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  Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (Brian Tivnan)
Posted: 9:35:30 pm on 2/17/2015 Modified: Never
Looking for help replacing my wire to rope, jib halyard on my ’72 Mk I, and I could not find the requested info anywhere else in the Forum.  I certainly hope that is not “user error” on my part as I did search thru the Dark Arts and Miscellaneous Projects.  Though I suspect many of you have successfully tackled this halyard replacement in the past.

When I bought the boat, the previous owner had wrapped the halyard around the forestay.  I suspect it had been like that for a while and likely not the first time.

I want to forego the wire to rope halyard, for a rope to rope halyard.  The wire portion develops “memory” over the course of a season and that memory exacerbates the below problems.  I would like to be done with wire halyards aboard my boat.

I have at least three problems:
1.    Due to the hardware from the roller furler, I have VERY little clearance between the sheave and the masthead.  I have tried to pass a solid thickness, all-rope halyard over that sheave with very little luck beyond just the 1/8” messenger line.  I am thinking of splicing a ¼” rope to ½” rope halyard, or something like removing the outer coating of a high-tech ½” line like the Vectran cored, double braid.    
2.    The existing halyard has been altered.  How much I don’t know.  But even I have altered it – immediately upon taking possession of the boat, I had to cut out the kink caused by the wrap, etc.  So, I don’t have reliable measurements for the jib halyard: the overall length and ideally the length of the two sections of the wire to rope halyard.
3.    I don’t have the ability to work at the masthead.  And my yard does not have anything akin to a cherry picker to work at the masthead.  So, I am trying to tackle this halyard replacement from the deck.  I have not dropped the stick, nor am I presently qualified to do so.  I should mention that when the yard hauled my boat last Fall, the yard foreman used the crane to inspect the masthead and the sheaves and declared that all “looked OK, nothing in need of replacing…”

So, now my questions:
1.    Does anyone have the lengths of the two sections of the wire to rope, jib halyard for a Mk I?  Even if I can go with the rope to rope, I still need these two lengths to size it properly.
2.    Does anyone have experience with a rope to rope halyard to replace the wire to rope, jib halyard on a Mk I?  If so, what type and size of line did you use?

Thanks for your assistance!

Brian Tivnan
C&C 27 Mk I, #45, Vermonstah
Lake Champlain

  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (Tonyj)
Posted: 4:56:32 pm on 2/18/2015 Modified: Never

Hi Brian:

When I bought my boat, it had a head foil, the jib tack was attached at the deck.  After I added roller furling, the jib tack was now attached above the furling drum.  That caused halyard wrap problems as the head of the sail was now too high. I had to have my sailmaker shorten the luff of the jibs, and I had the rigger add a halyard restrainer to the top of the mast.  (You can Google "halyard restrainer" if you're not familiar with them.)
I am happy to report that solved my halyard wrap issues, you may need to apply some similar fixes to VERMONSTAH.

Good Luck!

Tony Jeske
Silver Gate YC San Diego
  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (davidww1)
Posted: 4:59:03 pm on 2/18/2015 Modified: Never
Towser is a Mk IV, but from the Mk I's I've seen, there is no difference in the spars or masthead fittings, so I feel confident in advising you, to wit...

Problem 1: If you're willing to go to Spectra or Vectran for your halyard, 1/2" is waaay oversize. Towser has had 5/16" Warpspeed (Spectra with a polyester cover) for all halyards for about the last five years. If the forestay fittings at the masthead would chafe the halyard, consider a halyard restrainer ( to hold the halyard against the mast until it's clear of the forestay upper fittings. This will also help tame your halyard's tendency, if any, to wrap around the sail as it furls or unfurls.

Problem 2: If Mohammed cannot come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed (or vice versa). You have to get at that masthead fitting. A rope halyard should not be set on a wire sheave if you want any life from it. That means dropping the mast, removing the masthead casting by drilling out the rivets and replacing the sheave(s) (might as well do them all). You could re-attach the masthead fitting by tapping and screwing into the original holes or riveting. Sorry, but I don't know the diameter of the sheave or its axle.

