What are these holes in my Laser 2 mast? (with pics)

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by DFlather, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. DFlather

    DFlather New Member

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    Hey again everyone,

    So I finally took some photos of my mast, annotated them and enumerated my six questions.

    There are three photos with two questions per photo. If for any reason you can't see or get to the photos, but you think you might be able to help, PM me and I'll send to you outside this forum.

    Also, the 5th and 6th questions are about my inside-the-mast jib halyard which is getting stuck inside rendering me unable to raise the jib.

    Any insights to any of my questions would be really helpful. Thanks in advance!

    - Doug
     

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  2. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    A1: Spinnaker halyard exit block.
    A2: The upper set is for an external jib halyard lock, the lower for the spinnaker pole uphaul turning block or fairlead.
    A3: Spinnaker pole uphaul cleat.
    A4: Hook for the jib halyard tail.
    A5: Yes. It holds the mast up and tensions the rig.
    A6: Not really. See A5.

    These were the fast answers. It'll take some more time to come up with good solutions. (The jib halyard is rigged in a way I haven't seen before.)
     
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  3. douglasflather

    douglasflather New Member

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    As always, thanks LaLi!
    I'm very appreciative of your willingness to share your experience and expertise. I found helpful diagram online with a mast setup very similar to mine. (attached)
    Looks like I'm missing a horn cleat for the mail halyard.

    I suppose with the unused holes, water could enter the mast rather quickly in the event of a capsize.
    Seems to me it would better if these were taped off (closed) until I'm ready to install the Spinnaker. Yes?

    I'm hoping you can clarify A5 and A6.
    I'm not yet understanding how the jib halyard supports the mast.
    My mast is "held" in place at three points: the forestay and two side shrouds.
    The mast bottom rests in a base with clevis pins fore and aft.
    It seems to me, that if the jib is raised up to the block/pulley, and secured at the base of the mast, I'm not sure what difference it would make if the halyard was inside vs outside the mast.
    Am I missing something?
     

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  4. andyatos

    andyatos Active Member

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    The jib halyard replaces the forestay when the jib is raised and tensioned. Very similar to a 470 I had years ago.

    Here's a rigging video of a 420 that shows how this works. The raising and tensioning of the jib halyard begins at around 7 minutes.

    You'll have to watch this video on YouTube, not on this forum. The owner of the video won't allow it to be played when embedded.



    Cheers,

    - Andy
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  5. douglasflather

    douglasflather New Member

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    Thanks Andy. That's helpful.
    I still wonder if there's a functional reason why the jib halyard needs to be inside the mast.
    It looks like me like that would not affect where the load is bourn. The downward and forward pressure is at the block and the connection at the bow, right?
    Cleating the halyard at the base of the mast doesn't really bear much weight, or am I still missing something?
     
  6. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Thanks, this is actually fun - I'm learning myself all the time.
    Looks like the old Vanguard parts locator: it describes the later North American layout which is slightly different than yours. It has a top exit block for the jib halyard, and a horn cleat for an all-rope main halyard. Your main halyard is the original wire+rack system, which the European layout had till the end. You're not missing anything here.
    Maybe. The bottom section isn't watertight anyway. Water will come in as soon as the joint between the sections submerges. Taping the hole for the spinnaker halyard top block might help a little. The holes close to the mast foot actually should make it drain faster!
    Ok, it's time for the Laser 2 forestay talk :D Quite a few get this intuitively wrong.

    The Laser 2 forestay supports the mast only when the jib is down. It's just a rigging help and a safety device, doesn't have anything to do with tuning (except when helping to tighten the jib halyard), and its effective length is more of an aesthetic than a practical issue (it should be just long enough). It should be totally slack when the jib is up.

    The jib halyard/luff wire is what tensions the Laser 2 rig, against the shrouds. And it should be as tight as practical. (We'll probably get to the tuning itself later.)

    Compare the jib halyard and forestay wires: which one is thicker, intended to take higher loads?
    What you're missing is that the halyard should be very tight (see previous point), and that the mast bends. There's a real risk of catastrophic consequences with a highly tensioned wire on the outer surface of a bendy mast. Of course, a cleat/lock that's placed close to the top of the sail solves this, so I think that an external halyard is still a choice for you.
     
  7. douglasflather

    douglasflather New Member

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    Well, that's why we need forums like this. That all makes perfect sense now!
    When I was setting up in the driveway I thought "this forestay seems awfully thin and it's not very tight..."

    I still gotta figure out how to either repair what looks like a messy wire to line connection inside the mast, so it can easily ascend and descend inside, or move the whole thing outside the mast.
    Good point on the location of the cleat/lock for an external jib halyard. Is that something reasonably easy to install? Any suggestions?
     
  8. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Yes - 7:00 to 9:00 shows it all. The difference is that the 420 jib halyard is hooked to a 6:1 tensioning system, while the Laser 2 has just a rack. To get it tight enough on the latter, someone needs to pull the mast forward at the same time, with the forestay or a trapeze wire.

