In Part 1 I shared our thinking on the best ropes to use for each type of running rigging. In this chapter I'm going to tackle the details: attaching sheets and halyards to sails, preferred rope diameter, and chafe prevention.
Running Rigging Recommendations—Part 2
by John HarriesReading Time: 8 minutes
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Previous: Running Rigging Recommendations—Part 1
- Six Reasons To Leave The Cockpit Often
- Don’t Forget About The Sails
- Your Mainsail Is Your Friend
- Hoisting the Mainsail Made Easy—Simplicity in Action
- Reefs: How Many and How Deep
- Reefing Made Easy
- Reefing From The Cockpit 2.0—Thinking Things Through
- Reefing Questions and Answers
- A Dangerous Myth about Reefing
- Mainsail Handling Made Easy with Lazyjacks
- Topping Lift Tips and a Hack
- 12 Reasons The Cutter Is A Great Offshore Voyaging Rig
- Cutter Rig—Should You Buy or Convert?
- Cutter Rig—Optimizing and/or Converting
- Cruising Rigs—Sloop, Cutter, or Solent?
- Sailboat Deck Layouts
- The Case For Roller-Furling Headsails
- UV Protection For Roller Furling Sails
- In-Mast, In-Boom, or Slab Reefing—Convenience and Reliability
- In-Mast, In-Boom, or Slab Reefing —Performance, Cost and Safety
- The Case For Hank On Headsails
- Making Life Easier—Roller Reefing/Furling
- Making Life Easier—Storm Jib
- Gennaker Furlers Come Of Age
- Swept-Back Spreaders—We Just Don’t Get It!
- Q&A: Staysail Stay: Roller Furling And Fixed Vs Hanks And Removable
- Rigid Vangs
- Rigging a Proper Preventer, Part 1
- Rigging a Proper Preventer—Part 2
- Amidships “Preventers”—A Bad Idea That Can Kill
- Keeping The Boom Under Control—Boom Brakes
- Downwind Sailing, Tips and Tricks
- Downwind Sailing—Poling Out The Jib
- Setting and Striking a Spinnaker Made Easy and Safe
- Ten Tips To Fix Weather Helm
- Running Rigging Recommendations—Part 1
- Running Rigging Recommendations—Part 2
- Two Dangerous Rigging Mistakes
- Rig Tuning, Part 1—Preparation
- Rig Tuning, Part 2—Understanding Rake and Bend
- Rig Tuning, Part 3—6 Steps to a Great Tune
- Rig Tuning, Part 4—Mast Blocking, Stay Tension, and Spreaders
- Rig Tuning, Part 5—Sailing Tune
- 12 Great Rigging Hacks
- 9 Tips To Make Unstepping a Sailboat Mast Easier
- Cruising Sailboat Spar Inspection
- Cruising Sailboat Standing Rigging Inspection
- Cruising Sailboat Running Rigging Inspection
- Cruising Sailboat Rig Wiring and Lighting Inspection
- Cruising Sailboat Roller Furler and Track Inspection
- Download Cruising Sailboat Rig Checklist
I found using a big soft shackle very useful and nice for attaching 16mm sheets to big Genoa.
That’s interesting. I’m curious, could you share the benefits you are seeing from using a soft shackle instead of a bowline? To me this just adds complication since I’m assuming the sheet must have an eye spliced in to take the shackle, but perhaps I’m missing something?
Good recommendations as always. The only thing that we do differently is the attachment of jib sheets. Like Taras, we use a soft shackle. The reason for us is that we have hank-on headsails which we take on and off very regularly so this makes it easy, especially when it is a bit bumpy. The other thing is that I put in splices instead of bowlines to form the loops at the end of the sheets. When we got the boat, there were bowlines and the knot would often get caught on the shrouds for our #3 and #4 jibs. We were able to tune the length of the loop and make it less of a big deal but could never get it quite right as it was limited in length by the distance from the clew to the turning block on our 150%. Since switching to splices, this is just a non-issue but it does mean that we can’t end-for-end the line without putting a splice into already used line which is a real pain. Some people start with splices on both ends but I don’t like that from a safety standpoint.
Thanks for the satisfying my curiosity on the benefits of soft shackles for sheets—makes sense.
That said, I think we will stick with bowlines since we have never had a problem with them sticking on the shrouds and so staying with the simpler option makes sense for us. Also, I’m still not entirely sure that a soft shackle won’t, some day, come apart at a bad moment. Could be wrong to worry about that, but on a boat our size with just two people the risk is just not worth taking, at least for me.
