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Date Posted: - Monday - 06/18/07 - 1:39pm
Author: Randall, Murre, M31
Subject: Nico Press swage sleeve--a morality tale

A few weekends ago I was lazily quartering under jib and jigger down toward China Camp, jibing from one tack to the other as I criss-crossed the bay to make the sail as long as possible.

The wind picked up as the afternoon wore on, and by the time Id passed the Brothers it was probably gusting 20+ knots. On the final jibe around Pt San Pedro I waited till Murre slid into a little windless pocket before brining her about. In preparation, Joanna hauled the mizzen amidships and I hauled the jib sheets in taught, and we swung the boat around.

But things being as they are, a fresh gust blew up Murres skirts just as we were at the bottom of the jibe and slapped the sails over to starboard something fierce. I had to pull like mad to keep the genoa from wrapping, and the mizzen made a thundering thwack followed by a dainty ping that announced the mizzen halyard had parted.

On Murre, the bitter end of the halyards wire rope wraps around a thimble and thence through one Nico press swage sleeve. The swage had failed; it had let the rope slip out.

Prior to this I had never thought to question the soundness of these swages, and it was sobering to realize that both running backstays and both topnlifts are secured by a single swage AT EACH END of the rope, as is the bitter end of both the mizzen and main halyard.

When I repair the mizzen halyard, which will be immediately after I figure out how to get it down from the mast head--the Nico press is currently jammed in the sheave; one problem just leads to another--it will have TWO Nico press sleeves attached.

RR

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