Mast Halyard Lock Rule Change topic

David Greening posted this 2 Weeks ago

Happy to kick this discussion off before the EGM.

Whilst the other three proposals are for kit that is in wide use, improves the Solo experience and quite possibly was overlooked by the Equipment rules revision, this is not the case with mast locks.

The potential benefit of the mast lock is that it eliminates the effects of a halyard stretch, and reduces compression in the mast ... this theoretically could result in a straighter mast downwind and therefore increase power and performance. It might also improve gust response and improve the effective stiffness for the weight of section.

I don’t believe that the use of a halyard lock is anything like as widespread as the other proposals.

As a user of a halyard lock in another class, I can assure you that they are a pain in the neck both to engage and to unlock, even in a two handed boat ... in a single handed boat they will be a liability and if widely used darn right dangerous.

At any venue where recovery is from a lee shore, the present arrangement is to unhook the main halyard from the rack, let go of the halyard at the opportune moment, pull down the main and approach the shore/slipway/beach in a controlled manner ... easy peasy.

With a halyard lock, at some stage you will have to head up, let go of the helm, lean forward of the mast, tug the halyard, hope it releases, drop the main, grab the helm, then head for the shore, hoping that you have enough way on, don’t capsize or take out too many boats in the process.

Those who did the Torbay champs, Carnac or Riva Del Garda might reflect on the chaos that would ensue if the whole fleet embraced this technology.

This is before we consider the quite hefty and unnecessary cost.

The attraction of the Solo is that the same boat can be sailed on rivers and gravel pits as at a championship. The halyard lock is an interesting proposition for the committed championship sailor but for nobody else.

I don’t think that this is in the spirit of the class and certainly fails the Jack test. I shall be voting against allowing mast locks.

Best,

David Greening 5792

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Comments

Barrie Woodhall posted this 1 Weeks ago

Totally agree David and will be voting likewise. Our lee shore is a concrete ramp and can be busy during a good turnout. It is frustrating enough waiting for others to unhook their mains and move their boats up the ramp without potential more of a wait for those struggling with a halyard lock.

Be safe

Barrie Woodhall 5702

Chris Brown posted this 1 Weeks ago

Things have moved on with the modern halyard lock. Granted, they were awkward to release in certain circumstances and I would not fit the old type.

I have had one on a Superspar since September and have had no problems hoisting or lowering the sail, even in the strongest of winds.

Performance advantage, if any, is very small, the Solo is not a performance boat. I fitted it because the Solo is great for trying different things like we all do with sails, masts, compasses and so on, and my mast is down to the correct weight. 

The Superspar lock goes through a pully underneath so I can pull it up half an inch and the sail lowers effortlessly, you could argue that it is indeed easier than burying your head near the bulkhead and struggling to unknot the long length of halyard. I CAN DO THIS from inside the boat or standing in the water, it is easier to grab than from the bottom of the mast.

 I also have a rack like yours, so if I want, I do not need to use the halyard lock, I do though prefer it.

This would be an option,  you do not need to fit one, much like carbon battens, centreboard uphauls, righting lines, carbon tiller extensions., 

The halyard lock has been around for years on the Solo , its nothing new.  The Dutch have 5 still using them and have been for years, Will Loy had one years ago, his was a simple v cleat at the top of the mast that he flicked off, agree this was hard to undo but the modern derivative is safe and quick.

As for cost it is not expensive , the part is £65, time to fit plus a new halyard. Again, choice is with the sailor, carbon battens are four times the cost of plastic, carbon tiller extensions are twice the cost of alloy, all with no major advantage other than that the sailor is happy. 

As for the Torbay champs, it was in a bay with no wind, yes Garda is always fun coming ashore in any boat BUT,   as I said things have moved on. 

Many new fleets have them, the RS Aero has them on the outside of the mast, these are sailed by children to adults , they do not have problems coming ashore.

Ian McDonald posted this 1 Weeks ago

Chris has reassured me about the haliard lock, my experience in the past with older setups was that a crew was needed to get release.

Am I misunderstanding the voting procedure as there doesn't seem to be an option to vote against just the lock- its all 4 rule changes or nothing?.

And as far as people " trying things" , surely our rules are set so if it doesn't say you can- you cant?

Graham Cranford Smith posted this 1 Weeks ago

There are four resolutions. Each will be put to a vote. You have the option to vote for each one individually.

Thus you can pick and choose which rule change you are happy to accept, or not.

As for out of class items, Ian McDonald, you are quite right. Unhappily, there has been a combination of rule lacuna, coupled with some cheerful optimism in the fit out process over time. This has resulted in a preponderance of boats in circulation that are out of class but with generally accepted fit out. These boats have variously mast mounted cleats, adjustable in hauls and pro grip non-slip. Rather fewer have halyard locks as well.

