Just got a new (old, 1976) Hobie 16.
Going over the rigging, it looks like there is no halyard hook at the top of the mast for the main sheet like I had on my previous H 16.
Instead, there look to be two hooks at the bottom of the leading edge of the mast.
It is an all aluminum mast
I've messed with it a bit trying to figure out how to get an end of the wire underneath one of these to hook, but with no luck.
Can anybody advise, or send a photo of how to rig this type of setup?
The Hobie 16 main halyard has always hooked at the top of the mast. This is done to reduce halyard stretch and to reduce compression on the mast. This allows the mainsail to be more responsive to mainsheet and downhaul trim adjustments.
I suspect that your assumption is correct and someone removed/relocated the hook to make hooking the main halyard easier. I would suggest reinstalling the hook at the top of the mast where it belongs.
I did something like that on my first boat, a N5.0 that I restored. I had a mast extrusion and added all the rigging myself.
You would need a wire or dyneema halyard, otherwise, if it stretches, it will be useless. The problem is that because it doesn’t stretch, it limits the bending of the mast, not good.
In the 80's the Supercat 20 had the main halyard hook at the bottom. They used a wire halyard inside the luff track with a special strong fitting at the top that could handle downhaul pressure. The H16 mast head shoots the halyard out the front so the S20 system wouldn't work very well on a H16. According to Bill Roberts the forces remain the same with his system, so no difference in mast bend compared to a Tornado style lock system.
A halyard on the outside of the mast locked at the bottom would loose tension as the mast bent because it would then have a shorter distance to travel when the mast bends. Also it would have extra windage, and get in the way of the overlapping jib.
There are what look to be two halyard hooks at the bottom of the mast.
The main halyard is (I think) the 'noncomptip' type, i.e. it's a fairly long piece of wire that runs all the way from the top of the mast down the the bottom. Or pretty close to it.
My other H16 had a halyard that was mostly rope with a short bit of wire (basically enough to get over the pulley at the top).
It looks like they rivet in. Could I just drill the rivets out, then use pop rivets to reinstall one at the top of the mast?
It seems like there would be a lot of shear stress on those two aluminium rivets...
You can reinstall the fitting back at its original spot, the factory never used aluminum rivets, always SS rivets.
Early Supercats had the fitting near the bottom of the mast inside the sail track, in my opinion it worked well. I had a Supercat 17, and a supercat 20, with this method.