what the problem is. I could just ask the boatyard to sort it but I am guessing that will be expensive so i would rather give it a bash myself.
    Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Clyde
    Posts
    7,270

    Default Re: Advice about replacing jib halyard

    Quote Originally Posted by Crinan12 View Post
    Hi Yes it is definitely rope and wire
    I don't think there is a problem with the forestay. Both the the chap that went up the mast and the boat yard manager said it was the way it had been rigged. The yard manager mentioned something about a block. It was all a foreign language to me. I did call him to ask what the problem was but he can't remember.
    At Crinan they put a big cover over the masts for the winter and you can't get in to look at them. They are taking it off soon though so I'll go and try and find out what the problem is. I could just ask the boatyard to sort it but I am guessing that will be expensive so i would rather give it a bash myself.
    Thanks
    In that case I'd just replace it with 10mm braid. Cut of the wire eye loop or what ever is attached at the sail end. lay the wire alongside the new halyard overlapping about 10 inches with a few turns of the wire around the new halyard over the 10 inches. PVC electrical tape tightly over the lot and pull the new halyard through from the exit at the bottom of the mast. It's very easy if the mast is off the boat as you can feed the join in the new and old halyard around the mast head sheave as you pull through the new one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Advice about replacing jib halyard

    Thanks. That sounds easy enough!
    Expect another post from me soon when I get stuck thou ! :-)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    sheffield
    Posts
    834

    Default Re: Advice about replacing jib halyard

    Personally, and just to give you another slant, I would buy a length of mouseline about twice the height of the mast plus two or three metres. You want something thinner, maybe 3 or 4mm. Polyester braid is fine (but can wear if you leave it in all winter with the mast up). I would sew a loop with strong sailmakers thread onto the end of the rope part of the halyard, attach the loop to the mouseline, and pull the wire out while pulling mouseline in. Now you have the halyard free and can design and make a new halyard to suit. I agree that dyneema is probably better that you need - low stretch braided polyester would be fine, but beware going too cheap - cheaper rope can twist maddeningly.

    Sew a loop onto the end of the new halyard and attach the mouseline in order to pull the new halyard in - you have to puzzle out which end to attach to which but it's easy enough.

    Using a mouseline is not necessary, but it's a skill you'll be glad of - getting a taped join stuck in a sheave cover entrance or similar with the mast up is a never-again experience. I take our halyards out each winter to wash them and check them over, replacing them with mouselines.

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