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Old 22-01-2016, 09:47   #16
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Re: When is rigging too big?

Read 'The Rigger'a Apprentice' by Brisn Toss. Excellent reference. I believe he thinks it a common mistake to increase the standing rigging size over what the original engineered specs. You add considerable weight right where you do not want it. Also plastic covering starves the stainless of oxygen and contributes to premature failure .
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Old 22-01-2016, 10:37   #17
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Re: When is rigging too big?

This is my take on when and why to upsize rigging and it may help. It is NOT to increase strength. The OME rigging was designed to take anything the boat can do and will. For prelonged OCEAN sailing going up one size puts more weight in the rig increasing roll inertia so reducing the potential for a nock-down BUT at the expense of initial stability, so not suitable for all boats. Again for OCEAN sailing the cyclic stresses of rolling down the trade winds for months on end can cause fatigue failure of all components (particularly tangs, plates and pins). Upping rig size can be good if it brings loads below the fatigue limit.
None of this applies to sailing a small boat in coastal waters, you don't need the strength and the weight will kill the performance. (this assumes the old rig lasted more than about 5yrs).
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Old 22-01-2016, 10:51   #18
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Re: When is rigging too big?

I agree with the general consensus here, why change size if the old wire has stood up to your so called abuse well past is use by date. Most insurance companies expect or even insist you change your standing rigging every 10 years so it has done well to date. The only thing I would go up one size is on the forestay which is key to you mast staying standing, with the rest of the rig (backstay, shrouds and lowers, if your quick you can usually save your rig by tacking onto the opposite tack or if your running, your main sheet may give you a momentary relief to allow you to round up if the backstay goes. The forestay has no protection and usually goes when you are hard on the wind and when it does go its likely to come down on top of you!
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Old 22-01-2016, 11:13   #19
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Re: When is rigging too big?

Fear of rigging failure can cause a sailor to try and treat a perceived weakness. The Erickson was designed with 5/32's because the designer calculated the rig stresses and determined that the size and weight was within the design of the boat. While their are boat owners that increase their rigging size, the change will have an effect on the boats performance. Some of the changes - stability, weight aloft, stress on the rigging or deck - are all issues playing against the design of the boat.

An important thought is rigging is not for forever. It should be examined regularly and even replaced depending on examination, stress of experience or potential future sailing plans. Note I did not say removed and replaced every "X" years, because that depends on the use and environmental exposure. (I've been told the PacNW weather is less damaging on rigging so maybe 8-12 year life. Southern climates can be more corrosive to rigging - 5-7 years.)

Or you might use the racers motto - change it as often as the money holds out.

Here is a link to a rerigging project on an Erickson, that may help. Ericson 25, Oystercatcher: rigging standing

If you are confirmed that size matters, stay close to OEM. Maybe 3/8's. But I would be inclined with the type and size of mast that the 5/32's would serve you well.

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Sail boat is a motor boat currently as the mast is on the hard getting a new rig.
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Old 22-01-2016, 12:01   #20
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Re: When is rigging too big?

Going back to some of the earlier comments about tensioning wire to a percentage of it's load limit. Sounds like a recipe for disaster unless everything is exactly as spec from new and the designer indicated precisely what percentage was required. Where does this come from? All the references I have say to tension dynamically to the sailing loads.
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Old 22-01-2016, 12:16   #21
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Re: When is rigging too big?

Naval architects design rigs with generous safety limits. There is almost never a need to oversize the rigging the boat came with and many reasons that have been listed above for not doing it. You are going to end up with a boat with poor stability because of the weight you will be adding aloft. Interesting that your replacement chainplate is 3/8" SS. Current boat displaces 13,500#, last post 20,000# and their chainplates were 1/4" SS. Both of these boats have crossed oceans, not just sailed a few miles offshore, for over 40 years without an issue. Did replace the chainplates on my boat with 1/4" SS, again, just to be safe because of crevice corrosion. They were still solid after 4 decades with only slight evidence of corrosion.

It seems to me that you are trying to turn this boat into a Brick Out House that will sail like one. You've got a boat that is fine for normal sailing but its initial design criteria was not to sail in extreme conditions. Think you'd be better off buying a heavy displacement boat like the Vancouver 27 with scantlings to match your penchant for too heavy, overbuilt improvements. In short, you are putting lipstick on a pig the way you are going with your current boat.
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Old 22-01-2016, 13:02   #22
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Re: When is rigging too big?

I think you can consider the following prior to upgrading by size:

- renew the chainplates,
- renew the mast fittings (tangs or backing plates),
- go Dyform.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 22-01-2016, 13:38   #23
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Re: When is rigging too big?

As mentioned increasing the size of rigging is almost always counterproductive. And here it is just downright silly.

As you mention you have pushed this boat very hard, probably past what the boats intended use is and yet despite rigging far past its expiration date it it going fine. Why then the worry about making it stronger?

The reality with rigging is that any increase in size beyond what is required to do the job has cascading negative effects on performance, stability, RM, safety, and cost. It gets you nothing, but costs a lot. Which is why NA design rigging to meet the expected loads.
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Old 22-01-2016, 14:55   #24
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Re: When is rigging too big?

