Originally Posted by roverhi
You can do your own rigging with mechanical turnbuckles. Personally don't know whay anyone would hire a rigger to do it unless you have a paralyzing fear of heights. I favor Norseman but StaLok and others are probably just as good. You can pick up the terminals on Ebay for an excellent price
if you get lucky. Checking the rigging shops on the internet
will find you the best price
, otherwise. I bought 316 wire from Swensens here in Alameda for around $100 for 42'. Had previously bought 9/32/7mm Norseman terminals for around $30 each, total cost was under $200 to do my headstay. Buy 316 wire, not 304. 304 is slightly stronger but way more prone to rust and pitting than 316. Any savings in wire costs are probably going to be eaten by shorter life span definitely by the headaches of stains on the topsides and deck
Doing your own rigging is no big deal. Did my previous boat with Norsemans without any previous experience. Bought a several hundred feet of wire, the terminals, wire cutter
, and went at it. Read the instructions and carefully did the first one which took me around an hour because of my unfamiliarity and caution. After that could whip one out in less than 10 minutes per fitting. Did all the terminals on our Westsail 32 in a day and that's a lot of terminals with the bobstay, whisker stays, boomkin stays, etc. Seems to have worked okay as we sailed off to SoPac and never had a problem.
Replacing rigging every 10 years is a conservative time limit. Possibly good for Florida
and the Tropics but probably to short a lifespan for a boat in temperate climates with shorter sailing seasons. It's the swages that limit the life of wire rigging. If you use mechanical terminals, they will last virtually forever so you throw the limiting factor to the wire. Swages typically give you little if any warning that they are going to fail. A failure testing article of seasoned swaged wire fittings found almost no visual indication of impending wire failure. Some swages with severe cracking exceded the wire strength while visually pristine others failed at low tension. Wire will definitely tell you it's getting tired by a broken strand. I still wouldn't wait for that to make a change. Inspection
for pitting of the wire strands and general overall condition is a less painful measure of life limits. We had very poor life with NavTec turnbuckles in the Tropics. First set had significant cracking after two years, the second lasted only a bit longer. Stick with bronze open bodied turnbuckles, they will outlast several wire replacements
Thanks for the detailed information!
Why do you prefer Norseman terminals?
We have all Norseman on our boat at the lower ends, and swage terminals aloft. Our boat has very complicated standing rigging with three spreaders so I am somewhat dreading this job. She's ten years old. The Norseman terminals appear to be immaculate, but I am starting to doubt some of the wire (the boat has been used in some pretty heavy weather
, and I am inherently suspicious of standing rigging inside roller furlers) and want to start gradually replacing the standing rigging myself.
I have never heard that turnbuckles are a weak point; I thought they were supposed to last the life of the boat. Ours are Norseman, bronze, open ones, massive and beautiful, and look like they would last longer than I will.