Not sure why we don’t have the sticking on shrouds problem. Maybe because we have rod rigging or perhaps because we don’t use overlapping headsails.
I totally agree about the dangers of splicing both ends of a sheet. I have never had to run a sheet, but still I like to know that I can. (We don’t stopper knot sheets either.)
While I personally enjoy splicing, the main halyard is one place I don’t think it is the best option. One advantage of a knotted main halyard is that the working end can be shortened occasionally, as inspection indicates, to relocate the chafe point at the head box sheave. Also, the thickened line diameter of a proper splice is a tight squeeze on the masthead sheave, and the addition of a dyneema sleeve worsens this issue.
I agree, in fact I highlighted that advantage of knotting in the post above. That said, if the halyard in High Modulus that benefit is, at least for me, far outweighed by the risk of a broken halyard.
As to the thickness problem. The Dyneema sleeve really does not add much thickness and I think if the splice thickness was a problem I would rather go down a size on line than contravene the rope manufacture’s specific instructions to splice, not knot, HM rope.
We are using NER VPC for our main and genoa halyards. It is a hybrid rope with a Vectran core and polyester cover. The knots seem to be very snug and don’t slip and the rope has a good hand. Splicing requires a core to core splice. I can’t find any information about whether knotting it is verboten. I’ll contact NER and ask about it…
That’s a good idea. That said, I think you will find that they demand splicing. The key here is the fundamental engineering that a knot in a rope made of two materials with very different modulus is always going to be suspect.
Bottom line, mixing modulus is tricky. For more understanding on this, Matt’s article is worth reading: http://marine.marsh-design.com/content/do-fibreglass-and-carbon-fibre-mix
The circumstances Matt writes about are different, but it does highlight the fact that the two materials do not share load well.
I have found a great solution for attaching the genoa sheets. Before, I used bowlines, but the knots sometimes caught on the shrouds, I then switched to eye splices with a largish soft shackle, as Taras uses it. But again, a big soft shackle means a big diamond stop knot which caught on the shrouds every now and then.
After that I spliced an endless dyneema loop through the eye splices of the sheets, and clove hitched this loop to the clew ring of the sail. Now that works perfect for me, all smooth with no protrusions and absolutely no chance of shaking itself off. I use that pair of sheets for that sail only, the smaller headsails are selftending and have their own sheets, so I don’t have to remove the sheets from the (roller furling) genoa, except for winterizing. If I’ll have to end-for-end one or both sheets, I don’t think it will be a big deal to put an eyesplice into the other end as that end is never loaded and should remain supple and splicy. (The latter point is an assumption only, I know well how hard it can be to splice used rope) What if one of the sheets should part ? In that case I’d be back to a bowline.
That’s an interesting and certainly very elegant idea. One detail: I’m guessing that you attach to the sail with a cow hitch, not clove hitch?
For others: I’m guessing that Hans is passing the entire length of the sheet through the Dyneema loop to make the cow hitch.
Yes John, I mixed it up, it’s a cow hitch ! And yes, I pass the entire length of the sheets trough the dyneema loop, but as I have to do this just twice a year, it really is no issue.
Merry Christmas to the whole team of AAC and all members, I recommend this site to all my buddies, it’s worth every cent and then some.
Thanks for the clarification. I think your solution definitely takes the prize for the most elegant and clean way to attach a headsail sheet.
If I were considering new jib or staysail sheets I would give serious thought to adopting your idea.
Merry Christmas to you too, and thanks for the kind words.
I use a single, continuous line (poly double braid) for both genoa sheets, attached to the headsail clew with a girth hitch at the center. Seems simpler than involving a dyneema loop and eye splices? Some strength will be lost to the girth hitch, but I imagine it’s on par with a bowline.
Yes, I don’t see any reason to splice sheets or mess with dyneema loops, soft shackles, and the like. (Sometimes I wonder if yachties do that stuff just to look salty, and because they can). That said, I have always used bowlines.
Appreciate another well thought through article.
I will suggest an alternative to the J-Lock that I have found checks all the important boxes.
I agree about the use of snap shackles fore headsail halyards for all the reasons you cited. They are also long and, way in the past, I had a headsail that was just a scootch too long. I replaced the snap shackle with a much shorter screw pin shackle and have never looked back.
I do not mouse the shackle as I do not like the sharp wire ends so close to a sail nor do I want wire ties to do the job as they will suffer UV, although for one season they would likely be fine. I do secure the pin with a dab of silicone on the threads. I have done this for staysail and jib for decades now and have seen no evidence that the shackle done in this manner would come apart.