So as David Greening has rightly remarked, the issue with the mast mounted halyard cleat/rack, in-haul blocks and pro grip style non-slip are the most pronounced based on conventional precedent. In short, there are a lot of boats out there in that configuration.

As such there does not seem much of a case for excluding these items. In fact, ruling these items out of class will result in upheaval and modification expense.

Nevertheless; irrespective of the validity of this point you, the voting membership will decide.

Halyard locks. The case for halyard locks is slightly different.

My OWN view? We do not have any empirical information of how many boats are fitted with halyard locks. A handful only probably. A lot fewer than the areas addressed by the other resolutions.

So on the basis of the weight of precedent, the case the case for halyard locks is less well made.

That being so, the decision to adopt halyard locks should be taken with a much reduced eye to rendering a large number of boats out of class; rather it should be made on the merits or demerits of this fitting alone. By way of lucid illustration, David Greening makes the case against; Chris Brown, for.

Should the halyard lock resolution fail, a comparatively small number of boats will be affected.

Hope that helps.

Graham. Hon. sec. NSCA.

Last Edited 6 Days ago

Will Loy posted this 6 Days ago

As a long time member of the NSCA and to trump that, a Solo sailor with the necessary grooved shinbones, I would like to make the case for the mast lock, though I have limited experience with the modern product. I would therefore like to base my argument on historical facts of the evolution of the class which has rightfully been slow and some times pleasantly static.

The Solo class rules have been upheld for over 64 years and are indeed tight on margins, as an example there is a + and - 5mm on hull measurements which was put in place to allow for builder error, and believe me, I have seen some home built examples over the years that really pushed even the elasticated tape measures of Frank Mountfield, Jim Gates, Ron Green and Gordon Barclay.

While the hull measurements have ensured that the class has seen no major advantage in performance, builders, right back to Holt and Stone in the early years exploited the rules in an effort to try and gain an advantage, even the perception could sell more boats so the commercial element has always been prevalent. These subtle and legal developments continued to enhance the finished article, the Lovett flared gunwhale has been copied from the day he first shaped it and is commonplace across the fleet.

The Thresher double bottom and the development of epoxy fillets which negated the use of wooden battens, knees, stringers etc made the hull stiffer, ergonomically more pleasing and the strength in epoxy systems enabled more hydrodynamical underwater shapes to be achieved. all within tolerance but with strength to weight advantage, all slow evolution.

Above the waterline choice has always been the strong suit of the Solo. My father had all sorts of ‘extras’ on 186, I still think fondly of his mahogany stop watch holder which was glued to the capping. I still have the watch, it tells the time twice a day. The capping also featured a maze of elastic which fastened to the centreboard handle, itself shaped to ergonomically fit my father’s brutish grip. There were other subtle differences from the other Solos in the club though the yellow deck was more obvious and I’ve only seen one other, that of Chris Powles 5412 at HISC.

The rudder arrangement was one of my dads favourites, an ingenious rope/elastic arrangement which allowed him to raise and lower the rudder while underway and without the need for him to lumber over the transom. The weed at Reading S.C. was not insignificant and could have supplied half of the Japanese Sushi bars in Tokyo, another missed commercial opportunity by me.

Other sailors had alternate arrangements, years of honing the systems in their sheds I guess. The choice of fit out across the fleet at clubs across the UK was wide and varied but they all looked like Solos and the performance advantages looked to be all in the head, but if your head is in the right place then that is half the game.

I would say that the halyard lock is just a continuance of the journey the Solo has taken since 1956, from the adoption of the choice of wood or alloy spars, the choice of dacron or laminate, T terminal rigging or shackles, carbon battens or plastic and dare I say it, FRP or wood.

I did use a halyard lock on 186 in 2010, a cheap Holt V shaped cleat, less than a fiver, a 6 inch long wire halyard with an oversized ferrel and 10 metres of 2 mm dyneema. Light and easy to use and with no load through the mast, less chance of it bending in a violent capsize.

The performance perception is mostly in the head but the choice is with the sailor and I would finish with the thought that with nearly all the fleet racing mostly white hulled Solos of one of four shapes and using a sail from one of maybe 5 sailmakers, the choice of how you hold your sail up should be as varied as possible.

Will Loy posted this 6 Days ago

I have received a short video which may shed some light on the ease of use, Link below;

Paul Davis posted this 6 Days ago

Afternoon all,

Id just like to give my view on it. The video that Will has posted is of my Solo and was taken this morning to give an idea of how easy it is. Below are a few details and my view on the halyard locks.

