Genius Idea When You Have No Crew Around

How to retrieve a halyard…when you don’t have crew to send up the mast!

Ever found a shackle on the deck? I looked up to see a halyard end swinging free above the top spreaders. I needed to get it down but I had no-one on hand to winch me up the mast.

I searched “Mr. Google” for an idea:- use another halyard and fix a wire coat hanger hook to the rope and hoist it up the mast to reach the loop end of the free halyard. I secured the shackle end of the spinnaker halyard to the deck and tied extra rope to the other end and cleated that off.

The tricky part was manoeuvring the coat hanger hook to catch the halyard loop end. The spin halyard was held in both hands: right hand to raise coat hanger up, left hand to bring it down. The coat hanger hook pulled down the halyard wire off the spreaders, but would not hook into the wire loop. I got out my Pick Up & Reaching Tool from Bunnings and fixed it to the halyard rope and hoisted it up to the wire loop. A length of thin rope had been tied around the pull handle of the hand grip and I tugged on this rope to get the Reaching & Pick Up tool pincers to grasp onto the wire loop dangling free. I manoeuvred the wire halyard down slowly until I could grab it with my hands and secure it.

Bluebird ‘Paramour’ now has all her halyard ends secured!

Ann Goodwin