Dropping Furling Main Problem

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pierview
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Dropping Furling Main Problem

Never had this problem in 20 years. Tried to drop the main (furling main)  and I could pull it down about 4' but then it jammed. I was able to winch it back up and furl it, then had a fellow  go up the mast and unhitch the shackle that holds the main to the top part.

Once unfastened, the main dropped down the track so it wasn't a jam from the sail in the slot. When I tried cranking the main halyard, the fellow up the mast said it gave a grinding noise as i\f it was stuck\k in the mast.

The mast is coming down in about a week but does anyone have any ideas on what could cause this and where I could get a schematic of what the inside looks like at the top of the mast?

Thanks. 

Chuck Parker
HelenRita 2072 Mk II
2002 Tall Rig - Winged Keel
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

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pkeyser
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Chuck-
There are two sheaves in the mast head (we have a Charleston Spar mast). One for the topping lift, one for the mainsail. They appear to both be nylon on our boat.  My guess would be the one for the main halyard may have broken and is creating a jam. The only other possibility I could think of is the car that attaches to the sail is jamming on the furling foil.

It will be interesting to hear what you find.

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

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pkeyser
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having an issue shrinking the file for an attachment- so here's a copy and paste image of the forward part of our mast head with sheaves visible. It appears sheave replacement would be difficult as everything is welded. The same is true for the sheaves on the back of the mast head. Hopefully this proves not to be your issue with the difficulty lowering the mainsail.

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

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GaryB
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My thought would be the sheave for the halyard your having difficulty with. I had an issue with dropping my mainsail and tried cleaning the slot, even had new bat cars added to the main. In the manual you should find a picture of the masthead, but it does not offer a great deal of info. The head will slip out once you disconnect the through bolt for the shrouds and slacken any halyards. It was fairly easy to replace the sheave once you see inside. Not sure what it is like with mainsail furling. I replaced with the Garhauer sheave made of metal vs. nylon original. The sheave was the culprit and the sail drops like a lead weight now.

Gary Bain
S/V "Gone With The Wind"
Catalina 36', Hull #: 1056, Year: 1990, Engine: M-35
Standard Rig
Moored: Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Home: Auburn, Maine

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pkeyser
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I've attached some photos (via PDF) of the masthead on our 2005 MKII.
I think the older designs utilized bolt-on castings which easily facilitated sheave replacement. Our masthead casting is welded to the mast so cannot be removed. However a picture of the top of the mast shows a plate sitting on top of the casting. It is attached by screws and a bolt so could be removed. I'm wondering if the sheaves would be accessible with its removal? 

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

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PDF icon Masthead.pdf344.42 KB
pierview
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Thanks to all. The mast is scheduled t come down in about a week. I'll let you know what I find. What I have not been able to find is a schematic drawing of the internals of the masthead so I can get an idea of what I should see...if anyone has that I'd appreciate it!

Chuck Parker
HelenRita 2072 Mk II
2002 Tall Rig - Winged Keel
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

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pkeyser
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Chuck-
See if the attached PDF on the C36 furling mast helps. 

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

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PDF icon CATALINA 36 FURLING MAST.pdf1.87 MB
pierview
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After doing some on-line research I found a website from Sparcraft/Charleston spars that suggested sending in the "mast identification & traceability number" with any inquiries.... who knew that even existed??? According to them, the number could be engraved near the gooseneck (not in my case) or it could be engraved near"the inboard end" quote - unquote>.

Assuming that last meant the bottom of the mast, I pulled off the cover from the mast in the main cabin and , lying on my side with a magnifying glass in one hand and a flashlight in the other, I found an engraved number"W/O 1967". The engraving is the type you might find on a piece of jewelry so it was very hard to see, not to mention it was more toward the front of the mast than on the side where it would be easier to see.

I've sent that in to Sparcraft in NC so we'll see if they can provide any guidance. I still have not been able to get a clear schematic/drawing  of what the masthead /sheaves  should look like. I'll let you know what I find out.

 

Chuck Parker
HelenRita 2072 Mk II
2002 Tall Rig - Winged Keel
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

pierview
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Paul... removing that plate does give access to the sheaves. However, in my case, the lines were not jammed at that point so I'm still poking around trying to see where the slide is jamed, or more correctly, why its jammed.

Chuck Parker
HelenRita 2072 Mk II
2002 Tall Rig - Winged Keel
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

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pkeyser
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Chuck-
Does the sail drop and jam at repeatable point? Looking at the manual for our masts, it appears that the furling foil might have a section that is spliced together with and internal extrusion. If so, I wonder if something is going on at the splice joint that hangs up the car?

Paul

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

pierview
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Paul...

It came down about 4' and then jammed. If it's what you suggest, I should be able to bring it back up but that's hard too.

