A norther came through Punta Gorda, FL today — winds piped up significantly from the northwest. Clanging halyards are a major annoyance … in a marina or in an anchorage. Once we had an Italian boat anchored upwind of us in Nargana, San Blas Island Panama. Their clanging halyards kept us both awake all night long and made us wonder how on earth anyone could sleep through the noise. In the morning, we dinghied over and very politely asked if the halyards bothered them. The captain said yes, the halyards made some noise, but apparently unlike us, didn’t keep them from sleeping. He didn’t indicate any interest in making any changes to make the noise any less. We thought sure we’d have to reanchor to get rid of the noise. But when we came back from town in our dinghy, sure enough he and his crew were up on deck working on the offending halyards. Being nice can have unexpected results!
Here’s how David deals with our halyards …. first he looks at each line and makes sure he can either attach it somewhere where it cannot possibly clang against the mast or bungee it to keep it away from the mast, or both. Usually our main halyard, extra halyard that we use the raise and lower the dinghy and the jib halyard are attached to either the lean bars around the mast or the outside lifelines. The extra halyard for the dinghy often is led all the way forward and connected to the bow pulpit and the main halyard is attached on an outside lifeline just forward for the cockpit.
Any potential offenders can be quickly and easily dealt with with an inexpensive shock cord. David shock cords off all our potential offenders and we never have clanging halyards. He’s also been known to board unoccupied neighbor boats at the dock and “donate” a shock cord to help our sleep. No one has ever complained when we call it to their attention the next time we see them — I don’t think most people want clanging halyards and lines, they just don’t realize what happens all night every night if they’re not live aboards!
Anyone have any other ideas to deal with offending mast bangers? Please leave a comment and let us know! THX! Jan