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Old 08-09-2016, 09:29   #1
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Spinnaker rigging: what to expect on delivery?

I have quite a complex, messed up problem and would appreciate some opinion.

We have bought a used Beneteau Sense 43 from a Spanish Beneteau dealer. Part of the purchase contract was fitting the boat with a spinnaker rigging, because we intend to use the boat with a Parasailor downwind sail.

The contract specifically said
- asymmetric spinnaker rigging and Code 0
- spinnaker fitting
- 2nd stem roller stainless steel bobstay

Got the boat delivered with all the extras agreed in the contract, including the spinnaker rigging.
Recently started using our new Parasailor Spinnaker. Used it for about 10 hours in light winds (max 15 knots). Then the spinnaker halyard broke, and the boat ran over the sail. Were able to salvage the damaged sail, sent it back to vendor for damage assessment.

The halyard broke because below the exit hole on top of the mast there was no swiveling block installed. The halyard chafed badly when we flew the sail on the side and finally broke.

However, the Seldén expert who helped us after the incident (and installed the missing block) confirmed to us in writing that such a block was a crucial necessity when fitting a Spinnaker rigging.

The next party involved is a professional yachting consulting who was hired by us to perform a rig check on the boat before we took her for the cruise.
I have a checklist from him stating that everything (including the Spinnaker rigging) is OK. He did not see the problem.

Finally, our own stupid mistake was that we did not familiarize ourselves with the exact necessities of a spinnaker rigging. We thought that a) the Beneteau vendor would install the component correctly and that b) the consultant would catch any problems our rig might have.
Learned a lesson, hard. Don't ever trust other people. Verify yourself, even if that means that you have to learn every single aspect of your boat.

We nicely contacted our Beneteau vendor, stated the problem and indicated that we consider the problem to originate from incomplete installation of the rigging.
However, the Beneteau vendor is refusing to accept any responsibility. They claim that a swiveling block is not a part of the Beneteau spinnaker rigging (without proving this). And that they cannot be held liable for this problem. They agree that "it might be better to have a swiveling block below the outlet".

I then tried to contact Beneteau itself (very difficult to get in touch with them) and ask a simple question: what do I get if I order a Spinnaker Rigging on a new Beneteau Yacht? Does it include a swiveling block below the outlet?
Their answer came after several reminders and did not provide useful information. Beneteau told me that running a Parasailor "is not recommended" and that I am responsible to make sure that the rigging is appropriate if I choose to do so.
They did not answer if a swiveling block is part of a spinnaker rigging.

Now, I could also file the damage with our insurance, but the amount retained plus increased yearly cost due to the damage do not make this look attractive.

Finally, I could also get back to my consultant. He did not see the problem with the Spinnaker Rig and testified that everything is OK. However, he is the guy I like the most in all this messed up situation. He has done a good job helping us with other things and probably simply overlooked the missing component.

Now it looks very much like we will be the idiots paying for a badly installed component on the boat.

Does anybody have any official documentation on what is delivered by Beneteau if I order a Spinnaker Rigging on a new sailing yacht?
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:56   #2
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Re: Spinnaker rigging: what to expect on delivery?

For a spinnaker (symmetric or asymmetric), there is an absolute need for a device to avoid halyard chafe. A swivelling block is one potential solution, but there are other solutions.
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:03   #3
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Re: Spinnaker rigging: what to expect on delivery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Numawan View Post
For a spinnaker (symmetric or asymmetric), there is an absolute need for a device to avoid halyard chafe. A swivelling block is one potential solution, but there are other solutions.
Yes, now I know - as everybody else involved in this particular mess probably as well.

However, some bill of material or a specific document describing exactly what the company Beneteau would install on a new Beneteau yacht (if one orders a Spinnaker Rigging) would be extremely helpful in persuading my vendor to accept responsibility.

If anyone has something like this - this would really help.
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:07   #4
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Re: Spinnaker rigging: what to expect on delivery?

I'm not sure why using a parasailor changes anything in the discussion. Does it exert different forces on the haylards than a standard spinnaker with a sock?

My guess is when you bring up the parasailor, everyone is trying to avoid responsibility because they know it is expensive.

The bloke you like so much? As him straight if he missed the swivel block.
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:08   #5
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Re: Spinnaker rigging: what to expect on delivery?

Agree
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Old 09-09-2016, 13:19   #6
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Re: Spinnaker rigging: what to expect on delivery?

