Spinnaker halyard chafing is a common occurrence that needs to be managed by the boat’s owner and crew.
1- Trim the spinnaker properly; especially the halyard:
A halyard that is not fully hoisted creates exponentially more chafing than a fully raised halyard. tip: mark the halyard both at the mast and at the clutch so that your crew will notice if the halyard is not fully hoisted.
2- Create a ‘fairer’ fair-lead:
Most boats & masts are designed with basic cruising equipment. If you intend to push the boat hard you may want to upgrade the gear. Note that more is not always better. As an example, a fixed “spectacle” as a spinnaker fair-lead has no moving parts while a swivel block has both the sheave and the swivel to break and/or catch sails & snuffers.
3- Upgrade the halyard:
If your halyard is not up to the loads that you intend to produce an upgrade may be in order. Some halyard materials are more chafe resistant than others. West Marine Guide to Running Rigging
4- Add chafing protection to your halyard;
If your halyard is strong enough for the job but is not chafe resistant enough, the addition of chafing protection is an alternative to a new halyard and can extend the life of the line. New England Rope’s Dyneema Chafe Sleeve
tip- you may also want to add the same protection to the halyard at the clutch end if you expect high loads.
Example Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 35
Optional Asymmetrical Spinnaker rigging package includes:
Halyard: 33m x 10mm Lancelin 10mm Double Braided Polyester
Clutch: (mounted at cockpit) Spinlock XTS; line size 8mm-14mm (5/16-9/6)
Fair-lead/Spectacle: Sparcraft Middle Size Lead (designed to accept up to 16mm line)
Upgrades to consider include:
1- Replacing the fairlead with a swivel block.
2- Upgrade halyard diameter and/or material
3- Add chafe protection to the halyard