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Old 23-06-2013, 02:03   #1
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Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

I'm currently budgeting-out what looks to be my first sailboat purchase, a '68
Bristol 32 and I'm attacking everything on the "probably needs replacing" list
one-at-a-time, with definitives first and maybes following. This process is immensely helpful as it also serves as a checklist of things about which I need to learn.

The 32 will definitely need all new running rigging and ground tackle. I'm trying to school myself in the various types, materials, braids, brands, applications, and characteristics of marine line. And if I may be humble for a minute, it's a bit daunting. If anyone has a good resource for a general education in running rigging (as from hands on that is), I'm all ears. Currently I'm picking up bits and pieces from other posts and retailers descriptions.

Specifically for the 32, I'm curious where to find information on recommended line strength/elasticity, diameter per application (Halyards, sheets, vang/Cunningham, ground tackle, etc...) and also on recommended lengths for the '68 as I've heard it differs from later models (specifically traveler aft of cockpit). There are no plans of any racing or offshore sailing.

Many more questions to come.

Thanks!
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Old 23-06-2013, 05:42   #2
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While CF provides a wealth of good info, owners groups often provide great brand/model specific info. Google Bristol 32 owners and you will see two groups. As an example of what owners groups can offer, the Tartan owners group has original manuals for my T-33, the owners manual and part of the shop manual for the Universal Diesel.

Things like recommended halyard size, original prop size can usually be found with other owners.

Bill

PS if you are still looking for someone to move the boat, check the smaller north shore yards. In my youth (30 years ago) I worked for one p/t moving boats from the yard to owners homes.
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Old 23-06-2013, 06:53   #3
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Re: Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

I second the owner's group suggestion. I recently replaced a bunch of running rigging on my Valiant 40 and one visit to the Valiant owners group forum turned up all the information I needed, at least in terms of line diameters and strength. If you can't find length info then just measure what you already have. I'm assuming the mast is unstepped and you want to do much of the replacement while it's down. In general, if you're not racing, I would only go with the low-stretch lines for your main halyards.

Rope is expensive, so consider finding people to go in on whole spools with. It is nice to have color coded lines, particularly with rigs where many lines run to the cockpit, so this won't always be feasible, but for jib sheets and other long lengths it can save you some money.
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Old 23-06-2013, 07:33   #4
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Re: Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

http://www.liros.com/fileadmin/user_...hlungen_en.pdf

LIROS GmbH*|*Yachting

Also any other major manufacturer gives their recommendations for types and diameters.

There used to be a nice calculator at (harken US?) but they took it offline ;-( Maybe someone knows where / if it is still available. It gave data specific for many common designs.

IMHO, keep the hand-manned ropes soft and 'large' diameter. E.g. on our boat (26' 400sq ft SA) the mainsheet is 10mm and the genoa sheet is 12mm and they are both of the soft 'cotton-like' finish (they are polyester ropes alright). New tech ropes are desired only where their specific properties give you an edge - e.g. low stretch may count in jib halyard if your halyard is all rope (ours are wire to rope). I like light Spectra sheets for the lightest of our kites.

IMHO, a good starting point for your ground tackle will be (past the anchor) 8 mm chain and some rope. We use 16 mm octoplait polyester. I opt for octoplait because I find it easier to stow and to work with.

There are many ways to go with the ropes and it is hard to go wrong unless you grossly over- or under-size them.

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Old 23-06-2013, 08:13   #5
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Re: Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
While CF provides a wealth of good info, owners groups often provide great brand/model specific info. Google Bristol 32 owners and you will see two groups. As an example of what owners groups can offer, the Tartan owners group has original manuals for my T-33, the owners manual and part of the shop manual for the Universal Diesel.

Things like recommended halyard size, original prop size can usually be found with other owners.

Bill

PS if you are still looking for someone to move the boat, check the smaller north shore yards. In my youth (30 years ago) I worked for one p/t moving boats from the yard to owners homes.
Thanks, Bill. I'm already a member of the Bristol Owners Yahoo group and as you said, it is a great source of info.

