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  • #3799
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    i’ve got to replace the main halyard on my MK2 wayfarer and have seen wire halyards advertised. are these any better than getting the 4mm dyneema halyard i was going to get? what are the advantages?

    #7327
    Bob Harland
    Participant

    Wire will be lower stretch, but is more difficult to handle and reefing does not really work with wire.
    Wire will not last as long and when a strand does break with wear it will catch on your hands.

    I recommend you use marlow excel racing or Marlow Excel Vectran.
    Straight forward dyneema I find has far too much creep.
    Mail order from Northampton Sailboats.

    hope that helps

    #7328
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Agreed.

    Wire halyards are good for out and out racing, where you never reef and the virtually complete lack of stretch allows good control of the luff tension via the cunningham; without the head of the sail ever budging. But they are a pain to manage, and apart from the the obvious issue of them fraying the rope tails tend to get damaged too and need to be re-spliced fairly regularly.

    If replacing with dyneema / excel (or whatever) it’s worth leaving a bit of spare length on and then shortening the top end by a few inches every now and then. That avoids the jamming cleat wearing the same section of rope all the time until the sheath frays. Also, after the tail leads through the alloy jamming cleat I have a plastic horn cleat as well, so I can jam off the halyard as I’m pulling the sail up, then belay it round the horn cleat as well. This removes any possibility of it slipping, and also reduces wear on the sheath.

    Apart from reefing, another advantage of a rope halyard is that it is much easier to get the sail down in a hurry, if needs must. Trying to unhook a wire halyard from a toothed rack in a hurry is a nightmare, and what usually leads to fraying damage either to the wire or the tail.

    If you do go for a wire halyard, one good solution is to use a highfield lever to pull it up rather than a rack. Seems un-necessary but it doesn’t half make life easier!

    #7330
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I seem to remember Bob recommending 5mm as kinder to the hands and that it was I use. However I struggle to keep the tension as I wrap (belay)it round the horn cleat. Hi John ! You seem to be suggesting a jamming cleat on the way up to the horn cleat which to me sounds a good solution to my problem. As a day sailor/cruiser I removed my racing wire halyard.
    Regards Dave

    #7332
    Dave Barker
    Keymaster

    For what it’s worth I have mine pass from the foot of the mast up through a clamcleat (with keeper) on the side of the mast, round a small block (swivel type) and back down into the boat for tidy stowage. With this arrangement it’s easy to ‘sweat’ the halyard tight with one hand pulling on the section below the clamcleat and the other taking up the slack. In fact it’s easy to overtighten the halyard this way!

    The keeper on the cleat makes dropping the sail simple – no unwanted recleating of the halyard.

    Oh, and I use 5mm Marlow Excel Racing.

    #7334
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Dave
    Good to hear from you! I put the horn cleat on as I was emulating what I had had on my Wanderer. Yes I was worried if I introduce a jamming cleat I might accidentally recleat when I didn’t want to, so I’ll look at what’s out there if I decide to improve my system, but yesterday was my first and probably last proper sail of the year in my Wayfarer as the family are enjoying the Lugger (space). Going to do a little write up as it was epic (by my standards). Hope you’ve had a good summer.
    Dave

    #7335
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    @Dave Mac wrote:

    I seem to remember Bob recommending 5mm as kinder to the hands and that it was I use. However I struggle to keep the tension as I wrap (belay)it round the horn cleat. Hi John ! You seem to be suggesting a jamming cleat on the way up to the horn cleat which to me sounds a good solution to my problem. As a day sailor/cruiser I removed my racing wire halyard.
    Regards Dave

    The system I have is the halyard exits from the mast sheave, then goes up through a side entry clam cleat, which is mounted slightly to one side of the line of the pulley. Thus you can hook it around the cleat to pull it up, but when you unhook it to lower it there is no chance of it dropping back into the cleat and jamming.

    Then about 6″ above the cleat I have a small plastic horn cleat, so when the sail is nearly up I can lead the halyard round this too and sweat it up the last part before belaying it around the horn cleat.

    This way the clam cleat merely acts as a temporary “non return valve” while you haul the sail up, but once raised the horn cleat takes the majority of the load, which is much easier on the rope, as well as being easier to release again.

    In fact, I’m actually wondering whether a simple horn cleat might be the best answer of all – just pulling the sail up hand over hand direct from the mast heel sheave, then hooking it round the cleat to sweat up the last foot or so.

    In the past I’ve used just a simple clam cleat alone and found that it very occasionally slips a couple of inches, which is a real pain halfway up the first beat of a race when everything’s loaded up; and also it can be quite difficult to get the halyard back out of the cleat, especially when it’s windy and it has been pulled deep into the cleat by the cunningham / kicker loads.

    #7341
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks John for the detail. I guess I’m not sure how much tension should be on the halyard before you apply kicker. I normally put the boom on the gooseneck before finishing pulling the mainsail up (mainly cos I once badly pinched my fingers between end of boom and mast trying to fit the boom on the gooseneck reefing amateurishly in a swell). I read somewhere that is the wrong order but I haven’t changed my practice. I presume infact all you are trying to do is get the sail right to the top of the mast and want a tight halyard, so just the horn cleat would be fine.
    Cheers Dave

    #7342
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    You want the sail right up to the black band, best achieved with everything else freed off completely while you hoist. Whether you take the gooseneck off while you do this is up to you, but it shouldn’t actually be necessary.

