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Hard to raise mainsail

Apr 2, 2014
28
Hunter 29.5 Long Beach, MS
I have a 1994 Hunter 29.5 and the mainsail is extremely hard (I mean really hard)to raise even using a winch. It will fall down by itself when lowering. The sheaves turn freely and the haIyard is new and the correct size. I suspect the halyard is wrapped around another halyard. If that is the case how do I get them unwrapped? Anybody have this problem?
 
Mar 29, 2017
475
Hunter 30t 9805 littlecreek
U could go up there pull cap off top mast and maybe twist untwist straighten haylards try loosen others to see if they move about when raising main
 
Dec 25, 2000
4,458
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Try a spray of Drylube on your slugs to see if that makes a difference. Difference in night and day on our main hoisting and dropping. Most marine shops carry the stuff. Short of using it to clean the slug channel, just spraying on both sides of the slugs before raising should make a huge difference. If not, then something else is going on.
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,052
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
How long have you owned the boat?
When did the problem start? Was there any work done on it just before the problem appeared?
How far up can you lift the sail before it gets difficult?
 
Apr 2, 2014
28
Hunter 29.5 Long Beach, MS
Try a spray of Drylube on your slugs to see if that makes a difference. Difference in night and day on our main hoisting and dropping. Most marine shops carry the stuff. Short of using it to clean the slug channel, just spraying on both sides of the slugs before raising should make a huge difference. If not, then something else is going on.
Already tried that. I cleaned the track to make sure it wasn't dirty. I even reswitched the slugs to be sure they were not getting cocked the sail track
 
Apr 2, 2014
28
Hunter 29.5 Long Beach, MS
How long have you owned the boat?
When did the problem start? Was there any work done on it just before the problem appeared?
How far up can you lift the sail before it gets difficult?
I have owned the boat for 7 years. In 2016 I moved the boat transported from the Gulf Coast to an inland lake. After the move is when I started having the problem. It gets difficult to raise after about 10 feet
 
Apr 2, 2014
28
Hunter 29.5 Long Beach, MS
U could go up there pull cap off top mast and maybe twist untwist straighten haylards try loosen others to see if they move about when raising main
I was thinking about pulling the cap off and pulling the halyard completely out and running a fish line down through the mast, but i don't know if I could get it out of the halyard exit.
 
Jan 7, 2011
1,998
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I have owned the boat for 7 years. In 2016 I moved the boat transported from the Gulf Coast to an inland lake. After the move is when I started having the problem. It gets difficult to raise after about 10 feet
I assume you had to take down the mast to transport the boat...and then the trouble started....seems like a clue.

if cleaning and lubricating the track/ slugs didn’t help, I would consider dropping the mast or pulling the top cap off to what is interfering with the halyard.

Good luck.

Greg
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,052
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
I have owned the boat for 7 years. In 2016 I moved the boat transported from the Gulf Coast to an inland lake. After the move is when I started having the problem. It gets difficult to raise after about 10 feet
Okay. Thanks. Here are some follow up questions:

Did you remove the halyards when you transported the mast? Could you please post a picture of the mast step. (This might help us to rule out halyards twisted around each other)

Did the problem start immediately after transport? Was the onset sudden or gradual? (If gradual, the problem isn’t halyards twisted around treacherous other)

Does the main halyard cleat off at the mast, or,does it run aft to the cockpit? Have you compared hoisting it at the mast ( before any turning blocks) vs from the cockpit? (Is the problem at the mast head, mast foot, deck turning blocks?)

If the onset was gradual, and you’ve ruled out a problem with blocks aft of the mast, the problem is a worn sheeve/axle or bad pin/cheek alignment, or in interior roller/deflector/ guard somewhere inside the mast.

It’s a good idea to isolate and diagnose the location of the problem before you start taking things apart.

Also, you can try hoisting a weight up to eliminate the luff slides as a factor.
 
Last edited:

Johnb

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Jan 22, 2008
1,212
Hunter 37-cutter Richmond CA
My problems like this have always been the sail slugs or the topping lift too loose.

If you tied a line to the end of the halyard would it be easy to raise without the sail? If it is then the problem is in the sail/slugs. If not then it is in the halyard and it's blocks.
 
Jan 19, 2010
8,683
Hunter 26 Charleston
Try a spray of Drylube on your slugs to see if that makes a difference. Difference in night and day on our main hoisting and dropping. Most marine shops carry the stuff. Short of using it to clean the slug channel, just spraying on both sides of the slugs before raising should make a huge difference. If not, then something else is going on.
Yep.... actually I had the exact same problem and drylube took care of it. You can actually get it at Walmart in the auto section. I now keep a can on board at all times and use it on my deck organizer sheaves and other moving parts.

I took an old T-shirt... ripped off a 2" strip, tied it to the halyard shackle then tied a messenger line to the halyard shackle and then soaked the strip in dry lube, shoved it in the slug channel and reamed out the slug channel with the dry lube. by raising the strip up the mast with the halyard. The T-shirt strip came back with a dark black smudgy crud all over it. I did that a few more times ... then sprayed all of the slugs and now my main goes up easy peasy. The next time I lower my mast, I plan on doing a thorough cleaning of the slug channel followed by a drylube treatment before the mast goes back up.
 
Feb 13, 2016
19
hunter 37.5 legend Milwuakee
I just went through this same thing last year. Winter if 18/19 lost some halyards after messenger broke. I went up the mast restrung sailed all last summer trying to isolate with no luck.

so last fall I stepped the mast and restrung halyards. They work fine now. For whatever reason when I sent the chain and weight down the mast they twisted etc.

I tried the cleaning checked slugs, raised with messenger line and raised at mast rather than cockpit. All in all when I stepped the mast I used a camera and found they were twisted. Problem with lifting without the sail on is there is no weight to tighten the lines and replicate the pulling on the halyard by the main sail.

now they work fine.
 
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Likes: jssailem
Feb 13, 2016
19
hunter 37.5 legend Milwuakee
Ok I wrote you prior but a new twist. Turn your head shackle 180degrees on your sails headboard.
I had storm damage and had sail repaired. Put the sail back on and could only raise it a few feet. Very hard to raise. I looked at the headboard while pulling in the main halyard and found this. The closed end headboard shackle had a bend of about thirty degrees.
When I placed the shackle on the sail I had the bend going away from the mast. This in turn pulled the lead slug away from the grove putting pressure on the slug causing binding in the slot.
I took the shackle off the sail and turned it 180 degrees so the bend went toward the mast. Final result I was able to raise the main by hand
 
Feb 13, 2016
19
hunter 37.5 legend Milwuakee
I put dry lube on the slugs and into track slots. Final result is even my wife can raise the main almost all the way. A lot cheaper than a new track. Remember these worked fine from the factory so they should do so now.