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Old 05-08-2013, 16:08   #1
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How Often Sould Standing Rigging be Replaced?

I plan to do coastal cruising and am searching for a boat. My surveyor's book, SURVEYING SMALL CRAFT by Ian Nicolson recommends every 10 years for coastal cruising and 5 for oceanic.

Examining the rigging visually is not adequate

Any thoughts on the frequency of replacement.

Thanks in advance,

Sincerely,
Susan
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:24   #2
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

8 years on cruising yachts,though have crossed oceans with 15year old rigging on boats that never left the marina
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:34   #3
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

Dificult to answer, depend of many variables, rod rigging ? wire?
swages end? stalock?

In the tropics rigging got a short life span compared with our friends in norther climates , salt +humidity take a toll in rigging, and depend also how the boat is sailing in the last years, is not the same a coastal boat doing weekends in light air than a cruiser beating to windward in the midle of the ocean in the same tack....10 years sounds fine, but i see rigging failures before than 10 years, any rusty streak coming from a swage or togle is suspicous, micro cracks at swages, togles or mast tangs need to replaced, wire rigging dont fail without warning, normally a wire strand is the first warning, rod rigging fail without warning, just BANG!!!and dificult to inspect, saying that, if your rigging is not rusted, swages and terminals , togles etc are clean and no cracks evidences , maybe there is some life left in the rigging, if you dont know how old is the rigging , get a rigger surveyor... cheers...
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:36   #4
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
8 years on cruising yachts,though have crossed oceans with 15year old rigging on boats that never left the marina
Probably depends a lot upon the size of the boat. A larger boat puts more stress on the rigging.

I did almost two circumnavigations on the same standing rigging - always keeping an eye on everything. My view is the wire can be assessed visually at the connectors - in my case are sta-loks. Watching for corrosion and breakage of any of the strands is a sure fire sign the wire must be replaced. The first wire requiring replacement was the back stay, and I used an original that came with the boat when I bought her 19 years earlier.

This approach works best if you carry new wire aboard and use sta-loks or Norseman type fittings so you are independent of the rigger. Otherwise, the wire may fail before you reach some place with a rigger and can replace the bad wire. Also a good idea to keep old standing rigging aboard as an emergency back up.

Chainplates, tangs, turnbuckles and other plate type fittings can weaken or corrode internally and must be fluxed or x-rayed to find problems. However, there are probably only and hand full of sailors who actually have this type of examination performed.

I believe a certain amount of faith in the fittings is the norm... Maybe a bit of prayer too.
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Old 05-08-2013, 17:09   #5
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

Every time the mast falls down.
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Old 05-08-2013, 17:42   #6
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

I have never had a failure of a new piece of rigging.

I have seen pieces of rigging that have hardly been used split terminals (swages, top shelf maker) within 5 years - boat not in use. I think this represents an extreme case.

So my impression is:
- if your standing rigging is visually perfect and if you sail within reach of a rigger, use what you have and replace when worn,
- if you sail distances, replace critical pieces every 5 years or every 21,6k Nm,

REMEMBER the plates in the mast must at a point be renewed too!

Pull out the chainplates now and then and ispect them too.

b.
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:02   #7
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

question - who writes these "rules".

and are they always measured in years and not miles sailed (and sailed hard)?
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:07   #8
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

And, don't forget the bolts passing through the compression sleeves (the bolts holding the tangs at the spreaders). I had one break off at the nut while close hauled. It was at the mast head. I heard the "poink!", then the sound of the nut and washer hitting the deck. I looked up to see the masthead bending alee, and immediately tacked to take the pressure off the port side shroud. Later, anchored in the lee of the prevailing winds, I hammered out the remains of the compression bolt and sleeve, sent off to the mainland for a new bolt, and all went well. Fortunately, the compression sleeve wasn't galvanically "welded" to the bolt.
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:20   #9
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

If all salboats had at least two side stays on either side, two back stays, and two forestays, then the failure of one wouldnt be an immediate emerency. No/yes?
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:22   #10
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

Maintenance is the point and quality.... Lets say that after the first 5 years of use inspections and maintenance need to be more often, people sometimes forget to climb up there to check the gear or do any kind of preventive maintenance , a rust spot for so long in a togle can develop in a crack, even the end swage in forestays are hiden by the furler in many cases, dificult to check, but you right , a boat doing a RWT hard can get the rigging wrecked before the end of the final destination,,,
This is curious but wire swages can get a banana form before fail,, this is due to internal corrosion and swages out of alignment in relation to tangs or chainplates ...
I get in my boat a rigging schedule maintenance every 2 months, this include rinse with fresh water deck level fittings , check for cracks, polish the top fittings and a regular check for weird things , like last time i found a spinaker block with 2 micro cracks at the shackle...
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:24   #11
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrohr View Post
Every time the mast falls down.
I dont think you even need standing rigging,urban myth!
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:25   #12
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

Many do! But with two shrouds you face a similar issue except that you are left with a slightly longer stub.

BTW re age/miles: some (e.g. Navtec) quote years / miles. And very rightly so.

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Old 05-08-2013, 18:27   #13
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

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If all salboats had at least two side stays on either side, two back stays, and two forestays, then the failure of one wouldnt be an immediate emerency. No/yes?

yes and not, 2 forestays or a Solent rig can save the rig in case if one fail, lowers normally are not a problem if the guy at the helm is quick in changing course, depend of the rig and the design, double lowers are better in case one fail, uppers are a catastrophe if one fail ,,, 2 backstays are better but in many boats the ends at the top are linked in one single fitting , if this fitting break, the mast is compromised..
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Old 05-08-2013, 18:45   #14
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Re: How often should standing rigging be replaced?

If your mast is insured, then the frequency of replacement should be whatever the insurer specifies. You may well find that your insurer may be reluctant to pay out in the event of mast failure if the rigging is older than a certain age.

Insurance issues aside, I'd ideally aim to replace between 8 and 10 years, and wouldn't be comfortable going beyond 12. I have replaced my rigging in stages over a few years, so that I don't have to pay for the whole lot in one hit.
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Old 05-08-2013, 19:06   #15
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