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Halyard line not holding in rope clutch

Jun 15, 2012
628
Hunter 50 AC St. Petersburg
After raising my main sail and setting the rope clutch, the line does not hold but slips back about a foot. I believe the problem is the double braid I am using is too loosely weaved and gets pinched by the clutch. It has been suggested that I need a tighter weaved braid, one that is NOT splicable. Any suggestions?
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,314
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
If you haven't eliminated the clutch spring as the cause, you might try moving the halyard into a nearby clutch to see if you can replicate the problem. Clutch springs weaken over time.
 

pateco

.
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
After raising my main sail and setting the rope clutch, the line does not hold but slips back about a foot. I believe the problem is the double braid I am using is too loosely weaved and gets pinched by the clutch. It has been suggested that I need a tighter weaved braid, one that is NOT splicable. Any suggestions?
I am having the same issue. 7/16" double braid in a clutch that says it is for 7/16" to 1/2" it slips several inches before it finally catches. Could it be something in the 35 year old Spinlock clutch?

I found this Video on the newer version of my Spinlock XA clutches, and will check the cam and plate surfaces the next time I am on the boat.

 
Oct 22, 2014
16,087
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
How old is the line? What does it look like?
Rope clutches function on friction clamp. They pinch the line. Over time they compress the inner strands and the line gets thinner in the area of frequent use. Some of the strands even break. :yikes: Like in the 1-2 foot length of the main halyard you reach each time you raise the main sail.
And with friction comes wear and dirt. How long has it been since you cleaned the rope clutch?

Perhaps you are due for both. A cleaning of the clutches (I assume you have more than one and a change of the halyard.
Some folks choose to flip the main halyard end for end, or cut off a foot of the halyard where it connects to the head of the sail so they move the damaged section away from the clutch. But this is a fools solution. If damaged, the section is now somewhere in the middle of their halyard run.
Only you can tell if this is a good solution for your boat.
 

pateco

.
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
How old is the line? What does it look like?
Rope clutches function on friction clamp. They pinch the line. Over time they compress the inner strands and the line gets thinner in the area of frequent use. Some of the strands even break. :yikes: Like in the 1-2 foot length of the main halyard you reach each time you raise the main sail.
And with friction comes wear and dirt. How long has it been since you cleaned the rope clutch?

Perhaps you are due for both. A cleaning of the clutches (I assume you have more than one and a change of the halyard.
Some folks choose to flip the main halyard end for end, or cut off a foot of the halyard where it connects to the head of the sail so they move the damaged section away from the clutch. But this is a fools solution. If damaged, the section is now somewhere in the middle of their halyard run.
Only you can tell if this is a good solution for your boat.
Halyard is 3 & 1/2 years old, and in better condition than most of the other running rigging LOL. I will check the cam and plate for dirt and wear the next time I am at the boat.

Pictures of halyard being installed in 2014
2014-12-17 07.28.17.jpg 2014-12-21 17.36.10.jpg

Spinlock clutches on the port side showing old jib halyard and old main sheet. both of those lines have been replaced, and main sheet is now rerouted to a triple with cam on the traveler: Pair of identical clutches on starboard side are Main halyard, and down-haul.
Treveler cam cleat.jpg
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Grooves will for sure wear in the clutch foot that holds the line. The spring can wear, but it does not hold the foot to the line. The handle does all that.

Changing line will exacerbate the problem. Its normally thinner and slipperier.

You can put RP25 line coat on it to help.

http://www.apsltd.com/spinlock-rp25-coating-250-ml.html
 
Last edited:
Jun 15, 2012
628
Hunter 50 AC St. Petersburg
I changed the halyard last summer. At first it works perfectly. I even coated the line where it meets the clutch with anti abrasion coating. The main sail on my boat is huge and takes a great effort by the electric winch to fully raise. I don't know what the load on the halyard is, but it sure seems great.
I will try using another clutch to see if the clutch is the problem and inspect the surface of the cams.
Thanks all for your help!
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,087
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
@pateco ... Chip.. That is a great looking halyard splice.;)

3 and 1/2 year old line should be still working. The request was:

Any suggestions?
With out pictures or data, one must SWAG and look at the most likely suspects. Ruling them out one by one is the most efficient methodology.
Old Line appears can be checked off the list.
What are your thoughts about the clutches? The image appears to show some age, and that some aged (perhaps line with accumulated salt/dirt) line has been run through the clutch at some point in time.
 

pateco

.
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
@pateco ... Chip.. That is a great looking halyard splice.;)

3 and 1/2 year old line should be still working. The request was:


With out pictures or data, one must SWAG and look at the most likely suspects. Ruling them out one by one is the most efficient methodology.
Old Line appears can be checked off the list.
What are your thoughts about the clutches? The image appears to show some age, and that some aged (perhaps line with accumulated salt/dirt) line has been run through the clutch at some point in time.
I can't take credit for the splice. It was done by the resident expert at Sailorman when I bought the halyard.LOL.
Their line is sourced locally from Miami Cordage It seems to have held up well.

I have replaced a couple of the clutch handles since I got the boat (you can see the color difference in the clutch photo). They were broken by people (OK it was me) stepping on the handles on the cabin top while trying to drop and tie up the main while sailing single handed. I have not really inspected the cams for dirt/wear, and will do that tonight after my sailing club meeting.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,087
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
stepping on the handles on the cabin top
That is one of the hazards of clutches. The compromise was to install cleats. More resistant to stepping on not as convenient as a clutch. Boats are a series of compromises.
 
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Mar 26, 2011
2,935
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
Yale cordage also makes one called MaxiJacket.

Yale MaxiJacket Coating

Here is a Practical Sailor article comparing the two products.
Coatings, coverings for lines and stitching

Has anyone here tried either of them for abrasion/wear resistance on their rope clutches?
I've used both and would prefer RP 29 for a halyard. Yale Makijacket is a little stiff for this application.

Yes, this is one of the things I would try, after confirming the condition of the cams.
 
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Gunni

.
Mar 16, 2010
5,937
Beneteau 411 Oceanis Annapolis
Wear on the Spinlock halyard clutch cam is a pretty common thing. Spinlock makes a cam kit and a sells the foot plate. It is very straight forward repair. However if you have a gang of clutches you will need to take the gang off the deck to drive the clutch pin free.

Replace the cam and the foot for a full-proof repair - no more slipping halyard. Think I got my kit from APS.
 
Jun 15, 2012
628
Hunter 50 AC St. Petersburg
Seems to better resist abrasion, but rope clutch still not holding. Also used Maxijacket on reefing lines where they enter a fitting on the mast. Hunter did not install a block, just an elongated hole in a stainless fitting. Found the reefing line would not last long from chafe. Seems to really help in this location.