Saturday, July 12, 2008


Lines (i.e., rope) have different names on a boat according to there
function. For instance, the line used to raise sails is called a
halyard. Halyards are made of tough stuff to withstand the forces of
hauling sails up a mast or stay.

While sailing close hauled in 20 knots and 4 foot waves our main
halyard made a snapping sound. I saw it slacken and the mainsail began
to sag. We headed into the wind and dropped the sail completely.

We reset our course for Holland, MI with just the foresail,which still
gave us about 6 knots. I watched the bow carefully for signs that it
was dipping too low into the waves since our power sail was foreward
now. The waves were decreasing below 4 feet, so the danger was

Our assessment of the halyard was that it had broken at some weakened
section. However, I avoided pulling the halyard completely out of the
mast in case it could help pull in a new halyard. The halyard was
already beyond the sheave at the top of the mast and inside the mast
itself. There was no recourse but to "climb" the mast, but beyond that
it was unclear to me how to get a halyard up the inside of a mast to
the top sheave and back down the othe side to the mainsail.

We were at the mercy of Eldeans in Lake Mackatowa near Holland, MI.
Sailor friends had very good things to say about Eldeans, so we felt
good about our stop at Eldeans Harbor Resort and Marina.

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