    The common problem here is that when a mainsail gets a few years old the bolt rope running up the luff shrinks a couple of inches. This makes it very hard to get the sail up to the black band and usually results in having to take the boom off while you get the halyard up, then swing down on it with the weight of several rhinos whilst trying to hook the boom back on the gooseneck and usually trapping your fingers in the process.

    If this is the case you will also tend to find that the sail sets badly and the cunningham is a complete waste of time, as all it does is pull the bolt rope without actually tensioning and flattening the sail.

    If this sounds familiar then you need to release the bolt rope a bit. Undo the stitching at holding it into the sail at the tack, then with the head of the sail fixed somewhere stretch the luff out until you feel the end of the rope go up the sail by the required amount. Then re-stitch the end of the bolt rope to secure it in the new position.

    #7344
    Swiebertje
    Participant

    @John1642 wrote:

    If this sounds familiar then you need to release the bolt rope a bit. Undo the stitching at holding it into the sail at the tack, then with the head of the sail fixed somewhere stretch the luff out until you feel the end of the rope go up the sail by the required amount. Then re-stitch the end of the bolt rope to secure it in the new position.

    And next time you order a new sail, ask your sail maker to use bungee as a bolt rope. It has worked for me over the past ten years. 🙂

    I do not want a tight luff or as Mike Mac says: “look for those ‘speed’ wrinkles”. The only time I want a tight luff is when I pull the Cunningham. When a sail can’t be easily hoisted to the top black band with the boom on the goose neck, there is something wrong with the sail. Fix the problem!

    A bungee as bolt rope in the sails foot is another clever idea, specially if the bungee is stitched to the sail at the clew only. The tack end of the bungee has a figure eight knot that I stick in front of the sail pin that goes through the tack cringle. With the right amount of tension, the bungee pulls the clew forward when I release the outhaul. It makes adjusting the clew so much easier.

    BTW, sails from the better sail makers already have a few inches rope sticking out near the tack. It is not there for you to cut off, it is there so you can release the rope when it has shrunk after a few years and then re-stitch it using the few extra inches your sail maker cleverly provided.

    #7345
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks for both replies. I’ve got the message!! 🙂 My sails were used in Wayfarer competitions in 1992 so I think you’re both on to something!

    #7347
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    PS What distance is the “black band” from the tip of the mast? Mine appears not to have one. Dave

    #7349
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    @Dave Mac wrote:

    PS What distance is the “black band” from the tip of the mast? Mine appears not to have one. Dave

    It’s actually measured upwards from the corresponding one at the gooseneck, rather than downwards from the tip of the mast. You’d have to look in the class rules (which are on this site somewhere) to get the actual definitions / measurements.

    #7353
    Swiebertje
    Participant

    @John1642 wrote:

    @Dave Mac wrote:

    PS What distance is the “black band” from the tip of the mast? Mine appears not to have one. Dave

    It’s actually measured upwards from the corresponding one at the goose neck, rather than downwards from the tip of the mast. You’d have to look in the class rules (which are on this site somewhere) to get the actual definitions / measurements.

    Indeed. Masts may vary considerably in length. That is why there is a black band. It may be helpful to add a pop-rivet, a self tapping screw or something else at the upper black band where the main then bumps in to when it is hoisted. I have seen masts with some 4 inches extra length above the upper black band. It should be obvious that no sail will fit if it is hoisted all the way to the sheave on such a mast.

    Mast measurements are all relative to the pivot hole. The position of the goose neck and the upper black band are relative to the pivot hole. (The lower black band is where the goose neck sits). The pivot hole in the tabernacle is also defined by the class rules. This together with the black bands relative to the mast pivot hole gives an exact height of the boom and the main sail top relative to the hull.

    The masts come from the factory as a universal mast. (E.g. a FD has the same mast as a Wayfarer). A dealer cuts it to size for a Wayfarer, adds the hounds and the spreaders to Wayfarer specifications. He can only cut something from the bottom of the mast, he can’t cut anything of the top because of the tapering and sheave that is already welded there. The black bands show us where the sail should be. And sometimes we have to raise the mast stepping for a good fit as well. The pivot holes must line up, everything else has to be adjusted from that.

    #7354
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    26.6 Sail limit bands. Of distinctive colour, not less than 7 (¼”) wide. Shall be marked on the mast as follows:
    (a) Band No 1 with its upper edge 707 +/- 3 (2’3.13/16” +/- 1/8”) above the centre of pivot hole in mast.
    (b) Band No 2 with its lower edge 4949 +/- 7 (16’2.13/16” +/- ¼”) above the centre of pivot hole in mast.
    (c) Band No 3 with its lower edge not more than 5868 (19’3”) above the upper edge of Band No 1

    Found this quite easily via the website. Thanks Swiebertje and John.
    Dave

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