Jib Halyard Repair Started – Up the mast!

In addition to completing the install of the AIS receiver, I spent a few minutes on Saturday setting up to go up the mast and remove the broken jib halyard (which happened on the last sail).

Bosun's chairTo go up the mast (the top of our mast is 72 feet off the water), I have a bosun chair (as shown in the photo here – that’s not me in the picture). The chair attaches to a halyard which we then run to one of the electric winches. Safety is important, so I strap myself in the chair, and I grab another halyard while going up in case something happens. My wife Karen then slowly and carefully winched me up the mast while I carefully inspected all the fittings on the mast. Once at the top, I both removed the broken part at the top (which was connected with a shackle), and inspected the fitting at the mast to see if there was an obvious reason why the halyard broke.

In the past, I’ve seen where the steel halyard can “saw” a groove and create sharp edges. But, that wasn’t the case this time. I suspect a combination of factors: metal fatigue due to 11+ thousand miles of use, too much force applied with the winches to tighten the sails, and possibly too much sideways force when running with a double-reef in moderate winds. Hopefully this won’t happen again on our trip.

Here you can see the broken halyard (first two photos), and a few shots from the top of the mast (click for larger view) showing scenery from our marina in Carolina Beach, North Carolina:

Broken jib halyard and shots from up the mast

Also, see the photos from the first time I went up the mast of Tahina.

After we got the halyard (and me) safely down. I drove it to a local marine chandlery (West Marine) and they are arranging to have a new one made this week.

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