Redoing boom running rigging

One thing I’ve meant to do for a while is sort out the running rigging inside the boom. The boat came with the outhaul (thing that tensions the bottom of the sail by pulling it ‘out’) reef line and the topping lift run through the centre. I added the reef line around 9 months ago, but it was kind of a temporary thing with whatever line I had lying around. A bigger problem was that the sheaves in the end of the boom were kind of messed up. Well, the middle center one (for the topping lift) was ok, but out of the two plastic ones, one was ‘ok’ and one was DONE. Like, really done. If it was a steak it would have ended up on the floor, kinda done. It had basically cracked all around and then disintegrated leaving only the centre piece. Which was jagged, and rubbing on the already-undersized-reefing-line. Which was chafing through like it was its job (it’s not its job). And the Outhaul just plain didn’t work.

So – I had to replace the sheaves and while I was there I was going to replace the outhaul setup.

First job was to get the boom end off, which was held on by 3 screws like this.


Stainless steel screws + aluminium extrusion = galvanic corrosion and hella stuck screws. I managed to get two out, but the 3rd refused to budge. I used heat, PB Blaster and having a frustrated angry-cry but nothing seemed to budge it. In the end I was using a screw extractor and the head popped off.



I mean not ideal, but at least I could get the boom end off


Then I had to remove the sheave pin and the sheaves, add the new sheaves and put the pin back in after cleaning it


On the left is the less-knackered old sheave (the really broken one immediately committed Seppuku by hurling itself off the side once out), the new one, and the metal one at the bottom.

With the end off, I pulled out the lines – and found why the outhaul wasn’t working. This is what fell out


Two very gummed up blocks, which in an additional awesome turn, were not attached to anything on the othe rend of the boom. Meaning that hauling on the outhaul just moved the whole sorry mess back and forth in the boom. No wonder it wasn’t working great. Or really at all.

This is what it was supposed to look like I think



Except all the blocks were jammed and that green line was missing.

I decided to replace it with the exact same thing, just you know, correct. And with new lines and blocks



Then I had to jam everything back in the boom and put the end back on.

No pics because I was too busy swearing as it was

  • really hard to get the blocks back in without getting tangled
  • really hard to feed through the reef and topping lifts into the tiny hole in the boom end near the mast
  • the bloody screw that had a snapped head refused to come up, even after drilling and swearing, so I ended up have to drill and tap another hole
  • The sheave pin was held on using horseshoe clips that are MONUMENTAL pain in the arse to use. It took me almost an hour to get it back on.

ANYWAY, it all went back in, finally (except I forgot to buy new topping lift line so that needs to be replaced at some point) and now I can tension the foot of the sail! And I can also reef a lot easier without worrying the whole thing will disintegrate! Yaaaay.

Tested out on a sail to Orcas, where we got stopped by the US Coast Guard and got tailed by two porpoises (the later was a lot cooler). I bought a gopro knock-off so I could film some ~EXXXXTREME HOT SAILING VIDS~ but was too lazy to set it up. Another time!

Oh, and while leaning into a lazarette, I snagged the pull cord of my life jacket and inflated it, not perfect when you are upside down in a compartment. Sigh. Have to get a refill kit now!




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