What is the issue?Despite the fact that a headsail only needs to be tightened enough to get the wrinkles out of the luff there is a general sailing tendency to grind in halyards until they cannot be tightened anymore. With this sort of predilection it can be very easy to over tighten and pull the halyards nicropress into the masthead sheaves, the nicropress being the crimped copper or stainless fitting that form eyes on wire rigging, particularly for small ¼ inch wires and less, that have become known by the proprietary Nicropress manufacturer's name.
Why address this?This practice will damage the nicropress and masthead sheave. Although replacing the Nicropress would not be prohibitively expensive its failure is less than desirable. Replacing a masthead sheave, however, is expensive and would involve un-stepping the mast.
How to address this?When in port it is worth sending a crew member aloft to observe the halyard. When it is pulled to within a few centimetres of the sheave whip on a tight red marker line about one centimetre deep onto the halyard wire just above the mast winch or wherever it may be located. Mark the mast against the marker with a clear warning 'Do not tighten beyond this mark'.
With thanks to:Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession. Header photo with thanks to Yacht Rent.
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