Current classes using halyard lock systems- Finn OK Devoti D-One Phantom - more boats going to a halyard lock throughout the fleet RS300 RS Aero RS100 Devoti D Zero Etchells 470’s

Average cost of a Main £985 (Average between three different sail makers) Average Cost of a Mast £700

Cost of the Lock £40-75 (6% of mast cost) Cost of Carbon Battens £188 (19-20% cost of a main)

Dont quote me on exact numbers as this was a quick search to get an idea.

Halyard lock can be fitted at home or by a rigger / most chandlers. It’s not expensive and available to all, as are carbon battens which are a lot more expensive and have more ‘performance’ benefits if you like. Halyard locks have been around for a long time, yes newer versions are a lot more refined and easier to use than previous versions so I feel some views of them is a little dated.

The halyard lock is easier to release than a tooth rack with a simple 1/2” pull and the sail drops. Some teeth racks are above the pulley block so harder to just pull off the rack and drop the sail. You may be on the bottom few teeth, and when you release there’s a chance it will catch one of the top ones, so your still back at square one.

Yes it reduces the compression on the mast, which is only a benefit, to look after the mast and improve the longevity of it even more. It’s easier to replicate halyard positions, where as the tooth rack, you generally have two settings, light winds, big winds to ensure the sail is always hoisted fully, don’t have that issue with a halyard lock, simply pull it up and go sailing regardless of the breeze, the sail will be at the black band

They are advertised in the Rooster Sailing website for the Solo with a video showing how smooth and easy it is.

https://www.roostersailing.com/collections/chandlery-boat-hardware-spars-and-fittings/products/134674#description

Im my view, it can only be a positive for the class and as Will has mentioned it just a continuance of the journey the Solo has taken since 1956. Just look at how rope technology has changed, we allow carbon tillers and tiller extensions no, laminate sails, the continual updates, but most importantly we aren't reinventing the wheel, the boat is still the fantastic boat it is, just refining the details as technology develops and keep the class alive, exciting and active as we know it today.

Alistair Glen posted this 5 Days ago

Just looking at the video of the halyard lock fitted to the D+...has anybody asked Seldens if they mind people cutting a lump out of the taper weld?

I'm not convinced by the 'reduces compression and is therefore better for the mast' argument in relation to a 'short, fat' aluminium section like a Solo's D+/M7.

Will Loy posted this 5 Days ago

Hi Alistair, I am no engineer but I think the load on the area where the lock fits would be very low, the weld adds strength, the bend is in the unwelded part on either side. Regarding compression, try pulling your kicker on hard, add to that your cunningham and inhaul if fitted, your mainsheet too and then try unhooking your halyard.

Happy to defer that advantageous angle though and instead focus on consistency of hoisting the sail to the correct height. One of our previous Hon Measurers gripes was with sails that were hoisted above the band, fitted correctly, this will be impossible to do.

Alistair Glen posted this 4 Days ago

Hi Will, The compression issue with other classes, as I understand it, is the effect that compression has on the bend characteristics of the spar not, simply, the tension in the main halyard. A column in compression will remain stiffer for longer but when it bends it bends more extremely (apologies to engineers who can explain things in technical terms). Is that what people are trying to achieve with a relatively 'crude', stiff mast like the Solo mast, even the lighter sections?

I'm not against the halyard lock by any means and may well fit one, for simplicity's sake, once things have been clarified.

Oliver Wells posted this 4 Days ago

Hi all, I would like to respond to David’s Solo forum posting I have been sailing a Solo for a while (well not that long really!) and a number of other classes that use halyard locks and have also been involved in the development of the improvement of the halyard locks over the past 7-8 years.

"At any venue where recovery is from a lee shore, the present arrangement is to unhook the main halyard from the rack, let go of the halyard at the opportune moment, pull down the main and approach the shore/slipway/beach in a controlled manner ... easy peasy. With a halyard lock, at some stage you will have to head up, let go of the helm, lean forward of the mast, tug the halyard," …

So with the halyard lock its EXACTLY the same process as you tug the halyard keep hold of it and do what you want from there. Unhooking it from the front of the mast, above deck is arguably less onerous than delving down below the deck to grab the halyard.

"This is before we consider the quite hefty and unnecessary cost"….

Its £60 on a £10,000 boat. ½ % increase if you decide to have it. It costs the same as a carbon tiller extension. which you can argue has a performance advantage over an alloy one but the choice is with the customer and is less than having a different colour Solo...Customer choice again. And lets' not even start on the new rope upgrades (that reduce stretch, at a £ cost), Inhaul systems or XTR fairleads, self tacking traveller system or the super expensive carbon battens over £200 quid a pop etc etc.)

My point is that one of the beauties of the Solo has always been about choice, even within a one design class such as the Solo. It can be dependent on budget or personal taste but the most important element is that the owner can personalise his/her Solo.