And Question 1: The length of halyard you need = (distance between the jib tack fitting and the upper side of the sheave) + (vertical distance between upper side of the sheave and the mast base) + (the length of tail desired - which may include the length required to run the halyard aft). If you change your mind and decide to stick with wire/rope, the wire should terminate just before the winch if possible. You can measure the vertical distances by hauling the end of a 50- or 100-foot tape to the masthead on any available halyard. Or you can wing it a bit and take the mast height in Evolution, double it, add a foot and a half for the added distance to the tack fitting, add the desired tail with a little fudge factor and you'll probably end up with much the same figure.

David Weatherston
Towser, Toronto
C&C 27 Mk IV

  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (Brian Tivnan)
Posted: 9:49:24 pm on 2/18/2015 Modified: Never
First, I want to thank you for the reply.  Until now, I have been wrestling this on my own, without another C&C owner with whom to share ideas and ask questions.  So again, thank you!

I should have clarified in my post, that the halyard wrap was certainly a problem for the previous owner.  And while it took me some time to figure it out, and with the aid of a keen eye from my "neighbor" in the yard, we realized the previous owner had incorrectly rigged the jib, leading to halyard wrap.  Since repairing the halyard and properly rigging the jib, I have not experienced any halyard wrap.  But thanks for the pointer to the halyard restrainer - now I know where to go should this problem re-surface.

I should have also clarified WHY I want something approaching a 1/2" line back to the cockpit.  Because of the existing blocks, which are perfectly serviceable and most importantly do NOT leak.  I do not want to swap them out for something to take a thinner line.  Instead, I was thinking I would take the hit on weight from an over-sized halyard in order to remain compatible with the existing blocks.  

The rope portions of the halyards I removed, though of unknown provenance, consistently measured between 3/8" and 7/16"

I managed to replace the main halyard at the end of the season, and it performed well on a couple of sea trials, but nothing to say yet about how durable it will be.  That line was 10 mm New England VPC Hybrid and easily passed thru the blocks, winches, etc.  

So while not ideal, I am trying to size the new jib halyard within sufficient tolerances to be serviceable with the existing hardware, both sheaves and blocks.  I realize this might only provide me a couple of seasons of serviceable life out of the new jib halyard, but at this point, I will accept that.  

At present, I have no jib halyard, so I need to complete this replacement, even if sub-optimally. My sailing season here is very short and I was not planning to tackle standing rigging this season.  Not at the outset anyway.

I thought, maybe incorrectly, that I could decrease the chafing over the masthead sheave by going with the rope to rope halyard, something akin to 1/4" line, and getting the two lengths correct so that the thicker portion of the halyard never has to pass over the masthead sheave.  I should mention, that when trying to remove the existing wire to rope jib halyard, the rope section simply would not pass over the masthead sheave.  No way, no how.  I had to cut the thimble off the wire and then pass the wire over the masthead sheave, with a messenger line attached.  By getting away from wire, I hope to never have to do that again.

Again, thanks for "listening" and any tips or advice are greatly appreciated!

Brian Tivnan
C&C 27 Mk I, #45, Vermonstah
Lake Champlain

  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (Van_Isle)
Posted: 11:10:31 pm on 2/18/2015 Modified: Never
The C&C 27 owners manual, provided when you join the Association, gives the main and genoa halyard lengths for a Mark 3 I believe (table is dated 1976) so ample for the Mark1. The yachtbraid portion is 3/8-inch diameter, so no need to go to 1/2-inch. Mine were redone in 3/8th Marlow.

North Saanich, B.C.

  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (Brian Tivnan)
Posted: 9:27:17 pm on 2/20/2015 Modified: Never
Thanks Van.

Do you have the lengths of the two sections of the jib halyard?

I am looking for some measurements against which to compare my estimate since I cannot get an accurate measurement off my Mk I due to multiple mods to that halyard.


Brian Tivnan
C&C 27 Mk I, #45, Vermonstah
Lake Champlain

  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (cphippen)
Posted: 2:46:53 pm on 2/20/2015 Modified: Never
I replaced all my wire to rope with straight rope about 3 seasons ago.  I got 90' lengths of 8mm dyneema line for each halyard (main, 2 genoa, 2 spinnaker) for a Mk III with all lead back to the cockpit on the cabin top.  This left 3-5' of tail on each after the rope clutch.  The 8mm dyneema has argueably less stretch than wire/rope, it is lots lighter and is still big enough to work well in the clutches.  I inspected the mast head sheeves and found that they had smooth surfaces (without a perceptable extra wire groove in the middle)so I left them as is.  I haven't had any wear/tear problems at all by doing so.  I pulled a messenger line in with the old halyard, then sewed the new halyard to the messenger and pulled the new halyard back in.  It took me about 45mins. to change all 5 halyards.

