Catalina 27 mast issue

Aug 15, 2021
16
Catalina 27 Port Aransas
Just bought a 1987 Catalina 27 on the cheap. Hadn't been sailed in 4 years. Lots of work to be done but have an issue with the port jib halyard. The prior owner told me that it had dropped in the mast and I was expecting to have to fix that. When pulling out the line, the line sticks right inside the mast. in looking at it, it appears that a slip knot had been tied on the end (maybe to stop it from falling into the mast???). I want to unscrew the cover and investigate more. Does anyone know if this opening can be unscrewed and opened? There are six screws that would have to come out. Picture attached. Thanks.
 

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Feb 21, 2013
3,777
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Welcome the forum and congratulations on your new sailboat!!

Thanks for posting a photo. Try unscrewing the double exit block (see photo below) at the base of the mast then it to get access to knot at the end of the halyard OR use a long tweezers or needle to grab the knot, pull it out and cut it off. Then comes the next step..........install a new jib halyard without taking the mast down, which has been the subject of many threads that you can do a search on this forum on OR ask the forum how its done.
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Aug 15, 2021
16
Catalina 27 Port Aransas
Thank you! I will give it a try. I actually bought the mast climber last week and tried it out. Works really well. Of course I also keep the other halyard on me as a safety precaution. Part of the fun of a used boat I am finding out is tinkering around and fixing it. So appreciative of this forum.
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
7,451
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
My boat had wire to rope halyards that, which I found out when replacing, were not spliced together but rather knotted to a loop on the wire. That could be the reason for your knot. Besides minimal stretch, wire was needed because the masthead sheave is too narrow for 3/8" line.... in fact it is just a little over 1/4"... Anyway, I found it impossible to remove the exit block box on the port side to remove the knot.....luckily I was able to get the starboard(main halyard) side loose and picked it out with a piece of wire.

Btw, you should lubricate the masthead sheaves when you go up. To be sure, check the diameter of the sheave's groove... the owner's manual has a diagram showing it's dimensions... yours may have been converted since it's 10 years younger than my boat. You want the halyard to run freely through the sheave.... makes hoisting and dropping the sails a heck of a lot easier.

Anyway.... the sheave width issue is important in deciding what size line you'll use for the halyard.. You can always replace with a pre-made wire to rope halyard, nothing wrong with that. I chose to build my own "tapered" halyard. I used a 3/16" dyneema core (samson amsteel) and covered the back half, the part that is handled and cleated, with a 5/16" sheath. The dyneema is stronger than steel. The cover is inexpensive dacron/polyester line with the core removed. In fact, I uses the core of the Samson LS to fish the new dyneema core into place. There is a simple splice, called a "bury" or splice that creates the "taper" where the cover is buried into the core. It looks pretty cool, and is super strong with NO stretch. You can splice an eye in the dyneema core's single braid... really easy splice btw. but the last one I made I just tied a halyard knot to the captive pin "D" shackle.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,108
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Welcome @SeaDogRun looks like Catalina 27’s are a favorite boat.

Yes tinkering in boats is at least half the gun of owning a boat.

Halyards should not have knots in the middle of the mast. Knots do not go through sheaves. Changing from wire and rope to straight rope is actually an improvement, in my mind.

Sailkote is a good lubricant for your running rigging.
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
7,451
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Welcome @SeaDogRun
Halyards should not have knots in the middle of the mast. Knots do not go through sheaves. Changing from wire and rope to straight rope is actually an improvement, in my mind.
Just making statements with no explanation or reasoning.... I don't get it... how does that help anyone? FAT ropes don't go through narrow sheaves... polyester rope stretches... Wire is narrow, strong and doesn't stretch much. When these boats were designed... there was no dyneema... so that was how most all boat builders solved the stretch problem. Just swapping out rope halyards for wire may solve the "meat hook" threat... but it overlooks the stretch and performance loss. Still leaves questions about an owner not changing the funky knot/wire loop connected halyard ever during the past 33 years.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,108
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
When pulling out the line, the line sticks right inside the mast. in looking at it, it appears that a slip knot had been tied on the end
Is in the original post explaining the problem. Sounded like there was a knot inside the mast.

“Just making statements with no explanation or reasoning.... I don't get it... how does that help anyone?”​

My statement addressed the original question, Joe.