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Old 12-01-2016, 16:57   #16
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

With the amount of off shore racers using synthetic rigging I think it makes perfect sense to carry a spare line to make rigging . The post about just have a length and then making to fit makes a lot of sense . Might be a good idea to right down all the lengths of rigging in advance . Probably hard to measure in weather that breaks wire.The water stays that hold down the bow sprit on my Outremer are dyneema and that is a big load as well.
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Old 12-01-2016, 17:11   #17
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
We're off later this spring on a circumnavigation. and yes we're carrying a lot of spares etc etc. There are, however, two areas that I'm a bit at sea about.

1- our rig. we have 12mm wire for shrouds. No way I can or will carry a spare set of shrouds. So I'm going to get a set made of Dyneema. Does anyone know of any inherent issues with this? It will only be intended to be used as a repair rig, until we can get to some place where we can source real wire.

2- Our rudder quadrant/steering is wires from the quadrant to the wheels. If they break, I'll have to either rig the emergency tiller or use the autopilot and steer using that (lot of electricity being used here). Loss of a wire would mean I can't use our windvane. So I'm thinking that I could carry some Dyneema (in an appropriate size) and a couple of bolts that I could tie the dyneema onto and use that to replace the wire if it breaks. there would obviously be a lot of wear on the dyneema, but none of it is chafe. A spare set of wire is extremely difficult to store, so that idea is out

Has anyone tried this or thought this through? Disadvantages? The dyneema, again, would only be used as a jury rig until wire could be sourced.

thanks for any help
I have 1000 LF. of Spectra that I use for all sorts of things..I used it to fasten the sail to the cars once when I blew out some of the clips. I could weave some together to provide just about any type of repair in a pinch where wire rope is needed..Great stuff to have on board..
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Old 12-01-2016, 17:28   #18
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

A spare steering cable including a length of chain should not be a big volume or cost issue. If you can crimp a couple of nicopress sleeves have a go at making your own. On the standard Edson pedestal set the up the cable/ chain could be replaced without removing anything but the compass. Depending on the end fitting arrangement at the quadrant, might have to use some temp. fasteners.

A Dremel motor tool (Danish equivalent) with a handful of cut off wheels is a handy tool to have aboard. Got me out of several jams and I only went to the Bahamas. Cuts wire rope better/ easier than most other options.


Good luck on your adventure.
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Old 12-01-2016, 21:14   #19
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

Hi Dyneema Dux works great Not fragile and easy to work Changed all rigging on B 411 3 years ago and has been great Use original Turnbuckles Call Colleeco for info and very reasonable. Fair winds Chkm8
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Old 12-01-2016, 23:12   #20
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

I crossed the Atlantic on a delivery last summer, boat owner Chinese gybed when we were in a blow, we dropped a running back stay the next day. I had brought along a hundred feet of 3/8" dyneema for just such an occasion. We were short handed. Owner asked me what I thought we should do?

I said we should fall off and head to the Azores and deal with it there.

Discretion is the better part of valor some say. Others just say it's a dumb idea to potentially risk someone's life by sending them aloft in a seaway on a rig with broken standing rigging.

I say I could have fixed the broken running back stay without too much risk or bother but rather than messing around out there when we had a decent sized sea running I took the bail-out option instead because I could.

I also say people who think they are going to replace standing rigging at sea need to give this prospect some serious consideration before you leave the dock. Besides how you are going to safely ascend a rig with broken standing rigging, you also need to have some good ideas about how you are going to make your connections up the mast depending on various likely failure modes for your rig keeping in mind that chaff happens.

If you think whatever, you'll just figure it out on the day, then I suggest you figure out what a jury mast knot is and how to use it because "out there" where this kind of thing happens isn't really the place to just figure it out.
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Old 13-01-2016, 02:16   #21
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

Having just had abandon a trip to lay up for repairs because of steering failure I can appreciate the concern. definitely no an expert in synthetic rigging but have used it in steering systems for the wind vane.
Couple of thoughts for you.
1 Failures usually happen suddenly with high loads like severe weather and sod law says it will be off a lee shore with no sea room (mine was). The thought of having to crawl around in the bilges to replace steering cables is not one that would seem practical in the circumstances. The rudder was also swinging around enough so make the job near impossible and dangerous. My response has been to improve the emergency steering system to make it totally independent and something I can use for a few thousand miles. More a second independent system than an emergency.
2 Low stretch rope does work for steering although chafe through the blocks is definitely an issue as is stretch, it will need a system to adjust it once it has settled in.
3 While I have seen lots written about synthetic rigging I suspect the very different characteristics of the two systems could cause problems in a mixed system and I have never heard of it being done.
4 Again in practice are you going to be able to rig it at sea in bad conditions?
5 Traditionally the practice is to double up the head stay in some way, cutter rig, outer fore stay etc and rely on the topping lift for shroud or back stay problems. Have thought about using a wire back stay, maybe on a swinging top block for shrouds. Does not have to be 'full weight' you can live with reduced power to get to port.
6 Wire is one of those things you can get almost anywhere so unless you are really going wild you only need something to get you to the nearest port.
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Old 13-01-2016, 03:13   #22
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