I'm calling around today hoping that the marine world has Sunday hours. Thanks for the tip on north shore folks.

-K
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:14   #6
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Re: Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I second the owner's group suggestion. I recently replaced a bunch of running rigging on my Valiant 40 and one visit to the Valiant owners group forum turned up all the information I needed, at least in terms of line diameters and strength. If you can't find length info then just measure what you already have. I'm assuming the mast is unstepped and you want to do much of the replacement while it's down. In general, if you're not racing, I would only go with the low-stretch lines for your main halyards.

Rope is expensive, so consider finding people to go in on whole spools with. It is nice to have color coded lines, particularly with rigs where many lines run to the cockpit, so this won't always be feasible, but for jib sheets and other long lengths it can save you some money.
Good idea about group purchases, but, funnily enough, I don't find line to be all that pricey. Perhaps I've already become brainwashed by the marine mark-up gods.
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:29   #7
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Re: Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

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Originally Posted by Globalksp View Post
Good idea about group purchases, but, funnily enough, I don't find line to be all that pricey. Perhaps I've already become brainwashed by the marine mark-up gods.
I just dropped $500 on new jib sheets and staysail halyard, so I'm still smarting. Could be worse though, could be buying climbing rope. :P
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:51   #8
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Re: Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I just dropped $500 on new jib sheets and staysail halyard, so I'm still smarting. Could be worse though, could be buying climbing rope. :P
Wow... and true! Though, should I be dangling from a ledge hundreds of feet up, I'd like to think I'd not skimp on my ropes.
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Old 23-06-2013, 12:33   #9
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Re: Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

As re halyards: if your sheaves and exits are less than perfect (as often is the case with many older boats) you may be better off building your halyards of 'soft' wire+rope tails. Ours are pre-stretched polyester (10mm) + 7x7 SS wire. Very good combo stuff IMHO.

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Old 23-06-2013, 13:08   #10
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Re: Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

Here's some advice:
-You want to make at least one of your halyards extra long so you can run it through a block and back to your main jib winches. If you need to haul someone or something heavy into the boat from in the water it may not be easy to use the small mast mounted winches.

-For halyards, take a look your blocks at the top of the mast. Learn the difference between a wire block and a rope block. The wire block usually has a groove in it and is often made of metal instead of plastic for the sheave. If the sheave is not smooth, it will ear your line up.

-Chafing will eat your line quickly if you're not careful. If you have any old lines that are chewed up figure out where that's coming from and fix the problem.

-Often times the choice of line for jib sheets is more about how it will feel in your hands and how easily to will wrap around your winches than it is for strength. Smaller lines eats into your hands and slips on winches.

-Learn the difference between creep and stretch. Creep is the progressive elongation of the line under load over a long period of time, which does not spring back into the previous length when the load is removed. Stretch is the temporary elongation of the line when under load, and returns to the previous length when the load is removed. You may want to consider high tech loads with almost zero creep for applications that are under a constant load, like a running backstay or possibly halyards. Wire to rope splices are great for halyards especially for the main and jib with roller furling.

-Cost of line varies a lot. Do not buy from west marine for certain places like line. That's like buying an HDMI from a big box electronics store like Best Buy. DO NOT DO THIS. Shop around first.

-For cruising boats one of the biggest things to realize is what the line will be like once it's weathered for two or three years in a salt water environment. Is it still soft and flexible? Ask other people at the marina. I was going to buy sta-setx to replace my halyards but decided against, even though it's a great line, because it's a stiff line.

-As a general rule, buy the biggest line that is reasonable. Don't get a line that is too big for the block or two big for the cleats that you have.
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Old 23-06-2013, 13:11   #11
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Re: Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

Thanks for all of that.

As I don't yet own the boat, all of this research is preliminary but will come in hand when/if I take ownership at which point I'll have a much better idea of what I'm working with.

