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  • #4631

    I used to have an old gold mast but replaced it last year with an aluminum Selden one. I retrieved the highfield lever from our old mast but it didn’t fit – the wire halyard in the new mast only just reached the sheave in the mast foot, so we’ve just been getting the halyard hand tight and cleating off the rope tail. I’m now sorting this ut and had some questions, all help gratefully received!

    1 – The old halyard has disappeared inside the mast! We tied it to a piece of string in order to take it out and measure it while keeping the lead through the mast, but the string snapped! I think the only way to retrieve it is to take off the mast foot, which is screwed on. However I think the screws have some kind of fixer on them as well because they won’t shift. Any ideas?

    2 – New halyard. Current plan is (once retrieved) to hoist the genoa with the old halyard and get as tight as I can by hand. Then measure from where the wire loop is (roughly just at the sheave at the mast foot) to about a foot below the gooseneck. This distance will give me the additional length I need for the new halyard. Sound about right?

    3 – Highfield lever. The new mast is different and it’s not as easy to slide the backing plate for the highfield lever down the sail groove (beneath gooseneck) before bolting on the lever. And even if I did, I’d be worried that the lever would move up and down the track when under strain. So, the new plan is to screw or rivet the lever into the mast just to the side of the sail groove. Can anyone see any issues with this?

    4 – Finally – this means putting screws and rivets into the mast (I need to do so anyway to set up a main tack reefing system) and the halyards go down the inside of it. Any tips to avoid them catching on the ends?

    Hope that makes sense.


    Colin Parkstone

    What would help is to know which Seldon Mast you have. Is it brand new, has it a cast ali heel with three sheaves in it or a new style resin type with four sheaves in it.
    You say the genoa halyard just came out the heel, were you using a std length luff sail like a genoa or was it a jib.
    In times past, we used to have the mussel box on the capping just aft of the mast heel track,so sounds like you have a halyard that’s cut for that length.
    If you do have differing luff length sails we need to find you a way to cover them all with the lever in the one position for you.



    It’s not a new mast, just newer than the gold one! It says ‘Serial No 4’ on it and is all one piece aluminum with a black plastic foot screwed into it. The foot has 3 sheaves. I think you’re right about why the halyard was cut to that length.

    Our genoa and jib are the same length – jib is quite new and we had it made the same length to get around that problem!


    I have re inserted a jib halyard by attaching a new mouse line to the main halyard by “fishing” through the upper sheeve – pull the main halyard out and attach thin line – pull through then fishing again at the bottom to get lined up on correct turning block of three.
    I have also done this by removing the upper sheeve. I can’t remember which boats this was on.
    Once you can get at the main halyard “on its way past” then it is straightforward.

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