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Old 25-04-2011, 12:12   #1
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To Replace Rigging or Not (Yet)

The standing rigging on my newly aquired old boat is from 2001, so it's getting on in years, and I'm wondering whether it's time yet to replace it or not, as I'm planning on some longer trips this season (Finland to the UK very likely).

Cosmetically, the rigging looks good, even great, but of course, one never knows what lurks below the surface.

Here are some shots of the forestay, which is representative of the lot:






How does one know it is likely time to replace a stay?
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Old 25-04-2011, 12:42   #2
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Re: To replace rigging or not (yet)... that is the question...

Broken strands are never good...one, maybe 2 aren't a huge deal unless you are shoving off for the deep and beyond.

Dye penetrant will show stress cracks in the fitting...maybe a local machine shop can check for you if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself.

10 year old rigging isn't old yet...but does need to be inspected and evaluated by someone in the know...any oldtimes around that can give you a hand?
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Old 25-04-2011, 14:53   #3
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Broken wire strands, even one mandate the replacement of the wire completely mo mater the type of wire.

I recommend contacting the rigging wire manufacturer - they will explain it to you. Better than getting answers from folks that don't know the correct answer. If you can't get a hold of a wire rope manufacturer, contact a rigger.

Ross
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Old 25-04-2011, 15:15   #4
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Re: To replace rigging or not (yet)... that is the question...

10 years is as far as I'd go with your "primary" standard rigging. Forestay, backstay, upper shrouds. Chain plate inspection / replacement.

The other stuff (whisker stays, lower shrouds, etc) can go a long time. Some of those on our boat are over 35 years and while should be replaced are not exactly under critical loads and still look fine.

Inspect everything, replace the big ones on schedule, replace the little ones when they look bad.

Remember too that "replacing everything" isn't necessarily all that great. Everything else being equal, a bad three week old swage fitting is worse than a good one that's thirty year's old.
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Old 25-04-2011, 15:28   #5
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Re: To replace rigging or not (yet)... that is the question...

Factor in your insurer. Depending on insurance companies, they may become relucatant to insure your mast and rigging when the shrouds and stays reach a certain age (typically 10 years). Some may continue to insure with a positive survey from a certified mast surveyor. Others may require replacement.
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Old 25-04-2011, 15:36   #6
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Re: To replace rigging or not (yet)... that is the question...

You know this age thing means nothing! 10 years could mean only in the summer, 2 days a month. Or it could be 5 days a week for a full year. How is the boat sailed, hard with full sails till you drop a load, or reefed at 15 knots wind?

How many miles has the boat been sailed?

Get someone to inspect the rigging. No reason to just replace it.
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Old 25-04-2011, 15:36   #7
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Re: To replace rigging or not (yet)... that is the question...

We have just replaced our 10 year old rigging. You are going across the North Sea, hmm, think I would replace it now rather than trying to get another couple of years out of it, especially if that's the forestay so the mast is down already. That was a big chunk of our costs.

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Old 26-04-2011, 06:29   #8
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Re: To Replace Rigging or Not (Yet)...

If you replace it.....................

Have a look at Dynex Dux synthetic rigging. I have been researching this for some time and am contemplating the change myself.

If you decide to go that route we would all be curious as to the result and your opinions.

S
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Old 26-04-2011, 07:53   #9
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Re: To Replace Rigging or Not (Yet)...

The North Sea ? Have an experienced rigger check it or replace it. The North Sea is no place to have questionable equipment.
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Old 26-04-2011, 08:09   #10
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Re: To Replace Rigging or Not (Yet)...

Mine is a 2003 47 foot cat and i have just replaced all the standing rigging.We have 3 kids and are off to circumnavigate.I know the feeling when the wind is blowing 25 and all your canvas is up and you say" i hope the rigging is all good "
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Old 26-04-2011, 20:27   #11
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Re: To Replace Rigging or Not (Yet)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris smith View Post
Mine is a 2003 47 foot cat and i have just replaced all the standing rigging.We have 3 kids and are off to circumnavigate.I know the feeling when the wind is blowing 25 55 and all your canvas is up and you say" i hope the rigging is all good "
Edited for technical accuracy
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Old 26-04-2011, 20:36   #12
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pirate Re: To Replace Rigging or Not ( Yet )

If you've got to come here and ask a bunch of allegedly experienced sailors (including me) then theres a doubt in your own mind...
Replace it... the peace of mind you'll gain in a North Sea gale will be worth 1000 times the cost...
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Old 26-04-2011, 21:11   #13
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Re: To Replace Rigging or Not ( Yet )

Edited for technical accuracy ....I have 450 square feet of canvas in my main and genoa.When the wind is up to 25knts and more and i still have all my canvas up...the thought of my 8 year old forestay's integrity does cross my mind.At 55 knts , its all over
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Old 26-04-2011, 22:44   #14
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Re: To Replace Rigging or Not ( Yet )

Replacing rigging is not particularly expensive considering other costs on boat. Particularly if it can be done without unstepping the mast. ie do one at a time using halyards to hold the stick up. Of course it is severely more expensive if you get someone else to make it all up and fit it. So it really depends on ones skill level as to the cost.

However, sailing from finland to the UK with questionable rigging is somewhat questionable in itself. You may have a 95% chance of making it without a problem. But if something gives, its going to be during a north sea blow and it has the potential to cost the life of the mast at the very least. I would happily go bay sailing with ten year old rigging. But I wouldnt choose to do a blue water cruise with it. Others will argue otherwise of course, but having lost two masts in the last 30 years, I would rather climb into my bunk knowing that all is well up top.
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Old 26-04-2011, 23:25   #15
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Re: To replace rigging or not (yet)... that is the question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Broken strands are never good...one, maybe 2 aren't a huge deal unless you are shoving off for the deep and beyond.
This is entirely contrary to what I've been taught. One broken strand should be taken as a sign that it's time to replace not only the individual stay or shroud, but all the standing rigging. Indeed, I would go as far as to say that once the point has come where a strand breaks, you've waited too long.
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