2003 Rigging Overhaul 
Over the 2002-2003 winter, while the boat was hauled and the masts are un-stepped, I completed a survey and overhaul of the rigging.  Planned tasks included:

Below are pictures and descriptions of these tasks.

Replace Halyard Sheaves
One of the first upgrades I did to Sarah was to replace all of the running rigging.  I replaced the wire/rope main and jib halyards with 9/16" StaSet-X rope.  I went with the largest diameter rope I thought would fit the sheaves, without my having physically inspected the masthead.  It appeared that I went a little too large on the diameter.  When the tail of the eye splice reached the sheave box there was a lot resistance, and it took some effort on the halyard winch to get the luff of the mainsail reasonably tight.
I had hoped that I could relieve that problem by replacing wire/rope sheaves with rope sheaves.  but the problem is the size of the sheave box (approximately 5/8") and not the sheaves.  So I had to go with smaller 1/2" diameter halyards. When I finally need to replace the 1/2" halyards I will likely go to 7/16".

I wanted like to replace the sheaves in any regard, as I believe a wire/rope sheave produces more chafe than a rope sheave.  The wire/rope sheave is designed take the full load of the halyard in the wire groove.  It does not provide support for the center of the rope under load. The rope will want to squeeze down into the wire groove.  

Click on picture to view at full resolution
Mainmast Sheave Box
On the left is a picture of the sheave configuration on the main masthead showing the exposed heads of the two sheave pins.  These are the rectangular plates just above the upper shroud tang.  The 3/4" pins on which the sheaves rotate are welded to the back of these plates.  The plates act as the head of the pin.  The opposite end of the pins extend through the mast wall and are secured with cotter pins.  The machine screw holds the plate in place and prevents it and the pin from rotating with the sheaves.
The picture on the right, below shows the empty sheave boxes after I removed the sheaves.  The empty pin holes in the mast wall are shown in the picture on the left, below. 
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Main Masthead with Sheave Pins Removed
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Empty Sheave Boxes on the Main Mast
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Original Sheaves and Pins From the Main Mast
The removed main mast sheaves and pins are shown on the left. 

I also removed the two sheaves from the mizzen masthead, which are shown on the right 

I had great difficulty finding suitable replacements for the main mast sheaves, which are 4.75" O.D., 5/8" I.D. (inside the bushing), 2/3" width.  The only commercially available rope sheaves I found (Harken) are cost prohibitive (>$200 each).

Click on picture to view at full resolution
Original Sheaves and Pins from the Mizzen Mast

After weeks of searching the internet and numerous hardware suppliers' catalogues I contacted Rig Rite and they quoted a price of $80 each to fabricate the sheaves out of Delrin.  I placed the order with Rig Rite with an expected delivery around May 1st. 

I also ordered standard Delrin sheaves for the mizzen from Schaefer (part nr. 62-018).  These sheaves fit all dimensions except width.  The mizzen sheave box is a hair over 1/2" wide and these blocks are 5/8".  Jack Goodman put the sheaves on his lathe and pared the width down to just under 1/2" (to allow the sheave to compress and expand the width under load).


Click on picture to view at full resolution
FastCAD Drawing of the Main and Mizzen Sheaves

Here is a drawing of the dimensions of the original main mast sheaves  I provided this drawing to Rig Rite for the fabrication of the new sheaves.

On the right are the new sheaves for the main mast.  They were custom manufactured by Rig Rite for about $80 each.  The next step is to install them in mast.  Click on picture to view at full resolution
Main Mast Sheaves from Rig Rite

BTW: I had never done business with Rig Rite before and was initially a little concerned about the informal way they took small custom orders such as mine.  I gave them an order over the phone with no follow-up confirmation via email, telephone or snail mail (I had requested none).  So I followed a week later with a fax specifying the parameters discussed on the phone order, and received no acknowledgement.  I was busy with work at my office and the other projects on this page and elsewhere and put the sheaves on the back burner.  I had told them I didn't need the sheaves until the middle of May.  Around the end of April I realized I had not heard from Rig Rite so I called and left a voice mail.  A few days later I got a return voice mail stating that they expected to deliver by the requested date.  I got a another voice mail around May 8 stating that they were ready to ship and wanted to know if I wanted overnight or regular UPS.  I was on vacation at the time and did not respond, but the sheaves still arrived on May 10.  Bottom line: I am very pleased with the workmanship and responsiveness from Rig Rite.  They delivered a quality product on time that met my specifications.  If you want a supplier to inundate you with the status of your order (as I thought I did), these are probably not the guys. From my experience they met their commitments at a fair price.  I will not hesitate to do business with them in the future.

