One List Leads To Another

The blog posting titled “The List” had an item on it “Clean the Green”. This is such a huge issue in our marina. One of the things I’ve had to do the last couple of years is pull all of the running rigging and take it home to wash. For the non-sailor, running rigging means all of the lines on the boat, except the ones holding up the mast, which are called “standing rigging” . The running rigging generally refers to lines used to control the sails (halyards, sheets, etc).

As you can see, the lines were green and gross. But you don’t get to simply grab the line and go home. Somehow it’s going to have an attachment to either the boat, or a sail, or the mast, which makes it complicated.

This is the main sheet. At the top of that block is a spliced eye in the mainsheet that’s attached to the block – you need a hex wrench and a hammer and drift to get it free. At the bottom there is a pin and ring that attach the mainsheet block to the car on the traveler. And that’s not the most complicated to take apart because I don’t have to run a messenger line, I can just reattach and re-run the line through the blocks.

For halyards that run inside the mast, and reefing lines that run inside the boom, I have to leave behind a messenger line so we have a path to pull the clean line back in. Sometimes it’s simple if there is a loop at the end of the line coming out, then I can just tie the messenger. But usually I have to sew on the messenger.

And you do NOT want the messenger and halyard to separate inside the mast. Sometimes it’s a simple two or three times through the messenger and tie it off and be done. But if the entrance to the mast and sheaves (wheels the halyard rolls across at the opening) is tiny, then the halyard will hang up and not pass through,

Then I have to sew the messenger line as if it’s coming off the top of the halyard, which is tricky because I cannot sew through the whipping at the end of the line.

The lines come home and soak overnight in a tub with woolite, then wash twice on a gentle cycle in mesh bags in the washer. Then they hang to dry. It takes a good day to get everything back up on the boat, and today was that day. And it’s an item off the first list done!