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Furler Swivel Playing Hard to Get

Apr 11, 2018
71
Hunter 340 Dowry Creek, NC
While helping me prepare the boat for Dorian, a young fellow removed the furling headsail. With the best of intentions, he ran the top swivel firmly up to the forestay and tied it off nicely.

Now it doesn't want to come down on its own. The halyard weighs more than the swivel, so it won't slide back down the stay no matter how much slack I give it. Can someone think of a way to retrieve it without having to climb the mast to tie on a pulling line?
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,562
Catalina 320 Dana Point
I made a grapnel out of pvc (actually cut up a pvc plant trellis) and ran it up using the spinnaker halyard with a downhaul, took a couple tries before I snagged it.
 
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jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
Good puzzle. I would try a spin casting rod with a lure that has a couple of treble hooks on it.
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
I made a grapnel out of pvc (actually cut up a pvc plant trellis) and ran it up using the spinnaker halyard with a downhaul, took a couple tries before I snagged it.
I like this approach.
 
May 14, 2009
19
Sirius 21 Pelican Yacht Club, Manitoba
While helping me prepare the boat for Dorian, a young fellow removed the furling headsail. With the best of intentions, he ran the top swivel firmly up to the forestay and tied it off nicely.

Now it doesn't want to come down on its own. The halyard weighs more than the swivel, so it won't slide back down the stay no matter how much slack I give it. Can someone think of a way to retrieve it without having to climb the mast to tie on a pulling line?
I use a long pole (or boat poles taped together) with an old fashioned potato masher on my boat. Read about it here https://thethriftysailor.com/shenanigans/like-your-underwear-slipping-down
 
Apr 11, 2018
71
Hunter 340 Dowry Creek, NC
The stay goes to the mast 43 feet above the deck, so I don't think either a pole or casting is an option. If I can borrow a drone, perhaps I can get it to drop some fishing line over the swivel. If not that it looks like the grapnel on another halyard is the way.

Thanks to all for the great ideas!
 
Jan 1, 2006
6,071
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
This is probably a long shot but: If you put a messenger line on the spin halyard the run that line up to the swivel area, maybe you can wrap the halyard or messenger line around the swivel above the swivel. It would take one 360 degree wrap or maybe two. Then you could drag the swivel down with the messenger line. This approach depends a lot on the geometry of the mast head and sheaves.
The drone is an interesting idea.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
This is probably a long shot but: If you put a messenger line on the spin halyard the run that line up to the swivel area, maybe you can wrap the halyard or messenger line around the swivel above the swivel. It would take one 360 degree wrap or maybe two. Then you could drag the swivel down with the messenger line. This approach depends a lot on the geometry of the mast head and sheaves.
The drone is an interesting idea.
That's an excellent idea!
 

DougM

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Jul 24, 2005
2,180
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
Sounds to me like the easiest way to get the swivel down if Shemander’s suggestion doesn’t succeed will be to get out the bosun’s chair...
 
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Jul 7, 2004
8,003
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Sounds to me like the easiest way to get the swivel down if Shemander’s suggestion doesn’t succeed will be to get out the bosun’s chair...
That would be my approach. Could also service the masthead while you are up there.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Send your rigger up. Yeah. Should have an inspection of the mast head & sheeves every two or three yr anyway. Next time, don’t send halyards aloft w/o a tagline attached. I’m sure that’s obvious now!
 
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