I had the same issue on my Beneteau 46. The halyard was run through a ring above the headstay and up to the masthead block to head inside the mast.
In my case, it did not chafe but the line heated up and broke as the stretch of the 50 feet in the mast down to the sheet stopper caused the line to move in and out 4 or 5 inches across the ring, while heavily loaded (It was a full chute and the winds were 15 plus). You could see the burn marks on the broken line. I replaced the halyard with a better line and put a block on the eye, this has solved the issue.

All I can figure is the "standard" spin gear is designed for use in light winds, but is not a real solution if you are going to really use the sail. I see this base set up on most of the cruising Beneteau's I look at in the harbor, so I think is the standard practice, and most people never set the chute, so it works fine :-)

Clearly, the set up is a very poor design, and can not support any real loads, but it does seem to be the standard approach, or at least I received the same basic setup from my dealer in Chicago.
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Old 09-09-2016, 13:34   #7
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Re: Spinnaker rigging: what to expect on delivery?

I'm having a hard time envisioning the block on the mast at the exit point of the halyard from the mast. A typical swivel block wouldn't seem to be able to prevent sideways chafe inducing movement of the line against the exit slot. A block with rollers fitted into or bracketed to the mast slot would do that but have't seen such a beast in my limited experience. Interesting that there would be enough stretch in the line to cause chafe through if a simple ring was used. Guess that would be justification of low/no stretch spinnaker halyard.

Any chance someone could post a picture of this block or point me to a website that illustrates it.

The OP's dilemma seems to stem from a poorly written specification for the spinnaker equipment. If that block is not normally supplied, the spinnaker gear installation seems to have been met.
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Old 09-09-2016, 14:58   #8
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Re: Spinnaker rigging: what to expect on delivery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
I'm having a hard time envisioning the block on the mast at the exit point of the halyard from the mast. A typical swivel block wouldn't seem to be able to prevent sideways chafe inducing movement of the line against the exit slot. A block with rollers fitted into or bracketed to the mast slot would do that but have't seen such a beast in my limited experience. Interesting that there would be enough stretch in the line to cause chafe through if a simple ring was used. Guess that would be justification of low/no stretch spinnaker halyard.
I am attaching an image taken from the outlet of the spinnaker halyard taken after the incident. The line directly exited here - and chafed at the side of the block. You can see some chafing traces on the side of the black plastic.

On the second image a possible variant for redirection of the line downward through a ring is shown. On our mast there is a fitting prepared below the exit which we used for attaching a swiveling block, the function of the block is essentially identical to the simple in the image.

Quote:
The OP's dilemma seems to stem from a poorly written specification for the spinnaker equipment. If that block is not normally supplied, the spinnaker gear installation seems to have been met.
Looks very much like it. The previous post seems to confirm that Beneteau does not deliver this block or ring to prevent chafe. A very disturbing thought.
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Old 09-09-2016, 15:06   #9
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Re: Spinnaker rigging: what to expect on delivery?

I think what you are referring to is a masthead spinnaker bail... But they are not required on all boats. I am pretty sure you have a Z-Spar mast so you might want to check with them to see if yours was supposed to have a bail or not.

At this point I am really not prepared to say that anyone was negligent. Sometimes halyards just chaff thru. The first step is to find what it was chaffing on and take a super fine metal file to it and remove the metal burr.

Edit: I was typing at the same time as the above post...

In this case yes it should have been installed. That plastic sheath is not designed to take the side loads. But this is not a standard setup, on many boats that plastic part is a smooth stainless guide and the line is ok resting on it.
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Old 09-09-2016, 15:36   #10
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Re: Spinnaker rigging: what to expect on delivery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I think what you are referring to is a masthead spinnaker bail... But they are not required on all boats. I am pretty sure you have a Z-Spar mast so you might want to check with them to see if yours was supposed to have a bail or not.

At this point I am really not prepared to say that anyone was negligent. Sometimes halyards just chaff thru. The first step is to find what it was chaffing on and take a super fine metal file to it and remove the metal burr.
Yes, looks like a masthead spinnaker bail. Did not know that term.

The mast is a Seldén Section C245/127, attached image is taken from the catalogue, showing the spinnaker bail.

When I was up the mast and took the photo I thoroughly tested the outlet for any sharp edges. It was feeling smooth. Also tested the inside (as far as my finger would reach in) - no problem found.
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