-K
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Old 23-06-2013, 13:25   #12
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Re: Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

While we're at it... any thoughts on smaller bits of line such as outhauls and topping lifts and reefing lines?
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Old 23-06-2013, 15:53   #13
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Re: Getting Schooled on Running Rigging

5/16" is strong enough for sheets but too hard on the hands. 3/8' is reasonable to hand but still a little small for my tastes. Personally like 7/16" line. Not too bulky and easy on my old pinkies. Go with Dacron double braid unless you want an ultrasoft line or something special. New England StaSet or Samson XLS are examples but all the rope suppliers make a double braid.

3/8" works for halyards for me. It's large enough in diameter to hand hoist the sail and when I really have to reef on the line, it's time to put it on a winch. Have gone to 7/16" for the spinnaker halyard as it's a line I often have to hoist quickly by hand. Used NE ropes T-900 for my main halyard. Not so much that the sail needed the low stretch but for my ATN 'Top Climber' ascender rig. Way easier to use with a low stretch line. Boat came with NE StaSet X halyards. That's an all dacron line with straight layed core for low stretch. I don't like it. It's very stiff, hard to coil and climbs out of self tailing winch jaws. Am switching over to NE VPC as the halyards need replacing. VPC has a soft dacron cover and a core with little bit of magic low stretch fiber. It stretches slightly less than StaSet X but is supple and easy to handle. Cost is a little more but not much.

Other than the spinnaker halyard, I don't use shackles on any of my halyards or sheets. A loose halyard or a shackle on a flapping sail are real attention getters. Have the scar to prove it. I mostly use bowlines to attach the line to the sails. No expensive splicing or hardware to pay for. The added benefit is it's easy to end for end the line to even out wear. If a wear spot begins to develop, just cut a few inches off the line and it moves to a fresh area. Actually cut a little bit off the line every once in a while just to change the load areas. This has worked for me for well over 10,000 miles of sailing to French Polynesia and Hawaii twice. If you have a roller furling Genoa that will be used most of the time, a dedicated double length sheet with a Brummel splice at the clew of the sail works great. The Brummel splice doesn't hang up on the shrouds easing tacking drama.

Your boat will most likely have rope/wire sheaves at the mast head. These sheaves have a wider groove for line and smaller groove in the center for wire. These sheaves work fine with all rope halyards. Have a solo TransPac to prove it. Check the sheaves for any burrs or sharp edges the wire halyards may have created. Smooth with a file and/or sand paper if you find any. I didn't have any issues on my 42 year old mast. While you are at it, make sure the sheaves spin freely. Might want to add a little oil to the oilite bearings to make them whizz. If there is an issue, Garhauer makes relatively inexpensive replacement sheaves. They are also a great source of reasonably priced hardware of all kinds and will do custom work should you need it. Garhauer Marine Hardware -6361169. If you really get anal, Harken makes really expensive ball bearing sheaves that spin with almost no drag. I used one for my main halyard but got it relatively cheaply off eBay.

Used Dyneema/Technora 12 strand line for my topping lift. Went with 1/8" which is more than strong enough for my 16' boom but noisy. It sings in moderate winds like Peter Frampton on his guitar. Would go with 3/16" or 1/4" to keep the serenading down. Had a vinyl coated wire for a topping lift initially but it ate the tabling on my main. The 12 strand is lighter, stronger, and kinder to the main.

eBay is your friend with an old boat. Got almost of my running and standing rigging from there with occasional trips to Marine recycle shops. Don't know if you are anywhere near Bacon's in Annapolis but it's worth the trip just to wander through the memorabilia. I've gotten most of my line from Milwaukee Rigging, in you guessed it, from eBay. They put up spool ends at good prices and are nice people to deal with for specific things. Traditional Line, 12 strand Dyneema items in Milwaukee Rigging store on eBay!.

While the mast is down, might think about running your jib and main halyards internal if they aren't already. I do it, not because I'm a rabid racer type but because it frees up sheaves at the masthead for a permanently in place spare halyard. It saved my butt on the way to the Marquesas

Will you buy that boat, dammit!!! Someone is going to come along and snake you out of it if you don't move quickly. If I was anywhere near your area, I'd have done it already.
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