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Old 22-12-2015, 20:10   #1
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Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

Seeking some thoughts on replacing the standing rig. My recently acquired Skookum 47 has the original rig. Hull and deck were completed in 1982, but the boat was owner finished and not launched until around 1990. 2nd owner bought her in 2001 with 300 hours on the engine, so she was lightly used up to that point. 2nd owner sailed her as far south as Ecuador and then back up to Mexico (Guaymas) where she's been ever since. She's been on the hard since 2007. I personally know the 2nd owner and crewed aboard for 6 months. He treated her right and never pushed her hard.

Chainplates and turnbuckles are cast bronze and holding up just fine. All terminals are swaged. I've inspected all of them, top and bottom, and they look to be sound. No rust or broken strands. If I replace, I am going with Sta-Lock style and 316 SS Wire. I can do it in the yard myself. I've done it before and didn't find it to be that difficult.

My concern is that metal fatigues, whether in use or not. The climate down there is hot, but for the most part it's dry and sunny. I am of the mind to splash and sail her.

Thoughts?
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Old 22-12-2015, 21:02   #2
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

Hmmm--11 years with the first owner, 6 years with the second, 8 years on the hard. Stess corrosion happens even on the hard, and happens faster in hotter places

If it were my boat I'd replace the rigging.
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Old 22-12-2015, 22:35   #3
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

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Hmmm--1 Stess corrosion happens faster in hotter places
Where did you get that? Why would storing a boat in the desert make stainless corrode? And what is "stress corrosion"anyway?
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Old 22-12-2015, 23:08   #4
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

Stress corrosion in stainless steel is due to exposure to chlorides (salt)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_corrosion_cracking

In chemistry 1A they teach you that the rate of a chemical reaction follows the Arrhenius equation. A very rough approximation is that rates double every 10 degrees C, but its more complicated than that.
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Old 23-12-2015, 08:54   #5
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

First, I will caveat my response by saying that I am heavily swayed by the fact that I was recently dismasted. My rig was the original rig and the boat has been used in a combination of fresh and sea water. It is 18 years old, and I had recently had the rig visually inspected by a very competent and respected rigger. Something failed on the forestay near the top of the mast. I don't know exactly what or where, as its now at the bottom of the gulf.

So my advise would be to replace the standing rigging - its time, and cheaper in the long-run.
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Old 23-12-2015, 09:13   #6
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

My rule of thumb is, 'If you think you might need to replace it, REPLACE IT!"
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Old 23-12-2015, 09:13   #7
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

THANK YOU FOR THIS QUESTION! I was in this same dilemma. Stress corrosion never crossed my mind. My mast is down and it is a good time to replace all the $$$$ rigging.
As it is said "there is no replacement for experience"!

Merry Christmas!
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Old 23-12-2015, 09:20   #8
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

Anything bronze will last forever. We use to change our standing rig's shrouds and stays every 10 years regardless in order to feel secure when sailing off shore. Good idea you have to go to stay lock or norsemen fittings. Be sure to also put in lots of glop when your tightening the terminal fittings to keep water out asmuch as possible.
We had norsemen that lasted 40 years before we sold the boat; probably still on the boat. They can be reused many times. Never liked the old aircraft style fittings. The compression will tend to cause strands to break.
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Old 23-12-2015, 09:34   #9
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

I think this depends on what the boat is doing. If she is sitting in the marina, no reason to change anything.

http://nebula.wsimg.com/08a64b52c701...&alloworigin=1

And the rest is up to you.

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Old 23-12-2015, 11:19   #10
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

I don't know what the policy of the American insurance companies is, but in Europe, or more specifically, in the British Isles, they insist on the standing rigging being renewed every ten years. If you can't prove that you've done it your rig is not covered. Personally I would not put to sea with a rig older than 10 years.
To the comments that a rig has been inspected and looks perfect to an experienced rigger, I bet that the same rigger will tell you that fatigue in fittings and wire can remain hidden until they suddenly break.
To the comment that an inactive boat will have much less stress on the rigging, I would say that the wind and wave/wake motion are affecting your rig 24/7, whether you sail the boat or not.
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Old 23-12-2015, 11:48   #11
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

While the boat has been on the hard for a few years, it was sailed in tropical (warm) salt waters previously. That shortens rigging life considerably compared to cooler climates. My rigger (in B.C.) says that around here rigging should last 15 years plus - cold water and lots of rain, but in the tropics cut that to 7 years. I would certainly change it. I suggest you look at Hayn mechanical fittings. Easier to use than Sta-Lok. Norseman, according to the distributor here, is gone.

Your turnbuckles are forged I hope, not cast. If in good condition they can be re-used.
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Old 23-12-2015, 12:00   #12
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

Stainless wires do rot over time when exposed to the elements.Crevice corrosion, Lack of air disintegration, stress corrosion, and old fashion fatigue. Wind, waves, storms,rain,and dirt will do in stainless. Galvanized rope actually a lot better and longer lasting since its flexible, and once tarred and parceled, can last twenty or more years. Stainless rots from the inside; Galvanized from the outside. Stainless can and does work harden, galvanized will not to any appreciable degree. Stainless looks nice; galvanized does not. Looks trump practicality and safety(always).
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Old 23-12-2015, 12:05   #13
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Anything bronze will last forever. We use to change our standing rig's shrouds and stays every 10 years regardless in order to feel secure when sailing off shore. Good idea you have to go to stay lock or norsemen fittings. Be sure to also put in lots of glop when your tightening the terminal fittings to keep water out asmuch as possible.
We had norsemen that lasted 40 years before we sold the boat; probably still on the boat. They can be reused many times. Never liked the old aircraft style fittings. The compression will tend to cause strands to break.
I've had bronze part failures on my old Alberg -- the gooseneck and most of the bronze bolts. So it isn't a miracle material.

Try finding the right cones to re-use Norsemen fittings. They are no longer being made, making the fittings pretty useless. I will be removing them from my rig and replacing with good old fashion swages. Less expensive and easy to get.
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Old 23-12-2015, 12:09   #14
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

Most cruising folks we knew were switching to stay lock years ago. Your proposed rigging will work. Not the best for long distance sailing. Certainly good enough for club races and weekend puttering.
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Old 23-12-2015, 12:16   #15
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Re: Still Standing - To Rig or Not To Rig

"If it aint broke, don't fix it."

No, wait.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

No, wait.

"You can pay me now or you can pay me later."

The adage score is 2-1: change the rigging now.

The boat in the next slip de-masted while at the slip, and damaged my boat! Of all the bloody luck.
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