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    I’m about to fit an old highfield lever to a new (for us) mast. I know that there have been previous topics on this but I had a couple of questions that didn’t seem to be addressed there, so grateful for any advice….

    1) How do you judge the position to fix the lever in? My plan was to pull up the halyard as tight as I could by hand, then with the highfield in the middle of its range but with hook fully extended, put the hook under the wire halyard loop and then mark where the lever needs to be attached to the mast. But will this give the requisite tension in the genoa halyard? Should the lever be mid-range when I estimate this or on the top or bottom setting? I confess to having no idea how to judge which position will give the right amount of tension.

    2) The highfield lever won’t go into the sail groove (or not without much difficulty) so my plan is to fox the lever just to the side of the sail groove, directly into the mast; this should also hopefully mean that the lever won’t be inclined to slide up/down when under tension. Am I best riveting it or using self threaders, and any tips for how to stop halyards catching on them inside the mast?

    Many thanks



    When I fitted a highfield lever it did mount on the mast track, using machine screws, washers, and nuts. I think I used a screwdriver to slightly pry the track open, which meant it was a nice snug fit. Also meant that I didn’t have to worry too much about exact positioning as I could fine tune it. However, I did aim to make sure that the lever was a stop or two from the bottom of its range, as I suspected that I would never want it slacker than this, but over time I might want it tighter (cranking up in high winds, halyard creeping, highfield slipping down the mast etc).

    Colin Parkstone

    You can get some screws that are made for this job, they have a large head with a screwdriver slot in then a thin shaft that slides in the luff grove then a wider thread with a nut on it in the shape of a a small plate which has teeth type corners that bight into the rear of the luff groove.

    Try a Selden Agent or someone like P@B .

    If ever you use self tappers in a mast, get the type that has a blunt end not a point. These points rip into your halyards!



    Thanks to you both, good advice.

    Sounds like I should consider the luff groove idea if I can find those special screws. If not and I go into the mast, are rivets better than self tappers, even if the self tappers have flat ends? Or doesn’t it matter?


    When using self threading screws on the mast first thread them almost tight. Then take them out and grind off the sharp point. Then replace and tighten them. It saves you from replacing the halyards at the end of the sailing season.

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