Countdown: Week 15 Dyneema®

June 5, 2011


This was a pretty productive weekend. I had hoped to get started on the Monitor install but instead got all of the New England Ropes (Dyneema) halyards run as well as one of the genoa sheets. I had a very simple method planned for swapping out the old halyards. I was going to tape the old halyard to the 5mm Dyneema®, run it back up the mast, over the sheave and down. Then I thought I would just tape the new halyard on and run it back up. I tried it Friday night and it worked great until the new halyard got back up to the sheave. Apparently the tight turn was too much for the tape and the halyard and 5mm fell back down.

I went up the mast Saturday morning and ran the halyard down by hand. This was a lot harder than I would have ever guessed (the sheave is buried and has a very tight corner), but I managed to get it with the help of my marlin spike. Pulling it out of the slot above the clutches was another challenge. The whole process made me acknowledge that my initial plan had been better. For all of the other halyards I sewed rigging twine through both halyards. The twine was stronger, smaller, and bent around the sheaves better. With one exception they all just went.

The spinnaker halyard needed a tiny bit of coaxing to get around the block. This adventure up the mast went quite a bit faster thanks to the windlass hack that I rigged up. I took the working end and ran it through a snatch block on the bow fairlead and then to the windlass. Vick hauled me up in under a minute, I pushed the halyard through, lubed up all the sheaves inspected the standing rigging and descended; all before my butt started getting numb 🙂

Vick and Ruby had a mother daughter date (sorbet and sewing store) and Miles and I had a nap and father/son project. We decided to install the liferaft mount. We measured about 2 dozen times; Miles alternating between reminding me that mama wanted me to measure, and complaining that measuring is boring. Then we drilled some test holes, measured again and drilled the 3/8″ final holes.  We then applied some 4200 around the holes, set the cradle in place, and dropped the bolts in. Miles took a wrench and held the bolt heads in place while I tightened the nuts from below. We were both very gratified by the teamwork and the perfect result.

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