Columbia 28.. halyard wire or?

Dec 21, 2020
12
Columbia 28 Oxnard
I am refurbishing a 28 Columbia. it has wire halyards. I see that some users like all rope. What are the pros and cons on this.
Sorry if it has been answered but couldn't find it.
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,564
Catalina 320 Dana Point
Wire was used to lessen stretch inherent in rope of the time, not required anymore.
 
Nov 8, 2007
1,397
Hunter 27_75-84 Sandusky Harbor Marina, Ohio
If the wire is good, no reason to change it. The original wire halyard on our boat had a few issues hooks) after 25 years. We replaced it with another wire, and it has worked very well for 18 seasons, and about 7,500 nm now. I’m not aware of any advantages of modern non-stretch line over wire. Maybe someone else will make that case.

if you do change to an all line halyard, you will need a new pulley at the top of your mast.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,855
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Back in the day before high tech lines, wire halyards were used to reduce stretch. Modern lines are as strong or stronger than the wire halyards with little or no stretch. They are also lighter, easier to handle, not prone to fishhooks, easier to splice, and cause less wear and tear on expensive parts like winches.

There are different opinions on changing halyard sheaves. Sheaves for wire halyards have a primary groove to accommodate the line portion of the halyard and a narrower groove to accommodate the wire. If the sheave is in good shape, smooth no cuts or rough spots that would chafe the line, and turn freely, then is it probably not necessary to change the sheave. Older boats often used an aluminum sheave that rode on an aluminum sleeve around a SS bolt. Corrosion occurs which inhibits the sheave from turning freely. Dragging a loaded rope halyard over a frozen or partially frozen sheave can be damaging to the line, so the sheave needs to be changed. Axles and sheaves can also develop flat spots which restrict the sheaves ability to run freely.

If the mast is down, changing a sheave is usually no big deal. Installing a new ball bearing sheave make raising and lowering the sails much easier. Garhauer Marine makes very affordable sheaves and other rigging products.
 
Jul 19, 2013
318
Pearson 31-2 Boston
If the wire is good, no reason to change it. The original wire halyard on our boat had a few issues hooks) after 25 years. We replaced it with another wire, and it has worked very well for 18 seasons, and about 7,500 nm now. I’m not aware of any advantages of modern non-stretch line over wire. Maybe someone else will make that case.

if you do change to an all line halyard, you will need a new pulley at the top of your mast.
It isn't just the wire itself to watch, you need to also monitor the condition of the wire to rope splice. The splice length should be 12" or so, we started changing the original wire/rope halyards when the jib halyard splice was down to about two inches, ie getting ready to fail. I can't make a specific case for non-strech line over wire, its just wire has been out of use for so so long its hard to remember why folks stopped ...
 
Last edited:
Nov 16, 2012
1,001
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 31 Santa Cruz
It isn't just the wire itself to watch, you need to also monitor the condition of the wire to rope splice. The splice length should be 12" or so, we started changing the original wire/rope halyards when the jib halyard splice was down to about two inches, ie getting ready to fail. I can't make a specific case for non-strech line over wire, its just wire has been out of use for so so long its hard to remember why folks stopped ...
Line is much easier on your hands, doesn’t “sky” very easily if you let go of it, weighs less. Not sure of the cost, but I don’t know anybody who has installed a wire halyard in many years...
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,146
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I had wire rope halyards. Changed them out for rope halyards when I refit my Mast and rigging. Raising the sails now is a joy. Easy on the hands. System works great.
 
Dec 21, 2020
12
Columbia 28 Oxnard
I am refurbishing a 28 Columbia. it has wire halyards. I see that some users like all rope. What are the pros and cons on this.
Sorry if it has been answered but couldn't find it.
Why is the steel rope to line splice necessary? Why not a steel rope with loops at each end and a separate braided line with one end a spliced loop. These connected by shackles.
 
Feb 8, 2014
1,300
Columbia 36 Muskegon
The idea is the splice will run over the sheave if necessary. On my Columbia 36 the sheaves were too narrow for that so a thimbled splice works as well. I once made a temporary repair with a thimbled splice, it worked fine but I've since replaced the halyards, sheaves, and the divider between the sheaves to all rope. Had to replace the divider as the new sheaves are wider, the original divider was 1/2" thick, new one is 1/4". Wasn't room in the truck for the old divider. I'm pretty sure the mast truck on the 36 is the same as the 28 so the OP would have the same issue.
 
Dec 21, 2020
12
Columbia 28 Oxnard
I am refurbishing a 28 Columbia. it has wire halyards. I see that some users like all rope. What are the pros and cons on this.
Sorry if it has been answered but couldn't find it.
my conclusion is to just use wire with thimbled ends and shackles. In our sunshine most ropes breakdown and I know that 316 stainless doesn't! Not sure what rope to use but it only gets handled during hoisting sails so braided Dacron sounds Ok to me. Any thoughts from you far more experienced sailors?