At this time I was seriously considering converting Sarah's main mast to internal halyards.  This involves running each halyard over a single sheave, down through the bottom of the sheave box to an exit plate somewhere on the wall of the mast.  The advantage of this conversion is that I can increase the number of halyards on the main mast from 2 to 4 (2 each mainsail and jib halyards).  For the mainsail it will allow me to configure a main boom topping lift that can also be a backup halyard for the mainsail.  In the event the main halyard parts or is lost at the masthead I can switch to the topping lift as a temporary halyard.  In rough weather (in what other kind will a halyard part?) the extra halyard would allow me to delay retrieving a lost halyard at the mast head until after the weather settles. 

The additional jib halyard is used as a back up to the primary jib halyard, or it could be used to haul someone up in a bosun's chair without dropping any of the working sails.  This halyard can also be used to raise the ATN Gale Sail  The planned Solent Stay will eliminate the need for the Gale Sail, which I will have modified to attach with hanks so it can be set on Solent Stay.

The original 4 1/2" aluminum sheaves would have been marginally large enough to accommodate the 1/4" wire halyards on a single sheave - a minimum 20:1 ratio of sheave to wire diameter is normally specified which would have required a 5" diameter sheave.  Having converted to 1/2" rope halyards, the new sheaves are more than adequate as a 6:1 ratio is considered very conservative for rope sheaves.


Click on picture to view at full resolution
New Sheaves Installed in Main Mast
On the left I have installed the new sheaves in the sheave box on the main mast.
Internal Halyards 
I did convert the halyards on the main mast from external to internal.  On the right is a picture of the existing Genoa halyard after run internally.   I will now have two jib halyards, the mainsail halyard and a topping lift for the main boom.  At the time this picture was taken the other two halyards were still just messenger lines.

Initially, I had rope clutches only for the Spinnaker halyard (lower, forward) and the original Genoa halyard (upper, aft).  My intention was to put all halyards, including the main, on mast-mounted rope clutches.  .

Click on picture to view at full resolution
Genoa Halyard Run Internally
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Second Genoa Halyard and Double Rope Clutch on the Mast
In December, 2004 I added the second Genoa halyard and replaced the single Genoa clutch with a double clutch (picture on the left). 

I then took the freed up single clutch and put it on the main halyard.  The second forward halyard can be used as a backup main halyard, but is principally used as a topping lift for the boom.

I eventually added a rope clutch on the topping lift halyard. 

This change will require the second reconfiguration of the mainsail cover to accommodate all of the mast mounted hardware

