E25+ Masthead sheaves seized

Geoff Steel

Sailorgeoff E25+
I recently bought a 1979 E25+ and discovered the main halyard and topping lift sheaves are not turning. Previous owner only used the boat to motor around the harbor so I don't know how long these sheaves have been seized. I would rather not drop the mast if at all possible. Any advice on how to approach this problem? THANKS!
 

supersailor

Contributing Partner
First, try a spray penetrating fluid like PB Blaster. Let it penetrate for a day or two then spray them again if needed. Some force may be needed to break the shives loose. A swat on the side of the pin may be needed. Try not to squirt the halyards. A little tape around them might help. After freeing them, a squirt of dry lube helps.

Welcome aboard! The 25+ is really an awesome 25.
 

Geoff Steel

Sailorgeoff E25+
Thanks for your quick reply Supersailor! My challenge is getting to the top of the mast when both halyard sheaves are seized. The friction on the halyard is so great that I can barely get the mailsail fully raised.
 

supersailor

Contributing Partner
You can make a rope ladder to help or buy a mast climber or you can assist yourself using your arms on the second halyard while an assistant tails on a primary winch. On the 25 the primary's are kind of small so there is a lack of oomph there.

Doesn't the 25 have a deck mounted pivoting mast? It's far safer and easier to pivot the mast down than to climb it.
 
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trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
The mast on my 1980 25+ had a pivoting mast step that allowed the mast to be lowered forward. It came with guy wires to go between the outside shrouds inline with the pivot to the end of the boom. With the guys attached, you could tighten up the topping lift and/or main halyard to the end of the boom, remove the inner shrouds, head stay, and back stay and use the main sheet to lower the mast. I never got around to trying it, but it looked straight forward (like most everything else in theory).

My wife and I went up the mast quite a few times, but our main halyard ran free and I had good self tailing primary winches. I'm not sure if I would be comfortable going up or hauling another person up using the stock barient 10s and a siezed sheave. All things considered, I'd opt for taking the mast down. You could even measure for everything you need, put it back up, and take it down when everything arrives.

You've probably already checked, but just to eliminate the simplest problem to solve, have you tried lubricating the sail slugs or simply raising another line without the sail to verify its a seized sheave and not a dirty track or slugs? I only bring it up because I made this mistake when I first started sailing my 25+. I had arranged for a friend to help me lower the mast to do exactly what your thinking, but when we got down to the boat he brought a can of McLube and a spare sail slug. We wrapped the sail slug with a thin piece of fabric, attached it to the halyard, tied another line to to the halyard and ran it up and down the track. I was amazed at the amount of gunk that came out. we sprayed the track with soap and water and repeated the process. After we felt like we couldn't get any cleaner, I attached the halyard to the mainsail, lubricated the slugs with McLube and hoisted it. It raised and lowered effortlessly.
 

supersailor

Contributing Partner
Excellent suggestions for everyone! The tracks on most boats are crudded up , I think. Who thinks to clean them? The mains that have partial battens are easier to raise than full battened mains. On the plus side for full battens is a bigger roach, better sail shape control and less flogging. I have the strong track system which makes raising much easier but get out of the way if just dropped. As Herb pointed out, that sail is big and heavy!. If Trickdhat's suggestions don't work, I would strongly recommend dropping the mast rather than climbing.
 

Gaviate

Member I
The curiosity of a newbie has me wondering, are ya'll climbing these masts whilst in the water or on the hard? I desperately want to see the top but am planning on a boom since currently hauled out and the condition of everything up there is unknown which affects my confidence greatly....And like Geoff, I really don't want to drop the mast!
 

supersailor

Contributing Partner
Hey guys. It's really not very difficult to drop and raise the mast on the 25 footer. I did it on a 26 (different brand) every time I went sailing for 30+ years. Having done both dropping the mast and going up the mast to fix something, I would AWLWAYS choose to drop the mast. It is uncomfortable at the top and you want down now. God help you if you drop a part and what a pain if you forgot something important. Standing on the dock to fix something is a relaxed experience and you tend to get things right the first time. Every one has the boom to use as a gin pole and you only need the harness (some wires rings and clips). If one didn't come with your boat, someone can get you a photo of theirs and give you the dimensions of the cables.

Now if you want a little scary, try fixing something 51' in the air on a mast you can't drop period! That 34 looks a little small down there.
 

Geoff Steel

Sailorgeoff E25+
You guys have offered great advice! I did consider the track might be gunked up, and it might be, but the resistance on the halyard is there even without the sail attached. With all the rain in Socal this past week I've not been down to the boat recently. But I have decided to drop the mast the next sunny day here and check everything from a nice, low comfortable position on the dock. The mast is in a deck stepped tabernacle, so as several have said, the process is pretty straightforward.
 

supersailor

Contributing Partner
Geoff, It's the way to go. Just use the harness to steady the boom and the winch to snub it on the way down and to raise it. If you need to order parts, you can disconnect the tabernacle and pull the mast aft. Let us know how it goes.
 

Gaviate

Member I
Trickdhat, Thanks for the up close, my E27 has a deck stepped mast but no tabernacle and having never even seen it done before, dropping the mast is better left to wiser folks. Having said that however, replacing the standing rigging is my intention before next month's planned launch date (Spring...Yeah). To achieve this I will use an aerial lift (I misspoke earlier calling this a boom) to get me to the top. Then whilst there, I will take a critical look at everything and repair or replace as needed, after which I would consider climbing the mast. I will be searching for obvious wear or worn parts but are there specific concerns I should attend to?
I am also replacing all running rigging, adding lazy jacks and replacing a light. Thankfully, the local marina's rigging crew has agreed to build the stays and shrouds and let me install them. Therapy for my diy gene!
 

Geoff Steel

Sailorgeoff E25+
FYI, mast came down last week as per Supersailor's description and both sheaves were badly corroded and siezed. I replaced them along with the main halyard and repainted the mast while it was on the deck. Painting the aluminum to a nice finish was more challenging than I expected. Plan to get it all back up tomorrow so will update you then!
 
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