Latest News: Forums General hello & dropping the mast

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  • #20486

    Hello all from a very new dinghy sailor

    We are seriously enjoying our wayfarer (Rocky 7869) however  beginning to think its not all fun and there must be some maintenance  needed. The Halyards for instance are very sun bleached and possibly wekended; we  feel sure this risks a failure. As a fist job I thought we should replace these and appreciate advice on this. No doubt this requires dropping the mast and heres my sticking point on how to do this safely .   There seems to be a shortened tied off third halyard attached to the mast and I wonder if I should replace this too and use for a burgee ?

    sorry to be a newbie asking daft questions

    Yours in great admiration and enjoyment of the wayfarer



    The mast is not that heavy, but with its length it exerts a fair bit of leverage.  It is possible to lower it by hand after releasing the forestay.

    But with the leverage caused by the length, it is better to have a line tied to the eye of the forestay, which, if you have a helper ,can also be used to help control the lowering of the mast while the person in the cockpit manhandles the mast down.

    Not sure which Mark you have, but certainly on the MKII, the spreaders will rest on the aft bouyancy after you lower the mast. You should also have something to keep the spreaders  from lying on the tank and putting undue pressure on the spreaders and brackets.  A bottle storage box or a crutch will do the job nicely.

    Regards, davdor


    many thanks   much appreciated

    Dave Barker

    Hi – Although I wouldn’t discourage anyone from lowering the mast from time to time (good to examine the sheaves and shroud terminals etc) it isn’t necessary to do this to change the halyards. The new halyard can be sewn to one end of the old halyard (with whipping twine perhaps) and pulled into place with the mast up. Some tape to enclose the join can help if the ends are tending to catch.


    Faded colors are a sign of poor quality pigments perhaps, but it is not a sign of wear. As long as the rope shows no signs of damage like chaffing it will be OK to use. But when it is dirty or salty you may want to clean it by washing it with your other laundry. Just put your halyards and sheets in a pillow cover before you put them in the machine.

    When you remove the halyards, pull a helper line (cheap flag line or fishing line) in to the mast using the halyard. The helper line is later on used to pull the halyard back in. This way a halyard will go back exactly as it was relative to the other halyards, They cannot entangle this way.

    BTW, The expensive Dyneema halyards should be re-inserted upside down to ensure a different new part of the rope goes on the sheaves and if that has already been done, a few inches can be cut of for the same effect.  This way a Dyneema halyard lasts much longer than a steel one.

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