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Old 23-04-2014, 11:20   #1
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Standing Rigging

Several months ago, I purchased my first Albin Vega, which I'm refitting in hopes of crossing the pacific. The standing rigging being rusted and worn is the focus of my attention right now.


I'm looking to replace all the standing rigging with 6mil 316 series 1X19 stainless steel wire. The question I have is about the terminal connectors. I was originally hoping to use Sta-loks or Norsmen fittings because of there ease of use, reusability and strength, then I saw the price of them. Now that I'm considering alternatives, does anyone have any thoughts on the use of Nicropress sleeves for off shore use?


My original feeling on them was that there is to much load concentrated at the top of the "eye", rather then being spread out through the length of the wire, and the bend in the wire goes against it's design principal. I've seen other boats use this system however, and opinions seem to vary greatly.


Any other thoughts on "affordable" rigging is well appreciated
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Old 23-04-2014, 14:29   #2
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Re: standing rigging

Call John Frampta at Colligio Marine for a quote on Dynex rigging. 1/7 the weight, the same cost, and reparable anywhere.
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Old 23-04-2014, 14:54   #3
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Re: standing rigging

funny you should ask.

i owned an albin vega for five years. wonderful sailing boat. and exceedingly easy to work on or modify. i might still have it today except it had one problem that eventually drove me crazy and after five years i sold it; it has 5'10" standing headroom, and i need 5'11".

when i first got it the rigging was in sad shape. i could have had it done commercially for not a lot of money but decided to do it myself. i bought a nicopress tool (the little hand powered one that sells for about $60). at the suggestion of a rigger i bought, not 1X19 wire, but 7X19 wire, which is more flexible and can more easily negotiate the sharp turn around the thimbles. i bought it one size larger than the 1X9 had been.

it's not difficult. use TWO nicropress fittings for each terminal. when i sold the boat five years later they were still perfect. they have the advantage that water drains through them rather than sits inside them as in a swaged terminal.

and just as important. you will find that the 'chainplates' are really U-bolts. they're cheap to replace so replace them all, and beef up the underdeck nuts with heavy washers or plates. carry a spare U-bolt or three.

if you have any further questions about the boat please ask. i enjoyed owning it and sailing it and might still have one today if i could afford to keep one more boat....
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Old 23-04-2014, 20:20   #4
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Re: standing rigging

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
funny you should ask.

i owned an albin vega for five years. wonderful sailing boat. and exceedingly easy to work on or modify. i might still have it today except it had one problem that eventually drove me crazy and after five years i sold it; it has 5'10" standing headroom, and i need 5'11".

when i first got it the rigging was in sad shape. i could have had it done commercially for not a lot of money but decided to do it myself. i bought a nicopress tool (the little hand powered one that sells for about $60). at the suggestion of a rigger i bought, not 1X19 wire, but 7X19 wire, which is more flexible and can more easily negotiate the sharp turn around the thimbles. i bought it one size larger than the 1X9 had been.

it's not difficult. use TWO nicropress fittings for each terminal. when i sold the boat five years later they were still perfect. they have the advantage that water drains through them rather than sits inside them as in a swaged terminal.

and just as important. you will find that the 'chainplates' are really U-bolts. they're cheap to replace so replace them all, and beef up the underdeck nuts with heavy washers or plates. carry a spare U-bolt or three.

if you have any further questions about the boat please ask. i enjoyed owning it and sailing it and might still have one today if i could afford to keep one more boat....
Excellent advise and probably your least expensive option. Another option for a little more. Go with swage fittings on top and Sta-Loks on the bottom.
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Old 23-04-2014, 20:36   #5
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Re: standing rigging

The most affordable option is galvanized with nicopress fittings
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Old 23-04-2014, 20:38   #6
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Re: standing rigging

Having Sta-locs and spare cones allowed us to replace our broken headstay ourselves in Vanuatu. There are places where you will go where you would have to have the stuff shipped in, pre-cut and swaged if you went with the one end swage suggestion. That's not the best deal. Personally, I'd feel most secure with the Sta-locs or Norsemen.

However, I am not qualified to comment on the use of 7x7 for rigging. I am not sure going up one size from 1 x 19 is enough. I am also not sure the nicropress fittings would really be good in this application. I would have to talk to a reputable rigger about it.

Sourcing the Sta-locs or Norseman fittings may be easier in the US. Beware of counterfeit Norseman fittings from Asia. Knew a guy who only got a year out of some.

Good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 24-04-2014, 09:23   #7
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Re: standing rigging

.Use the search feature to look for posts on nicopress. This was argued out about a year ago, and the professional riggers went bananas about using nicopress on 1 by 19 wire. I had rerigged my Contessa 26 with 1 by 19, and nicopress, and never had any problem at all after 2 years in the Pacific, and about 9K miles. Many said how dangerous it was, or it could not be done on anything bigger than a dinghy, but then people started to chime in with boats around 30 foot that had been built by reputable yards in the 60s and 70s with nicopress rigs that were still good. GO FIGURE! If money were not a concern, I would go with staylocks or similar, but money always has some effect on our decisions. I would not go with galvanized to save money, simply because it is much rougher than SS, and will cost you more in sail care than you save in using it. The Vega is a great little boat, and should take you many miles. Does it still have the variable prop? Best of Luck. ______Grant.
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Old 24-04-2014, 09:39   #8
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Re: standing rigging

