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Old 19-12-2018, 22:26   #1
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Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

We are getting a new boom on our six year old Jeanneau 469. When we went to prep the rig in anticipation of the crane showing up to remove the mast, one of the first things we tried to do was to loosen the turnbuckles for the main shrouds. Simple idea, execution not so much. Two crescent wrenches, one held by each of us, produced nothing so we blocked one agains the toerail and were both pushing on the other for all we were worth. Still nothing. Larger wrench, same result. Long story short, with heat, lube and a few choice words (sailors are good at that) the things came off but only after the finish had been ground off the outside and the threads had become separated from the main body. The pix tell the story.

The boat has been in charter from splash until just recently so there has been a professional crew doing maintenance on it. They have regularly checked the rig but have not, as far as I am aware, unscrewed and lubed the turnbuckles.

So the thing is apart, the mast is at the shop and everything is cool except that I am hoping for some guidance on what to do so this doesn't happen again. As I see it, there are three possibilities: 1. Defective equipment; 2. Defective original installation; or 3. Poor maintenance. Any suggestions about which of these possibilities is probable and what to do to make sure we can actually adjust shroud tension if we need to in the future?
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Old 19-12-2018, 22:37   #2
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

The threads may have been galled by improper adjustment in service. There was a good article in Good Old Boat Magazine earlier this year ("Forestalling Galling"). Many factors, including:
* Threads should be scrupulously cleaned before adjustment and when greased. Polish the stainless part. Very important. It is corrosion and oxide layers that usually cause the galling.
* Lubricate, of course. Many possibilities. Tefgel is good.
* Adjust very slowly. They build heat FAST. They may have been damaged on the first go. A rigger should never turn them quickly with a wrench. It should take 10-15 seconds per turn. Yes, that slow.
* Take pressure off them (sailing or a halyard to the rail) before adjusting if practical.
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Old 19-12-2018, 22:41   #3
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

Thanks! Just the kind of stuff I was hoping to get.
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Old 19-12-2018, 23:33   #4
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

What Thinwater said plus 1!
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Old 20-12-2018, 05:27   #5
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

Lube lube lube lube......and all of the other stuff above
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Old 20-12-2018, 05:47   #6
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

It appears that you have the closed barrel turnbuckles, I assume you will be replacing all of the bodies with the open type? I just helped my son do exactly that in Annapolis this fall.

Fortunately Fawcetts store seems to carry just about everything you could possibly need and they offer great advice as well.



New open bodies, regularly cleaned and lubed should take care of the problem.

Good Luck
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Old 23-12-2018, 09:12   #7
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

I just re-rigged our entire boat this year and like others said, lube is critical. One thing I noticed before tackling this project was the cotter pin holes in our swaged wire studs and t-toggles were drilled through the threaded part of the studs (presumably after assembly) which created a tiny burr around the holes. The studs (stainless) would thusly chew up the threads in the turnbuckle bodies (bronze) upon removal (even after I lubed the heck out of them). I ended up having to replace all of the turnbuckles and wire hardware, and I specifically chose Hayn hardware for the replacements because the holes for the cotter pins are drilled through the un-threaded portion at the tips of the studs.

Old vs. New:
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Old 23-12-2018, 09:57   #8
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

It was pointed out to me recently by a professional rigger that the "cotter pin holes" are not for cotter pins. In fact they are threaded and the purpose is to screw a properly sized bolt in there. According to him the turnbuckles will never turn, but the thread can let go; In that case the bolt will prevent the male part from being pulled out.
I checked the hole and indeed the inside is threaded! I admit I still have to put the bolts in.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 23-12-2018, 10:05   #9
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailormed View Post
It was pointed out to me recently by a professional rigger that the "cotter pin holes" are not for cotter pins. In fact they are threaded and the purpose is to screw a properly sized bolt in there. According to him the turnbuckles will never turn, but the thread can let go; In that case the bolt will prevent the male part from being pulled out.
I checked the hole and indeed the inside is threaded! I admit I still have to put the bolts in.
Just my 2 cents.
I think your rigger was "pulling one over on you" I've never yet seen a threaded cotter pin hole in a turnbuckle. Even if they were, the only thing that would fit would be something like a 2 sized machine screw which would not be strong enough to stop s stripped stud from pulling through. Cotter pins are what fits in. No bolts.

Turnbuckles can turn regularly without being secured... cyclical loading will get them to turn a bit.
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Old 23-12-2018, 12:45   #10
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

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Originally Posted by pcmm View Post
Turnbuckles can turn regularly without being secured... cyclical loading will get them to turn a bit.
While I was in the slip, one came clean out when it unscrewed all the way. I found the shroud drifting in the breeze.
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Old 23-12-2018, 13:51   #11
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

Your turnbuckles are all stainless I assume. They galled which wouldn't have happened if they'd used 'Never Seize' lubrication in assembly. Galling is very tricky to feel and irregular in when it happens. Installed more than 50 all stainless Norseman terminals without lubricant, and never an issue with galling. Norseman didn't recommend using lubricant for installing the terminals. When I redid the headstay, one of the Norsemans galled. There was almost no warning the fitting threads were galling. Just a slight increase in leverage needed to screw the terminal together and within a 1/2 turn things locked up solid. Took two of us with huge wrenches to get the pieces apart. Bought another terminal and installed with 'Never Seize' without a problem. Now use 'Never Seize' on any stainless to stainless threads on the boat. https://www.amazon.com/Never-Seez-NS...38157122&psc=1
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Old 23-12-2018, 13:58   #12
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

The "cotter pin holes" in my turnbuckles are threaded and have small machine screws installed. Sailormed's rigger is right.
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Old 23-12-2018, 14:41   #13
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Re: Stuck Shroud Turnbuckles

The turnbukes that Seldon supplied for our Pdq had a plastic piece the slid over the bottom of the thread and when you lined up the threaded hole you used a a set screw to retain everything. It was a PIA to use so now I use heavy rings through the holes .
As far as not turning when tighted , in the spring when I put the mast up the rings are always centred in the fall they are always rotated until the ring does its job.
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