As for needing tools to release, this is usually a once a year job for me so using a tool is not onerous (and needing a tool just confirms the security of the shackle). Easy release that the J-Lock provides is not an issue if done so seldom.
The above does not need a tightly done splice specially attached to one piece of gear making turning end-for-end or chafe repairs more difficult or impossible. One can still splice or use hitches and the shackle can be removed for rope washing.
Then there is the expense difference (including rigging fee for the splice).
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
On applications like you mention, I mouse using light line. I use tarred nylon twine for this that I get at Hamilton Marine as they sell a lot to fisherman but you could use many other things. After a square knot and maybe an extra turn, the key is to put an overhand knot in each tail right against the square knot and then it won’t come out but can easily be cut. The only trouble is that they take a bit longer to put on but the lack of chafe is often worth it.
Coming from the commercial world, I get a real kick out of the mousings that many people do. I use 1-2 turns of heavier gauge wire and can do one in <20 seconds while I watch many people spend upwards of 10 minutes snaking small diameter stuff in painstaking figure 8's.
Thanks for the suggestion. I do find that knots done in tarred twine, properly drawn up tend to stay together: the tar seems to “anneal” the knot a bit. My tarred twine is on board mostly for fancy work of various sorts so it is nice to think it can find a functional use. I also like your method of securing square knots.
With mousings, I also use heavier gauge wire, but admit that it is easy to succumb to the amateur’s tried-and-true fall back head-set best expressed with knot tying: when in doubt– tie a lot.
My best, Dick
Sounds like a good alternative, but I think I will stick with the J-locks.
I really like that I can open them without tools and still be absolutely certain that they won’t open when I don’t want them to.
The former benefit is particularly great for spinnaker halyards and pole lifts. Would also be great if we ever have to change from staysail to storm jib.
Yes, agreed. I was only thinking of headsail halyards which, on Alchemy, are up pretty much all season, but the spin halyard would be an excellent application for J-Locks.
My best, Dick
I had a very bad experience on the little race boat with a spin halyard that did not have a shackle that could rotate. The Spinnaker was attached with a bowline. Some how the spinnaker was twisted( I blame the fore-deck crew for a sloppy take down and repack) and when it untwisted as the sail filled the halyard hockelled inside the mast below the sheave, we could not get the sail down. We were able to work it out but it took an hour and we had time and sea room. I realize that it was not that one instance that caused the hockel but the build up over the course of a season. It is not something I would want to have to deal with offshore or ever again for that matter.
Any great description or picts showing just what you did?
“One more chafe detail: In our case, because we and Hall Spars put a lot of time into designing the main halyard masthead sheave box.”
Would love to know your exact solutions here!!
Nothing earth shattering. Just sweated the details: A good quality sheave with no sharp edges and as large in diameter as we could fit. Also making sure that the edges of the sheave box are well rounded.
As far as the details on the chafe sleeve, just click on the pic of the staysail halyard to make it bigger and you will be able to see the sleeve in the way of the deflector.
To install these sleeves is pretty easy. I just:
Thank You! Merry Christmas! It’s the DETAILS, your so full of common sense, you’re scary. Thanks!
Thanks for the kind words…I think. 🙂
Well-explained recommendations. It was interesting to learn about J-Locks and Dyneema chafe sleeves.
Like Eric and Hans, I moved away from using the simple, reliable, bowline to attach sheets to headsails due to bowlines hanging up on rigging wires.
In my case, it was headsail sheets hanging up on headstays while tacking or gybing. My staysail schooner has three headstays, and the clews of the jib and fore-staysail drag across the stays aft of them. Sheets tied to the clews with bowlines tend to hang up when dragging across the stay.
I use lanyards of thin rope passed multiple times between (eye-spliced) sheets and the clew ring. The ends of the lanyard are tied with a double sheet bend and the tails of the double sheet bend are stitched (I don’t remove the sheets from the sails often). Picture here, http://www.sailblogs.com/member/rhudson/394052 . It doesn’t seem to matter whether I use one lanyard for both sheets, or one lanyard for each sheet–the headsails don’t hang up as often on the stays when tacking or gybing.
I don’t think a soft shackle instead of the lanyard would work in my case, as the soft shackle would have more bulk to hang up on the stay than the lanyard does. I also would be worried about a soft shackle occasionally coming undone when dragged across a stay.
Eye splices and lanyards for attaching sheets are definitely more work than the simple, reliable, bowline, but can be useful to work around boat-specific issues.
