Jib halyard tension - an important aspect beyond sail trim
Last night we had Steve White giving us a presentation on rig inspection. We learnt about corrosion, different materials for running rigging and what is important to look at on a daily inspection.
First some general comments on rig inspection and what to look for when getting on a new boat and after you have snugged down for the day:
Check all connections to the mast, boom and don't forget life lines: Turn buckles (cotter pins?). That includes shrouds & stays at the chain plates, boom-vang, goose neck.
If you are a boat owner: Once a year in spring go up the mast and check connections aloft and spreader tips.
The marine environment (moister, sun & salt) is brutal on any gear. This is acerbated by the fact that many connections & fittings on spars (mast & boom) are made of dissimilar metals resulting in a galvanic reaction (corrosion). If you see a white powder around connections, there is a corrosion issue.
One thing we all can do is to wash down the boat after each use. Spray all fittings, spares, connections, lines etc from the boom down. The sail cover over the boom creates an ideal environment for corrosion. Washing it down after each sail, goes a long way to extend the life expectancy of your boat.
2) Running rigging
The big issue is chaffing: Areas prone to chaffing: Clutches, sheaves.
One issue I like to highlight here is job halyard tension when using a roller furled head sail. The picture below show a properly set up at the mast head: A halyard deflector holds the jib halyard away from the forestay and the foil (which will be turning when furling and unfurling the sail).
If there is no halyard deflector, the halyard runs close to the forestay and if the tension is not enough, it can wrap itself around the forestay during furling. The next pictures shows what this looks like.
Note the jib halyard wrapped around the forestay. This is the result of not enough tension in the jib halyard and the halyard running to close to the forestay.
The results can be catastrophic. The wrapped halyard ripped the forestay right out of the swaged end terminal.
If you like to read in more detail what to do in an annual rig inspection and over the lifetime of the rig I recommend reading the rig inspection guide by NAVTEC.
I also recommend the "West Advisor" article series. This one is on rigging.
Stay tuned for more - next we will organize a splicing work shop at our Granville location.
Christof is the owner and operator of Simply Sailing. An enthusiastic sailor he loves to share his knowledge with other sailors.
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