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Avoiding damage to halyard Nicopress's and masthead sheaves


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What is the issue?
Despite the fact that a head sail only needs to be tightened enough to get the wrinkles out of the luff there is a general sailing tendency to grind in halyards until they cannot be tightened anymore. With this sort of predilection it can be very easy to over tighten and pull the halyards nicropress into masthead sheaves (Nicropress = the crimped copper or stainless fitting that form eyes on wire rigging, particularly for small 1/4 inch wire and less, that have become know under by the proprietary Nicropress manufacturer name).

Why address this?
This practice will damage the nicropress and masthead sheave. Although replacing the Nicropress would not be prohibitively expensive its failure is less than desirable. Replacing a masthead sheave is expensive and would involve un-stepping the mast.

How to address this?
Have someone go aloft and watch as the halyard is pulled to within a few centimetres of the sheave. Whip on a tight red marker line about one centimetre deep onto the halyard wire just above the mast winch. Mark the mast against the marker with a clear warning 'Do not tighten beyond this mark'.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

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