That makes sense seems like a good solution to the problem. Also gets rid of my nagging fear that a soft shackle might inadvertently be opened when brushing against a stay or other obstruction. I use lanyards for a bunch of different stuff on our boat and like them a lot.
Of course the downside is going to be the time to make up each lanyard.
One thought, Hans’ solution might be even better?
Thanks for the suggestion.
I gave some thought to Hans’ solution, and don’t think it would work quite as well as lanyards for avoiding sheets getting hung up on stays during tacks. As I envision Hans’ solution, the sheets are attached to the loop by the ends of the sheets being passed thru their own eye splices. This passing thru eye splices creates a bigger ‘bump’ (which would seem more likely to hang up when being dragged across a stay during a tack), than a lanyard of several turns of thin rope thru the eye splices would.
I don’t have a picture of my solution at hand, but it is not as you think it is. The sheets are not cowhitched individually, that indeed would create a big bump. Instead, I fashioned a dyneema loop which runs trough the sheet’s eyesplices, in effect connecting them for good. I then cowhitch this loop to the sail’s clew. As the dyneema loop is made of 10 mm material, more than adequate, and needs no stopper knot, there are absolutely no protrusions, all sleek, no chance at all to catch a wire, no chance to shake itself loose or become undone. Sheets are 12mm.
Thanks for that clarification. Now I understand better.
That does sound like it would work very well.
If I may use up my dumb question allowance for 2017 all in one go; why are you so adamant about no stopper knots in the bitter end of the sheet lines? Here in Australia it seems this is standard practice, and one definitely taught in the RYC courses here.
I’ve tried searching the MC site for your reasoning without success, and I am very curious to understand.
I cover my thinking in this post under figure eight knot: https://www.morganscloud.com/2015/03/05/the-only-five-knots-you-need-to-know/
And yes I know that many people advocate for figure eights in sheets. As I said to Eric, I have never had to fly a sheet, so maybe it does not matter one way or another that much, particularly if you have sharp knife to hand in the cockpit, as we do, to cut a sheet in an emergency.
Anyone else have any thoughts? Eric?
Like you say in your article on knots, I think hard before putting a stopper knot in something. Halyards I always have them as I consider losing a halyard up the mast to be a higher possibility and the knot would always allow the sail to come down anyways except for a spinnaker. I do keep a stopper knot in the mainsheet to just prevent the boom from hitting the shrouds assuming the traveler is centered. On jibsheets, I have gone back and forth. The chance of needing to let the jib fly ahead of the headstay seems really low but not nonexistant while the mess of losing a sheet without realizing it is there too. With all of these lines, it is a balancing act to make them easy to run but also stowed well enough that they can’t end up over the side at night without you noticing and make a mess of your prop (I wonder how some of the line cutters do on high modulus lines?).
I have had to blow off a sheet a handful of times. With mains/foresails/mizzens, a stopper knot has never been an issue as everything is basically against the shrouds at that point. I have actually let a jib go ahead of the headstay once to depower downwind for a few moments when I really didn’t have another option but needing this extra bit of sheet seems like a really rare occurrence.
Having a loop in the bitter end of a sheet is particularly worrying to me as it is likely to hook on something and drag it into a block or cause a real mess of a line. Just like never moving your feet once you start hauling in a line, it is a low but unnecessary risk to me.
Great analysis, as usual. Thank you. Interesting that our stopper knot use is exactly the same: yes, on halyards and main sheet, no on headsail and spinnaker sheets.
About chafe of the main halyard in the sheave at mast head, it could be an advantage of in mast furling that is found on many blue water cruisers like Hallberg Rassy, Discovery, Amel, Oysters …. some of them also have in line spreaders.
I know that John is sceptical about in mast furling but it does have some advantages (and drawbacks)
Have a good xmas.
That’s a good point. As you say, I’m not a big fan of in mast furling because of the jam risk. That said, plenty of voyagers I respect make them work.
Back on Dec. 23, about installing Dyneema chafe sleeves on halyards, you wrote: “Milked the sleeve good and tight over the halyard to make sure there was no slack and to shrink the sleeve to tightly fit the halyard”. I dont follow what you mean about “shrinking” the sleeve. Is there any application of heat involved? What causes the sleeve to shrink?
Sorry, I was not clear. No heat. The chafe sleeve is braided, just like the outer sleeve on a cored rope, so at you milk it down the rope, with one end already attached, it tightens up around it.
I’m about to repaint a 22M mast and associated boom, vang and spiny pole from a 49 foot yacht, Any tips as what to take off and what to leave on please?
