Santana 20 Spinnaker Crane Upgrade

By Jeff Kerr - S20 #338, Fleet 15, Dallas

The Problem

The Santana 20 mast has undergone 2 major changes since was first put into production in 1976. The first mast had the jib halyard under the forestay attachment and the spinnaker halyard exit above the forestay as in Figure 1.

Figure 1.
A problem was discovered with chafe on the spinnaker halyard. In 1978 the spinnaker halyard exit was changed as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2.
This configuration has the advantage of having interchangeable jib and spinnaker halyards, but it requires a large hole in the mast and the spinnaker halyard still chafes. In 1981 rig was changed to its present configuration. This system is shown in Figure 3. The halyard leaves the mast at the same height as the original exit, but the exit itself is positioned higher on the mast to get it out of the way.

Figure 3.

The Solution

If you have inherited an older mast and standing rigging, you can make a simple change to the halyard exit that is class legal and will significantly reduce chafe.

Figure 4
Figure 4 shows the mast with the addition of a spinnaker crane and a bullet block on a swivel. The pre-1978 system is shown, but it should still work for the dual halyard system. The spinnaker crane is riveted into the mast with stainless steel rivets (or it will pull out!). The spinnaker halyard exits the mast normally, then it is lead though the block on the crane. This allows the spinnaker to be launched and retreived from the cockpit without chafing the halyard.

The spinnaker crane used to be available through West Marine (part number 303479). I'm not sure that they still carry it. But the manufacturer should still have them. The company RWO (part number #R4210) should be able to set you up for around $50. For another $10 you can get a Harken H166 block and some rivets and be up and running in no time.