"As a user of a halyard lock in another class, I can assure you that they are a pain in the neck both to engage and to unlock, even in a two handed boat ... in a single handed boat they will be a liability and if widely used darn right dangerous."

I have to totally disagree with that statement. My experience is positive in the last decade…. and these locks are widely used in the Fireball/ 505 /470/ 420 and RS Aero, (the junior category use them and surely safety is paramount in that class?) Etchells/Devoti RS (lots) I could go on… if they were dangerous they wouldn’t have been used over the past couple of decades. The problem has been that they do take maintaining (washing out cleaning out the salt deposits etc)...

Recent Halyard Lock Developments

David is right however they were "a pain in the backside" and were not used widely because the equipment wasn’t up to standard... a number of years ago.

When I was at P&B we spent a lot of time machining our own and perfecting them to go in the 505’s because the standard Superspar examples were not good enough but that was 7 – 8 years ago. Since then Superspar have developed the locks into a far superior mechanism (though it is actually a very simple piece of engineering) and the 470 class and in particular Luke Patience worked hard with Superspars to ensure they hold firm with loads that are far higher than most classes and yet are easily unlocked. They are now widely used in other classes and are an accepted norm across classes spanning the junior (children under 12 sailing alone) to the Olympic classes and everything in between.

"The potential benefit of the mast lock is that it eliminates the effects of a halyard stretch, and reduces compression in the mast ... this theoretically could result in a straighter mast downwind and therefore increase power and performance. It might also improve gust response and improve the effective stiffness for the weight of section."

Carbon battens have a potential benefit, a 10k FRP Solo has a potential benefit over a 20 year old wooden example, a £60 mast lock will not provide any discernible advantage on the water, it is just easier to use, reduces the wear in the bulkhead from rope burn to zero and is a bit sexy IMO. There are already different tools for setting up your mast stiffness and even different sections for different weight sailors.

We use chocks/ different sections with different stiffnesses / different forestay tension/shroud tension/de-rakers already, all to achieve what we think is our own optimum set up. Its personal choice very much like we have seen a recent trend to stop bothering to rake and have a fixed forestay and work around it. “…Improved gust response… “

As above, changing your mast section, adjusting your rigging, reducing the sleeve in your D+/Superspar, changing your battens /inhaul systems / flexi tip C/B’s are all far more advantageous than how you hold your sail up.

In Conclusion

They are not dangerous or prohibitively expensive.

Recovery from a lee shore is exactly the same as with a tooth rack. EXACTLY the same.

People have been using them for years. Across a wide range of classes and in the SOLO.

I hope I have properly conveyed how the mast lock is a benefit and should be a choice of fixation of the mainsail halyard as are racks, cleats and even highfield levers (back in the day). It's not a dark art, it holds the sail up and lets it down. Simples.

Oliver Wells posted this 4 Days ago

Just looking at the video of the halyard lock fitted to the D+...has anybody asked Seldens if they mind people cutting a lump out of the taper weld?

I'm not convinced by the 'reduces compression and is therefore better for the mast' argument in relation to a 'short, fat' aluminium section like a Solo's D+/M7.

Hi Alistair,

My belief is that Selden are due to be bringing a D+ with Halyard lock out this year. May have changed but it is what I was told back end of last year.

Mark Harper posted this 4 Days ago

Just looking at the video of the halyard lock fitted to the D+...has anybody asked Seldens if they mind people cutting a lump out of the taper weld?

I'm not convinced by the 'reduces compression and is therefore better for the mast' argument in relation to a 'short, fat' aluminium section like a Solo's D+/M7.

Hi Alistair,

My belief is that Selden are due to be bringing a D+ with Halyard lock out this year. May have changed but it is what I was told back end of last year.

Mark Harper posted this 4 Days ago

Selden have already a halyard lock part, similar to the Super Spars offering. Its part number is 508-483-01 (or even a titanium version 508-481) or 511-202-01 in it own heavy 'cassette'... See the 508-483-01 version here:

https://www.roostersailing.com/products/134669

Last Edited 4 Days ago

Alistair Glen posted this 4 Days ago

Thanks, that answers that question. I'd still be interested to hear from the sailmakers as to whether they think this 'compression' issue is actually going to affect the way the mast(s) perform and hence, the way they will be cutting sails. I have a sneaking suspicion that Ollie has hit the nail firmly on the head...'it looks a bit sexy'... and that is enough reason for a lot of people to throw £60 at it!

Last Edited 4 Days ago

Ian McDonald posted this 4 Days ago

The pressure on changes has always been there. But however the vote goes now, would it not be useful if people with new ideas and kit ran the idea past the Assoc before using- rather than the current situation which seems to justify changes because they are already on other boats ?

And thanks to Nick Hornsby and those who looked after measurements before him for putting in so much effort to keep the class strong

Last Edited 3 Days ago

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