Install Main Halyard H33.5 1994

Fred

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Sep 27, 2008
472
Hunter 33.5 Little Current, Ontario, CA
My boat is on the hard with the mast up. The main halyard has completely come out of the mast. How do I install it back into the mast.
 
Jan 1, 2006
6,073
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I don't think you can climb the mast when the boat is on the hard. I'm sure it's been done but ... I think you'll need to get a crane of some sort to reeve a new halyard. Or launch it. If you haven't had the mast taken down in a decade or so maybe this is time to do it?
 
Sep 4, 2007
737
Hunter 33.5 Elbow, Saskatchwen, Can.
I had this issue years ago. If you can send someone up the mast they can send down a line with a 6 inch piece of bike chain attached. You will need to have a small magnet to catch the chain as it goes by the exit in the mast. Hopefully this works for you.
Don
 

Fred

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Sep 27, 2008
472
Hunter 33.5 Little Current, Ontario, CA
Seems like access to the mast head is the real problem. From what I read here and elsewhere the electrical wiring is segregated in the mast so using the bicycle chain method seems relatively straight forward. The boat has a fractional rig so using the jib halyard is not viable for ascending the mast. The topping lift is not accessible and likely not robust enough anyways. I put a service request in at the marina, hopefully they have a suitable crane or boom truck so the mast won‘t have to come down. They will get back to me this week.
 

Fred

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Sep 27, 2008
472
Hunter 33.5 Little Current, Ontario, CA
The best suggestion that I have received thus far is to snag the topping lift (I'm not sure what rope diameter or strength it is) and use it to (temporarily) run a heavier line, perhaps bigger diameter than required, wire cable or dyneema line (which could provide higher strength for the same diameter). With this in place a bosun's chair could be safely used to scale the mast and the main halyard could be rethreaded.

My question, does anyone know what size the topping lift sheave can handle on a 1994 Hunter 33.5? Is there any reason you can think of that this plan would not work safely?
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,775
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Your owners manual should have the main halyard diameter and length. As far as safety I use a spare halyard attached to the boson chair, topping line attached also as a safety line with someone down below taking up slack on bothering lines clearing off every 5 feet or so.
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,775
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Sorry, Could not find the halyard diameter in the owner's manual. Can you measure the one you have?
 

Fred

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Sep 27, 2008
472
Hunter 33.5 Little Current, Ontario, CA
Sorry, Could not find the halyard diameter in the owner's manual. Can you measure the one you have?
No. I'm several hours away from the boat and am trying to plan the work from here before I go :)
 
Jan 1, 2006
6,073
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
. ... Is there any reason you can think of that this plan would not work safely?
I’ve already posted I don’t like the idea of climbing the mast on the hard so I’ll leave it at that.
The topping lift on my H356 did exit the top of the mast over a sheave. It exited the mast about 6’ up from the deck. How are you going turn the line to the cockpit? Hopefully you can use the mast plate with a good block with a swivel. If it were my butt up there it would be a new Garhauer block with a healthy safety margin. You then need a fair lead to the secondary winches. Are you going to use the stoppers? If so test that they hold the new line. You may need the deck organizers to keep a fair lead . You can not have an over ride!!! You can co opt that gear from the lost halyard temporarily. I’m sure you know to tie lines to your chair and not use shackles. Most chairs have a messenger line to send up gear or to send gear down.
You should find someone with a drone to take pictures of the mast top so you can study it.
Do you have a roller furling main?
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,087
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
No. I'm several hours away from the boat and am trying to plan the work from here before I go
I like your thinking.
Some thoughts.
You have a boat from 1994. Guessing here, you have not been the only owner. Do you know the sizes, type, age, and condition of the lines used for the halyard or topping lift on YOUR BOAT?

Looking at a manual or hearing from other owners is just not the safety level I would trust to decide to climb the mast. The lines on the boat are what really matters.

Rope/lines start out with a breaking strength. Generally of a size and condition to support a 300 lb person. They break down over time. Then they can fail. Know YOUR line before climbing the mast. Know your equipment. Know your safety connections to the mast. While people have been safely “hoisted up and returned “ to earth, the recommended approach is to CLIMB the mast. Winches and clutch’s have a history of failing with sailors aloft.

If in doubt, consider asking a pro to solve the issue, or take the mast down and work the problem standing on your feet at ground level.
 
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Likes: Ward H
Jun 24, 2004
10
Hunter 28.5 Annapolis, MD
What about hiring a sign company with a cherry picker? Don’t think a professional would go up the mast on the hard. Other option is to just drop the mast and redo evry thing while it’s down.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: Ward H

Fred

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Sep 27, 2008
472
Hunter 33.5 Little Current, Ontario, CA
I heard back from the "pro" at the marina where the boat is located. They are telling me that the halyard cannot be reliably dropped down from the mast head because it might tangle with other halyards and wiring (I thought that the wiring was in a separate raceway) and that the only way is to take the mast down and fish it through. I don't really have any other options available to me than to go with this.
 
Jan 1, 2006
6,073
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
See if you can put a LED anchor light on, check the shelves for ware, straighten the windex or vane, check all the rigging, maybe rig an extra line or messenger cord, check your spreaders and mounting, maybe put a deck light on. There's plenty of work to do. I used to tell the manager of a boat yard I was in that they should half the charges for dropping the mast and raising it. They'd find so much work they'd make the money back and more. They would complain there was no money for them in sailboats.
 

Fred

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Sep 27, 2008
472
Hunter 33.5 Little Current, Ontario, CA
I have an offer from a sailing buddy who has a similar size boat as mine and is very comfortable climbing his mast. His suggestion is that we raft up in a quiet anchorage and pull the mast heads of the boats together. He would climb his mast with all appropriate safety gear and use the bicycle chain method to drop a messenger down my mast. We estimate that the heel on the boats with our mast heads drawn together would be less than 7 degrees. I could then afford to buy him a lot of beer with the money I saved by using the proposed marina approach. :)

Any thoughts or cautions on this approach?
 
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Likes: Ward H
Oct 22, 2014
16,087
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Sounds like a fun day. All the pleasurable events save one.

Boats. Climbing masts. On the water adventure. Repairs. Beer. Go for it.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,087
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
so how do you pull the masts together?
You lash the boats in the traditional buddy boat "raft up" arrangement. Fenders are optional. Then get 2 Sumo Wrestlers to take positions on the boats. Straddling the space between the raft up boats.

Of course you will need to feed them or you will be in a world of hurt should they decide to change positions or go looking for food.

From an engineering perspective... I think it might work.
 

Fred

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Sep 27, 2008
472
Hunter 33.5 Little Current, Ontario, CA
If my preliminary and simplistic calculations are correct then tipping the boat by 7 degrees should only take about 25 lbs of force at the end of a 50 foot mast. (assume 4500# ballast centered at 2 ft below water line) [ 4500 * sin(7 deg) / 25] ... should be easy to pull the mast heads together using a spare halyard. -- easier and cheaper than serving beer to 2 sumo wrestlers :)