Thought about using dyneema for steering, but as my cables run through the engine room, above the engine, I was concerned about the heat. Stuck with wire.
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Old 13-01-2016, 05:07   #23
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

Hi guys

First thanks a bunch for all the helpful information/tips etc. It is truly appreciated.

I'll explain my thoughts a bit further.

1- we're chickens - if the option to bail out and go into a harbour exists we'll take it. No kidding - I would rather work on rigging or steering cables in a harbour than out on the ocean. But - sh*t happens as we all know and murphy's law says it will happen when it is most inconvenient - in this case meaning at sea.
2- I do have an emergency tiller and we'll use that first. Repair can come later.
3- I'm really not so terribly concerned with these things happening while coastal sailing near civilization - head for the barn, get the boat next to dock and repair it. Go buy whatever parts you need etc.
4- If sh*t happens in the pacific and the only place to anchor is f.eks. easter island or the cook or tonga or the solomans or or or. well - no place to get spares etc. so I need to carry my own. Dyneema fills almost nothing compared to carrying coils of wire. And while a bit nerve-racking it would be possible to go up into the mast while at anchor. The same for crawling down into my lazarette and across the back of the boat to mount new steering cables (dyneema).

The boat is fast filling up with spares (sigh) - so anything that can help keep volume down is an asset.
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Old 13-01-2016, 05:40   #24
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

If you fit a below deck autopilot independently connected to the rudder stock via a tiller arm, that will be your first backup should a cable break. I wager this would take you right to your intended destination (and you may not even notice the broken cable until you turned it off).

Mark
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Old 13-01-2016, 05:57   #25
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
If you fit a below deck autopilot independently connected to the rudder stock via a tiller arm, that will be your first backup should a cable break. I wager this would take you right to your intended destination (and you may not even notice the broken cable until you turned it off).

Mark
We have a raymarine autopilot hooked up this way. We'll be using a windvane for passages to save electricity.
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Old 13-01-2016, 07:45   #26
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

Used spectra for steering cables on a 2000+mile race four years ago and after the stretch of the first 100 miles was taken up, we never had any reason to think about it again. I'm also puzzled as to why you would use wire for rigging. Apart from cheapness and slightly lower windage it has little to commend it now, I would say. It is also much easier to splice mid ocean or in remote places should you have to do such a thing and it is light and easy to store. Colligo's site does a good rig-builder section and competition is improving prices slowly.

So while steel has a place maybe for things like forestays with roller gear, for cap shrouds it should be consigned to the past IMHO
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Old 13-01-2016, 16:04   #27
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
We have a raymarine autopilot hooked up this way. We'll be using a windvane for passages to save electricity.
G'Day Carsten,

I am not familiar with your boat's emergency tiller setup, but some folks use it, or a smaller stub tiller for connecting their wind vane control lines rather than to a wheel adapter. If it is possible, it often works better, has less friction and eliminates the wear on steering cables on long passages.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 13-01-2016, 22:41   #28
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

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G'Day Carsten,

I am not familiar with your boat's emergency tiller setup, but some folks use it, or a smaller stub tiller for connecting their wind vane control lines rather than to a wheel adapter. If it is possible, it often works better, has less friction and eliminates the wear on steering cables on long passages.

Cheers,

Jim
The emergency tiller is just that - a tiller. The windvane could be jury rigged to it and thank you for the suggestion. Another possible solution if the Sh*t hits the fan.


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Old 13-01-2016, 23:54   #29
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
We're off later this spring on a circumnavigation. and yes we're carrying a lot of spares etc etc. There are, however, two areas that I'm a bit at sea about.

1- our rig. we have 12mm wire for shrouds. No way I can or will carry a spare set of shrouds. So I'm going to get a set made of Dyneema. Does anyone know of any inherent issues with this? It will only be intended to be used as a repair rig, until we can get to some place where we can source real wire.

