Halyards, Held Fast
A solution to halyard fatigue and stretch on big raceboats has come in the form of halyard locks, and Hall Spar's push is to make them more user-friendly. Photo Gallery from Dave Reed's September 2011 tech review.
The components of a Hall Spars halyard lock include the lock itself and the “bullet,” which is spliced into the halyard. As the halyard reaches full hoist, the bullet passes through the lock, which triggers it to close, transferring the halyard load to the lock. To release, the halyard is pulled up against an up-stop, disengaging the lock.
Hall Spars’ Hanging AutoLock is designed for headsail or mainsail halyards. The lock hangs from a strop at the top of the mast. Similar units that use trip lines are available from Southern Spars, which led the early development of halyard locks.
Mainsail halyard locks are now common on big raceboats, especially those with square-top mains. With the load transferred to a lock, halyard creep no longer becomes an issue. Hall’s mainsail headboard car lock has “flippers” inside the housing that drop into recesses in the track at full hoist and reef heights.
An external lock (as opposed to an internal lock installed into the mast) can be attached to the headstay and used for jib or genoa halyards.