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 Post subject: main halyard problems
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:19 pm 
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I just bought a previously owned Hobie 17 and am having trouble hoisting the main. With a lot of sweat and strain I can get it up to within a foot or two of the top, but no further. I think the bolt rope is binding against the main halyard inside the mast track. I am guessing that a PO replaced the main halyard with 1/4" line instead of the specified 3/16"

Two questions:
- is that difference enough to produce the problem I have been having?
- what kind of line should I be looking for? I'm guessing metal cable is too hard on the pulleys. So I am shopping for 59 feet of 3/16' line. (or can I go thinner?) But what kind of line should I be asking for?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:33 am 
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My guess is that this can be fixed with a change in technique. You can not simply pull on the halyard. The sail must be fed into the track at the bottom. Once the sail binds, the mast bends and the luff rope and halyard are forced against each other. Try the FAQ here:

Quote:
Raising the mainsail of a Hobie can be more difficult than need be.

Several factors can cause the mainsail to be difficult to hoist:


Dirty luff ropes and luff tracks. These can be cleaned with soapy water and a scrub brush. If you want to use a lubricant, keep away from oils and waxes that can attract dirt. Use a dry silicone spray. Most all Hobie sails now have a Teflon threaded bolt (luff) rope to ease the hoisting effort.

Battens and sail shape. The battens stiffen the airfoil shape of your sail. Over tensioning of the battens can cause a couple of problems. Luff protector caps can be forced against the mast and cause drag when hoisting. The battens also force the sail shape into a curve. The luff curve (seen when laying the sail out on the ground, as a large arch) is typical to Hobie Cat main sails. The sails "airfoil" shape is mostly created by the miss-matched mast bend and luff curve of the sail. The luff curve is more than the likely mast bend and when the mast is straight (while hoisting) the difference is dramatic. This luff curve going up the straight mast can cause significant drag and hoisting problems when done incorrectly.

Outhaul. Be sure the outhaul is fully released before hoisting.

Hoist Technique:

Keep the batten tension to a minimum. Hoist the sail slowly, while feeding into the mast opening. When the sail gets about 3/4's of the way up, begin aggressively feeding at the bottom opening and reduce the amount of halyard effort. If the halyard is pulled tight when the sail is not being fed into and up the track, you will have problems. The sail luff will pull taunt and the curve shape will bind in the (straight) mast track. Lower the sail slightly and begin feeding again.

The best way to feed the sail is to stand in front of the mast and reach around either side to "sandwich" the sail between two hands (above the feeder opening) and push the sail up the track. Pull with the halyard, only the slack created, then feed again. If the sail binds, lower slightly and begin feeding again. This technique can be done by one person, but is certainly easier with two working together. It is VERY important that the person on the halyard only pulls the slack up the mast and does not get ahead of the feeder.

Locking the Hobie 14/16/Getaway halyard:

Once the sail is fully hoisted (be sure that the sail is fully inserted into the feeder). Pull the halyard forward of the mast by 3-4 feet. Hold the halyard on the centerline of the mast. Pull hard and hold the tension while bringing the halyard into the mast. Release the halyard tension and see that the sail remains fully hoisted. This seats a small bead, in the halyard, under a two finger prong "hook" and the top of the mast. If the sail slips down when downhaul tension is added, repeat the final hoist technique again. Be sure the bead is clear to pass the hook before pulling tension on the halyard.

To release... fully release the downhaul and outhaul. Partially feed the sail up the luff track. Hoist with the halyard to the top till it stops, hold... pull the halyard line forward 3-4 feet away from the mast, ease the halyard to lower the sail.

Locking the Hobie 17/18/20/21 Halyard:

It is best to simulate the halyard locking with the mast down so you clearly understand the system.

Then, depending on how old the boat is, be sure the hook does not have the old "flopper" stainless piece hanging on the hook. This old device caused difficulty in raising and hooking but would make it easier to release and lower.

Also, be sure that the knot tied to the ring is very low profile. A long bowline knot will hit the mast head before the ring gets to the hook.

If the ring has a small loop at the top... The line should be passed through the loop and a small knot tied. The knot (when ring and shackle are affixed to the sail) should be facing the mast. This tilts the ring closer to the mast.

Image

Then (before attaching halyard shackle to the sail) spin the halyard 3 or 4 times clockwise (looking down on the shackle). This "pre-loads" the halyard line and causes the ring to swing back towards the hook. Keep the boat into the wind and hoist. Should lock easily.

To release... fully release the downhaul and outhaul. Partially feed the sail up the luff track. Hoist with the halyard to the top till it stops, hold... rotate the aft of the mast base to starboard, hold the mast rotated, ease the halyard a few feet before releasing the mast. Lower the sail.

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:53 am 
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Location: Tri-Cities, WA
Silicone spray the bolt rope and mast track. It will way improve the up-haul and also with the down haul adjustment while sailing. :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:38 pm 
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Location: Folsom, CA
I use "sail slide"... I think it is teflon based.... good for rudder system and travelers too... Makes a world of difference.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:54 pm 
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Thanks for all your input.

I was feeding the sail in. That's how I got it up the first two-thirds. But after that there was too much resistance. Even when I laid the mast down and tried working it up by alternating pulling on the top of the sail and pulling up the halyard, I couldn't get it to release.

I will try loosening the battons and using a silicone spray.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
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Location: Jersey Shore
The best way to hoist the main on a 17 is by standing in front of the front crossbar, facing aft. This allows you to easily alternate between pulling the halyard and feeding the sail into the luff track.
If you have a three-piece tramp, simply take the main halyard and route it straight down from the mast base and between the center tramp lacings so it feeds under the front crossbar and goes forward. This will allow you to pull the halyard from in front of the mast. If you have a one or two piece tramp (older style), connect a block to the rear crossbar and route the halyard from its pulley at the base of the mast, back to the block, and then forward so again you can pull the halyard while standing in front of the front crossbar. This is much easier than trying to feed the sail and hoist while sitting or standing on the tramp.

Check the luff track near the top of the mast and make sure it isn't compressed or dented in such a way that it impedes the sail from hoisting. Also, use a liberal amount of silicone on the luff and luff track as previously mentioned. Make sure the boat is pointed directly into the wind when hoisting. If the sail blows off to the side, it will make things much more difficult. Check that the halyard sheaves at the top and bottom of the mast are spinning freely and not grooved. The 3/16" halyard should flow through the sheaves more easily than 1/4" halyard.

sm


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada
I always hoist the main from the tramp. I have the main nicely rolled, and don't really need to feed as I hoist. I simply pull the halyard some 2 ft at the time, and push the rolled main at the side with every pull to give enough slack for a next pull. The main unrolls automatically and I go with the next pull. One detail to check is the metal feeder. Many people just unscrew it and throw it away. If you want to keep it, it needs to be well adjusted for the thickness of your sail.

As srm pointed out there there could be an issue with your plastic (near the top ) luff track. This could happen from improper mast storage. Check the opening width where the sail goes. It should be just slightly narrower than it is on the aluminum part of the mast.

Also make sure you are using a dry silicone, such as McLube Sailkote, or a dry teflon spray to lubricate the sail and the luff track.

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H17
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
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Location: Jersey Shore
jackB wrote:
One detail to check is the metal feeder. Many people just unscrew it and throw it away.


Definitely ditch the sail feeder.

sm


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