2- Our rudder quadrant/steering is wires from the quadrant to the wheels. If they break, I'll have to either rig the emergency tiller or use the autopilot and steer using that (lot of electricity being used here). Loss of a wire would mean I can't use our windvane. So I'm thinking that I could carry some Dyneema (in an appropriate size) and a couple of bolts that I could tie the dyneema onto and use that to replace the wire if it breaks. there would obviously be a lot of wear on the dyneema, but none of it is chafe. A spare set of wire is extremely difficult to store, so that idea is out

Has anyone tried this or thought this through? Disadvantages? The dyneema, again, would only be used as a jury rig until wire could be sourced.

thanks for any help
Well I have thought it through. I see no issue with carrying dyneema as a backup stay. I do see an issue with carrying a "full" rig worth though! If you lose all your steel you will almost certainly have no mast. Just measure your longest stay (Usually backstay) and give a few extra feet for insurance, and carry splicing equipment and eyes.

Apart from which you don't need to carry a whole set of steel to repair a rig. If you carry a tang, an appropriate turnbuckle, a few norsman terminals, and a strop of perhaps 1.5 meters (in 12mm wire) you can splice/bridge a break should it occur, and do it quickly. Halliards can be used to secure the mast rapidly meantime. This is a pretty good "homegetter" arrangement and is what I carry. Also a dyneema line, but probably best to have one as a spare halliard that you can chop if necessary. The likelihood of necessity, providing your rig is fairly recent and well maintained and that you check the rig meticulously after each passage and at regular intervals in any case, is fairly low.

As to steering cables, I would be rather unlikely to do so, personally. I have seen dyneema chafe through pretty quick and while it can be excellent for that kind of application, a slight bit of sharp chafe and it'll go. I don't really understand why keeping a spare steel wire cable would be so onerous. I carry a full set for both steering and davits. So four cables, coiled tight, and hardly notice them. They stow flat anywhere the tightest diameter of coil will allow.
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Old 14-01-2016, 00:06   #30
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Re: Dyneema Rig and Steering Cables?

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Hi guys

First thanks a bunch for all the helpful information/tips etc. It is truly appreciated.

I'll explain my thoughts a bit further.

1- we're chickens - if the option to bail out and go into a harbour exists we'll take it. No kidding - I would rather work on rigging or steering cables in a harbour than out on the ocean. But - sh*t happens as we all know and murphy's law says it will happen when it is most inconvenient - in this case meaning at sea.
2- I do have an emergency tiller and we'll use that first. Repair can come later.
3- I'm really not so terribly concerned with these things happening while coastal sailing near civilization - head for the barn, get the boat next to dock and repair it. Go buy whatever parts you need etc.
4- If sh*t happens in the pacific and the only place to anchor is f.eks. easter island or the cook or tonga or the solomans or or or. well - no place to get spares etc. so I need to carry my own. Dyneema fills almost nothing compared to carrying coils of wire. And while a bit nerve-racking it would be possible to go up into the mast while at anchor. The same for crawling down into my lazarette and across the back of the boat to mount new steering cables (dyneema).

The boat is fast filling up with spares (sigh) - so anything that can help keep volume down is an asset.
I have experienced steering failure a few times, including a cable break on a 68 foot race yacht at night in a severe gale (caused a sudden round up which blew off our Yankee at the stay, literally popping open every single bronze plunger hank by bending them outwards… quite something and I still have a few as souveniers). One thing I would like to suggest from this experience is that it is rare that an "emergency" tiller is manageable by hand, in a seaway with sail pressure, especially not by one person. It is vital that you take yours out and test how hard it is to use etc. But many are too short for decent leverage, and therefore must be used with some kind of handy billy system (I carry two dedicated for this purpose in my safety/emergency locker, all set up) to be clipped to either side of the tiller so that the boat can be steered with the purchase lines. Experiment.

Further, you of course know that you need rig cutting equipment aboard. Perhaps you do or do not know that "bolt cutters" are almost useless on 12mm steel wire. The individual wires slide against each other and absorb the energy. Hacksaws are slow and exhausting. There are only three cutting tools that are effective in a severe emergency (rig down):

1. Angle grinder.
2. Blank fired explosive cutter.
3. Hydraulic cutter.

The latter is very expensive, number 2 relies on too many "bits". So the best is an angle grinder. For the most part an electric angle grinder is fine for this purpose, though for extreme situations I have rigged up an airtool arrangement which runs off an adjustable pressure regulator and dive tank.

Re reeving steering cables can be hard at the best of times, but it can be done at sea. I know as I have done it in bad conditions. Of course we had a strong crew at that point and YMMV.

As to going up the mast at anchor… it may be nerve wracking, but IMHO it is de rigeur, as a rig should be checked after each long passage and every few months in any case. A deck based rig inspection daily. Always use a safety line and never use powered winches to assist a person up the mast.
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