    (Search for "Rigging a Int 420" on Youtube. Seems you can't post even the text of the URL to the video.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  9. douglasflather

    douglasflather New Member

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    So then, it looks like I need to:
    1.) Get the jib halyard out from the inside of my mast.
    2.) Install a jib crimp on the wire like picture 1
    3.) Install a jam cleat like picture 2 on my mast.

    Do I take this to some kind of a rigging shop to have this done or is it a DIY project?

    I had a catamaran years ago and I'm pretty sure this is how the jib halyard was secured.
     

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  10. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Depends on how comfortable you are with working with wire and rivets, and if you have access to the required tools. I'd probably turn to APS as they're so close.

    But you have to clean the mess inside the mast anyway, and having done that it's probably easiest to stick to the existing system.

    I've been thinking how to proceed, and I would disconnect the topmast, attach some kind of hook to the end of a one-metre+ stick, and try to "fish" the jib halyard so that it comes out of the top of the bottom section. (And then evaluate the whole thing again.)
     
  11. douglasflather

    douglasflather New Member

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    Thanks. Good advice on APS. Last evening with the mast horizontal, I was able to shove the entire halyard into the mast from the top, then yank from the hole at the bottom. This seems to have cleared whatever was causing the internal hang up. Here's a pic of what pulled through. I attempted to clean up the frayed wire and tape it tight, then run it it back through the mast.

    Arrgh. It's still getting stuck on something inside, my hypothesis = the spreader bar is the culprit.
     

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  12. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    The frayed end of the wire isn't the cause. It might cause problems when taking the jib down, but not the other way. What the picture doesn't show is the whole wire/rope connection, which has something else that gets caught inside the mast.
    It sounds like that's the location. However, the spreader is just a round tube which should let most things slide past.

    The thing is that that mast had an external jib halyard originally (you can see that there have been fittings at the two corresponding locations), but that was changed for whatever reason. The system it now has is a hybrid between the two, with old fittings at the top and a new at the bottom end. I don't have enough knowledge about the early/mid-1980s boats to say for sure, but I believe that the spreader was changed to the externally-fitted one at the same time that the jib halyard went inside the production masts. It's possible that on this mast the halyard wire has damaged the spreader tube so that they now catch one another.

    (Pictures of halyard joint and spreader/mast connection needed.)
     
  13. douglasflather

    douglasflather New Member

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    Hmm. Makes sense. At the bottom end of the Jib Halyard there is a roughly 4 inch loop of wire. Someone has tied a roughly 4 inch bowline to it.
    If it's one of these loops grabbing something inside the mast, maybe I should tape each loop closed with electrical tape, then try to run it up and down the mast again.
     
  14. douglasflather

    douglasflather New Member

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    Eureka! Last evening I used tape and snugged up the loops on both halyards and they slide up and down the inside of the mast with minimal resistance.
    I think I'll use heat shrink tubing to make the loop reductions more permanent and squirt some silicone each time I head out.

    I may need to install one small cleat near the bottom of the mast, but it looks like this little hurdle is overcome. I'll test raising sails in the driveway this weekend.
    Thanks again everyone.
     
  15. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    The rope loop should really be spliced or sewn. Any knots are very likely (as you've seen) to cause trouble on the way, unless you go for an uncomfortably thin (like 2mm) rope.
    That's great if it runs now, but don't tape the wire loop! It has to be open all the way to fit on the rack.

    Also, whatever it was that caused the trouble will likely break down any tape fairly quickly. You probably have only a temporary solution now. (Which of course is infinitely better than nothing!)
    For what?
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  16. douglasflather

    douglasflather New Member

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    So, it seems there were two issues.
    1.) The loops where the halyard wires attach to the halyard lines were getting caught on things protruding inside the mast. No matter which direction I'd turn the mast, hoping gravity would assist, no help. I bought some heat shrink cable wrap to greatly reduce the size of the loops. It appears to have stopped the hang ups and I can raise and lower both sails with the mast in vertical position. Win.

    2.) At the base of the mast there's a small rectangular hole where the wire loop exits the mast. Currently, getting the wire loop "out" is very difficult. It's a tight squeeze. Spray lube helps, but I'm wondering if I opened that hole even a tiny bit if it would be better.

    I was thinking of adding a small cleat as a backup to the jib halyard. The little teeth on the base of the mast that catch the wire loop don't seem to be very secure. I can envision the wire slipping off and the jib crashing down. In addition to hooking the wire on the teeth I think I'll rather try lashing the remaining line against the mast with a small bungee to help hold it secure.

    Next item: Trailer lights...
     
  17. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Good, but see again the second point in my previous post (#15).
    Lube won't do much good there. How big is the hole now? Enlarge it at least vertically, and round the upper and lower edges so it looks like the hole for the spinnaker halyard block (original Q1).
    Believe me, those rack teeth are secure, at least if you make the wire sit as deep as possible in the notch between them. (Don't leave the rope loop squeezed between the wire and the rack.)

    If something in the jib halyard lets go, you should take the jib completely down anyway and sail back to shore, as you can't really get the jib back up on the water. "Securing" the halyard with its tail makes no sense. The wire is the "real" halyard, the tail is there just to help to get the wire in place, not to take any rigging or sailing loads whatsoever. Don't add fittings you really don't need.
     

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