Jib Halyard System


New Member
Hi, we bought a 2012 470 with no previous experience. We dont have a clue of how the jib is hoisted or temsioned. We have a cheap looking rope halyard, a cable with a pin on one side and a tensioning little rope on the other and we have a cable attached with a T to the mast and a ring on the other that is a meter short to the tack holes in the front of the boat.

Appart of that there is a sloppy forestay with a shockcord.

We know now that one of the cables is passed through the sail but not sure which and how it is connected to the rope halyard.

I have sailed in quite a few boats and I'm lost on how to solve this.

Thanks for any help.

Hi Enrique,

I’m not getting a complete picture of what you have (or don’t have), but I’ll try to describe what a basic system contains.

First, you have the jib luff wire. It should naturally be a bit longer than the jib luff, and stiff enough that it’s easy to push in place (you don’t need to take it out if you don’t switch jibs). It connects to the aftmost hole in the bow fitting with a shackle or directly if it has a fork terminal. The top end attaches to the halyard likewise. There should be a thin line at the top connecting it to the eye at the jib head; this effectively adjusts the height of the jib above the deck. (The jib tack eye takes the jib cunningham - on a 2012 boat the cleat for that should be farther aft on the foredeck.)

The halyard itself should be a softer wire that goes into the mast through the exit block near the shroud attachment point, and comes out again either through an elongated hole between the boom and the deck, or a sheave at the mast foot. The wire then attaches with a hook to the tensioning system (which may be anything between 6:1 and 16:1).

The ”cheap looking” line is likely the halyard tail, which is there only to help pull the ”actual” halyard (wire) into place. It should be under zero tension when the jib is up, and coiled into the spinnaker bag while sailing. The tail should be connected to the wire by splicing or sewing, so that the joint runs smoothly through the exit hole(s).

The forestay should be long enough that that it lets the mast come out of the mast gate a few cm. Sounds like you have that right.

Something that may complicate things a little is if the halyard is rigged with a 2:1 purchase between the jib luff wire and the mast. Your talk about a T-hook sounds a bit like it. You may also miss some pieces altogether which of course doesn’t make things easier...

I can’t help much more until you take and post pictures of these things on your boat. Please do that so we can get you on the water soon :)

Hi LaLi,

Many thanks for your feedback.

I have a couple of pictures but need to take more.

The first picture is what I guess is the inner halyard that goes fixed inside the jib luff.

It goes in well and is longer than the luff on both sides, so matches your explanation.

WhatsApp Image 2023-08-08 at 08.22.57.jpeg

This second one is the loose stay with the shockcord. There you can see the halyard tail.

WhatsApp Image 2023-08-08 at 08.22.42.jpeg

Then there is another fixed wire attached to the mast (I have no picture of that yet) with a T end that is not made to act as a halyard as it is fixed and cannot pass through the pulley at the mast where the rope halyard comes out.

Thanks again for any help.
Luff wire: it would seem to me that the articulating forkhead terminal is the one that attaches to the bow fitting with that bolt (a simple pin would be more practical). The grey line is then the jib cunningham, which goes up through the jib tack eye, back through the shackle, and aft to the cleat that is visible on the foredeck on the left in the second picture.

Forestay: probably the right length. I assume the black line that is cleated at the jib cunningham cleat in picture 2 is elastic, and so should be tied to the shackle that attaches the forestay to the bow fitting. It takes up the slack on the forestay when the jib halyard is tightened. If it wants to slide down on the wire, use tape.

The halyard: if there really is a T-terminated wire attached to the mast just below the halyard top exit block (please post a picture of this whole area!), then that is the jib halyard, and is rigged for a 2:1 purchase at the top of the jib. There should be a wire block attached to the top of the luff wire, and the halyard wire should go through that, and yes indeed, through the exit block on the mast, and inside the mast down towards the mast foot. The ”tail” that you have there now may actually be only a pilot line.

If things really don’t fit together, take some measurements of them (like, how thick is the halyard wire) and we’ll go on from there.

This is the other wire.
Ok, that’s no halyard. Shouldn’t have a thimbled eye at that end! (Looks too stiff, too. Could be used as a forestay if you add a long extension.)

So you don’t have a jib halyard wire to begin with... means that you need to make one. And getting the length right may be tough. Are you experienced in wire work? Do you have a professional rigger in your area?

What is your jib halyard tensioning system like? (Where in the mast does the red/white striped line come out?)

Please post pictures of the jib halyard exit block area up the mast (some 15 cm up and down of it), of the area on the mast between the mast gate and the mast step, and the complete tensioning system.

The red/white line comes out from the mast below the boom. We don't know exactly which is the tensioning system for the jib missing halyard, but knowing what you say we will try to find out. Also we might start trying a dyneema halyard as a starting point, at least to try out the boat.
The red/white line comes out from the mast below the boom. We don't know exactly which is the tensioning system for the jib missing halyard
Ok, that sounds like you’d have a 2:1 running vertically along the mast with a block that hooks to the jib halyard wire. This is then connected probably to a 6:1 running along the centreboard case on the starboard side, and cleating on the top of the case. There are many variations (including very complicated double-ended systems and takeup elastics), but I’d say this would be the most expected on a 2012 boat.

we might start trying a dyneema halyard as a starting point, at least to try out the boat.
I just thought to suggest the same :D to find out the right length. Something 5 mm thick with a tough cover should do.

Which sails do you have, and do you have tuning guides for them? (You need to do the basic tuning to get jib halyard length in the right range.)