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Main halyard

Started by Mike Liggett, 27 Feb 2005, 04:02

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Mike Liggett

At present on my Crusader I have wire main halyard with loop & rope tail to go onto rack at base of mast.  The wire strands tends to break where it goes over rack.  Am considering changing to total rope halyard to cleat on mast.  Any comments please - experience - suggestions as to most suitable rope would be appreciated.

Mike Liggett (3252)


I use a Dyneema halyard through a hole in the side of the mast via a cam cleat with a turning block at the bottom - this cleats itself automatically when hoisting, is simple to adjust tension, and is easy to de-rig in an emergency.

David Greening (Guest)

Suggest Spectra rather than Dynema, the case slips less on the core.  Buy slightly too long, this lets you cut the ends off occasionally so that the cleat jams on fresh rope and doesn't slip.  Occassionally end for end the rope which will increase its life.  Have two clamcleats in line if there is room to stip slipping.  Much, much beter than wire.



John Meadowcroft

an age old debate.  I think wire is best, but requires the most maintenance which is generally bad.

i currently use lightening rope which i have spliced to length at either end.  This is very low stretch.  You have to be a bit patient as there is some initial stretch whilst the splice beds in.  At the mast tip I have spliced a shackle, and at the heel of the mast I put the spliced loop onto an old fashioned teeth rack.  This enables me to consistently reproduce the same setting in the knowledge that the top of the sail is close to, but below, the top black band on the mast.

Lightening rope is not cheap, you need to get the length just right, which does mean numerous adjustments initially, but being able to reproduce settings is very useful.  if you are clever with how you make the splices (start with larger loops) you should be able to shorten and move the stressed parts like Dave Greening suggests.  We have yet to experience much wear - that maybe due to the boat spending more time in the garage than on the water though.

I have long been an advocate of not using wire and have had both spectra and dyneema, but have preferred to use a wrap around cleat rather than a cam cleat.  the problem if i have always had with this is being able to reproduce the same setting as when it is breezy and you have lots of cunnignham or kicker on it inevitably slips a little.

I also have a very light tail on the halyard.  it is like chicken wire.  the missus wont touch it.  Tom Stewart has the same.  it saves another few ounces of weight.

halyards.  almost as fun as slot gaskets.........


Mike Liggett

Thanks for all your input everybody!

Mike Day (Guest)

How much more can we say about halyards?  I like to fix a small plastic ball stopper to the end - then poke a loop through the sail head and push the ball through the loop: much easier than a bowline.

Mike Day
N349x (about to get a number as the new minous has taken shape; now, if only Brett hadn't disappeared to New Zealand for a month ...)

Tim (Guest)

Goody, that means I get the newest number... :)


Bob Murrell (Guest)

I use the same system as Mike and it works really well, especially with cold fingers. Like Dave, I have 2 clamcleats inline on the mast to reduce slipping. I use a similar system for the main / boom fitting, and also for attaching the jib sheets to the jib. Easy to rig and de-rig.

Mike Day (Guest)

God, you can tell it's winter and not much sailing - we're reduced to talking about small plastic balls ... as with Bob, I like the same arrangement for attaching jib sheets to jib clew.  And Tim ... how far has your boat got?  As far as I can tell, we only have three new 12s in various states of build at the moment which I guess is kind of worrying.

Mike D
N349x (but the application form still not posted off yet ...!)

Tim (Guest)

Tim (Guest)

I think Mikey C might be about to start building it but, Terrys boat is having the finishing touches at the moment.   Definitely a worry with only 3 new boats, but hopefully it's only a temporary blip...

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