fouling inside the main mast

Mike Ondra

During a storm at night I furled the jib not having earlier in the day noticed that a crewmember had secured the ballooner halyard without retrieving the dehooker, leaving the halyard in place on the swivel. The furling motor is plenty strong and the halyard parted at the top and fell inside the mast. The line is now fouled inside the mast and cannot be pulled down and out.  We have sent a messenger down inside the mast, tied it to the halyard and tried to pull the halyard line back up to reverse the direction of pull. Still fouled. Based upon the amount of halyard that is free both pulling up and pulling down, the foul point seems to be about at the lower spreader height.


Does anyone know what is inside the mast that could foul a falling line? Is there perhaps a compression strut athwartships inside the mast bracing the thrust of the spreaders that the halyard may be hanging on? Any suggestions?



Mike Ondra

ALETES SM#240, Rock Hall, MD

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