In the event of a Man Over Board emergency, you will want to have as many tools to aid in recovery of the crew member as possible. Once the person is alongside the vessel, it can be a distinct challenge to pull the person back on deck. This is where the halyard comes into play.
You want to have at least one halyard that is long enough to reach the water to allow for crew retrieval. On board Wisdom, all the halyards are long enough to reach into the water alongside of the boat.
The reason I have all the halyards able to reach the water is simple: What if you are using the retrieval halyard when someone falls over? Freeing the halyard simply adds one more step to the retrieval process. For this reason, all my halyards are long enough to reach the water so that any free halyard will work during the emergency situation.
When purchasing new halyards, be sure to add enough length for them to reach the water.