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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:09 pm 
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I just got a new 6:1 downhaul for my 1989 H16 with a comp tip mast. That downhaul works great. In fact, so well that it pulled the halyard hook right out of the comp tip. I was about a mile offshore, and amazingly, I did not loose the hook - it wedged right in the sheave so I was able to sail back to the beach.
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The hook came out with the rivets intact in it. Now I need to put it back on. The rivets have barely a bulge in the "top hat" caps: I can't beleive they ever held with any kind of grip at all. I know the original parts call for SS rivets (6-4?) with the caps (6-10?), but I think I want something with more grip, and I fear cracking the comp tip while squeezing in the rivets.

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I'm thinking about plugging the old holes and drilling new ones about 1/2 inch higher (can't go lower without having to buy a new halyard, right?). Then I'm thinking about using SS screws with big threads and marine silicone sealant all around. I think screws will hold in the comp tip better than rivets, esp when the force is straight up vertical.

So, what advice do you have? Best way to plug old holes up there? Best way to drill new holes in composite tip material? Best fastener for the halyard hook so this doesn't happen again?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:37 pm 
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I don't see why you would need a new halyard with a lower hook. Plug those holes and find the best location to re-rivet. I would not use screws if it was mine. It would not hurt to drill another hole or 2 and add another rivet if there is room. Proper rivets should hold up just fine. My boat has a 16:1 down haul and I have no worries about really cranking down on it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Thanks for responding. Wow, you have 16:1 downhaul on H16?

Take a look at these rivets - I know the pressure is up-down and not pulling out on them, but as soon as the hole deforms the slightest bit I think they might pull out again. I'm surprised there was no backing on these holes. That's why I'm thinking about screws.

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:56 am 
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It would be more work, but if it were me, I'd pull the head cap off the mast and put stainless steel backing washers inside the mast at the rivet holes or make a small stainless backing plate. Then reinstall the hook/rivets in the same location. It won't pull out if there are washers on the back side.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:00 am 
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Ok, your right on the Halyard. I thought we were talking Hobie 18 for some reason. Now that pic makes much more sense! Rivets would still be preferable to me, possibly the seam on your tip has a defect or is a little thin, possibly pushing the hook a little to either side would help?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:38 am 
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Thanks for the tips. I thought about pulling the sheave and cap off and puttng in SS washers, which might even let me use the same holes. But then I thought about all the new things involved in removing/reseating the mast cap, and I'd have to pound the washers into a curve to get them to fit, and then I'd need a longer rivet maybe, and I don't know what else. I was kind of inclined to just slap something together to get back on the water, but this is kind of an important piece.

I don't know that the seam is bad, but I never thought of going off center with the hook. That is something I have to think about it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:56 am 
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Not sure about my newer comp tip, but my older, retrofit one had screws holding the hook in and worked fine.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:10 pm 
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I would take the time to put the washers inside the mast. Bending them will not be difficult and finding the correct length rivets is not an issue. If you relocate the hook, you're going to throw off the positioning of the mainsail and be adding more holes in your mast.

Fix this right the first time and it will still be going strong 20 years from now. Do a half-assed job and there's a good chance you'll be fixing it again before the end of the season.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:04 pm 
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srm, I am hearing my father's voice. Ha. I think you're probably right. In fact I ordered all the parts before I read your post. It's just one of those years where I've spent more time fixing my boat than sailing it so far. And I have new sails to fly!

But doing it right the first time will save time and money and angst and everything in the end, assuming I can do it right. Then when it cracks or pulls out again, I'll screw it in a bit off to one side.

Thanks guys.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:10 am 
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For future reference, here is what I ended up doing about the halyard hook on my H16. I post this for others who have this problem later.

I had decided to take the mast cap/sheave off to put SS washers as backing for new rivets and just rivet the halyard hook back in the same holes.
Image

So I took off the sheave, revealing the foam inside the tip of the mast
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Probing in the foam to see if I could get some tweezers in there to hold my washers, and guess what? There is a cap under the cap. It's completely sealed off. I cleared out all the foam looking for a way in, and nothing. Apparently all that time I spent caulking the mast cap in years past was pointless.
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So at this point I'm pretty frustrated. Capped rivets did not hold before, so I decided to just go back to the first plan: using SS screws. You can see, I decided to put this hook a bit off center, for 2 reasons. First, I was thinking the comptip seam might be weak and contributing to the holes deforming and the rivet releasing. Second, I thought it might save wear and tear on my halyard from raising/lowering the sail - less friction. You can also see that I got it almost straight. Oh well, should hold with some pressure. The drilling was not as hazardous as I feared - the starter holes went in without cracking the comptip.
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That foam in the tip only displaces about a cup of water, but I decided what the heck a half pound less to lift on capsize was good. So, I just cut the end off an old pool noodle and stuffed it in there.
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I put the cap back on and re-riveted. Now I understand why the Hobie parts list does not call for rivet caps on this part. I think it was just 6-6 SS pan head rivets. BTW, the guys at our sailing center have a great way to pull those SS rivets - they use one of those clamps with a ratcheting pistol grip and pull the riveter handles together with the clamp.
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Then I sealed up the holes and all around the new halyard hook with marine silicone. Now I know not to bother with sealing the mast cap anymore.
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If there are no further posts here, it will imply this worked. (I'm too disorganized to wait until I know before posting). If it pulls out again or something else happens, I'll try to remember to post back here.

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