The Dreaded Halyard Swivel!

~You may find that I am poking a bit with this one. Perhaps the British might call it “a bit cheeky”, but I assure you it is all in good fun…


The Halyard Swivel
The halyard swivel is a crucial component that prevents the halyard from trying to wrap itself around the furler when furling and unfurling.

I just wanted to take a minute and chime-in on the “halyard swivel phenomenon” that has (apparently) taken the sailing world by storm. I have been seeing this in and around boat yards, year after year, come winter. Apparently there are concerns that this mysterious swiveling piece of magic metal will somehow propel itself to the top of the mast. I am here to assure you, you need not worry, it won’t. We have yet to receive a phone call to retrieve a skied halyard swivel due to improper storage of the swivel once the sail is removed.

You will see from my examples in the gallery below, fellow sailors come up with various methods of securing the halyard swivel down to the deck. Sometimes with the halyard attached and even sometimes without.

Click the images for a bigger view…

…and there are many more examples. These photos were all taken in one day, but I have seen all sorts of methods to make sure this bugger stays tied down.

Now…sometimes they can get stuck aloft, but this is usually with a sail on the other end. Sometimes the sail head tears out (probably not inspected annually), but NEVER ONCE did this piece of hardware shoot itself from the deck to the top of the mast unsuspectingly. I will say that, I have seen people leave the halyard attached to the swivel (yes, without tying it down first) and pull it up, yet mostly only part of the way (well within the reaches of a boat-hook) as they soon realize something isn’t right. I have also seen this down-haul of sorts come undone or chafe through (from working tirelessly all winter to keep the halyard put).

The Solution… is a simple one, just as our motto suggests…

 “safety and functionality achieved through simplicity”

 …remove the halyard and its associated shackle (snap-shackle or ‘D’ shackle) and stow it on the bow (perhaps even the pulpit); so that it is out, away from the mast and the furler, preventing chafed, fouled, or skyed halyards.

How to tie the furler's halyard swivel to the deck. How to keep the halyard swivel from going up the mast. How to not sky the halyard.
TA-DA!! This is how to secure the halyard swivel to the deck…gravity.

If you practice lashing or tying down the swivel, this year is your chance to make a change, start new. Don’t be ashamed, just consider this helpful blog…a gift, a free tip from the pro’s. We guarantee, simply stowing the halyard on the pulpit will ensure the swivel stays at deck level.  ;-0)

Please feel free to comment, we’d love to hear from you!


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