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Old 04-09-2009, 09:58   #1
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How Much Tension on Cables

I just raised my mast for the first time and I think the cables aren't tight enough? Is there an easy way to measure tension on the back-stay, fore-stay and shrouds? The boat in question is an old Macgregor 21 monohull swing keel. Thanks in advance for the help.

Ken
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:11   #2
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There is a procedure for rigging "tuning" and adjustment. A Mast Tuning Guide - The Light Version or google it.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:43   #3
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There is a gauge for that that connects directly to the wire. But as Cheechako says, you will also want to read up on how to do this.
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Old 04-09-2009, 18:14   #4
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If you can grab the shrouds and they wiggle back and forth with a bit of slop they are too loose. If they are tight enough to go "Boing" when you strum them they are just about right. If you strum them and they go "Ping" they are too tight. When you raise and lower your mast your forestay turnbuckle usually needs to be loosened to give you enough play to take out your clevis pin. So each time you step your mast you'll need to retighten your forestay. Again, "Ping" is too tight and if you consistently tighten your forestay too tight you could distort your fore chainplate or turn your boat into a banana.
Adjusting your rigging should be done while at the dock on a calm day. Testing the rigging should be done while sailing. If you think you've got it right then take it out to sea, have someone take over the tiller and you lay down beneath the mast and sight up it. If there is a bend side to side then you need to go back in and readjust.
Congratulations on stepping the mast!
regards,
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Old 04-09-2009, 20:50   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmarcet View Post
Is there an easy way to measure tension on the back-stay, fore-stay and shrouds?
See the "Hints and Advice" from Selden Mast. In particular see the "Folding Rule Method" on page 29 for a simple method of tensioning your cap shrouds and stays.
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Old 04-09-2009, 20:56   #6
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Very good guide Ziggy. Thanks for that.
regards.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:08   #7
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Very nice looking pdf doc. I saved a copy for future reference. Thanks
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:11   #8
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Thanks for your simple advice. And yes it was nice to see the mast go all the way up with no outside help. My "creative" solution works pretty well. I am glad I thought of it.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:58   #9
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Great advice from SkiprJohn. You really don't need a Loos gauge to tension the rig on a 21 footer. John's "strumming" method is all you need to know.
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