• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Dufour 31 main halyard issues

Sep 7, 2021
Dufour 31 Forked River State Marina
I would appreciate any help regarding the binding and seizing of my wire rope atop the mainmast in what appears to be the lone sheave now occupied by my topping lift line ? After three trips up the mast, I have learned little except that the wire is still stuck and I am about to take it to a rigger to get it unstuck.
I just don't understand the rationale of this setup?
Any experience or solutions would be greatly appreciated. . .thank you
Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Welcome to the SBO forum Gary.

Rope/wire halyards are an older method of dealing with the stretch that older halyards experienced.

Your post talks about a Topping lift. It sounds like that is on the same sheave as this halyard. That would be a wrong way to rig your boat. Sheaves only have space for a single halyard be it wire/rope or all rope. A wire/rope sheave often has a narrow grove in the middle of the sheave that fits the wire and the upper section of the sheave is designed to fit the spliced rope.

You can remove the wire/rope halyard and replace it with a new one or an all rope halyard. The newer Dacron/Polyester ropes have much less stretch and can serve as a halyard. That is what I did when I rerigged my mast in 2016. A major improvement in my mind. No more wrapping wire around the halyard winch.

If you choose this path you might also want to change out the sheave so that it has a U configuration. The U shape more naturally is compatible with the shape of a rope Halyard.

You can stick with wire/rope halyards. They can be made for you and your boat. The professional splice of a wire/rope halyard should prevent jamming that happens when the splice is old or chafed.

Getting it unstuck may require a rigger, or taking you mast down and working on the problem at ground level. Your in NJ. Perhaps this winter the mast can be taken down and refitted in anticipation of a great new 2022 sailing season.
Sep 7, 2021
Dufour 31 Forked River State Marina
Thank you for your reply. Kind of confirms my suspicion that the topping lift rope jumped into the halyard sheave as why would it need sheave when it only goes up and down maybe 6 to 8 inches ?
Jan 1, 2006
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
If the mast is down and you have access to it, changing a sheave isn't difficult. Just remember to run messenger lines.
Sep 7, 2021
Dufour 31 Forked River State Marina
shemandr, thanks for the input. I'm having a rigger try to unjam it from the between the sheave and re-orient things tomorrow morning. Hopefully I can forgo the expense of bringing the mast down although I'm sure it will have to be done eventually.
  • Like
Likes: jssailem