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 Catalina/Capri 25/250 Sailor's Forums
 General Sailing Forum
 Halyard blocks
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glivs
Admiral

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USA
721 Posts

Initially Posted - 09/07/2019 :  07:20:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm fighting way too much friction in raising the sails. What are you using for halyard blocks at the base of the mast?

Gerry & Leslie; Malletts Bay, VT
"Great Escape" 1989 C-25 SR/WK #5972

Leon Sisson
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1767 Posts

Response Posted - 09/07/2019 :  09:28:44  Show Profile  Visit Leon Sisson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Re:  I'm fighting way too much friction in raising the sails.

Try to pinpoint the location(s) where the friction is occurring.  With boat docked or anchored, sail not attached to halyard, have a 'tug of war' with a 2nd person or other source of tension applied to segments of the halyard.  Try to identify which segments are stiffer to move than others.

Likely Friction points include:
  • If internal halyards, tight exit plates/blocks, line rubbing on something inside the mast,

  • masthead halyard sheaves stuck, damaged,

  • halyard rubbing on something at masthead, and/or 'derailed' (more likely with wire halyards),

  • mainsail slugs damaged/wrong size,

  • mast luff groove needs lube, dirty, rough, damaged,

  • jib hanks damaged or too small,

  • line stoppers or clutches (if your boat has them) stiff, damaged, or too small,

  • halyards too thick, sheaves/fairleads too small.


Re:  What are you using for halyard blocks at the base of the mast?

I think mine are all ball bearing (except masthead sheaves), a mix of Harken and Ronstan.

Leon Sisson
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glivs
Admiral

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721 Posts

Response Posted - 09/08/2019 :  19:16:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Leon. I should have noted that I've addressed several of the potential sources of friction you outline over the past few years and am now focused on the blocks at the base of the mast which I am quite certain are the remaining issue. I can raise and lower the sails, it's just not as easy as I would like single handed. I was curious about plain bearings (e.g., Lewmar's Sychro blocks) vs ball bearing models for static loads and about SWL. For example, Harken's carbo blocks have much smaller SWL's than other blocks. I'm sure anything reasonable would serve well, just exploring details in my head.

Gerry & Leslie; Malletts Bay, VT
"Great Escape" 1989 C-25 SR/WK #5972
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
8305 Posts

Response Posted - 09/08/2019 :  20:08:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I used Harken ball-bearing turning blocks at the base and believe they helped... Make sure, if you have a set of "deck organizer" blocks leading back to the cockpit, that the angle from the mast base to the organizers does not create friction against their housing. I'll also question (1) the mast-head sheaves and (2) the luff slugs. Are both sized properly, and are the slugs and slot lubricated? An all-rope halyard will tend to jam in the factory original mast-head sheaves that were designed for wire.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 09/08/2019 20:14:20
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redeye
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3363 Posts

Response Posted - 09/09/2019 :  05:59:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I need to put a gun snake with some lube on it up and down my mast track...

Ray in Atlanta, Ga.
"Lee Key" '84 Catalina 25 SR/FK
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3648 Posts

Response Posted - 09/09/2019 :  06:05:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
On your 89 your main haylard is internal with an exit block at the base of the mast so I'm curious as to what you mean by turning blocks. Your mast head has 2 large sheaves. One for the main and one for the jib. If they are the white colored ones they are known to crack and fall apart from UV. The exit block at the base suffers from the same problem. CD has upgrades for both. Old slugs get dirty and create drag. Clean and lubing them along with the track helps. Deck organizers also get dirty and can be cleaned and lubed.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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glivs
Admiral

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721 Posts

Response Posted - 09/09/2019 :  18:06:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK just so we are on the same page, over the past few years I replaced the masthead sheaves, the mast exit blocks, the halyards (10mm) are in good shape, added clutches, the sail slugs are new this spring (new Ullman main) and fwiw replaced the anchor roller. I last lubricated the sail slot in early July but should do so again and I purchased ball bearing deck organizers last winter but haven't gotten around to replacing them. And Scott, I understand the confusion but referred to the blocks at the base of the mast as "turning blocks" because that is how CD refers to them. I'm now considering replacing my 30 yr old turning blocks once I get the deck organizers installed. Both Leon and Dave noted they use ball bearing blocks, so ...

Gerry & Leslie; Malletts Bay, VT
"Great Escape" 1989 C-25 SR/WK #5972
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Leon Sisson
Master Marine Consultant

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1767 Posts

Response Posted - 09/10/2019 :  17:13:33  Show Profile  Visit Leon Sisson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I agree with the preceding reservations about the advertised safe working loads on some Harken blocks for use with halyards. As I recall, that's why I used Ronstan for Catalina 25 halyard turning blocks.

Harken has plain bearing blocks for wire rope and/or unusually heavy loads. Those would likely work fine if you can find the size you need, with only a slight increase in friction, providing they don't get gummed up with dirt, old lube, etc.

I'm pretty sure the deck organizers I installed on my Catalina 22 a couple years ago (Spinlock maybe?) are plain bearing.  However, it's still too soon to to say how they hold up.  I will say the boat has more halyard friction than I'd like.

Leon Sisson

Edited by - Leon Sisson on 09/10/2019 17:18:29
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glivs
Admiral

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USA
721 Posts

Response Posted - 09/11/2019 :  18:53:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks again Leon. And I agree the Ronstan blocks do appear to meet my needs but for now, one step at a time.

Gerry & Leslie; Malletts Bay, VT
"Great Escape" 1989 C-25 SR/WK #5972
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