Chris Phippen
C&C 27 MK III, Mad Carew
  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (Brian Tivnan)
Posted: 10:56:03 am on 2/21/2015 Modified: Never

Thanks for the info.  But you are killing me.  45 minutes to replace 5 halyards!  I am already several hours into this project, and 45 minutes just for crane time alone.

I was able to replace my main halyard myself, using 90 feet of 10 mm line which passes smoothly thru the rope clutches which grab and hold nicely.

With very little clearance due to the roller furler, jib halyard remains a different story.  Like you, I will be converting to all rope for the jib halyard.  But, I will go rope to rope, maybe 1/4" spliced to 3/8".

I am wondering what lengths for each of those sections.  Any chance you have those measurements off your old wire to rope halyard?



Brian Tivnan
C&C 27 Mk I, #45, Vermonstah
Lake Champlain

  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (Van_Isle)
Posted: 4:19:05 pm on 2/21/2015 Modified: Never
I don't have the owner's manual handy or measurements from my replacement, but anyway distances will be different with the shorter (by 4ft) Mk1 mast. I suppose you can guess the difference if someone has them for the Mk3.

1979 C&C 27 MkIII, Hull No. 780
North Saanich, BC
  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (Jeff)
Posted: 8:20:50 pm on 2/22/2015 Modified: Never
Sorry, but I don't know what the lengths involved are. What I did on my MK I when I changed the halyards was to take some 5/16" Warpspeed and strip the cover off of half of it. Is nice and skinny at the top where it needs to be and thick enough back at the clutch where it needs to be. My mast was down when I did it but I don't think that would be necessary. I would just attach a thin tracer to the existing jib halyard and pull it through. Make sure you tie off the other end. I would think if you stripped 30 or 31 feet it would be good. Just short of forestay length should be fine. Tape up your stripped end to the tracer and pull it though.  Then splice a shackle on it.

Good Luck

C&C 27 Mk I #4
Port Stanley, On.
  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (KenPole)
Posted: 9:29:27 pm on 3/4/2015 Modified: Never
An afterthought to this discussion: you might want to consider replacing your masthead sheaves if they're the originals. I got a set of custom-milled Delrin replacements from a guy near Seattle and would be happy to pass on the info. As part of the project, I drilled out the pop rivets holding my masthead fitting and drilled and tapped for 1/4-inch SS screws; it simplifies inspection and maintenance.

Ken Pole, Ottawa
1975 Mark III Santiva

  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (aka-none)
Posted: 7:57:27 pm on 3/22/2015 Modified: Never
Wait? You used SS screws directly into the AL masthead? Hopefully anyone going this direction remembers to coat the threads with something such as loctitie or similar isolator. I've read that Tef-Gel & Lanocote are other products made for this application. e.g. something to keep salt out of the gap between the AL and the SS.

Also for those who are going to use SS then make sure you find some 316 SS as it has less tendency to rust. I believe the hardware store stuff is 304 SS. If the boat is in and always will remain in freshwater this is less of an issue; except 304 will always rust faster.

William Pociengel
C&C 27 Mk3, 1976
Lake Pepin, Minnesota
Current projects: cutlass bearing, brining all lines back to the cockpit

  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (davidww1)
Posted: 9:01:11 pm on 3/23/2015 Modified: Never
North Saanich BC and San Diego are salt water, but all the other venues here are fresh water, as is Toronto, and in the time I've had Towser (since '97), I've not had a fastener seriously seize. At most, a drop of penetrating oil and a tap on the head (the fastener's, not the crew's) with a light hammer will loosen a stuck screw.

The one area I'd use an anti-seize compound is if I were working on the engine, but I've kept strictly to routine maintenance, which doesn't call for it.

David Weatherston
Towser, Toronto
C&C 27 Mk IV

  Brief Update (Brian Tivnan)
Posted: 2:47:25 pm on 7/2/2015 Modified: Never
I was unable to get any crane time at the yard this Spring prior to launch.  So, I am currently running my jib halyard from the block for the spinnaker halyard.  To date, no issues with the roller furler from this configuration.  Note that the Mark I has internal halyards for the jib and main only.

