I’ve known the halyards needed replacing since I bought the boat but was excedingly lazy and ultimately lucky there were no catastrophic failures from excessive fraying and sun damage. It was especially risky when I used them to climb the mast (by myself) using rock climbing ascenders and a climbing harness instead of a bosons chair (too expensive) to install a new topping lift.
I wasn’t exactly sure how to change the halyards out since the line could only go one way through the masthead pulley as the halyards were half rope and half wire. West Marine carried a replacement wire/line style halyard replacement but I was informed was that style was obsolete with the high quality line on the market these days. I consulted with a very helpful rigging specialist at West Marine in Annapolis who explained to me how to run a messenger line and some tape (I used electrical) to let down the old ratty halyard and pull back up the fresh white (with red fleck) halyards. I was concerned that this would be a problem because if it wouldn’t go through with the wire/old line combination, why would it work with a messenger line/new line? Fortunately, as I was advised, it worked and in no time the old halyards were in the trash where they belonged.
Ill admit I was a bit intimidated and put off doing the furler install for fear of breaking something or losing important pieces in the water. With a little research and a reassuring sailnet article I decided to go for it and spend an afternoon makin it happen. It was perhaps the only glorious 75 degree lightly drizzling day all summer and made being on deck midday a real treat.
Check out the furler install video provided as a supplement to the adequate install instructions.
What they leave out of the video is that you must either 1. Purchase a new headsail that is designed to fit in the luff groove of the new roller furling or 2. Remove the hanks from your existing genoa and sew on a piece of luff tape so it may be used. I did some searching around sailor friendly Annapolis and got quotes from Bacon Marine, Sailrite and North Sails of Annapolis. Luff Tape by itself was $2.75/ft, $2.20/ft, and $2.00/ft respectively. North Sails said that they could install the new luff tape on my sail for $5.50/ft. Since Ive used North Sails before and they have the best price, I believe my next step will be to do some DIY sail modification.