Main Halyard Mast Lock topic

Mark Harper posted this 05 October 2020

Main Halyard Solo Mast Locks...

Has anybody fitted one on either a current Selden or Superspar Solo mast to reduce compression on the mast? Are they worth it ? (They are quite expensive for the parts and the labour to fit etc) and are they worth the hassle? Comments please..!

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Chris Brown posted this 05 October 2020

i have just ordered a super spar with mast lock it has to help , yes there expensive ,but it should last years

i know a few others who have also gone the route

David Greening posted this 05 October 2020

Mark, I have an unused Selden halyard lock which I would be happy to sell to you at half price ... I think that it is possible to fit one, however when it came to fitting it I concluded that given that the real benefit is in taking compression out of the mast to reduce sideways bend when the Cunningham on, then the simpler solution is to let the Cunningham off at the windward mark.

Mark Harper posted this 05 October 2020

Thanks for the feedback. David - what type off Selden halyard lock do you have available? There are 2 versions, the newer one is the cassette model -

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or the older model which is held in by two pins & which has to be very accurately drilled & fitted.

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The last question, (Chris B can you advise?) is how far down the taper from the top should the slot for the fitting be made, as unlike most one-design masts the top of the Solo taper is wider, and the angle of the run from the top to the lock is a little more critical.

Last Edited 05 October 2020

Paul Gray posted this 06 October 2020

Is a halyard lock compatible with the class rule that the sail must be capable of being hoiseted and lowered when at sea?

(I realise that simply tying the sail to the head - like a Moth - clearly isn't)

David Greening posted this 06 October 2020

Think that it is the former, but the lock part looks the same. When I bought it I was pretty sure that it would fit and would work, but I could send it to you to have a play with if you like.

I have a halyard lock on my Yawl which is a different kettle of fish in that we are using every trick in the book to take compression out of the mast. We can drop the main quite readily. I suspect that it might be easier to drop the Solo main with a halyard lock especially if it is working ok, just let the controls off,give it a tug and down comes the main ... but when it isn’t working that things can get tricky ... with the Yawl there is a tendency for the halyard to jump the top sheave as you tug the lock, this tends to happen just when you are coming into the Salcombe slipway!

Geoff Gritton posted this 14 October 2020


I'm keen to put this on my mast as I believe it will decrees mast compression, as their is a distinctive TWANG when the halyard is released.... However is it class legal??

F.3 MAST F.3.1 MATERIALS (a) The spar shall be of aluminium alloy or wood. (b) Anodising and protective coatings are permitted. (c) Materials of fittings and fastenings are optional. F.3.2 CONSTRUCTION (a) The spar extrusion shall include a fixed sail groove or track that may or may not be integral with the spar. F.3.3 FITTINGS (a) MANDATORY (1) Mast head fitting (2) Shroud and forestay (3) Gooseneck (4) Heel fitting. It may accommodate (1) and/or (4) below. (b) OPTIONAL (1) Mainsail halyard sheave box (2) Mechanical wind indicator(s) (3) Compass bracket (4) Kicking strap attachment (5) Mast Chocks, if fitted they may be made from any material and be either wedge or T-shaped flat plates.

Last Edited 14 October 2020

Ian McDonald posted this 14 October 2020

I forget which term Gordon Barclay used, but are not our rules "unless the rules say you CAN, you CANT"?

Geoff Gritton posted this 14 October 2020

Ian Correctomundo... I don't think we can.

would be nice to have though

Robin Milledge posted this 14 October 2020

It seems a few leading sailors are using halyard locks. Just reading the latest 'Solo Specific' mag on the web site and read; 'Oli (Wells) is sporting a Winder Mk1a with a North P2 sail. Interestingly, he’s also gone for Superspar M7 which is close to a D+, but has gone hi-tech with the use of a halyard lock to reduce compression inside the mast and making the cunningham work more efficiently'.

Seems that we need a definitive answer. If we can, then I will be looking at it, as I've sawn through two halyards since I got the boat 18 months ago.

Ian McDonald posted this 14 October 2020

Clearly I need to join a gym to build my strength up to a level that could compress an alloy spar.

For those stronger people , wouldn't a 2-1 haliard be an easier option?

Geoff Gritton posted this 15 October 2020

Clearly I need to join a gym to build my strength up to a level that could compress an alloy spar.

For those stronger people , wouldn't a 2-1 haliard be an easier option?

Ian... The next time you go to let the halyard off... Feel the jolt of the mast... That is the compression being released

Ian McDonald posted this 15 October 2020

I must be missing something here- with a correct length haliard holding the head at the black band and the boom on the gooseneck, surely the only significant pressure on the haliard with the sail at rest is when the cunningham is on.

Surely the only way to get significant compression is to pull the sail above the black band and pulling it into the masthead fitting.

The only haliard I have ever replaced is from damage as it jumps off the sheave and jams between it and the mast.

I stand ready to be corrected!

Perhaps watching friends with ICanoe trying to get their haliard lock to release colours my view

I am assuming that cutting bits off the mast when fitting a lock balances the increase in tip weight?

Last Edited 15 October 2020

Guy Mayger posted this 16 October 2020

Hi all, Posting this on behalf of Nick as he was having a few issues connecting to the Solo Chat pages...

Following a discussion by the NSCA Committee, at which I explained that in my opinion the use of a “Halyard Lock” as described in the post above was not within the NSCA Class Rules as previously agreed. The rules are “closed rules” which prohibit the use of items not specifically mentioned therein. It was agreed that the NSCA would take advice from the RYA, who administer the rules. In my opinion until that guidance has been received, then members would be wise to consider the fitting of such equipment and the possibility that they may be putting their boat “out of class”.

Nick Hornsby – NSCA - Chief Measurer.

Chris Brown posted this 17 October 2020

having just picked up my new boat and super spar mast with a halyard lock i think a good name will be


at the committee meting it was not voted on just a good idea by Doug to get the rya input ,

to me it is allowed .

there are about 5 rules saying OPTIONAL

D.9.1 FITTINGS (a) MANDATORY The following fittings shall be positioned in accordance with the measurements in D.9.2: (1) Forestay fitting (2) Shroud plates (3) Mast step (4) Keel bands (b) USE Fittings shall not be recessed into the deck or buoyancy tanks (c) OPTIONAL{ (1) """Blocks, fairleads and cleats for running rigging. ""?}

Running rigging is the rigging of a sailing vessel that is used for raising, lowering, shaping and controlling the sails on a sailing vessel—as opposed to the standing rigging, which supports the mast and bowsprit. {{

C.8.5 RUNNING RIGGING (a) USE (1) The type and materials of all running rigging is optional.


chris b

Ian McDonald posted this 17 October 2020

For the little that my " club sailing" " middle of the fleet" view counts

If a cleat or similar is ok at the base of the mast- why not at the tip?

My understanding is that this has been an option for years and a retrospective ban may be difficult.

Having said that, my experience if fitted wrong is that its a total pain and the advantage gained against cost and increased tip weight still needs to be explained to my simple mind!

Mark Harper posted this 22 October 2020

If you would like to see a working and fitted Mast Haylard lock on a D+ section please: Click Here to View

Last Edited 22 October 2020

Ian McDonald posted this 22 October 2020

Does the hole in the mast speed up turtling after capsize?

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