I have removed the obvious, but am wondering about: head box, sheaves at the head and lower down, cleats, clutches, winches, fair-leads, blocks, goose necks, the boot, spreader bases, shroud ball sockets, steaming and deck lights, bolts, radar bracket, shackles, decals, sail tracks, Spiny pole track, etc.
I have never before drilled out rivets nor put them back on, but am doing the work at a helpful and skilled yard.
Any views would be most welcome please.
Not a lot I can add to Dick’s excellent answer except to confirm that if you want a really good job that will last, all the fittings do need to come off.
One other thought is to make absolutely certain that the painter follows the paint manufacturer’s coating instructions to the letter. A lot of painters don’t really understand painting aluminium and will cut corners. Often they will neglect to use acid wash prep because it’s nasty, hard to use stuff and also they will often go directly to a high build primer (grey) rather than spraying a acid based primer (yellow).
Skipping these two steps will result in a job that will start to bubble in less than a year, but doing it right can last over 20 years.
The below was written recently for another venue. I have little experience with rivets and, I suspect, most painters would tape them which has, to my mind, problematic longer-term issues. It has been my observation that rivets are used to save money and where the mast wall may be too thin for threaded machine screws. If the mast is old enough to paint it is old enough to have everything taken apart, inspected, cleaned and returned using TefGel and plastic sheeting between fixture and mast (or whatever is appropriate for sheaves etc.).
You may not need a complete mast painting. We have postponed mast painting and solved many cosmetic and corrosion problems by going after problematic areas: mostly corrosion around fittings and where paint is lifting off the metal. We thoroughly clean and prepare the area, prime it and then patch-paint it. This has worked well, provided protection and our amateur paint work is un-noticeable beyond a few feet which works for us. Our mast is pushing 20 years and its life has not been easy. There does come a time, though…
With regard to mast painting, properly done, all the hardware comes off and is not taped. Many painters will only want to tape fittings. If taped, it is inevitable that the paint will start to fail at the tape/fitting paint line which will be exposed. If the painter is removing hardware, a large part the job estimate must take in the fact that most masts have never had their fasteners removed, coated with anti-seize (TefGel) and refitted with plastic between the fitting and the mast. This removal of corroded fittings can be a huge job (and a large part of the estimate) when all ss/alum connections are corroded, which, from the painter’s experience, is likely to be the case. This is also not a job you want anyone else to do as damage to the mast is easy and workers are likely to attack the job with heavier duty (read quick) approaches. (Ps. A great winter project for those whose mast is available is to remove all fittings and ant-seize them and return with plastic sheeting.) Use this opportunity to check out and remove the sheaves. When painting give thought to the messenger lines not being lost, or the workers undoing them, and to their orientation with any through mast rods/bolts that may have been removed. You do not want a halyard on the wrong side of one of those when re-stepped.
The paint job is easy if all comes apart without problem (use plenty of plastic bags and label everything) and if you can convince the paint shop that all hardware will come off easily, you will save yourself a bundle: better yet, strip the mast yourself.
After the painting, if paint has migrated into the threaded holes, run a tap through before replacing the machine screw. This allows the TefGel to get to the metal and makes for a far finer cut into the paint making less likely the paint will start to lift there years down the line.
This is one job where, for sure, where the devil is in the details.
Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Really enjoying all the detailed articles and explanations. Really demystifying a lot of things I had questions about. Not sure if this question fits here or in the buying an offshore boat section but have you (or could you) write an article about an idea deck layout with specifics?
Similar to the Adventure 40 articles it would be great to see, based on your experience, what the layout should like from stem to stern including standing rigging, running rigging, how to reduce friction and chafe, winch size, type and placement for short handed or solo crews. I think the anchoring articles covered that topic really well, and I could apply a lot of it.
However, when looking at boats to buy and refit it’s hard to know what to do with all the approaches, opinions and choices with deck gear and layout that others have done. I like the simple, reliable, easy to understand approaches you use. I would love an article or book with your straight talk, no BS, choices laid out that I could apply. Kind of like a deck setup template based on your philosophy as a good starting point. Even just a detailed walk through of Morgan Clouds deck with the choices you made would do it, and a prospective buyer would get a great explanation.
You are commenting on a chapter in our sail handling and rigging Online Book, and I think you will find most of what you are looking for in that book: https://www.morganscloud.com/category/rigging-sails/book-sail-handling-rigging/
You will also find a video deck tour here: https://www.morganscloud.com/2015/09/22/a-video-deck-tour-of-morgans-cloud/
And don’t forget the Online Books page accessible from the top menu.
