Previously I covered the installation of the 1″ T track on the mast for the pole ring. The next step of the installation was to install a deck organizer block under the companionway hood to route the halyard back to the cockpit. Since I can forsee no reason that I would ever need to run another line back to the cockpit I opted to save a little expense and install a Schaefer Series 3 cheek block instead of a regular 2 or 3 line organizer block. At the cockpit I installed a Spinlock XAS rope clutch to control the halyard with.
Cheek Block Installation
To install the cheek block I had to remove the 9 wood screws that hold the hood on, and then break the solid bead of 3M 4200 that hunter originally used all the way around the hood. To do this I ran a small knife through the bead cutting through it as best as I could, and then pulled the hood up.
Once the hood was off, and the old 4200 scraped and removed, I cleaned the underside of the hood with Tilex Mold and Mildew remover as the fiberglass had alot of dark mildew spots from years of damp sea air and perpetually being in the shade. To clean it, I simply sprayed it on, let everything sit for about 5 minutes, and then hosed it off, it looks brand new again.
To install the cheek block I positioned the block so the halyard would run straight back to where the rope clutch was to be installed, marked my 4 holes, and then drilled them. I first tried using stainless tapping sheet metal screws from West Marine as Hunter had the foresight to install at the factory a aluminum backing plate under the mounting pad, but the screws ended up snapping off under the simple leverage of a screw driver leaving me a useless set of holes with screws embedded in them that I was unable to remove. After re-drilling new mounting holes about 3/8″ outboard of the original holes I opted to tap the holes for a #10 machine screw, bedded the back of the block and holes with 3M 5200, then screwed it down tight, and cleaned up the excess 5200 with an acetone soaked paper towel. I have no expectation that this block will ever be removed for the life of the boat, otherwise I would have used 4200 or lifecaulk.
Rope Clutch Installation
The installation of the rope clutch was pretty quick and easy. I ligned up the clutch on the factory designated installation / mounting pad and marked my holes, then removed the clutch and pre-drilled the holes for the #14 tapping screws, and then cranked the screws into the holes by hand with a large screw driver (this time the screws didn’t break off). I chose the tapping screws with the large sheetmetal style thhreads as they have more holding power than a machine screw because the threads are so much wider and cut much deeper into the metal. Once everything was ready to do the final installation, and the surface of the deck was cleaned with a acetone wipe down, I applied 3M 5200 into and around the holes, then screwed the rope clutch down tight, and cleaned up any excess 5200 that leaked out with a acetone soaked paper towel.
All that was left after this was to re-install the companionway hood, and reseal the edges with 4200.
Once everything else was complete, it was time to go up the mast and install the halyard. This was pretty straight forward, I went up the mast in a climbing harness and fed the bitter end of the halyard through the already existing spinnaker halyard exit directly above the forestay, and let gravity feed the line down the inside of the mast. When the halyard was visible from the exit gate at the base of the mast I used a hook shaped piece of wire and pulled the halyard to the exit, and then used a screw driver inserted past the main halyard on it’s exit gate which was opposite of the spinnaker halyard exit to push the line through. Here is the Finished product. You can clearly see the V cleats for the lazy jacks that sit on either side of the T track.