Ooops – replacing halyards
10 June 2008 | Port Napoleon
Sarah & Pip
A big challenge preparing the boat this year has been reinstating the running rigging (the ropes that hold up and manage the sails). We took it all off last autumn to protect it from sun and the mistral. But, and it's a bit but, we (Sarah really) didn't do a fab job.
When you take off a halyard, the ropes that haul a sail up a mast, you need to put a thin line on that can be used to put the halyard back on. This is particularly important if the halyard in question runs down inside the mast. As do four on Roaring Girl's main mast and three on her mizzen. It is pretty important if the rope doesn't run inside the mast, as applies to another five on the main. Of all these lines, three external lines and one internal mast head line survived the winter, albeit badly tangled. All the others had broken or frayed, victims of poor arrangement and the vicious mistral!
We owe a big vote of thanks to Rob of Reliant, as he climbed both masts without a safety line to get a mast-head halyard sorted out. Once we had one in place, Sarah spent a lot of time climbing up and down and replacing the halyards.
It isn't simple to get a rope to go down inside some 13m of mast. With the help of Harry and Liz of Junnica we devised a clever solution. A stretch of the weighted line that holds netting in place was provided by Liz, and we plaited it into a short stretch, further weighted with a bolt. This was sewn onto one end of 30m of 8mm string. At the top of the mast, Sarah fed it through the sheaves, and carefully dropped it down. (Sometimes it snarled, necessitating pulling it back up and trying again). At the bottom, Pip had a hook fashioned from an old wire coathanger, and fished out this thin line through the mast slots. The proper halyard is then moused (attached) to the thin line, and hauled up the mast and down into place.
The picture is Sarah at the top of the mast.