Click on picture to view at full resolution
Rope Clutch on the Mainsail Halyard
Move VHF Antenna to Main Mast
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Mizzen Masthead
On the left and below are pictures of the mizzen masthead before I removed the halyard sheaves and the VHF antenna. 
Notice, on the right, that someone used a bronze chain bow shackle to secure the running backstays to the mizzen masthead.  I guess they couldn't find a stainless bow shackle with the right sized pin for the hole in the masthead.  It's a very serviceable solution, but I think I'll replace it anyway.  I have purchased a SS replacement bow shackle. Click on picture to view at full resolution
Bronze Shackle for Running Backstays
Install Strong Track
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Top of Shortened Mainsail Track
Quantum Sails of Solomons Island (Clark McKinney) performed this installation, although it was not difficult. 
While removing some of the fittings from the main masthead I noticed that the mainsail track was shortened by a previous owner for some reason.  In the picture on the left you can see where the original track extended to just below the sheave boxes.  The top portion of the track was cut off with a hack saw (and not very neatly as they sawed slightly into the mast wall.  This work was so crudely done that I assume it was done from a bosun chair.  I just don't know why it was done.  Possibly the track was damaged somehow. 
I also noticed that the remaining top foot of the track is secured with machine screws, while the rest of the track is secured with pop rivets.  Who ever did this work must have drilled out the pop rivets to pull the track away from the mast to keep from cutting any deeper into the mast wall.
A few days before Sarah's sticks are due to be re-stepped Clark McKinney installed the Strong Track.  Click on picture to view at full resolution
Base of Installed Strong Track
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Top of Strong Track
On the left you can see that Clark extended the new track above the cut-off end of the mast track.  The new track will have the length of the original track.
Move Reef Gear
I will need to move the reef gear further aft on the boom to accommodate the greater roach of the new sail.  My sail maker (Clark McKinney) recommends I move the blocks as far aft as possible to produce a tight foot on the reefed sail.  This work will be done after the masts are re-stepped and the new mainsail is bent on.  This was accomplished after Sarah had been re-rigged and moved back to her berth at the Town Creek Landing Marina.
Replace Electrical Wiring
On the right is the mast base with the existing wiring exiting through a hole in the mast wall.  This task will included adding wiring for a masthead tri-color light and a foredeck light.  The current deck lights are spreader lights, which are fine working at the mast in the dark, but do not provide much illumination of the foredeck. Click on picture to view at full resolution
Base of the Main Mast
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Removing the Original Mast Wiring
On the left most of the electrical wiring has been removed from the main mast.  I attached fishing leader wire to the electrical wiring to provide messenger wires to feed the new wire back through the mast.  The old wiring was encased in what looked like water pipe insulation.  The new wiring is encased in conduit pop-riveted to the inside of the mast wall.  This provides a more durable protection for the wiring, but is also necessary keep the internal halyards from entangling with the electrical wiring.
 The messenger wires for the mast head fixture are shown on the right.   I used wire fishing leader for these messengers.
By this time I'd gotten so far behind schedule on all of my projects that I turned all of the mast work over to Zahnizer's Sailing Center.
Interestingly Z's did not use these messengers for the internal halyards.  They waited until the mast was re-stepped then dropped the existing halyards and messengers for the new halyards from the masthead and retrieved them from the exit ports above the rope clutches.
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Fishing Line Messengers for Mast Wiring
Masthead Tri-Color Light
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Main Masthead with Anchor Light Removed
On left is the top of the main mast.  I have removed the original mast (anchor) light.  That light was badly corroded and cracked.  In any case I intended to replace it with a masthead tri-color light with an anchor light.  I could have used the existing wiring for the anchor light in the new unit.  However with the conversion to internal halyards all of the wiring had to be removed and placed in a conduit.  So I replaced all of the electrical wires with new.

On the right the tri-color is installed.  Also you can see the new RayMarine wind instrument base, just forward of the tricolor.  On the side of the mast is the VHF radio antenna mount and cable.

Click on picture to view at full resolution
Masthead Tri-Color Light
Solent Stay Terminal
The major work for the installation of the Solent Stay is involved in the fabrication and installation of the deck fitting.  However I will also needed to install a hound or tang on the mast, approximately at the Black Band, to attach the stay and the halyard block to the mast.  I used a standard Wichard fitting for this purpose.  See the separate page I set up for the Solent Stay installation for the details.
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Main Mast Step
On the left is the main mast step after the mast has been removed.  It is almost completely filled with dirt.  God knows how long it took to accumulate this much dirt.  My guess is an experienced rigger can determine when the rig was last removed by measuring the dirt level on the step - sort of like a botanist counting tree rings.
Upon further review I found this "dirt" is actually residue from the decomposition of the black foam chafe protection that was wrapped around the electrical wiring in the mast.
See Replaced Mast Wiring, above.


