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Old 03-12-2012, 15:34   #1
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Loosen standing rigging on the hard?

Should the standing rigging be eased when storing the boat mast up for the winter or extended period?

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Old 03-12-2012, 15:38   #2
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Yes

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Old 03-12-2012, 15:41   #3
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Re: Loosen standing rigging on the hard?

Why.

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Old 03-12-2012, 15:50   #4
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Why.

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The riging isn't going to be supporting any active loads so it reduces mast compression and strain. It only needs to be backed off a bit.

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Old 03-12-2012, 15:56   #5
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Re: Loosen standing rigging on the hard?

Is there a gizmo to use when you go to tighten them up again to ensure proper tension when in use?
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Old 03-12-2012, 17:47   #6
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Re: Loosen standing rigging on the hard?

Loos Gauges, the maker of the gizmo used to check tenstion in stays, recommends leaving the stay tension the same on the hard. The reason is that any hull that can take the dynamic loads of the rig while sailing, certainly can take the static loads while on the hard.

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Old 03-12-2012, 17:56   #7
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Re: Loosen standing rigging on the hard?

No, leave all the standing rigging as it is. Two reasons:

* Modern boats do not warp. They are very stiff. The mast doesn't care. And the static loads on rigging are tiny compared with the dynamic loads while sailing.

* I leave moderate loads on the backstay, runners and 3 forestays (!), with the rig slightly bending aft, to keep it from vibrating in high winds. Left loose it may rattle all winter which in my opinion would be far worse.

Do remove or run to the masthead all the halyards. Put the tails in a bag. Give those expensive lines a rest from the sun. But then I'm a nut. I take headsail of the furler and the main off the boom even for a short break.
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Old 03-12-2012, 18:06   #8
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According to my Seldan manual they recommend loosing tension off for the winter. I loosen off upper and lowers 2 turns exactly, makes readjustment not as difficult in spring. No back stay.
If maker says it is better and it is not hard, I do it.
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Old 03-12-2012, 18:06   #9
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Re: Loosen standing rigging on the hard?

Personally, I don't think it matters on a FG boat. On a wooden one I'd be concerned with it drying out and stressing the rig.

A lot of us northern boats pull the boat in the winter and some de-mast and some don't. So, until one hears of rigging going bad on the hard, I wouldn't worry.
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Old 03-12-2012, 18:23   #10
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A lot has to do with how big your stick is. Mine sticks 56' from wl. For that reason I don't take it down. It sits on the hard next to lake Erie for 5 months, lots of cold windy weather. By loosening shrouds you take off all the preload. Cradle is stiff so there is no sway. A little thing to to follow recommendations.
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Old 06-12-2012, 22:01   #11
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Re: Loosen standing rigging on the hard?

Ease the rake if you have one, other then that, if you're a cruiser, I wouldn't worry about it, but if you're into racing and winning, it might make sense to ease the tune for the winter.
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Old 06-12-2012, 22:31   #12
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Re: Loosen standing rigging on the hard?

It is really dependent on where you are. The lake boats in Alberta must slack their rig for winter storage as the shrouds, properly tensioned for sailing in hot summer weather are going to shrink considerably when stored at -40c. No need to stress the boat that much. If stored in Florida, why bother.
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:49   #13
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Re: Loosen standing rigging on the hard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Delay View Post
It is really dependent on where you are. The lake boats in Alberta must slack their rig for winter storage as the shrouds, properly tensioned for sailing in hot summer weather are going to shrink considerably when stored at -40c. No need to stress the boat that much. If stored in Florida, why bother.
Hmmm ... Dr. Science says the shrouds in Alberta's winter will loosen as the temperture drops. Unless the spar is wood or carbon fiber, then you are correct. Aluminium shrinkage is twice as fast as stainless steel. However there may be some other reason they are slackened in the winter.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:28   #14
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Re: Loosen standing rigging on the hard?

Finally, the correct answer!!
Usually it takes longer on this forum...

Let's review our high school science:

The aluminum mast contracts more than the steel rigging as temperature drops thereby loosening the rigging. The precise contraction length is obviously dependent on the overall length of the mast but in NO case is further loosening required.

The need to loosen the rigging is an urban myth - perpetuated here.

If you do, you only increase the movement of the mast during a winter layup causing potentially destructive stresses on the chainplates, cracking of the cold and rigid fiberglass and create the potential for incorrectly tightening the rigging in the warmer weather.


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Hmmm ... Dr. Science says the shrouds in Alberta's winter will loosen as the temperture drops. Unless the spar is wood or carbon fiber, then you are correct. Aluminium shrinkage is twice as fast as stainless steel. However there may be some other reason they are slackened in the winter.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:36   #15
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Best to take the rig down for the winter layup. Several years ago boats on each side of us rocked to the point of falling over in a winter storm. The jack stand went through the hull of one of them.
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