Jump to content

Mast top hook - how do you unhook?


Recommended Posts

The Black Witch I just bought has a home made mast-top hook. I can see why that would be helpful for tensioning the mainsail, but I can't for the life of me see how you would get the head of the sail unhooked when you wanted to drop the main. Can someone explain how this works?

Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Warning: I don't have one of these- but I've seen it being done.

To hook up, heave the main up (either manually by shoving the sail up the track) or by halyard (pulling the main up till it locks).

To unhook, kick the mast to the side (right or left) and pull the main up (or shove it up, kick right then let go).

Presumably you have a spanner at the bottom that you can use to kick.

Hope this helps

Link to post
Share on other sites

Warning: I don't have one of these- but I've seen it being done.

To hook up, heave the main up (either manually by shoving the sail up the track) or by halyard (pulling the main up till it locks).

To unhook, kick the mast to the side (right or left) and pull the main up (or shove it up, kick right then let go).

Presumably you have a spanner at the bottom that you can use to kick.

Hope this helps

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks knobblyoldjimbo. I can picture the procedure, but it sounds problematic to me. What if the sail won't unhook when the mast is kicked? I read somewhere about a bloke who had to capsize his boat every time he wanted to unhook the main.

Link to post
Share on other sites

G'day gim the hook is the best way to secure the main as when the sail is up and you pull downhaul on there is no stretch in anything but the sail and when it's set up right it's the simplest as well. You must have a top shackle with a loop on it to secure your sail onto the hook. As the boat is already set for it you should be able to pull your sail up and the hook will automatically engage, when you want to lower it you pull the metal ring above the hook slightly with your halyard then rotate the mast so that the sail can come down as the metal ring cant engage on the hook once the mast is rotated. If you have a problem and it wont come down for some reason you can tip your boat on its side to disengage the hook. Hope that helps

regards Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites

some examples of the halyard ring:

01-4216.jpg

I had a shackle welded to a 50mm ring to make a replacement for my boat. After 20 years the original had worn a groove where it sat on the hook.

When I shackle to the sail, always make sure the rope is on the side of the mast. Otherwise the rope holds the ring on the hook and you cant get it down. Some use a little elastic loop to pull the ring forwards and ensure it gets onto the hook. I just grab the mast and shake it until the ring falls into place.

The way you tie the rope on is critical:

- the pic above has special little loop to thread a rope through

- I thread the halyard through the ring, around the shackle, then lashed the end to the halyad. Lashing is more compact and flatter than knotting. It had to be compact or it would get in the way of the hook, and prevent the hook engaging when the is hoisted up.

- you can just tie to the top of the ring, but the halyard becomes worn as it rubs on the hook

I made a custom hook out of aluminium, and rivet it inside the sail track. These only last a coupe of seasons before the ring wears too deep a groove in them. Stainless steel hooks riveted to the side of the mast, which then bend around to finish aft of the sail track, are usually the go

You might also need to consider how well and how far the ring can rotate on the hook when it's in position. Some tend to be held firmly in place, across the hook, and in turn this holds the top of the sail in place and prevents rotation of the sail. For example on a reach when you've set heaps of mast rotation, the sail head will be pointing at a different angle to the rest of the sail, cause excessive tip-stall turbulence and reduce sail efficiency.

Link to post
Share on other sites

G'day Gim sometimes the hook wont disengage if your hook sticks out too far from the mast if that happens to you, thread the halyard rope through the ring and tie it to the middle between the ring and the shackle. Its very important that the halyard comes down between the mast and the ring at the top of the ring that way when you pull the halyard it pulls the top of the ring away from the hook

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...