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How to best thread new main halyard through mast?


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Planned to rig the boat today but things did not according to plan. I use the boom, main sheet and main halyard to raise the mast. The tail of the halyard broke. No one hurt, nothing else broken as far I know. For the first time since I built this rig I am in the situation that here is neither halyard nor pilot line where the main halyard should be.

When I built this rig I was working in a workshop with an air compressor so I simply blew pilot lines fitted out with simple drag devices down the mast tube.

Since the mast is kind of horizontal gravitation will not be of much help and compressed air is not available.

What are my best options? Pushing a wire down the mast tube? Maybe I could use a vacuum cleaner to do the same thing I did with compressed air?

TIA

/Martin

PS here is what lowering the mast looks like.

 

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You could use that, but those have a tendency to wrap around while being pushed down a large diameter tube, YMMV. A vac can work really well if there aren't any significant holes between vac and entry point.

Failing that you could try a fibreglass snake, eg https://firstchoicecomms.com.au/product/fibreglass-snake-100m-reel-4mm/. if you know a linesman they might be able to loan you one for some beers.

Years ago I used to hire them from the likes of hirepool, but nowdays I use a vac + bag + stringline for long pulls through big ducts. If I was you I would try the vac option first.

Good luck

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Depending on the size of your holes, rods for rodding out blocked sewers may work. Flexible fibreglass rods, bend laterally very easily, but are stiff in compression. For the length you get a couple that screw together at the ends. They aren't that expensive to buy in NZ, not sure about where you are though. Similar options would be bute pipe (water plumbing pipe), very bendy, but long (5 m, may need to join a couple) and moderately stiff. May be a bit wide for your openings though. Or if you were confident in joining them, a number of sail battens, basically the same thing as the sewer rods, but flat. Duct tape would join them ok, but lap the tape over to make a taper on each side of the joint, so you can get them out again ;-)

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Tried the shop vac idea tonight -- didn't work. At best I got about 2 m in. The tube is fairly clean inside but there are some obstructions including the jib halyard and the spi halyard. I could remove them but progress stopped before I got to where they could obstruct. Also, there are a number of leak points. I tried to deal them with tape but it was not good enough to make a difference.

I could push rods or tubes in from the bottom of the spar but how do I get to the mousing line at the top?

Fish tape or fiberglass snake might work but I can see how they may act up on the way. There are rivets and the odd bolt to catch on and once that has happened the tape will buckle and...

Rods or tubes sounds better, at least right now. I need 12 m plus, as mentioned above, some way of making the mousing line hitch a ride.

Thanks for the ideas so far. Keep them coming.

/Martin

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Hi Martin,

Can you stand the mast up on the boat with some temporary arrangement (spinnaker halyard maybe). Then use a bicycle chain on the end of your mouse line and feed it down from the top. The chain goes over the sheave easily and has enough weight to pull the mouse line down. You will have to go up the mast of course (on the spinnaker halyard??) and have someone catch the chain and pull it out of the halyard slot, with a piece of wire with a hook on it.

If you don't trust the spinnaker halyard you could easily rig up a temporary hoisting rig tied around the top part of the mast well chocked so it doesn't slide down.

 

Tb

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That's a good idea

The link i shared showed a snake that won't bend, they are designed to go through large diameter duct and physically couldn't double over itself in the mast. They have a large bend radius and would need a big force to snap.

Can you not take the sheave out and then push the rod in from the top?

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Good idea, only snag is that there is no way to get to the top of the mast to feed bicycle chain into mast. I have even saved some worn out bicycle chain in case I may need it for this purpose.

Main idea right now (before going to bed) is to get some cheap plastic piping (16 mm outer diam, 3 m lengths) and push this in from the bottom end of the spar. I hope I can figure out a way to attach mousing line.

/Martin

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