The mast came down Sunday so now I have to sort out the lines and do a better, up-close check on what's happening

Chuck Parker
HelenRita 2072 Mk II
2002 Tall Rig - Winged Keel
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

pierview
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I'm having someone look at it but, as of today, I can see that the top of the furling device is not fastened to anything at the masthead. The top is hard to see but looking in the slot on the aft side of the mast it does look like the top has a shiny, "wear" ring around the top which extends about an inch down. 

This seems to indicate that it was inserted into some type of fixture that must have broken as I can't see how the whole furler would have dropped down about an inch. At the moment I'm assuming, always a danger, that not being attached at the top is causing the slide to which the main is attached to lean against the side of the mast, the weight of which is causing the jam.

Anyone else have a problem like this? My masthead has the plate on top that has two screws holding it in. We did get it opened a week ago but now I can't get it open to see if I can get a better look. I'll wait for the expert to take a look.

Chuck Parker
HelenRita 2072 Mk II
2002 Tall Rig - Winged Keel
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

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pkeyser
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Chuck-
Page 17 of the mast manual states the furling rod is "free floating" in the mast. From that description, the car itself would appear to serve as a kind of bushing when the sail is hoisted. Other than that, it appears there is no bearing or bushing incorporated at the top end. That certainly explains the loud banging noise made by the furling rod when  the mainsail is removed and the boat rocks at the mooring. 

Very curious as to what you find.

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

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pkeyser
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One more thought.
On our C30- I had an issue hauling the mainsail up (and down) when it got to the last couple of feet. The problem turned out to be that the main halyard had a single wrap around the spare jib halyard inside the mast. There was no issue to raise or lower the sail for most of the mast height, but the closer the mainsail made it to the top of the mast, the harder it it became. Lowering the mainsail required a hefty yank to break it free.  I wonder if your main halyard is tangled around another, or the foil rod? 

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

pierview
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Posts: 586

Looks like we found the problem. Had to bring in an experienced rigger   so when I say "we", I'm using that term very loosely... they worked & I watched, but I did learn something.

We had to take the head swivel off the mast. To do that, there are 4 screws, 2 on each side of the mast close to where the line furls into the mast. Surprisingly, after taking those out, the furling foil  around which the sail wraps, slides out fairly easily. However, here's the 1st thing I learned; after 22 years, those screws are very happy where they were and didn't want to move. It took some BPBlaster, heat and and some serious pounding with an impact driver to break them free. 

These screws are visible when the mast is up. The rigger suggested hitting them with the PBBlaster and trying to loosen them every so often even if you're not trying to take them out so it isn't an issue when you do have to take the mast apart..... up to you!

After we got the head swivel off , first, we found it does not look like the picture of the mast that came with the boat which is a copy another posted on this site. The inner ring of the swivel, which seems to be a hard plastic or something similar, has a ridge running from top to bottom. This ridge is what fits into the slot  on the furler foil.

Somehow, about half of this raised ridge tore  inside the swivel. It didn't break off, it just bent out of the slot and jammed into the side of the mast when the main sail was pulled down. So, now to get a replacement swivel and reassemble. 

While I flush the bearings in the furler whenever I can, the bearings seemed very stiff and, on the recommendation of the experts, I'm replacing those too since the mast is down. In retrospect, I realize that it was becoming more and more difficult to pull the main out using the out-haul line (I have been going up on the deck and manually hauling on the sail) so this should help.

Hope this helps others who may be experiencing the same issues!

Regards,
Chuck Parker
 

Chuck Parker
HelenRita 2072 Mk II
2002 Tall Rig - Winged Keel
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

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pkeyser
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Chuck- Interesting. Thanks for the follow up to your mystery.
I use a lithium based antiseize grease when I'm removing and replacing fasteners. It seems to work well but is expensive and can be a bit messy.

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

pierview
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Posts: 586

One last update on replacing the bearings. Seems they no longer replace just the bearings. Since the mast is down & the boat is a 2002, I figured may as well fix it the right way but I have to replace the whole unit of the furling section... $1,600 just for that part but not even two boat bucks so whose counting.

Chuck Parker
HelenRita 2072 Mk II
2002 Tall Rig - Winged Keel
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

pierview
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Re my main sail not coming down, attached is a picture of the slide with the inside "rail" ripped upward at about a 30 degree angle. This is what prevented the slide from coming down as it jammed into the side of the mast.

As previously mentioned, my rigger couldn't get the bearings replaced and I was running out of time to get the mast up (we hold "mast parties" at our marina and share the cost, about $200 a person. If I missed the party, it would have cost me about $2,000 to get the crane truck in on my own).

I replaced the whole furling unit at a cost of $1,600. However, if anyone has the ability/capacity to replace the bearings, or knows a company that can do it and needs the unit,  I'll sell the old unit for $195 plus shipping (it's pretty heavy). I don't know if it makes a difference but my mast is a 2002 tall rig.

Regards,
Chuck Parker

 

Chuck Parker
HelenRita 2072 Mk II
2002 Tall Rig - Winged Keel
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

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Image icon Main Furler.jpg105.06 KB
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