Posted by: Dan Sprague | October 9, 2012

Halyard Replacing

Replacing my halyards…The three stooges could not have done it better!

Lines on a boat wear out and both the main and jib halyards of our small sailboat were showing their age and wear. When I snugged the jib halyard in a jam cleat the outer sheath disintegrated. I was not too surprised. I got replacement line and attached the new line to the old and was just going to let the old line pull the new line through the mast.

The new line would not thread. The fore stay was so close to the pulley the spliced line could not turn the corner at the top of the mast. I redid the splice and tried again and still had no luck. I had to drop the mast to be able to thread the new line.

To drop the mast I had to remove the solar panels that were I had mounted on a frame that was on the stern of the boat. That was a pain in the back side but it was straight forward. Once the panels were off the mast could be laid back. I ask a tall friend to help and he, my wife and I lowered the mast. It was a three stooge event. The tools I had gotten together were not all the ones needed. The boat had to be repositioned twice to have the mast come down in a place I could work one it. Our tall friend stayed out of the way holding the mast so it could not twist on the make shift support I had come up with, that was on the back of the boat. He just grinned as my wife and I tried to figure out what we needed to do. I knew what needed to be done, but did not plan ahead for the job.

The job should have been a quick and easy job, but I made it much more difficult by not planning ahead. We ran a new main sail halyard line also since the mast was down and that line was in need of replacing also.

After the job was done and the mast was back up, I was ready for a little Capt. Morgan. I was sure I should have done something more when the mast was down but I could not figure what it might have been. Time will tell.

The new lines look great and we found the sails go up much easier. The new lines are much smoother the old ones were, and that makes more difference than I thought it would have.

Now with new halyards, the other lines look a little shabby. 8-(  I guess I should start replacing them, or at least wash them. 😎

Washing ropes:

Back in the olden days my Dad decided that the lines on his sailboat needed washing. He and I tried washing them in a bucket of soapy water but they were not coming clean and it was a lot of work. I made the comment that too bad we could not put them in the washing machine. My Dad got a smile and said that was a great idea.

We filled up the washing machine with the lines, added soap and washed them in hot water. The water turned brown and yucky.  Everything worked great till it went in to the spin cycle. Then the machine started to hop around the room. We got the lid up on the machine and it stopped. We re-balanced the load and tried again. It still wanted to hop around the room.

We decided to rinse the lines in a bucket and hang to dry. 😎 We did two more rope loads and the ropes did clean up well. We just had to rinse them in a bucket and not spin them. After all the ropes were laundered we decided we SHOULD NOT tell Mom about it. 😎

We decided that next time we would take the lines to a Laundromat. Those machines are bolted to the floor. 😎 Just a note, use a fabric softener in your rinse cycle, it makes the lines more pliable.

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