Subject: the old gold Proctor mast: you gotta have the touch to make the halyards work
----- Original Message -----
To: Paul Sentesy (W701)
Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2006 11:18 AM
Subject: halyards in the gold Proctor mast

Hi, Paul:
I have put my answers in green into the appropriate spots below. Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2007!!
Uncle Al (W3854)
----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Sentesy (W701)
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2006 3:36 PM

I recently bought # 701 and have had an opportunity to uncover it and check it out in my shop.  I have several questions for you if you could take a moment to advise me, it would be appreciated.
I have a Proctor mast ( the gold anodized one ). It has two internal exit boxes at forestay terminus. One for spinnaker and one for jib, presumably. It is now rigged with two external blocks attached at this point. There no running rigging in the internal ones. I wanted to make the internal ones operative but there is no place for the wire to exit at the lower end of the mast. Do you know where they exit and why there would not be any exit boxes for these halyards? 
There should be an entry for the spi halyard just above the forestay attachment point on the mast. All it is, is a tube that runs through the mast into the mainsail groove which, on the old gold Proctor masts was intended to accommodate all three halyards plus the mainsail's luff rope - not a very functional system!!! See Rig It Right with Uncle Al, the pages on the halyards, for more details as to how I dealt with this problem - you may well want to keep the external block for the spi halyard instead, unless you expect to do some serious racing. I would definitely advise against running the spi halyard through that tube the way it is now: apart from the chafe on the halyard, I just can't imagine that all three halyards will be functional joining the mainsail in that small mast groove!
Just below the forestay attachment, you will find the entry block for the jib halyard. As mentioned, it leads  through the main body of the mast into the mainsail groove. If I were you, I would pull out this entry block arrangement (there are actually two sheaves) and check that all is as it should be - lubricate perhaps, while you have it out? > jib halyard under Uncle Al will talk you through installation of a wire halyard.
The double block exit box is (was????) below the boom and just below deck level (as I recall???) and worked on the assumption that the rope tail of the main and jib hal. would exit there, one on each side, and be cleated on the old-style dock-type cleats on either side of the mast about a foot above deck level. In the really old days (60's and early 70's) I ran a rope jib halyard out one exit block, over a small Highfield Lever hanging upside down, and back down to its cleat. Once I had cleated the halyard, I could then use the lever to add jib halyard tension.
Let me know if more questions remain. Happy sailing in 2007!!
Best regards,
Uncle Al (W3854)
Thank you for your time. 
Paul Sentesy  # 701

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Sentesy (W701)
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 9:38 AM
Subject: Wire Halyards

Sorry to bug you again.   I read and re-read your explanation of installing wire halyards. My understanding is that the loops on the wire halyards are retrieved with a small line as you raise the sail, then fixed onto the rack or highfield lever.  yes

Is there enough room in the mast groove for both loops from the jib and the main to by pass without being snagged as you raise the sails, or am I missing something here ? You wouldn't think so, but there is - but be aware of the following:
  • I prefer 1/8" jib halyard wire but the original mast came with 3/32" - 3/32" wire will come out through the mast track (and go back in again too, of course): this can create a problem when you've been using the vang and you try to lower the main with the mast still bent, because often, part of the main halyard is then outside the mast groove (lying on the mainsail like a giant bow string) - if that is the case, ease off the vang and jib (but not the main!!!!!!!) halyard tension (see also below), and, with the sails luffing (ideally while your W is hanging off a dock head to wind), reach up and shake the mast vigorously until the wire goes back inside the straightened mast where it belongs
  • to the best of my recollection, the routine we used with our old mast was: hoist and lower the main without vang tension of any kind and without undue jib halyard tension (both of which can induce mast bend) - see also above, for the bowstring effect which will very effectively prevent the main from coming down. Trying to force the main down at this point only makes things worse. If it does get jammed, re-hoist, rattle the mast until the wire goes back into the mast, and then gently try again. This method has never failed for me (on my boat and others') and should work
  • one other fond memory of halyard jam-ups that springs to mind, is that sometimes the jib halyard didn't want to come down if we took the main down and just left the halyard loose. In that case, we shackled the sailhead end of the main halyard to its storage position on the spinnaker pole eye on the front of the mast, and then cleated or otherwise tensioned the main halyard so that the jib halyard coming down (up inside the mast!) would not gather loose main halyard stuff and bunch it up inside the mast
  • we found that, for a variety of reasons - some unfathomable - it is preferable to hoist the jib before the main, but lower the main before lowering the jib (loose halyard bunching again???) - the one obvious reason for this is that when hoisting (especially in a breeze) it's easiest/safest to save the hoisting of the sail that can best dump you and bean you with the boom until all other departure preps (except insertion of the tiller!) have been made, and vice versa: when you reach the dock (especially in a blow!), you want to lose the main and its flailing boom at the earliest possible opportunity.
As you can see, Paul, you gotta have the touch with those old masts. Once used to the routine, however, we never really had significant problems with it. So persevere!!!
Good night!!  Uncle Al (W3854) 

Presumably when the sails are down, the wire loops are in the mast groove at the top of the mast.