Now my plan is to unstep the mast at haul out, so I can address any and all issues at the masthead and replace the standing rigging.

I will update this thread with any pertinent info.    

Brian Tivnan
C&C 27 Mk I, #45, Vermonstah
Lake Champlain

  Re: Brief Update (Brian Tivnan)
Posted: 2:59:48 pm on 10/26/2015 Modified: Never
I am pleased to report that my jury rigged my jib from my spinnaker halyard and had no issues with my furler all season.

At haul out last week, I was finally able to unstep the mast with the yard crane.  Now, I have easy access to the masthead.

Projects for the winter:
1. Replace sheaves at the masthead to permit transition to all rope halyards.
2. Replace forestay which I suspect had seen excessive torque at the hands of the previous owner.
3.  Inspect remaining standing rigging and replace as necessary
4.  Replace electrical wiring thru mast

Anything else I should consider while I have the mast un stepped?


Brian Tivnan
C&C 27 Mk I, #45, Vermonstah
Lake Champlain

  Re: Brief Update (Brian Tivnan)
Posted: 8:01:05 pm on 11/17/2015 Modified: Never

I have removed the masthead cap from my Mark I.  As things typically go for me, not easy to remove the many clevis pins for the standing rigging but I was finally able to remove the cap which houses the two sheaves for the two internal halyards, main and headsail.

I don't know that there has been much interest in this thread, so maybe there is not much demand for pictures, but I can provide pictures of the masthead cap for future reference.

David / Admin can let me know if this would be a good idea and if so, how best to provide pictures that might be useful to the forum.

Brian Tivnan
C&C 27 Mk I, #45, Vermonstah
Lake Champlain

  Re: Brief Update (admin)
Posted: 11:20:15 am on 11/18/2015 Modified: Never
Photos of the cap would be a very good idea. Increasingly, people are going to be doing what you and I found necessary. These boats are tough, but sheaves and their axles won't last forever.

Ideally, your photos should be accompanied by the dimensions of the original sheaves - diameter and width, axle hole size and anything you think might be helpful (particularly to someone whose circumstances force them to take down the mast, fix the sheaves and re-step the mast in one session).

Thank you.

- Admin

  Re: Brief Update (Brian Tivnan)
Posted: 12:37:25 pm on 3/20/2016 Modified: Never
After I removed the masthead cap, I shipped the cap to Klacko Spars in Oakville, Ontario.  Danny Klacko worked at C&C on the 27s back in the day and still has some of the original castings of the masthead should you need to replace yours.  For a reasonable $260 US, I got 2 new aluminum sheaves and some refurbishing to widen the masthead to accommodate the all rope halyards.  

I had the yard replace the forestay.

Next up, I will work on replacing the wiring in the mast.

Brian Tivnan
C&C 27 Mk I, #45, Vermonstah
Lake Champlain

  Re: Replacing wire to rope, jib halyard on Mk I (KenPole)
Posted: 8:58:13 pm on 4/5/2016 Modified: Never
In March 2015, I offered to pass on information about a shop in the Seattle area which made me some Delrin sheaves when I went the all-rope route. Subsequent brain fade meant that I didn't follow up. Check out The proprietor, Ed Louchard, does really nice work and I've been extremely happy with the new sheaves. I have asked him via email (his contact info is on the site) whether he still has my measurements, which I'll be happy to post; otherwise, measure your current metal sheaves and axles, give him your planned line size, and you should have your new sheaves within a couple of week.

Ken Pole, Ottawa
1975 Mark III Santiva

  Following up on yesterday's post (KenPole)
Posted: 7:24:40 pm on 4/5/2016 Modified: Never
Here's Ed's reply 05 April, 2016:
3" x .562" x .432" for 3/8" line is what your order was, copied from the invoice. However, before making up a set for another boat, I have found it helpful to measure the sheaves first, as not every boat of a given make and model has the same configuration.  There is in my experience, quite a bit of variation.

If memory serves me correctly, the measurements he quotes are, respectively, sheave diameter, sheave thickness, and axle diameter. But, as he says, these can differ boat to boat, so best do your own measuring and deal with him directly. You won't be disappointed.

Ken Pole, Ottawa
1975 Mark III Santiva