I just re-read this thread and remembered that in aviation, you use 2 nicopress sleeves and leave a small space between them. The 2 sleeves cant be touching. I would assume that boats would be the same. You also have to leave enough wire, so that there is a 1/2 diameter of wire sticking out after the sleeve is squeezed. If you bury the end of the wire in the sleeve, it presses the cut end against the wire that is under load, and can damage it. Sleeves lengthen when they are compressed, so if you go this way, practice on some old wire. Sleeves are cheep. ______Grant.
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Old 24-04-2014, 14:16   #9
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Re: standing rigging

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Does it still have the variable prop?
Grant, that variable prop was great when sailing - you could feather it and actually feel the boat pick up half a knot.

but it leaked like a sieve, and the only cure was to pull it all out and replace the o-rings, which didn't last very long. i was away for a few weeks and got a call from the marina telling me i was sinking and they had a pump on her. when i got back i removed the whole drive train from engine to prop. replaced it with a 71/2 hp outboard. got back all that space the engine and fuel tank used to occupy and made great storage out of it.

the only other problem i had in five years was weeping around the rudder shaft where it went through the hull. i found hairline cracks around the area. i lifted the boat out of the water and put a couple layers of glass around the shaft; end of problem.
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Old 24-04-2014, 16:03   #10
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Re: standing rigging

While there seem to be examples of successful use of Nico Press terminals on 1x19 wire, there are also examples where it failed.

Personal observation:

On our first cruise to Baja in 1986 we met a very low-bucks youngster on a 31 foot (IIRC) Horstman trimaran. He had done his standing rigging with Nicos and 1x19 s/s wire around thimbles. As he approached Cabo the lower terminal on a cap shroud failed and he lost the rig. He recovered the wreckage and motored all the way to La Paz where we all tried to help him recoup, 'cause he was a genuinely nice fellow. I inspected the ends of all the rest of the rigging. EVERY ONE had broken strands on the outside of the wire where it bent around the thimbles.

This example, possibly due to poor technique or some other individual circumstance rather than the general practice, is enough to steer me away from that method of termination. The cost of good terminals is substantial, but still greatly less than replacing a mast.

For me it is a no-brainer. YMMV.

Jim
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Old 24-04-2014, 16:07   #11
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Re: standing rigging

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Call John Frampta at Colligio Marine for a quote on Dynex rigging. 1/7 the weight, the same cost, and reparable anywhere.
I looked hard at synthetic when I replaced my rigging, and the Colligo was about double because I would have needed a bunch of expensive terminators to work with my mast connections. I ended up going with stainless from rigginonly, swaged on top and hi-mod fittings (reusable ferrules) on the bottom. My forestay had to be re-made locally due to a wonky harken-only fitting in the furler drum, and is swaged on both ends. I ended up right at $2K for oversized wire on a boat not a lot different than yours.

I've since added amsteel lifelines and a Dynex solent stay built with Colligo parts, and the stuff is just awesome to work with. If you don't need a ton of wonky fittings and have any interest in being able to make your own rigging with not much more than a pointy stick, it's definitely worth a look.

There's an Alberg 30 with Nicopress on SS across the way from me, and the stick's still in the air....
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Old 24-04-2014, 16:54   #12
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Re: standing rigging

If you have the time and (extreme) determination to learn the splice, The Complete Rigger's Apprentice by Brion Toss describes the strength and procedure of a metal splice. A splicing vice is required but that's a one time cost. Galvanized is less expensive so get quite a bit extra as the first few splices are practice/throw away.
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Old 24-04-2014, 16:58   #13
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Re: standing rigging

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Originally Posted by Dustymc View Post
I looked hard at synthetic when I replaced my rigging, and the Colligo was about double because I would have needed a bunch of expensive terminators to work with my mast connections. I ended up going with stainless from rigginonly, swaged on top and hi-mod fittings (reusable ferrules) on the bottom. My forestay had to be re-made locally due to a wonky harken-only fitting in the furler drum, and is swaged on both ends. I ended up right at $2K for oversized wire on a boat not a lot different than yours.

I've since added amsteel lifelines and a Dynex solent stay built with Colligo parts, and the stuff is just awesome to work with. If you don't need a ton of wonky fittings and have any interest in being able to make your own rigging with not much more than a pointy stick, it's definitely worth a look.

There's an Alberg 30 with Nicopress on SS across the way from me, and the stick's still in the air....
The real question here is the 1x19 vs. the 7 x 7, as the latter would go around the thimbles the best. Myself, I wouldn't want to chance it, even with doing the double Nicopresses, not touching. It is the vision of the broken wires that bothers me. YMMV. It's your mast.
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Old 24-04-2014, 19:08   #14
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Re: standing rigging

Dusty,

I have a Colligio system on my Tri, and it is flicking amazing. Just that switch alone saved something like 10 pounds up the mast, and makes it child's play to step the mast.


As for Nico fittings... Just don't. They aren't that much less than proper fittings, and they have a host of issues that can't be solved. It's the wrong tool for the job, and no amount of wishing they will work will change that.
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Old 24-04-2014, 20:16   #15
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Re: standing rigging

i'll be the first to admit that there are stronger methods for terminating rigging wire than nicopress fittings. but keep in mind we're talking a smaller and lighter boat. the albin vega weighs in at 5000 lbs. the mast isn't all that tall - maybe 30 to 35 feet. so it's easy - and not too expensive - to go up one wire size for added strength.

multistrand wire like 7x19 is very flexible. there are thimbles available that are egg shaped rather than round and permit a wider loop. i would suggest that nicopress terminals are easier to inspect then swaged or even stalok terminals.

having said that, my current boat is stalok all around. but it's four times as heavy as the vega. and i bought it that way.
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