James Boyce employs a crocodile clip to grab a wayward halyard

On my previous boat, a 12m (40ft) ketch, if a halyard escaped to the top of the mast all I had to do was unfold the mast steps and climb up to retrieve it.

However, on my current Sailfish 25 it’s impractical to climb the mast or even lower it easily, but with a few minutes thought, a few minutes work and no cost I made this device, which works a treat.

Cut a length of drainpipe longitudinally and drill holes top and bottom for ropes. Drill an
old jump lead crocodile clip and attach it with cable ties to the length of split tube. Drill the arms of the crocodile clip to take a bent wire release pin that’ll hold the jaws open until pulled free.
Spring the tube round the forestay or topping lift, depending where the errant halyard is that needs to be grabbed.

Attach a spare halyard for hauling up, a light line for hauling down and a lighter line for the release pin: this is led through a cable tie loop to prevent it falling to the deck when released.
With a bit of manoeuvring it’s fairly easy to retrieve the lost halyard and haul it back to the deck.

Digital StillCamera

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