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Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
5/32 which has been ready to go for a long time but I've still managed to abuse it and had several knockdown
I don't understand why you think 30 YO rigging that has withstood several knockdowns isn't big enough.
You know perhaps you're right. But all the other boats I'm my marina have bigger wires. Another 25' boat has 3/16 shrouds and 7/32 backstay. Just seeing how small my rig is is a bit scary. When I unstepped the mast yesterday I started to loosen the turnbuckle for a lower shroud, yes I turned it the right direction, and just one turn caused strands to start unravelling and then bust off. Perhaps it was too tight to begin with But it still worries me. I'm just trying to play it safe. So is it fair to say 3/16 will be ok? I'll stay away from 1/4
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Old 22-01-2016, 15:04   #25
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Re: When is rigging too big?

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Naval architects design rigs with generous safety limits. There is almost never a need to oversize the rigging the boat came with and many reasons that have been listed above for not doing it. You are going to end up with a boat with poor stability because of the weight you will be adding aloft. Interesting that your replacement chainplate is 3/8" SS. Current boat displaces 13,500#, last post 20,000# and their chainplates were 1/4" SS. Both of these boats have crossed oceans, not just sailed a few miles offshore, for over 40 years without an issue. Did replace the chainplates on my boat with 1/4" SS, again, just to be safe because of crevice corrosion. They were still solid after 4 decades with only slight evidence of corrosion.

It seems to me that you are trying to turn this boat into a Brick Out House that will sail like one. You've got a boat that is fine for normal sailing but its initial design criteria was not to sail in extreme conditions. Think you'd be better off buying a heavy displacement boat like the Vancouver 27 with scantlings to match your penchant for too heavy, overbuilt improvements. In short, you are putting lipstick on a pig the way you are going with your current boat.
I had 3/8 x 2" steel laying around and figured I would use it. Only spent an afternoon measuring drilling and shaping them. Do you think itll be too heavy or just plain dumb looking? I can definitely get some 1/4 since its strong enough. By the way I thank all of you for all this helpful advice. Probably saved me from doing something stupid. Haven't ordered the rigging yet still. Rereading and trying to make the best decision
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Old 22-01-2016, 16:39   #26
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Re: When is rigging too big?

Chainplates are down low so have little effect on the equilibrium of the boat. 3/8" chainplates may look over sized but won't effect the behavior/performance of the boat. There is something to be said for free material though 1/4" SS isn't all that expensive. FWIW, current boat's chainplates are 1/4" x 1 1/2". 3/8" x 2" chainplates would look out of place on a boat your size. If you are happy with the appearance of that size chain plate would only be an issue for a new buyer should you decide to sell and maybe not even then other than aesthetics.

Rigging Wire almost never breaks midspan but at the terminals. A combination of point source flexing and corrosion in the swage. If it was me, would stay with current wire size but switch to mechanical terminals like Hayn/Norseman/StaLok and get rid of the unseen corrosion issues that are the cause of most rigging failures. Also, if the turnbuckles are SS would inspect them very carefully as they can also succumb to the issues that SS has. Good old Bronze turnbuckles are pretty much life of the boat items.
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Old 22-01-2016, 16:50   #27
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Re: When is rigging too big?

Not sure going bigger is a great thing really. But yeah, check out similar size and weight boats for comparison. Every 4 lbs 25 ft up is an additional 100 ft lbs of force heeling the boat. Going to 3/16 wouldnt penalize you much though. or maybe just the uppers and forestay backstay. New rigging should be good.... especially if you renew the chainplates and any other items that are suspect. You could pay to have a designer look at it, if you really want.
I'd be more afraid of a home done non SS rigging job than std size rigging.
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Old 22-01-2016, 17:02   #28
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Re: When is rigging too big?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleIroh View Post
You know perhaps you're right. But all the other boats I'm my marina have bigger wires. Another 25' boat has 3/16 shrouds and 7/32 backstay. Just seeing how small my rig is is a bit scary. When I unstepped the mast yesterday I started to loosen the turnbuckle for a lower shroud, yes I turned it the right direction, and just one turn caused strands to start unravelling and then bust off. Perhaps it was too tight to begin with But it still worries me. I'm just trying to play it safe. So is it fair to say 3/16 will be ok? I'll stay away from 1/4
If you want to play it absolutely safe, just use the same size rigging and replace it every 24 months. That is going to be your best (and safest) choice.
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Old 22-01-2016, 19:20   #29
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Re: When is rigging too big?

Re use of 3/8 " chainplate stock: be sure that the bottom fittings (fork or toggle usually) will fit over the thicker material.

And the suggestion to stay the same size but to go to Dyform or Compact strand wire is a good one. The fittings are all the same size, but the wire is significantly stronger.

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Old 22-01-2016, 19:21   #30
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Re: When is rigging too big?

"When I unstepped the mast yesterday I started to loosen the turnbuckle for a lower shroud, yes I turned it the right direction, and just one turn caused strands to start unravelling and then bust off."

To tight possibly, but unlikely. "Busting off" Likely wire that is too old/damaged internally.

You are fortunate to be re- rigging when you are. The issue with stainless is it rusts from the inside. Water against stainless and the absence of air. This has happened in some of the swageless fittings with plenty of sealant but not enough everywhere. The water gets in and sits there protected from the air. Chewing on the stainless wire. Why you see the broken wires more often at deck level rather than the mast top. Water runs down gets inside the wire and 'party'.

Strong chainplates. Good tangs with matching pin diameters. And same size 316 wire. Sail happy.
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