Spinnaker Halyard

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Postby Guest » Sat Nov 13, 2004 9:32 pm

This season I switched to smaller diameter headsail and spin halyards (1/4" for both). I usually sail in light air and have had no problems until today. Blowing 20 and going 11+ knots downwind, the spin halyard lets go. Didn't break -- just apparently came out of the cam cleat with no one near it. Later on the beat- the jib halyard does the same thing. Is it the size of the line (my wife says size doesn't matter) or the composition of the line or is it a cam cleat problem? Any advice?

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 15, 2004 1:46 pm

Smaller diameter lines of the same type will not hold in cam cleats as well as larger lines assuming both line are within the design limits of the cam cleat.

That being said, the construction of the line (core/coreless) and type of fiber also affects the holding power.

And then there is the holding strength of a cam cleat. A new Harken H150 with aluminum cam has a max working load of 300# and the carbon fiber H365 is only 200#. As the teeth wears, it drops...fast. It is easy for these forces to be exceeded on a windy day.

On my boat, my head sail halyard is held up with double cam cleats located on the mast just below were the line exits from the mast. On windy day from the excessive force and mast pumping, I have had the halyard pop out of these cleats. I have since led the line to a cabin top winch and cleated it off there on windy days.

As far as the Spinnaker, I use a Lance cleat on the mast and lead the line through a clutch in front of the secondary winch. After hoisting, the halyard load is switch from the lance cleat to the clutch. My clutch has never failed. It also puts the control of the spin halyard and tack line next to each other so a single person can control both in the douse

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:55 pm

Thanks Terry. I don't have the cabin top winches on my boat. I may consider adding one on port for easier headsail adjustments. I'll replace the cam cleats, they're original to the boat (1997) and probably a bit worn.

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