Technical Article: #002
Title: Mousing a new Halyard along a mast

Date Added: 6th August 2011

Article Author: Andy
Boat: Hustler 30 – Harriet B
Job Time: Less than an hour

Having just bought Harriet B there were a number of jobs that needed doing before I could sail my Hustler 30 to her new home port. The primary jobs are to replace the standing and running rigging. Whilst I’ll need a rigger to do the standing rigging there’s no reason why I couldn’t run my own halyard lines whilst the mast is down.

Equipment needed

Equipment needed

Small Line, Genoa and Draw Tape

In order to run the new Genoa halyard I needed the following items:

  • An Electricians Draw Tape a.k.a a fish or snake
  • Mousing line – The mast is 10m so I used 12m of small line
  • Genoa Halyard
  • Whipping twine and needles – To create the mouse eye

The Plan

My plan was to stitch a mouse eye to the end of my halyard, attach the mouse line to the halyard mouse eye, attach the other end of the mouse line to the electricians draw tape and feed the line along the mast using the draw tape.

Electricians draw tape is one long flexible wound up piece of metal that electricians use to run cables along conduits in big buildings.

When the end of the tape pops out at the base of the mast I pull carefully and the whole line is fed along the mast.

whipped line
Step One
I needed to prepare the halyard so I whipped the end of the rope and stitched a loop at the end. Whipping an end stops the rope from fraying. Whipping is one of those skills that always comes in handy there’s a good guide here on you tube.
attach the mouse line
Step Two
I now tie the mouse line to the end of the Electricians draw tape.
attach the mouse line
Step Three
Having now tied the mouse line to the Electricians draw tape I tie it tightly to the Genoa Halyard.
attach the mouse line
Step Four
I now push the tape slowly through the top of the mast with the mouse line attached.
attach the mouse line
Step Five
When I see the line being pushed past the mast sheaves towards the bottom of the mast I fish out the mouse line.
attach the mouse line
Step Six
Now I have the mouse line I detach it from the Electricians tape and secure it to a point outside of the mast. I then proceed to extract the tape from the mast. All I will then be left with is the mouse line in the mast.
attach the mouse line
Step Seven
Pull gently on the mouse line and the rest of the attached Genoa halyard will be dragged down the mast. Voila! Job done, you will have run your new Halyard.

Just one more thing….

Two ropes stitched together
An alternative with an existing line…
In addition to my Genoa halyard I had to replace my Spinny pole lift line as it was pretty old. Rather than use the tape, I stitched the old and new rope together and dragged the line gently along the mast. I simply cut the stitches and whipped the end of the new line. Easy!

HOA NOTE: The article above is related to works that the author has carried out to their own boat at their own risk. This article is intended to share the authors experience with other readers only. It is not intended to be a comprehensive step by step instruction guide. Anyone choosing to do any work as a result of reading this article do so at their own risk. If there is any doubt about whether to conduct work on your own boat call a professional to assist.