Fortunately the Spartite installation was a spring task (after the mast is re-stepped).  I had a lot of work to do around the mast partners before the masts go back in.   It appears the previous owner attempted to seal the partners and used some sort epoxy or urethane paint.  Click on picture to view at full resolution
Main Mast Partners
Click on picture to view at full resolution 
Delamination  at the Main Mast Partners
The result was a brittle cover below the mast collar that only succeeded in sealing in moisture in the deck core.  This ill-advised cover will have to be ground out, then rout out any wet core, and fill it all with epoxy before the main mast can go back in the boat.
On the right is the completed Spartite installation.  I turned this job over to Zahniser's Boatyard.  They used a rope coit below the clay provided in the kit to build a dam at the bottom of the mast partners.  It helps center the mast in the partners and provides a better looking finish than than the clay. Click on picture to view at full resolution
Rope Coit Used to Install Spartite Seal
Lazy Jacks
I am fairly ambivalent about the benefits of Lazy Jacks.  They are a rigging option that you have to deal when hoisting or reefing the main or mizzen sail, but are only of value when you are dropping the sail.  For that little benefit Lazy Jacks seem to add a lot of complexity to general sail handling.

Further, on the Pearson 424 ketch the main boom does not overhang the cockpit, its full length is over the coach roof.  Therefore dropping the mainsail does not dump the sail on top of the those in cockpit and you can walk along the entire length of the boom when securing or releasing the sail.  The primary sail that would benefit from Lazy Jacks is the mizzen, which drops on top of the helmsman.

When I purchased Sarah there was a crudely implemented set of Lazy Jacks on the mainsail and none on the mizzen.  After fighting the mainsail Lazy Jacks on a few sails I took them off, and have sailed without Lazy Jacks since.  That said, I am still considering putting Lazy Jacks on both the mizzen and main sails. 
I can see the direct benefit for Lazy Jacks on the mizzen as it will allow the mizzen to be dropped without interfering with the ability of the helmsman to steer the boat.Although, I didn't recognize it at the time, I think we would have benefited from Lazy Jacks on the main sail during the Bermuda Cruise in 2001.  In light airs Lazy Jacks would have allowed us to drop the mainsail without securing it when motoring.  The tendency is to keep the main sail hoisted and luffing when motoring, which produces significant wear on the sail with little benefit to driving the boat.  When the mainsail is finally dropped in these conditions it must be flaked and tied to the boom to keep it off the deck.  This produces a tendency to not raise the mainsail when a little breeze comes up, but to just unfurl the Genoa or hoist the spinnaker.  We sailed a good deal of the way to Bermuda with the main sail furled for just those reasons.  With Lazy Jacks in place, we might have used the mainsail more
For all of these reasons I re-considered the use of Lazy Jacks on Sarah.
I decided not to install Lazy Jacks at that time.  Only the Mizzen really needs them, and I may still install them before leaving on the Atlantic Circle.  At the time I had enough projects.  I still (2015) have not implemented lazy jacks on either sail.
Spreader/Foredeck Light
Click on picture to view at full resolution
Perko Spreader Light
I purchased  a set of large Perko spreader lights to replace the existing lights.  These new lights were a little larger than I expected from the catalogue description.  I've also purchased an Aqua Signal foredeck light for the main mast.  This light includes the bow light and replaces the existing bow light.  The existing spreader lights provided minimal illumination for work at the mast and very little illumination to the foredeck.  The combination of the new spreader lights and foredeck light eliminated any deck lighting problems.  If I turn on all the deck lights (and the mizzen light) other boats out there will assume Sarah is a fishing trawler.
On the left is one of the new spreader lights. 

You can also see that I've had mast steps installed.  I've had 22 mast steps in storage for more than 20 years.  I had originally planned to install them on Vela Llena, my old Columbia 8.7 for my single-handed trip from Newport, RI to the Chesapeake Bay.  At the last minute I decided not to install them.

Over the winter I re-discovered the steps in my storage room and decided to have them installed on Sarah's main mast.

On the right is the new combination bow light and foredeck light.

Click on picture to view at full resolution
Aqua Signal Foredeck and Bow Light