Yesterday evening we put a new halyard into the mast, after having to do a ‘Samurai Drop’ during the Coastal Classic , and it proved to be slightly more challenging than we thought it would be. We had a metre of chain, followed by a thin rope to thread through the mast, which we then inteded to use to pull the actual halyard through. Initially the skipper went up to the top of the mast to feed the rope through, but we (those of us on deck) didn’t manage to get the rope out of the mast the first time he let it down, and then it got stuck on the subsequent occasions.
John, thats the skipper, came down from the top of the mast because it was getting rather cold up there, and I went up (I had warm, wind-proof clothes on). From the deck the top of the mast doesn’t look very high, but from the top of the mast the boat looks very, very small. After a couple of attempts from me we discovered that the best way to get the chain to go all the way down the inside of the mast is to jiggle it as you pay it out – this has two advantages: first, you can hear the chain moving down the mast, which makes it easier to locate as it comes down, and second, by keeping the chain moving up and down, it doesn’t catch on anything inside the mast.
All’s well that ends well, and we did manage to put the new halyard in, and I got to go up the mast which was a neat experience. Fun times!