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T O P I C    R E V I E W
rhs944 Posted - 06/16/2022 : 09:24:45
Another newbie question. When raising the main sail on my 250WK, hull #388 the first time this Spring, there was a snapping sound followed by the sail dropping like a rock. The snap sound occured at the point the sail was at or near the top of the mast. The snap shackle that was attached to the sail was still intact on the sail. However the bowline knot used to tie to the shackle appears to have failed. While i have not climbed the mast yet, there does not appear to be any visible evidence of the main halyard showing up outside of the mast at the top. Assuming the prior owner had the recommended length halyard ( 65'), i have about 34' of halyard as measured from the bottom of the mast. Which would imply there is about 31' of halyard inside the mast. Based on the exit slot for the halyard, the line appears to be running up the mast, after it enters the slot. However, when i pull on the expose section of the line, it is snagged on something. My pulls on the line have been gentle to date as i don't want to wedge the halyard. it's very possible that i have already done this. Any thoughts on what i could be snagged on? Possible solutions? My original plan was to climb the mast and lower a messenger line down, weight by a section of bike chain. Fish it out at the exit slot. Whip the freed halyard to it and run it back up via the messenger line. This time i would use a halyard knot vs the bowline to tie on the shackle. My problem now it to remove the halyard stuck within the mast. Is the wiring harness loose within the mast? What could it snag on besides the Jib halyard, wiring harness or spreader / light hardware? I've tried light pulls with the Jib halyard tight and loose, with no effect. I have a 16' borescope coming which will allow me to explore within the mast. Looking for sage advice, as i know that I'm likely screwed.
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rhs944 Posted - 06/17/2022 : 14:58:11
Update - I have a borescope on order, but decided that given the spot i'm in that giving the halyard a good tug or two was not going to put in further into the soup. A couple of good tugs and it was free. As i expected the knot failed. Given the Jib Halyard still runs freely, one of the remaining potential snags would be the wiring to the mast light. My decision was to better to be sailing this summer that sitting at the mooring with the lights on. Will use the borescope to check the wiring next.

JB Posted - 06/17/2022 : 06:17:29
Can you fit your borescope into the halyard slot? Try running up as far as you can taped to the other halyard. A drone with a good camera might be able give you a good look at the masthead. At the top of the mast there may be a ball of excess electrical wire or protruding screws for the antenna.
Steve Milby Posted - 06/16/2022 : 17:55:33
If the recommended length is 65' and there's 34' coming out the base of the mast and 31' in the mast, then logic suggests it has to be stopped at the masthead, not somewhere part way down the mast. I'd guess that something stopped the line from running through the sheave, perhaps a stopper knot or a wad of tape. The PO might have wrapped a zip tie around the line or pushed it through the line as a stopper.

I'm glad you posted this question. I think I'll put some kind of stopper in my halyards.
alippold Posted - 06/16/2022 : 17:26:52
Maybe a borescope could help identify what is causing the snag. This tweet is from a sailing blog that I follow. They recommend a particular scope.

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