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Sail & Rigging - Original halyards were stainless wire?
04 February 2018 - 14:42
Join Date: 17 November 2009
Posts: 38

Original halyards were stainless wire?


I have had the recent experience of my halyards being chaffed to separation after some days and weeks of sailing (several times).  When I inspected the masttop sheaves, there was obvious re-shaping of the metal separating the sheaves.  The aluminium seemed to be sharpened as with a knife's edge.  I think nylon and other modern line materials are not capable of such.  Q?.  Did the 431 deliver originally with stainless wire halyards for the foresails? 


Thank you for sharing your knowledge beforehand..



06 February 2018 - 10:24
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 162

Dear Kendall,

even though I am not sure about the 431, I would expect it to follow the path set with other Swans. I just checked in The Book, and it states that classic Swans came with wire halyards. That certainly corresponds to what we found when we acquired our boat; she still had wire halyards for the foresails, and we switched to rope halyards about a year later. At that time, we also replaced the sheaves into types suitable for rope. The groove is shaped differently, and the problems you describe sound entirely plausible for rope halyards running in wire sheaves, in which case I'd suggest to change the sheaves.

Fair winds,
Martin (48/039)


07 February 2018 - 07:31
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Kendall

The halyards were originally of wire, and they could chafe on the vertical masthead plates if the halyards were pulling to the side. It is suggested you round off the sharp edges with a file, and try to make the halyard pull straight. If there is a headsail furler the reason is probably in the geometry.
The original halyard sheaves were of the double score type, with a smaller and deeper groove for the wire, and a bigger and shallower one for the rope tail. 
If you fill the wire groove by winding a thin line into it, the sheave can be used for a rope halyard provided the groove diameter fits.
Kind regards

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