Preparations for Ascending the Mast

I installed new deck hardware back in May of this year in preparation for a rigging project.  The original idea was to ascend the rig, drop the headstay to the deck, build a new stay then climb the mast again and install it.  But there were things to do before I would go up the mast, and one of them was replace the worn out deck hardware through which the line passes.

The second item in preparation was to replace the halyards.  I researched the aging characteristics of the StaSet X line that I use for halyards, and it was obvious that the line was plenty strong, even after 7 years’ service, to support my weight.  But I wanted a comfort factor that the old line wasn’t going to provide.  New line for halyards was called for.  The final crippling of my standing rigging as a result of having the steel wire come out of the spreaders kicked me out of procrastination mode, and I ordered the line.  About the same time, I noticed an area of chafe where the main halyard passes over the masthead sheave.  So it was time to replace halyards, and now I have no guilt over being wimpy about going up the rig with new line.

300 feet of 5/16 Sta Set X.

300 feet of 5/16 Sta Set X.

I ran the new line up the mast today.  I sewed the new line and old line together at the ends, then covered the seam with duct tape, so it wouldn’t catch in the sheaves at the masthead.  When connected and smooth, I simply pulled on the old line until I had new line in my hands.

Tools for installing new halyards: sail repair needle, heavy nylon "squidding line," and duct tape.  A pocket knife is useful too.

Tools for installing new halyards: sail repair needle, heavy nylon “squidding line,” and duct tape. A pocket knife is useful too.

Line ends sewn together.  This makes a strong attachment that won't let go.  I wouldn't trust tape alone.

Line ends sewn together. This makes a strong attachment that won’t let go. I wouldn’t trust tape alone.

Seem covered with duct tape.

Seem covered with duct tape.

So I’ll soon be ready to go aloft.  I need to collect my supplies, assemble my tools, and make a list of things to do while up there (and carry it with me).

In the next post, I’ll detail the design and construction of the halyard ascender that I put together. This is a device that enables me to ascend the mast by standing up and sitting down.

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2 comments
  1. Tate said:

    That is exactly how we rerove our new halyards as well. Just sewed the old to the new with fishing line. Glad to hear the project is moving along.

    • It is moving along. Just need to assemble my tools and crew, and write out the work list to take aloft with me.

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