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Old 05-09-2010, 09:41   #1
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Redundant Standing Rigging

I like the idea that if any stay, turnbuckle, or chainplate fails, the mast would stay even with sails up. This might not be entirely possible, but there are ways to increase the odds. I currently have a very standard rig of 1 forestay, 1 backstay, 2 uppers and 4 lowers. I have the following ideas for improvement:

1. Install U bolt behind forward chainplate. This must be well reinforced to the hull, and would allow the bottom of sails to attach here. This way if the chainplate fails (from ramming something maybe) it would have a backup. If the forestay or turnbuckle fails the halyard is backup (already the case). Is there a better solution to this?

2. Install two backstays. I have read about this a bit.. the basic disadvantages are, extra windage, weight, and cost as well as being harder to tune the rig. The advantage is redundancy since if one fails, the mast likely stays up (although might be loose). Are there any other real disadvantages? Anyone have a rig like this and tune it? Should the stays be placed as wide as possible, or would it be best to space them close so when one breaks you don't loose too much tension?

As for the shrouds.. loosing a lower should be ok, but the uppers are not redundant.. any way to improve this?
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:49   #2
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Before I started my circumnavigation, I put up running backstays to back up the cap shrouds. That way if I lost the shrouds, the mast would survive.

During the circumnavigation (which took eleven years) I had to replace every piece of rigging at least once except for the cap shrouds. I don't know if the running backstays took the strain off the shrouds, or if it was coincidence that the shrouds were the only rigging that suvived the entire trip.

Regardless, I feel better crossing the Pacific or Indian Ocean with running backstays to push the odds in my favor.
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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