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Old 01-02-2012, 04:19   #1
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Should standing rigging be regularly renewed ?

Hi,

The standing rigging on my 16' trailer sailer is at least 12 years old, and looks fine (no broken strands), but I am wondering if and when it should be renewed, to avoid an unexpected catastrophic failure. The wire ends are wrapped around a thimble, and secured by a copper swage. Is there a way of knowing when renewal is advisable for this type of fitting? Thank you in advance.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:23   #2
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed?

i'm nearly finished replacing my standing rigging - in my case because the old rig is gal i know it needs replacing by the extent of rust visible. im assuming your rig is stainless steel - two things i'd suggest 1. 12 years is getting pretty old so i'd be inspecting it closely for any signs of fatigue - broken strands is a good thing to look for as you mentioned 2. have a really close look around the swaging, s/s mainly fails from cavitation rust which forms where s/s cannot form its protective coating by being open to the air - any signs of rust discolouration at the edges of swage might be early warning of possible failure. hope some of the more expert members of the forum might be able to give more precise advice. cheers (see ya on the harbour sometime)
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:49   #3
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed?

Thanks, charliehows. Yes, my rigging is s/s. I will look carefully next to the swaging, as you suggest. A rigger has quoted me $AU275 to replace 2 shrouds and forestay (sight unseen), but I don't want to spend that if I don't have to. Hope you enjoy the summer, when it comes . . .
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:58   #4
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed?

Supposed to be replaced every 10 years. Since you trailer-sail, have a look at replacing with textile rigging (Dux/Dyneema type stuff)
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:02   #5
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed?

What you need to ask yourself is how much does a mast and sail cost. I have dropped masts on dinghys........it's cheaper to crimp some new wires than to buy a mast or sail or both.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:12   #6
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurie42 View Post
Thanks, charliehows. Yes, my rigging is s/s. I will look carefully next to the swaging, as you suggest. A rigger has quoted me $AU275 to replace 2 shrouds and forestay (sight unseen), but I don't want to spend that if I don't have to. Hope you enjoy the summer, when it comes . . .
sounds a bit steep $ - nobles (they do industrial lifting gear but a wires a wire) in silverwater might give you a better deal - i paid $60 per wire 8mm gal swaged and thimbled both ends for my 12m backstays, you wouldnt be using more than 4-5mm wire on a trailer sailer would you?
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Old 01-02-2012, 17:33   #7
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed?

I just rang Nobles and they quoted me $40 per rope, and they are just a few km from me. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 10-02-2012, 22:09   #8
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That seems pretty steep for just three wires. 12 years, they have done their duty, replace them. Some 5 mm Dynex Dux would be perfect for that size of boat. Ronstan makes some really nice thimbles that will work well with Dux. They are called Sailmakers thimbles and Are one piece thimble, very strong. Splice them up using a Brummell splice and at least 48 diameters burry and you are good to go. It is a easy splice to do and you can find the directions on the Internet. There are also You Tube videos showing you how to splice it up. Other than under furlers, wire is dead.
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Old 10-02-2012, 22:48   #9
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed?

The first ten years is worry-free. After that, you must worry.
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Old 11-02-2012, 18:44   #10
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed?

My impression is that the water you sail in has a lot to do with it, with hot conditions and brackish water the worst for preserving shrouds (i.e. Florida).

By contrast, I have 39 year old original rigging on my 33 footer in Lake Ontario. I think I'll give the boat a rerigging for its 40th birthday. Fresh water is kinder.

There are dye kits and the old "strong light and magnifying glass" method, but 12 years is a good run if you sail hard, so reset the rig's odometer and have peace of mind.
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Old 11-02-2012, 19:57   #11
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed?

Untill you find a broken strand or corrosion in the wire, cracks in the fittings & swedges, dont worry about it.
If anything shows up, it's time to replace the whole shooting match.
Check the wire with a magnifying glass at the fittings, take emery cloth and polish up the swage fittings, look for cracks and pitting. On a trailer sailor I wouldnt worry too much. Just check things out really good and make a determination based on what you find. My rigging on my Nimble 20 is vintage 1987 and still just fine but when I get some broken strands or cracked swedges, It all gets replaced with synthetic spectra or plasma.
I've replaced all my wire halyards on my 48'er with it and I love it!
I'm sure it wont last as long as wire but you cant tell untill you try it - it's too new to know. Each boat is different - what might last for years on one boat wont last a month on another.
I seen wire that was still good after 20 or so years and I also seen brand new wire fail after a short season
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Old 11-02-2012, 20:18   #12
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamif27 View Post
Supposed to be replaced every 10 years. Since you trailer-sail, have a look at replacing with textile rigging (Dux/Dyneema type stuff)
I just renewed my insurance and the company has bumped the standing rigging age limit to 15 years before it needs inspection and possible replacement. Like that. But still you need to personally inspect the wire to see if any are bent, kinked, or broken - especially on a "trailer-sailor" with removable mast for transport. Easiest way is to run your bare hand up and down the wires. If you notice blood dripping from your hand look for the broken strands ("meathooks") and replace that piece of wire.
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Old 11-02-2012, 21:02   #13
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed?

The OP said he has oval copper sleeves otherwise known as nicopress sleeves, not swages.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:56   #14
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurie42 View Post
Hi,

The standing rigging on my 16' trailer sailer is at least 12 years old, and looks fine (no broken strands), but I am wondering if and when it should be renewed, to avoid an unexpected catastrophic failure. The wire ends are wrapped around a thimble, and secured by a copper swage. Is there a way of knowing when renewal is advisable for this type of fitting? Thank you in advance.
10 years is a good benchmark as there is no guaranteed way to know 100% for sure (albeit, as mentioned already, ways to give a better indication than simple inspection - but IMO not really appropriate in this case as likely cost as much as a simple replacement).

But on the basis that you are not voyaging around Cape Horn (??!) and likely little more than bay sailing (nothing wrong with that).....I wouldn't bother unless there are signs of problems (apart from visual insection, running hand around the fittings / terminals will quickly tell if any frayed or broken wires - ouch!).....and even then I might well only fix what is broken / breaking.

Having said that, my main questions (to self) would be "what would I do if mast fell down?!" and "how serious would that be?".....the answers would very much depend on where and how the boat was used and also the appetite for risk / competency of the Skipper (with a touch of preparedness).

Of course don't blame me if you end up drifting off to Antartica .
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:41   #15
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Re: Should standing rigging be regularly renewed ?

Many thanks to everyone who has weighed in to this thread, answering my question - I have read all your posts carefully. I have to say the advice I am getting is rather varied, but "replace every 10 years" crops up fairly often.

In answer to David_Old_Jersey and others who talk about the risks involved, my mast is attached to the cabin roof via a pretty solid pin, transverse to the boat's length. Sure, I am only lake/bay sailing but if a shroud parted, I imagine the mast would take a chunk of the cabin with it as it went over the side. This is the picture which prompted the original post . . .
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