Cam lock on main halyard?

Peter de Groot

Another beginners question:

During our last outing on La Querida (SM 207) upon deploying, the middle vertical batten on the mail sail had broke through the pocket and was dangling 3/4 out.  Seas were moderate and the wind was averaging 15 knots.  I was attempting to rescue the batten and had to untie the Alpine butterfly loop (lineman's loop) on the main halyard in order to lower it where the batten was within reach.  This knot was at the limit of my out-stretched arms, and difficult to untie in that position.  I was finally able to untie the knot and drop the halyard.  Batten rescued! (the complete sequence was: unfurl, detect problem, partial furl, untie knot on halyard, unfurl, lower halyard. rescue batten, etc.)

 OK that got me concerned....what if it was really rough?  What if there was some other malfunction (where furling was not an option) that required dropping the main quickly.....

I was recalling the camlocks on the halyards on the race boats I used to crew an wondering if that wouldn't be a reasonable option for the SM.

Has anyone considered or installed another method to secure the main halyard other than the pinned slide on the track?  Is there a better knot that releases quickly while working at the limit of ones reach?  Or is this beginner missing something else that's obvious?

Thanks in advance,

Peter de Groot

La Querida #207

Moss Landing, CA 

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