Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Runaway Halyard

In my opinion all halyards should be tied off. Too frequently it is necessary (or just handy) to let a halyard run with no one to tend it, and going aloft to retrieve a lost halyard is inconvenient, dangerous, and perhaps impossible at sea.

However, if the halyard has a tail that's simply tied off to the cleat, the halyard will twist each time it's made up and from time to time the tail has to be untied and the halyard straightened out.

A better way is to incorporate a swivel in the tail. Fishermen's supply stores sell heavy, rustless swivels for longlining, with a breaking strength north of 300 pounds. Rigged with a swivel the halyard never twists. It's a neat, seamanlike and inexpensive rig.

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