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Old 04-05-2009, 21:21   #1
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Rig Tension for Wooden Boats

I have a wooden Ketch with spruce mast and both are keel stepped. What is the propper tension for the upper and lower shrouds and forstay and backstays? Thanks in advance

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Old 06-05-2009, 20:42   #2
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I have moved this post to the rigging section to see if we can get one of our many experts to give it a shot.

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Old 07-05-2009, 04:46   #3
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Just bought a boat with wooden masts. First experience with wooden masts, except on the gaff rigged boats I've sailed. For aluminium masts, as well as for wooden masts, you should never ever be able to see slack in the shrouds on the leeward side. You should ofcaurse be able to feel the slack, but no matter how hard you sail her, slack shouldn't be visible. If you see the shrouds hang and swing from side to side, they are too loose. Still, tension on a wooden rig should be a little less than for the same type of aluminium rig. Don't worry though. You won't be able to break anything by using regular hand tools.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:19   #4
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Typically, tension the cap shrouds and back-stay to about 15-20% of the breaking strength of the wire.

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Old 07-05-2009, 08:31   #5
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I have a 55 year old wooden boat so I read a lot of old books. Most recommend that you tension your rig by sailing, sighting up the mast, and adjusting it as necessary to obtain the desired set of your mast. Set it no tighter than necessary to keep your mast straight. I've raced with guys, on plastic boats, that kept their rigs tuned to about a mandolin pitch. One guy had to take the door to the head off as it wouldn't open and close do to the stress on the hull. You do that with your wooden boat & you'll shove your stick thru the bottom. Also, slack your rig if it's going to sit for an extended period.
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Old 01-06-2009, 23:21   #6
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Keelboats has it right. Wood boats aren't strung as tight as plastic ones.

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