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Old 25-01-2014, 19:49   #1
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Re Rigging with SS 7x7 with Nicopress

Hello I'm crewing on a Tom Colvin junk-rigged Doxy that needs to have its standing rigging re-done. The former rigging, now 38 years old, is 7x7 stainless with spliced soft eyes aloft around the mast and spliced thimbles where it meets the turnbuckles. Colvin in his books suggests 7x7 galvanized, painted with two part paint, and nicopressed swages. The captain wants to do 316 stainless 7x7 or 7x19, and nicopress eyes. I've read a bunch from books and the internet (including this forum) about nicopress fittings, most of the topics talk about how it's not appropriate to do for 1x19. I'm wondering what people's feelings are about copper or copper/zinc sleeves on stainless 7x7 or 7x19. There's a bunch of information saying it retains 100% breaking strength "when pressed correctly." I'm wondering if this pressing is done with the clamp tools, or with hydralics (if you can nicopress sleeves that way). I understand that spliced eyes are stronger, no one aboard knows how to splice wire or has the tools (plus I'm under the understanding you need to do them for quite a while before you can start trusting them). The boat is a 50ft junk rig schooner, so lower tension than a marconi. Would it be appropriate to use nicopress fittings to secure the eyes and thimbles? Why or why not? What other alternatives could work (take into consideration staylok etc won't work for the soft eye splices around the mast)? How do nicopresses commonly fail if they do? Thanks for all the information thus far and I look forward to the responses. -Steve
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Old 25-01-2014, 22:26   #2
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Re: Re Rigging with SS 7x7 with Nicopress

I rerigged my 26 footer with SS and used Nicopress sleeves. Had no trouble in 2 years in the tropics and about 9000 miles. On larger boats the reason it is not used is getting 1by19 wire around a thimble is almost impossible. On the size 7 by 7 wire you are going to use, I doubt you will have a problem, but check with your local (or internet) commercial riggers. I live in logging country, so Nicopressed fittings are pretty well known. An interesting note is that on my light airplane, the FAA regs say that you use a double sleeve and have a space between the sleeves after compression.In the boats that I have seen rigged with Nicopress double sleeves, I have only seen them squeezed up against each other. Larger sizes normally do use hydraulic machines to crimp. Talk to your local power company lineman, I believe they use the same sort of fittings. Do some more research, and I think you will be fine ____Grant.
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Old 26-01-2014, 10:03   #3
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Re: Re Rigging with SS 7x7 with Nicopress

I would seek professional advice on this, or read some Brion Toss. The soft eye thimbles and the baffling (to me) very low tension make this a special case. Why not keep it simple and use galvanized U-bolts on a long tail if the tension is that low? I assume the turnbuckles are of the open screw type (like old bronze Merrimans) and you tension as per the rig's requirements.

I also suspect that to swage using hand tools gets complex after 1/4" or perhaps 9/32" or so. I've seen a StayLok done by hand on a 1/4" forestay, and while quite successful, it was a fussy process that might have gone better with a press or a . I just missed being able to buy an old manual swager (the sweet spot between hand tools and a powered hydraulic swager) a year ago at a boat shop closing...I can really see it would be a handy thing to have with a load of Nico-Press fittings.
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Old 26-01-2014, 16:07   #4
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Re: Re Rigging with SS 7x7 with Nicopress

Thanks for the replies. Brion Toss did comment, as I posted this on the Spartalk forum as well. It does seem the soft eyes need splicing, for sure. I'm forwarding the replies to my captain and we'll see what she decides. Wire rope splicing is something I wish I could do competently. I'm not salty enough yet!
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Old 26-01-2014, 17:34   #5
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Re: Re Rigging with SS 7x7 with Nicopress

Shop carefully for the 7x7, good stuff is getting harder to find and makes a big difference. Rigging Only has a large stock of good 3/8" 302/304 and possibly larger size if you need them. Good 316 may be very difficult to source. I just went through this as I'm beginning to redo parts of my own rig this winter in Maine. I'm practicing in 3/8" which is sort of crazy because most of my rig is 5/16" or 1/4", but I have surplus 3/8", so 3/8" it is. Spend a day with a rigger who knows how to splice, get access to a vise that doesn't suck, read Toss, machine up a good marlinspike and make a bunch of practice splices. It is doable and as you can tell from your current rig, splices in quality wire will last longer than just about anything. Or you could pay a rigger to do up the splices for you. Trade a damn lot of time and blood for money, but where's the satisfaction in that?
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