Hi Again Kevin,
I should have added that if, after reading though the sources I suggested you still have questions, feel free to ask them on the chapter that’s the closest match. I’m always interested in where members feel their are gaps in our information.
Hi John and all,
It is close to the time to turn my mainsail halyard end for end. My usual way is to just cut away the splice and use a buntline hitch, but this is a high modulus line (Liros line, dyneema).
I am curious about how much the line strength will be degraded by using a buntline hitch. I am also curious about the knot’s integrity with issues like creeping (I plan to sew the tail secure). I am pretty unfamiliar with knot tying in HM line.
I appreciate all thoughts.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
As I say in the above article, none of the HM rope manufactures recommend knotting, and nor do any of the riggers I know.
The only knot that has been tested and holds in HM, as far as I know, is the Estar, but that only works in un-sheathed HM line, and even then I would not trust it in this application.
If you knot a HM line with Polyester sheath all that is happening is the sheath is taking much of the load, not the core. So the strength of the line becomes close to the strength of the sheath with say a 30% reduction for the knot, clearly not strong enough for this application.
Bottom line, a splice is the only right way I would ever do this, particularly when we think about the consequences of the main halyard letting go. And that would go double for aging short handed couples like you two and Phyllis and I.
Hi John and all,
Thanks for your response.
I eyeballed the article looking, but missed those specific comments
The halyard shows no signs of needing turning end to end, so I will just leave it as is, especially as riggers I have talked with balk at splicing old used line.
My best, Dick
Good call I think. One way to extend the life of the halyard is to use the chafe protection sheath also called out in one of the running rigging chapters.
Soft shackles not secure. Check out “10 second soft shackles” on YouTube: about the 5 minute mark. I use one of these on my mooring- that’s how secure it is.
I have no access to video: can you elaborate?: safe, not safe, caveats. If you use on your mooring it sounds like you consider them safe. Thanks, Dick
Hi John et al,
An old post but this seems like the best place to ask some questions please on: rigging for a spinnaker halyard on our 47 foot sloop.
After 9 years our single rove 12mm spinnaker halyard (white with grey fleck in photo) that we use to hoist our furling Code 0 has chafed through the outer sheath, close to where it exits the mast. The reason for the chafe needs some investigation, but I’m sure the outer polyester sheath has suffered from our harsh NZ UV. I might be able to add a Dyneema sheath to the halyard where it exits the mast, however it may not be the best solution.
The sailmaker supplied 12 mm halyard appears to have a Kevlar core (being a brownish colour), whereas I thought it was made from Dyneema. I am concerned given comments on Kevlar this may give way, especially if the sun has been on it for some time.
So I am considering doubling the spinnaker halyard, but wondering what the best practice might be for rigging this, and then terminating the halyard at the masthead. At the moment the halyard exits the mast and goes up and out to a reinforced masthead plate where we have a single high load Harken racing block (see picture, best I have sorry).
Thinking about redeploying this single block (no becket), and attaching it to the head of the Code 0, then buying a new high load masthead block with becket, to neatly terminate the halyard.
One downside will be the extra rope coiled in the cockpit when hoisted, but with the upside being the reduced loads on the halyard to achieve optimum luff tension. Also the existing rope is quite stiff – our first mate finds it difficult to pull through the cockpit jam cleat as I “bounce” the halyard up at the mast. She also finds it harder to coil.
But I do wonder about a doubled halyard twisting around itself and being unable to be lowered easily offshore, say with a blow coming – would I need to try and separate the masthead block and masthead termination?
Anything I may have missed from someone’s experience or other viewpoint, positive or negative?
Many thanks in anticipation.
That halyard definitely must go. The problem with kevlar is not sun, but bending over the sheave and this halyard is clearly past its best before date, particularly concerning when we think about what would happen if it broke with the code zero up.
As to going 2:1 I have never done that, so no first hand information. I would share your concern about a twist. That said, I know a lot of race boats use that configuration for a code zero halyard, so it must be doable, but maybe not as a retrofit.
As far as a replacement I’m having good results on the J/109 with MAFFIOLI POWERGRIP78. It’s low stretch Spectra 78 and fairly easy to coil and handle, even after being loaded hard.
Thanks John, I was a bit shocked to find Kevlar inside the sheathing having remembered your warning from earlier rigging articles.
MAFFIOLI POWERGRIP 78 reviews well online – not readily available in NZ though sadly.